No, I Did Not Drop The Ball Last Week!

25 01 2017

football

Last week, the more frequent and eagle-eyed readers of my blog would have spotted that I did not post anything. Just to reassure you, no I did not drop the ball; it was sort of intended.

a-monster-calls (Focus Features - 2016)

Since 2011, I have been posting blog posts on this blog every week. I have been blogging in total for over 7 years now, but it was not until 2011 that I started posting more frequently, and have been doing so ever since. So why last week’s interruption, well there is sort of 2 reasons behind that. One is because I was hoping to post my film review of A Monster Calls, but after getting ill, and running dry of the emotions that the film created, I got a bit behind. The other though is that I have decided to scale back a bit when it comes to my blogging. Here’s why:

Steamboy (Sunrise - 2004)

In August 2016, I finally got a job, a job I am still doing to this day and am really enjoying; however when I first got it I was unsure as to if I would still be able to keep blogging frequently, so what I did was write a bunch of posts to post over a period of time instead of there and then. This idea worked, up until I started doing it for the rest of the year. I had written posts weeks, if not over a month ahead of when they were due to be posted. This took some of the fun out of blog posting, because when I have written a post, there is a great deal of excitement and energy about it, which makes you excited to see it simply get posted; if that is done weeks ahead, when it is finally posted the excitement has gone and so has the energy. Posting weeks ahead is only useful if you have a schedule to keep or have plans for a string of posts and need the extra time. For me it really took the fun out of it and as such I began to emotionally struggle with the blog, well thanks to both that and one other reason: Views.

views

When I started this blog, views were never really on my mind, as all I wanted to do was just write. When I discovered the views feature, it really started to grip me and I would look at it to see what was enjoyed, what wasn’t, and within a few years it pretty much took my main focus as I logged into WordPress every day. The views feature when you’re starting out can actually be quite fun, because when it’s the case that a lot of people are viewing your blog, that gives you a good boost of energy, but when they start to dwindle, that in return can get you down. Since 2011, I have actually kept a spreadsheet of my blog views on my computer, the main purpose being is that when I first started, WordPress used to provide views in a fun line graph, but this changed to a bar chart on the system, and as I quite liked the line graph, I decided to keep the spreadsheet to create the line graphs.

Godzilla 2014 (Legendary Pictures - 2014)

Come 2013 however, and the success I had achieved in 2012 quickly evaporated, and my blog views each month went from 3000-4000 views, to just over 1000. May 2014 saw a brief increase to over 2000 views mostly thanks to a certain film that was released that month, but since then views have been going down slowly. For the last 4 months of 2016, I received no higher than just over 900 views. I should just be happy that people are still looking at my blog from time to time, but when the views are sharp in your face when you turn on and go into the dashboard, and you see this continuing drop, it just gets you down, and with me losing the excited energy about the posting of posts, things really started to look grim. Then I had an idea, which upon considering it, made me very positive.

views-2

The issue; was that firstly the viewing figures were getting me down. So to combat this, I am no longer going to keep my own records, plus have managed to move the views window out of the way so it’s not completely in my face when I log on. I still have it to one side to look at every now and then, but now when I log in to WordPress I don’t get down when the views are down, because I don’t know if they are or not. Secondly, putting up posts every week did sort of begin to affect the kind of posts that I put up each week. This blog does not make money for me in anyway, it’s meant to be fun for me as well as a possible platform for my thoughts and interests, so why should I keep up a post each week? Posting each week does help me to keep it going and the frequency does help. The one thing I don’t want to do is give up, because in my current emotional state I may never get back into it if I did, so I decided to reduce the frequency to a post every 2 weeks. This keeps the frequency going, but does not put me in such a bad position. I can work on my posts more and have a little more freedom with less stricter personal deadlines, but also with more time to think and plan, I can potentially do more posts like the ones I really want to do. This does not stop me posting more frequently if I wanted to, but does not mean I have to rush a post out if I am late. It just gives me some options. Since deciding to go down this path, I have actually begun to feel a lot more positive and excited again about blogging and posting. While it’s in the early stages, I am beginning to feel pretty good about it. The rules I have put in place for myself are:

  • Post every couple of weeks at least.
  • Reduce number of film reviews a year too.

Film reviews have been a big part of this blog since the release of Inception, with me persisting to try and release one a month or at least 12 a year if I miss any. Doing big film reviews though do take up some time, and to allow myself as much freedom as I can, I am reducing my own required number down to six. If I am posting for half the year, I will do the same for film reviews too, but still continue to do them, just reducing the required amount in a year. So while it used to be at least 12, it is now 6. I am not intending to retire from blogging any time soon, I just want it to be fun again but also not tiring; so with this plan in place I am still hoping and planning to do the same as I always have done, just less frequently, and who knows, maybe this will turn out to be better than before, but right now that is not the important thing for me, the important thing is to be having fun again.

inception (Legendary Pictures - 2010)

GENEPOOL





The WordPress Blog Fish

30 03 2016

Lionfish

In February I discovered a new species of Fish. No, not the above, that is of course a picture of a Lion Fish (or a Pterois if you want to be pedantic) and has been known about for a very long time. No, I discovered a brand new species of Fish, one that is so rare, that you will be lucky if you get to see it at all. This fish is unlike many other species of fish as this one does not live in Water. It does live in the surf of its native habitat, but this species of fish inhabits a completely different territory; that of the World Wide Web, in particular on the web service known as WordPress. It is very hard to spot, but this could be more the case that the creature is not really found but more created into life.

WordPress Logo

By now I start to run out of things to say to suggest that it is a real creature; it isn’t (unless there is one in which case I apologise). No, basically the best way to describe what on earth I am talking about is to go back to October last year. You may remember (unless you didn’t see it), back in October I did a series of film reviews over the course of a week, all of which were from the X-Men Film Series to that point. Well, every year I get this little feature from WordPress which is an analysis of the blog during the year. One feature this thing includes is a table showing when posts are posted. Most of the time I try to get posts posted on a Wednesday, however to include the week and build up to the week, I posted the posts in a different way, to cut a long story short, when I looked at the end of year stats for my blog, the feature showing posting patterns showed what looked like an Arrow head for that period.

Arrow

You might be thinking (or not) why am I talking about this and Fish? Well, during February, I posted 2 rather small blog posts in the second week, so I added a third and did them so there would be 3 posts in a row. When I looked at the posting patterns on my blog menu, I wondered if I could do something similar as what happened in October. The reason for this though has a second reason, and that is that later this year it will be my 500th post, and I wanted to try and get it a bit closer. So thanks to this little bit of fun during February I was able to post 8 posts over one month, so I think it worked. Anyway, having put up one post at the beginning of February, followed by 3 the following week, I then scheduled some more posts. One for the week after 3 posts, and then 2 the week after that, and then another 2 the week after that (one of which was the first post of March); scheduling the dates in such a way that the end result would look like a Fish. Here is the end result:

Fish

I think I managed to pull it off quite well. I was worried that I would get a day wrong, but overall I like to think that it has worked. You can see the tip of the head, the main body, then a taper behind which then leads onto a Thresher Shark like tail. It’s sort of like the old CITV show Art Attack trying to make a Big Art Attack, especially the one where he tries to do one with the New York City Skyline.

New York City Skyline at night

Don’t know if I will do anything like that again, it was more that the opportunity presented itself and I just went with it. I think the end result is pretty good. Maybe next time I will try and do something a little more complicated. When that will be however I don’t know, as right now I just want to take it nice and slow until I reach Post 500.

Moorish Idol

GENEPOOL








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