Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This humble little blog

291 posts since last July. If today is like most days, I will get my usual 17 to 20 readers and thereby pass the 4,000-hits mark, a paltry number when compared to some of the blogs that I follow.

Am I complaining? Yes and no. While I had hoped to go viral at some point, I realize that perhaps there is nothing in the archives that merit such attention, either in style or content. What motivates such a desire? Certainly not vainglory. In fact, pragmatics play a large role. Sometimes blogging leads to networking, and with those connections, opportunities to monetize the writing process. It hasn’t happened yet.

As longtime readers will remember (more about you folks later), and will perhaps agree, writing well does not come easy to me. Even though I have been putting thoughts to the page for most of my life, the words still do not flow with the ready intelligence and eloquence of someone like my Dear Sis, Cardgrrl. My syntax is sometimes disjointed; grammatical errors abound; and, even decisions about punctuation become overly complicated, as if I am writing a translation of Husserl into English. And Lord knows, my poker insights can be shallow or just dead wrong. Yet, with each post, I discover something about the writing process. I learn, and this in itself makes the endeavor worthwhile.

“Mr. bastin, get thee a blog.” A couple years ago, Gumpo wrote these words on the Poker Academy forum. I was encouraged, even though it took quite some time for me to get this thing going. And bless his heart, Gump reads this thing every time there is a new entry. So does Memphis Mojo, Crash, Opinh Bombay, Akileos, joxum, Loki9, Matt Tagg and Cardgrrl. There is also someone from Arizona, I believe someone from Poker Academy, who logs in daily, and recently, someone with an ISP of spent hours reading this thing. I know this because of Sitemeter. Well, maybe not all are daily readers, and in fact, some folks have pretty much stopped checking in, but that’s not the point. I’d just like to thank you all.

Sitemeter stats can be entertaining as well as informative, especially when the entry point to my site comes from google. Until I learned how to use poker hand converters, I would post hand histories complete with the nicks of my opponents. Occasionally one of the players would google their nick, for who knows what reason, and they would find my blog. Not so much anymore; yet one player, a Supernova on Stars, has returned to my blog a number of times, not because he is a loyal reader but because he apparently googles his nick on a regular basis. Hmmmm.

As one might suspect, not all googles are poker-related. I get hits from folks looking for information on Indian Runner ducks, Guinea fowl, and now, certain vegetable varieties I have planted, and even a couple art-related topics. Yet, these folks move on, never to read the blog again.

Time is precious, even for those of us who seem to have a lot of it on our hands. How many blogs can one read each day? A couple months ago I had to do research for a client that included reading upwards of twenty blogs a day. It was exhausting, and ultimately, boring as hell. Yet, not every blog I looked at was dull. Some were downright entertaining and extremely creative. These I bookmarked with the intention of returning for my own edification. Well, I have not looked at them since. I already spend more time on the computer than I should.

So, again Dear Readers, thank you for sticking with me. Your generosity is often reason enough to continue with this blog.


joxum said...

Happy 291!

I just got my last order of chili seed. It's probably too late to plant now, but I'll give the Purple Beauty a go anyway, since you mentioned that it was a fast grower.

Two Plus Two has something on Omaha 8. I have no idea where the other two parts are, but here's a link to part 3.


Memphis MOJO said...

You keep writing interesting stuff (and the occasional photo!) and I'll keep coming.

Memphis MOJO said...

Oh, I meant to ask. When I log in from my cell phone (when I was in FL, for example), what does sitemeter show?

Cardgrrl said...

Does sitemeter track RSS feeds? 'Cause that's mostly how I read you.

BWoP said...

I might be the Arizona hit. (My work server is in Phoenix although my office is in Las Vegas.)

Crash said...

bastin, Memphis MOJO, Cardgrrl:
I have all of you on RSS, but I just use it to tell me when there is a new goody. Then I go directly to your blog to ensure you get the click. I never did figure out how to use rss to alert me to comments.

bastin, you have put up a very interesting post today. It, combined with your tagline, all your previous posts, and your art website are all swirling inside of my bald head. I play nlhe every day, but poker has become the last reason I read your blog.

bastinptc said...

Where to begin? At the beginning, of course!

joxum - Plant those chilis anyway. What the heck, eat or pickle them green! & thx for the link.

MM - If I remember correctly, it showed location and carrier.

Sis - I get a D.C. hit about once a week, so if you're reading daily, the answer is no.

BWoP - Then bless your heart as well. It is Phoenix.

Crash & MM - Thanks for the encouragement.

KenP said...

RSS mucks things these days, I imagine. With a decent reader it isn't hard to track a lot of blogs. Few though are more prolific than you.

The average blog gets 2 readers. You, I and most aren't rock stars but closer to Norwegian, Lutheran farmers on a Minnesota lake. Well, you might qualify better is part but most of us are in the same area of success.

I tend to look for interesting people more than interesting poker hands. I think I've seen both side of every one described. Hand histories are complete information. I follow blogs for the same incomplete information that makes poker and life enjoyable.

P.S. If you use Firefox, pick up the Newsfox addon. It is easy to follow a ton of blogs with it.

Memphis MOJO said...

KenP's post reminded me that something I meant to add when I first commented.

What originally drew me to your blog was your writing (and not your poker, no offense). I don't mean the typos or a comma here or there, but I mean by writing your written expression and the things you have to say.

One more thought. You mentioned networking and your hopes it would lead to something you could earn coin of the realm for doing. I think when you write a blog, you have to be content to write one that suits you (meaning the writer). I used to say: "Warning no poker content" when I posted photos or something else. You (mildly) chastised those of us who did that, and I don't do it anymore.

It's my blog, and I put on it what I damn well please. You do the same -- don't ever stop!

Crash said...

YEAH, WHAT MOJO SAID! (Great wisdom, MOJO.)

I use a Mac. The Safari RSS reader is superb. No confusion at all with many feeds.