Sunday, 25 September 2016

Google bait

When I recently mentioned to a friend that I'd resumed blogging he asked me what I was doing to promote the blog. Nothing, I said, I was really just writing it for writing's sake, and I didn't think blogging was particularly fashionable in these days of the twitter ascendancy.

We then had a little discussion about popular blogs - I said the trick was to write something that other people were interested in, hence the successful blogs out there on the subject of weddings, interior design, etc.

I tend to write about what is happening in my mental space, or about things that interest me. Just very occasionally something that interests me happens to be interesting to other people too.

One of my most popular blog entries to date is Stretch Yawn Faint, it is also (at the time of writing) the top google result for that three word search. Apparently "orthostatic hypotension" is a relatively un-discussed side effect of humans being big stretchy blobs of flesh.

So obviously one trick to having a successful blog is to write about the commonly experienced but under-discussed stuff that people google, but how would you identify these google-bait topics?

LMGTFY or "Let Me Google That for You" is a great website which has also has a live stream feature which shows you in real time what people are typing into LMGTFY. Be warned however, for it turns out that some people have rather unsavoury questions for google.

Another google-bait source is google itself with their trending visualisation which is sanitised and pretty cool looking. Sadly it seems that the trending topics are predominantly football or celebrity centric. I suppose that 4.45am on a Sunday morning probably isn't peak googling time, but the trending topics seem seriously banal.

I'm going to carry on blogging about bits that mean something to me, so if you're looking for 20 things you didn't know about Manchester United (and number 16 really surprised me) then let me introduce you to LMGTFY...

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Itching and scritching

A blank page and a flashing cursor that itches and scritches at the psyche, begging to be booted along the page and be displaced by the developing prose. So I sit here trying to oblige, yet somewhat at a loss as to what should come next.

I drift forward in time, moored by my minor hobbies, commitments to family and friends, the toil that pays the bills, and the drudgery of domestic chores. It isn't a bleak existence. It is mildly pleasant and satisfying. A low stress, low risk strategy which will carefully transport me from here to eternity.

What about the paths untraveled? The adventures I could have? I could be and do so much more. Why don't I? When did I change my outlook and set my sights so low?

I do know the answers to those questions. I am where I am, doing what I do by conscious choice. Divorce and disease. These two daemons brought on my bunker mentality. I've chosen my current location and path.

Safety. Security. Comfort. Routine.

But what if I were to shake it all up?

I could.

I know I could.

I'm a little scared now.

This cursor dragging me forward.

It is taking me to unexpected places.

I think I'll scuttle back to my comfort zone.

But the cursor is inside me now.

Itching and scritching.