It’s probably about time for me to admit that I haven’ the faintest idea what I’m doing with this blog. After over three years, one would have thought that I would have settled into some sort of happy little groove, but I haven’t really. If anything, this is all going backwards – and much I should probably blame poor writing for this, the little graphic at the top-right of this that has appeared on the Facebook Page that accompanies this site recently should also shoulder a good chunk of it too.
This blog is tiny, and I guess I got lucky at the start of the life of whatever this is when one or two posts started to get passed around and retweeted… I even managed to garner a few comments on posts (albeit about 50% negative), and traffic was uniformly high, certainly higher than anything I could have expected from miserably scribbling away. And then this happened on the site where most networking occurred.
Facebook is a business (even more so now it’s gone Public) and businesses need money, but in its voracious desire to hoover up every cent from everyone and by treating piddly little sites like this with the same approach as they do General Motors, Coca-Cola etc, they’ve strangled all sense of community. Because every view is now so precious to everyone, bands and artists are now so focused on pleading with their fans to comment, like share and retweet every snippet of info, they’re not noticing so much when people do say something about them. Especially when things can’t be soundbitten down into a meaningless arbitrary score (“This record was the soundtrack to my losing my love and my subsequent descent into drinking and drugs, so I rate this 8/10!” – and this record exists but I’m buggered if I’m going to tell you which one it is), it does sometimes feel now that everything’s getting a bit insular and territorial now, and that does nobody any good. Word Of Mouth is just as important for blogs such as this as it is for the people that blogs such as this write happily and freely in favour of – it means that there is an outlet of positivity that they haven’t had to pay or beg their fans for, and this symbiosis also requires participation, otherwise that $10 per day to get one’s musings out there starts to look worryingly inevitable…
So why continue, if it makes me so angry and despondent at times? Because sometimes it’s as good an outlet for my pettier, nastier side as it is for my enthusiasm and joy. And as I don’t spend time here writing about what I think are bad records (because I don’t buy bad records as a rule, it’s kind of a waste of money to do so), I need a slightly different target to vent my spleen . And when I hear that someone has bought something, or even just taken the time to have a bit of a listen, based on something that’s been written here, I can’t explain just how good that feels. On the rare occasion that a conversation is begun that sends its participants off to a record store on the basis of something that someone said, it’s brilliant. When artists take the time to pass something on or even get in touch, it’s a fantastic feeling and I am so utterly grateful for every single time that I see something of mine appearing on Facebook or Twitter or on other people’s sites and messageboards. Hopefully I can keep bungling away here until the pendulum swings back towards a relationship that’s much closer to “us” than “them”.