Friday, October 09, 2009

Popularity, relatively speaking

All worlds organize themselves into hierarchies, including worlds that only exist in the very abstract, like the "classical" music blogosphere. It is a world explored by a self-selecting group of people, and, with the exception of e-mail, the local weather, YouTube, and a news website or two, it is where I spend the most of my internet time. I keep this blog for my own sanity, and, perhaps, for the sanity of readers I do not know who have some of the same concerns and interests that I have. The things that matter to me are, for the most part, rarefied. Every once in a while, for example, I click on my profile links with the hope that someone else in the blogspot blogging world has a serious interest in Maurice Maeterlinck. It has not yet happened, but, in this world of infinite possibility, it just might.

Every once in a while I come across a post that ranks blogs that come under the umbrella of "classical music," and every once in a while I find this blog somewhere towards the bottom of the list (I believe it was 47 in a list of 50 for a while). The ranking, of course, is a quantitative one: how many "hits," how many "links," how many "feeds," or how a blog is ranked by a search engine. Because I don't use social networking tools like twitter or facebook, or any of the other icon-like things that I see floating around on various blogs, I imagine that in the giant "cafeteria" of the internet, the relative popularity of this blog will continue to fade.

But I will always try to keep the content interesting, I will do my best to use the English language well, and I will never use this blog for any kind of commercial advertising. I interact with a rarefied bunch of people in my non-blogging world, and popularity has never really been something I have sought out. I am often impressed with people who do seek it out, and by doing so manage to have the world reaching out to them. I have learned that I can never be one of those people, partly because I do not know how to be one of those people, and partly because I do not want to be one of those people. The gift that keeps on giving after turning 50 is the realization that what you see is what you get: 50 years of being a certain way makes a good precedent to continue operating by the same set of balances that keep me happy and productive.

I feel like this free and ever-changing blogosphere, however, is fragile. Perhaps it will no longer be free in a few years. Perhaps some entity will find a way to profit from the self-expression and community-creating that it allows, and then everything will change. Until that time, I really appreciate the ability to play in this "playground," and to share my particular quirks and interests (and gripes, and criticisms, and music) with the people who care to read about them here, even if they just drop in by chance.


Lisa Hirsch said...

I keep an eye on hits, etc. using an analytics program, and my hits are pretty pathetic!

Maeterlinck - have you tried Google Blog Search?

Elaine Fine said...

Say, that's a good idea!

T. said...

Elaine - if it's any consolation, I have in fact read Maeterlinck's Bluebird, and my mom played Mytyl in her school's production of it. :)

Michael Leddy said...

"The gift that keeps on giving after turning 50 is the realization that what you see is what you get": I love this sentence.

Bill in Dallas said...

I'm not a blogger, but I read and follow (via RSS feed into MyYahoo) several classical blogs.... yours is one I never miss, along with Charles Noble, the Minnesotans "Inside the classics", Sticks and Bones, and Kenneth Woods' View from the Podium.
Keep up the good work!

If we read every post twice, does that help? :-)


Elaine Fine said...

I'm so happy that you have read the Blue Bird, T (though it doesn't surprise me one bit that you have read it--people touched by Maeterlinck "wear" it on their souls), and thank you so much, for letting me know you are reading, Bill.

Rebecca said...

Hi Elaine- I am new to blogging,and especially in light of this post, I wanted to give you some encouraging words to let you know your work is appreciated. I enjoy reading your blog so much because you have such a positive and interesting outlook on the things you write about... a refreshing concept in a world full of so many cynical people. I look forward to reading your future posts!

Anna Ciaccio said...

I have just recently started to read your blog. I am a, generally, a jazz musician who has been classically trained. Far too often, we put ourselves in musical boxes, and the musical box of classical is often stereotyped as "boring." However, I look forward to reading your blog every day and I hope you continue to do it for a long time...age is just a number not a circumstance.