Friday, 14 March 2014


Google inform me that this is the 700th post I have made to Irresistible Targets since I posted the first in July 2008. I reckon that's three-quarters of a million words, and since I have just passed my birthday (as you will have noticed if you're paying attention) I am inevitably contemplating the efficacy of sharing so much writing when I have a living to earn, and when the marketplace in which to earn it is contracting remarkably quickly.

Google also tell me IT has had 270,000 visitors, which works out to just under 400 per post. On the one hand, it is nice to reach that many people, if I am indeed reaching them/you consistently. On the other, given that I have just shy of 300 facebook friends and 15,800 twitter followers, 400 is not all that impressive.

Of course, what's happened with this blog is that I have been writing fewer entries, but more of them have been longer-form essays rather than brief reviews or thoughts in passing--the kinds of things I would have been offering and usually selling five years ago. I look at the blog and wonder about cause and effect.

So tell me whether you would feel a sense of loss were IT to go into the kind of limbo my art blog Untitled Perspectives seems to have done, or my original general blog idea, ...And Over Here, did very quickly. Or if you want to publish me, you let me know that too!


Ruzz said...

Yes I'd miss the blog - I check here most days - and generally read any new posts, unless they're about boxing or baseball (sorry).

Part of me recognises that blogs, in particular, seem to have a life span - and it may be that you feel that the sorts of things that you cover here, are things that you no longer need to use the space for. But I don't necessarily accept the suggestion that perhaps the blog posts displace commercial endeavours. It certainly doesn't have to be so. I follow, among others, the writer and academic Adam Roberts - whose blogs seem to have defined life spans (see for example the excellent but now defunct Punkadiddle) but are quickly replaced by new blogs. He seems to use much of his posting activity (but not all) as a form of trial run, testing his thoughts, honing material, but often with the end view of using the material somewhere else in his professional life - whether as a writer or an academic (see now both Morphosis and Sibilant Fricative). I guess that only you know whether what you write here displaces creative energies that could be better employed elsewhere, or helps to stimulate or sharpen your thinking and writing.

You mention the greater reach of Facebook and Twitter - and I take the point. But surely those are more akin to conversations. They give visibility, and keep you engaged with the fan base that you have from your various endeavours - but they aren't remotely equivalent to more developed arguments and pieces that you set out here.

I know that we - your readers/visitors - have no particular right to your unpaid labours. So clearly the decision that you take will be the one that is right for you, and we can only be grateful for the 700 posts that we've had. Selfishly I hope that you'll find enough value in writing here that you keep on keeping on - but if not, thanks for the many words of wisdom, and make sure you put a note somewhere visible to let us know if there comes a point where you start a new enterprise.

Ianb said...

I, for one will be disappointed if you decide to give up. I am not the kind of follower who wants to correspond or comment on the topics you choose but I am an avid reader. You have taken me into areas that I would not have otherwise discovered. For me, Twitter and Facebook hold no attraction but I can see that these formats are more in keeping with your original postings on IT. I have my fingers crossed.

Ste said...

I too would be very sorry to see IT go the way of Betamax. This is the only blog that I read regularly. I've tried Facebook and more recently Twitter but haven't taken to either. However, I also appreciate that you have a living to make, so perhaps I will have to persevere. Thanks
ps. I enjoy the boxing and the baseball posts and I especially liked your olympic ones.

Anonymous said...

Ruzz makes a good point about blogs having a certain life span. I'm inclined to agree.

I also think keeping a blog has to be it's own reward in some fashion. Having readership should be icing on the cake, not the cake itself. Blogs do get readers, and they do get followings, but only a very select few get a large enough readership to make up a decent cake.

Chris said...

Keep it going, Mike.