January 27, 2012

January 20, 2012

Conversations With Greatness CCCLXIV



(N.B. Mitt Romney estimated personal wealth = $250 million; TARP estimated cost to taxpayers = $19 billion; proportion of latter covered by former = 1.3%, rounded up to 1.5% out of sheer fury, so 1/67th.)

January 16, 2012

Characters from The Legend of Zelda

Part of my plan for the new year is to post on this blog more of my writing for other outlets, when it happens.

So: this week you should check out my thoughts on plagiarism at the Emerson First-Year Writing Program blog, and then you should check out my thoughts on the word 'haunting' (already linked on Largehearted Boy!) at the Ploughshares blog.

Then you should hire me as a staff writer.

January 13, 2012

January 06, 2012

January 02, 2012

State of the Pundigrion

With the exception of last January, when I was in Australia and had (a) no internet and (b) far better things to do with my time, I usually start the new year with a round-up of the blog's stats.

This year it's kind of a depressing task, on the face of things, because after 2010's plunge to 149 posts over the year (from 209 the year before), I sank to a new, even lower low in 2011: 94 posts over the year, or one every 3.9 days. It's actually much worse than that, too, because most of those are Conversations With Greatness, and if you carve those out it works out to one actual post every 8 days—and, well, I'd be kidding myself if I said those posts were as good as they used to be.

As a result, I've seen a huge drop in traffic, from 16,058 pageviews in 2010 to only 9,193 in 2011. Now, admittedly my 2010 numbers included about 1,500 for just two days when I got linked on Language Log, but even if you carve those out you're still looking at a 35% drop in traffic. Sad face.

HOWEVER, I choose to be optimistic instead of depressed, for two reasons:

1. Even though I haven't been writing as much here, I've been getting published elsewhere all over the shop. In addition to my regular Good Men Project column, I've been editing (and writing) book reviews for the Ploughshares Blog, and edited and wrote an official blog for the Underbelly. I've also had one-off pieces published at The Rumpus, PANK, One New England, and even in print with DRAFT Magazine.

2. While overall traffic has decreased, traffic from particular segments has skyrocketed, so really I'm not losing readership so much as gaining a more focused one. (Gosh, don't you just love statistical euphemism?) For instance, in addition to a (sigh) continued increase in people Googling "recycling jokes," on the order of 600% or so over last year, I also had a 700% increase in people Googling the Fonz, and an ∞% increase in people searching for "communism jokes" (up from 0 in 2010). I also had a 70% drop in people searching for "obscure metaphor," which is a Blackburn Rovers New Year's Eve scoreline over Manchester United if ever I saw one.

Anyway, all of that to say: don't despair! In the coming year you can continue to expect more of my writing in other forums, and here on the blog more superlative communist jokes about the Fonz doing recycling than ever before. Starting with this one:

Q. Why did the Fonz separate his brown bottles from his green?
A. Glass consciousness.

SPLABANGO, dear readers, and goodnight.