To be fair, the weirdness sort of started in January. That was when I finally broke down and joined that whole twitter thing (that's a link to me on twitter, by the way, not just a link to twitter (like you'd need that)). Twitter, just by itself, is weird. Seriously, I fail to see the appeal of speaking with this arbitrary 140 character cutoff, especially when people then just tweetspam (Is that a thing? That should be a thing.) a dozen times so that they can say the 1500 characters they wanted to say to begin with. That's like making mini-cupcakes so that you will eat less but, then, eating all of them.
Because they're so tiny.
So I'm on twitter, but I don't really know if I'm doing it correctly, because no one tends to respond to anything I tweet unless it's, in and of itself, a response to a tweet. Am I the only one actually reading what other people say? I don't know. Plus, twitter adds this unexpected pressure on me of coming up with tweets that at least approach the 140 character cutoff. Because why use just 50 characters? And it feels like they, the tweets, should be profound in some way. But once I throw it out there, no one responds, so it feels like I'm one of those guys walking down a crowded street talking to himself that everyone stares at and moves away from.
Of course, most of those people these days are just on the phone, but that weirds me out, because I'm never quite sure if the person is on the phone or just talking to him/herself.
But I digress... really, way off target here.
The weirdness started when John Scalzi replied to a tweet. I mean, I was replying to one of his tweets, but he replied back, which was kind of a jaw dropping moment. I had to tell Rusty about it just so someone else would know and, well, make it real. If that makes sense. Still, it's not quite the same as Offutt having Neil Gaiman tweet at him (which has happened more than once, if I'm remembering correctly), but it is something.
That was at the end of January, and, for a while, the most exciting thing happening on twitter, unless you count Nathan Fillion announcing that he was learning to play Magic, was the push up competition going on between Briane Pagel, Rusty, and myself. Yeah, I know. I'm sure all of you were waiting with held breaths to see our tweets on that subject. But, then, one day, I sat down at the computer to find that Jim Butcher was following me. Wait, what? I know! What the heck?! Again, I tweeted Rusty about it. But what the heck?
As it turned out, the heck was that Butcher's account had been hacked and, for whatever reason, used to follow back about 1000 of his followers. When I got home later that night, he was no longer following me. For a few minutes, though, I thought I was one of the cool kids.
However, a real thing did happen: Howard Mackie, a longtime writer for Marvel Comics and the writer of one of the best runs on any comic ever, dropped by my blog and commented. That, in many ways, is an even bigger "what the heck?" moment than the thing with Butcher. I mean, I've mentioned Butcher here on the blog on numerous occasions, but I've never mentioned Mackie. At least, not by name. I only talked about Ghost Rider and, that, only in passing. So I'm still wondering how he ended up on that post. I'm sure there's a lesson here, somewhere...
Oh, but we'll get to that.
On top of everything else, February was my lowest blog traffic in a year. Way below my current average. Way below. Way more than can be accounted for by the loss of a couple of days from the month. It's one of those things that makes you stop and go, "Whoa... what the heck?" And without wanting to you're suddenly wondering if blogging is actually worth the time it takes. Or if you did something wrong and offended a bunch of people. Or... something. It doesn't matter that your head is telling you all sorts of rational things:
- It's just a fluctuation.
- Blog traffic in general is slowing.
- It's not about you.
So... why blog?
And that's what we'll talk about next time. See you on Wednesday for "Part 2: Why Bother To Blog (That's Not a Question)"
This post has been brought to you in part by the Insecure Writers Support Group.