Or, as I’m calling it, right now, ‘The Pistorius Effect’.
You may remember that yesterday I wrote a blog about the defence that Oscar Pistorius might offer for his killing of Reeva Steenkamp. I was trying to put myself in the shoes of his legal team to come up with a plausible explanation for him firing four bullets into his girlfriend’s head and chest that wouldn’t make him look like a homicidal maniac. To some extent, I suppose I was commenting on the terrible state of affairs in South Africa, and, I was also commenting on the continued power of the old, white, patriarchal society anywhere in the first world to protect its own.
Either way, that was yesterday and this is today, and the reason that I haven’t called today’s blog, ‘The Pistorius Effect’ is because I’m not actually cynical when it comes to the numbers game, the popularity contest that exists out there on the web when it comes to blogging.
I don’t write this blog to attract the casual reader and to be able to claim that vast numbers of people are passing through. I don’t choose titles for my posts that will pull in casual readers who might never return. It is not my intention to be salacious... That’s what The Sun is for. When news broke that Oscar Pistorius had shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp, the national newspapers wanted pictures to illustrate the story for their front pages; of course they did. Those pictures included shots of Pistorius winning races, and shots of Pistorius being arrested; they also included pictures of Pistorius and Steenkamp in public together during their relationship. The Sun went with a full page shot of Reeva Steenkamp in a bikini. It sold thousands of extra copies that day to idiots who wanted to look at a murdered girl wearing almost nothing. Those same people probably won’t buy a newspaper tomorrow... not even The Sun. They have no interest in anything approximating an opinion, and they have no loyalty to anything.
I write about the things that interest me and I hope that they interest other people too. When they do, I’m thrilled, and if they don’t, that’s fine too. Generally, just getting a snark off my chest, or airing an idea, or simply sharing some news is good enough for me. I put my stuff out into the ether, and there it is... Gone.
In fact, I’m always rather surprised when a comment comes in, and I’m positively shocked when someone takes the trouble to tell me that they’ve read, and possibly even enjoyed something I’ve written about here.
I’m hugely flattered that I’m reaching a readership of a couple of hundred people a day. It’s lovely.
Yesterday, I called my blog, “The Oscar Pistorius Defence”. The reason why today I decided not to call my blog, “The Oscar Pistorius Effect”, even though that would have been my choice, is because of yesterday’s numbers.
As a general rule I get around a hundred hits before lunch and around a hundred hits after lunch. Yesterday... and I can only think it was because of the title of the blog... Yesterday I was averaging a hundred hits an hour on my blog during the peak reading time of the day. By the middle of the afternoon, I was seriously beginning to wonder how many hits I was going to get, and, honestly, it was beginning to worry me a bit.
I knew nothing about Oscar Pistorius or his case, except what I’d picked up in the Sunday papers. My knowledge wasn’t even current as new information was streaming in all the time, and yet a chunk of the World was clearly grabbing everything and anything that was out there, by anyone that had a moment to write something about Pistorius and Steenkamp and what might have happened in that house in Pretoria.
The numbers did begin to tail off when the USA went on-line. Their news agencies generally cover less international news and are less interested in it. Ordinarily, I’d say that was a bad thing. Ordinarily, I’d suggest that made them insular, isolationist, or just plain ill-informed, or misled by a controlling media... I don’t know. Today, I’m not sure what to think.
I hope that my readership will grow by word of mouth and because those who happen upon my blog because they’ve hit upon a keyword in one of my titles or labels like what I’ve done and come back for more.
I’m not sure about titles, though. I’m not sure whether I might be a little more careful in future when bandying about the names of the famous and/or notorious. There’s a little minx on my shoulder suggesting that I might just want to experiment, that I might just want to save my Monday blog to comment on the biggest story of the week from the weekend papers, and give the post a title to draw in the crowds. Who knows, maybe it’s time to do something topical... On the other hand...
Go on, comment, you know you want to.