20 May 2011

A Collective Sigh of Resignation

I’ve recently received a revelation about what I’m doing wrong when it comes to getting people to read my blog. The penny began to drop when I noticed my sister had been asked to guest post on someone’s blog. Something about being an Australian in Canada or something, on a blog about female geeks or some such. The drop was complete and made that irritatingly unsatisfying “ping” sound on the concrete of my consciousness when Jess, who is basically my brother from another mother, (or to use the feminine, my sister from a … a blistered … twister? Never mind) started joining up with a network of blogging mums. I realised what my blogging experience is missing: a collective!

The problem is… what the hell kind of messed up collective could I possibly get away with joining? Jess suggested joining the blogging mums’ society and crying to the sexism police if I was refused membership. It sounds like great fun, except for the part where I piss off a whole social network full of pregnant and/or post-natal women. Maybe later.

I’m not sure there really exists a network that CTC would slot into naturally, as the whole point of tacently clamenting is that there’s probably no other place in the cyberverse where I could get away with it. If we did form a cranky, cynical, independent, socially awkward writers’ network, I can only see it lasting a month or so before some prawn decides he’s too cool for the collective, takes his cricket bat and goes home.

There’s a reasonable chance that prawn would be me.

A week or so ago, Laurie over at Hipstercrite republished an old piece listing tips for generating higher blog readership. It’s full of great advice that I’ll probably never follow, but it also recommends an online network known as Twenty Something Bloggers. To qualify for that network you just have to be twenty-something years old and have a blog. Being of the ripe old age of twenty-mumble, I decided to sign up.

It took them a few days to verify the account, but now I have a shiny new 20sb profile. It’s a bit like Facebook, but only for writers. Now the quest is on to find user groups for topics I’m interested in. Having decided to raise the bar for myself, I’ve typed in searches for ‘religion’, ‘philosophy’, ‘linguistics’ and ‘cricket’. There aren’t any groups for those. Can you believe it? Most of the groups were focussed on acquiring followers for their own sake, which seems a little bit wanky to me. Everyone wants more followers, but who wants followers that are only following you because you’re following them? Join the collective and we’ll all go round in circles!

In the end I joined two groups: the Australian Bloggers group (17 members, which might explain a lot) and the “I support Velociraptors” group (37 members). Most of the other interest groups centred on regions of the US or on what colour hair leads a woman to have the most sex. And as tempting as it might have been to join the ‘fashionistas’ group (763 members?) I think I might just keep my blog tucked away quietly in the obscure corners of the internet for a little while yet. The blogosphere, it seems, is still not ready for blogs by men from Australia who haven’t even read Twilight (Seriously! A 20-somethings’ network with a Twilight fan group (173 members) How does that even happen?).

Actually, blogs by men full stop seem a little difficult to come by. There’s a group for us (129 members) but I’m not really sure I could bring myself to join a group called ‘boys’ club’. Especially when we’re outnumbered by the ‘chick-lit lovers’ (363 members) by almost three to one.

Nope. I think I’m just going to have to generate readership the old fashioned way.

Osama, while planking a Harry Potter Fan Fic conspiracy theory, could cover-up the evolution of Dancing With The Stars in the Middle East. Boobs!

Google to the rescue. Make of that what you will.




Garry with 2 Rs
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