Monday, June 8, 2009

Blog Blog Baby

Wow, I'd forgotten about that parody, and what an awful song the original was! What a blatant ripoff of Queen’s “Under Pressure.” I think this clip was on "In Living Color." Recognize that guy? It's Jim Carrey. Now that I've stopped laughing, I'll move on to my topic, which is blogging.

I know, I know, we've all talked about it before, nigh unto death, but some interesting new statistics have come to light. Also, Cousin Shane's friend Doug (Hi Doug! [waving]) wrote to me and said that he wants to start a blog and would like to talk to me about it. We had a nice conversation, and talked about different platforms, ease of use, etc. So it's on my mind today, and I have to say that I was quite surprised to read some of the statistics.

My friend Dan (Milwaukee Dan #1...Hi Dan! [waving]) sent me a story on Facebook from the New York Times concerning blogging. Follow the link to read the entire article, which was quite interesting. According to the article, blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants. For anyone who has ever thought that it would be "fun" to own a restaurant and did a little research and found out just how hard it is to maintain a steady clientele and income, that comparison is shocking. Restaurants drop like flies (although that's probably an unfortunate metaphor) every day, so I would think it would be hard to have a higher failure rate than that! Not so.

According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.

Writing 95%?! That's astounding to me! What's even more astounding is to realize that those of us that update regularly constitute only 5% of the blogs on Technorati. Doesn't that make you feel a little bit special? It does me. I've said before that I send a salute to all bloggers who are able to keep it up and keep going. Of course, real life gets in the way, and not everyone has enough time to make regular entries--I'm fortunate in that regard. The article also mentions the popularity of MySpace, Facebook, and most recently, Twitter (which made the cover of Time this week, believe it or not). I think that those of us who made the transition from AOL Journals to Blogger have definitely noticed the drop-off of some regulars at AOL, and I think that some of that has to do with microblogging sites.

I like to mix it up a little. I still love writing here, but I love connecting with work friends and blog friends who use Facebook--I also love how easy it is to share articles or videos there. I never got into MySpace, although I have an account there, and I'm not quite as enamored with Twitter as so many seem to be at the moment. (Fame is fleeting've been warned.) I do sort of like posting random thoughts (à la Jack Handey), but I still prefer and need to expand a little more upon my thoughts. Maybe the next au courant site will consist of one word updates. Twitter is fun for stalking following the famous and semi-famous, and my latest acquisitions (makes me want to read The Collector again) are Russell Brand and Jason Segel (after watching "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"). Russell Brand is quite the enigma. But I digress. Back to the article.

Richard Jalichandra, chief executive of Technorati, said that at any given time there are 7 million to 10 million active blogs on the Internet, but “it’s probably between 50,000 and 100,000 blogs that are generating most of the page views.” He added, “There’s a joke within the blogging community that most blogs have an audience of one.”

Again, astounding. How cool is it to build up a little following, to know that there are people out there who want to know what you have to say? It's way cool, that's how cool. It makes me very grateful that I get feedback from you all, and to have people reading this other than family! I am very happy about that, and I thank you all.

To Doug I say "safe passage and bon voyage!" I look forward to reading what he has to write, and if he chooses to make his blog public, I will definitely put up the link here. He's a wonderful writer who was stationed in Afghanistan and recently opted out of the Navy and returned home. I suspect he might have plenty to say!


Michelle Obama and Bruni One more topic, and then I think I’m done for the evening. I’m not letting this one go by without rebuttal. I read something today in which the writer included this picture of Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni at the D-Day tribute in France over the weekend. They interpreted it as Mrs. Obama having “issues,” and took it as some sort of indication of nastiness or hatred on the first lady’s part. The general attitude was that it was typical of her.

Oh, for God’s sake. And people wonder why I find such writings ridiculous, counterproductive, irrational, illogical, and foolish. Did I leave anything out? Oh yeah…stoopid.

I’ll tell you what. Let’s say we have…oh, how about a hundred? That’s a nice round number, although it’s probably much more than that. Let’s have a hundred photographers from all over the world follow you around at, if not every waking moment, every time you appear in public. Let’s say that each of those hundred photographers takes a hundred pictures in the space of an hour—again, a very conservative estimate, because most photojournalists will take many more than that. Let’s then say that you spend five hours in the public eye, with those hundred journalists taking one hundred pictures per hour. [picture me wearing a green visor, an armband, and punching in numbers at an adding machine]

By my calculations, that is a conservative estimate of 50,000 pictures.

So you’ve got 50,000 images of every expression you make while you’re out and about. Every grimace of pain as a pebble works its way inside your shoe. Every sideways glance you make. Every squint as the sun proves to be a little too bright, and since it’s impolite, you can’t wear sunglasses at certain times. Every time you get a wedgie because your panties creep up on you. Every moment that you aren’t smiling. Every time you feel a muscle twitch or experience a pain in your neck or back because you worked out a little too vigorously the previous day. Every time you experience all the little aches and pains and twitches and irritations that we all experience every fucking day, you’ve got someone there snapping a picture of you. Think about what sort of pictures might be captured of you.

Cut it out, people. This is bullshit, and you know it. If any of you want to say, “But Beth, you put up pictures of Sarah Palin’s office, and talked about that!” Yes, I did. That is a physical space, a reflection of her philosophy and her environment, and not a split-second snapshot of her face interpreted as something sinister. Putting up such a picture and portraying the first lady as angry or elitist or feeling contempt for other first ladies or for ceremonies honoring those who have served in the military is foolish, it’s hateful, and it’s an incredibly stupid argument that shows nothing of substance, only the contempt and hatred you feel for the President, and apparently for his wife.

And that’s all I have to say about that.


  1. Hi Beth,
    I agree regarding Twitter. Aside from following the tweets of the famous (which can be interesting), I can't say I really want to know what the Average Joe is doing every waking moment. Regarding the Michelle Obama picture, I agree with you that people shouldn't read too much into this photo but at the same time suspect that Michelle O. might need to be a bit more mindful that when she's with someone like Carla Bruni in public, every single expression on her face counts ...

  2. I owned two copies of Vanilla Ice's album back in the day, and insist on cranking "Ice Ice Baby" at full volume whenever it comes on in the car *to this very day*. It heavily sampled Queen, true, but that's rap. Ice Ice Baby, and Snow's "Informer", were two great guilty pleasures of white rap in the pre-Eminem era.

    (note: I should clarify that I mean the standard '90's version of Informer. The mix of it that plays now is minus the guest rap, and is lame).

  3. I rarely reply to comments here, but wow, Dan...dude...I gotta say, you've got some brass balls defending that song here! O, the humanity! That song is a turd of epic proportions, it is astonishingly bad, it makes me want to run--not walk--to the closest vomitorium. But each to their own, I guess! Wow. I'm stunned. Have you listened to my playlist?

  4. LMAO Beth. vomitorium, just awesome. Dude, the song sucks. Most of America agrees it sucks and that it was only popular amoung the teenie boppers at the time. And by the way Beth, she wants hottie whatsherface to rot. ;) Actually, she probably caught a glance of Cheney from across the lawn. :) I always hate those magz that put up the crap about how stars are stuffing their faces or picking their noses. Omigod, they ate a full meal, stop the presses! Who cares really? I don't care if Michelle really was giving her a dirty look, maybe the chick kept kicking her chair or maybe she had some really rank ass that day. Who knows? ;)

  5. It's the lie of the long lens with a flat field. Michelle Obama is looking PAST Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. At what, we can only guess. If she were dropping that look at Carla, sitting next to her, her head would have been tilted further back. This is not a disparaging stare at Carla.

    They say an image is worth a thousand words. I think it's worth taking a moment to consider which words, who said them, and why? ;)

  6. Clearly, Michelle was just constipated from all that gruyere and brie. :-) Labeling her with "issues" in that photo is patently ridiculous.

    I'm glad I'm one of those bloggers with an audience of more than one -- although not MUCH more.

  7. I have to say I'm nearing a one year anniversary for my blogging. Woo-Hoo! It has been a great experience for me & has brought me great friends like you :0)

    I agree with you concerning the picture of Michelle also. I can't imagine all the different looks one would get from me. Ha ha

  8. There was a show a few years back where old faded muscians performed on NBC. I recall Cameo doing a cover of a song that was AWESOME! I thought that they must of been a great live show in their day.

    Vanilla Ice performed on the show as well, and blew me away. I think he 'won' whatever it was, and it was deserved. As much ridicule as he had to endure, to get up and perform someone else's song as well as his own, took courage. That he did a fantastic job made me think more of him as an artist.

    Can't recall anyone else on the show ... I want to say Wang Chung did a hip hop song ... 'It's Gettin' Hot In Here' by Nelly that was quite good. I have been hoping that they brought that show back. I thought it was cool to see the real professionalism in the performers come out. The songs would be out of their realm, but they interpreted them as honestly as they could and I thought it was a thrill.

    Oh, and that is when I gave Rob Van Winkle a 'pass' for what he did. I begin to think he was trying when he first came out, and that he was talented indeed. Would love to find out the name of that show. All I know is it was on NBC, and I was still able to work, because I would watch it and talk about it at the water cooler with SD.

    Is next week the week I get to go see Star Trek? Man, I am sooo excited!!

  9. I totally agree with you about the paparazzi and the spotlight- those flashes in a fleeting second can ruin careers if allowed to!
    Although I have to admit it was all I could do not to lift that picture and add a thought bubble that said "gurl, don't make me cut you!"

  10. So, as a Gay man I represent 10% of the population.
    As a blogger, just 5%.
    Am I desitned to be the monority for ever and always?
    Is this my lot in life?
    Now, about those asshats who take a nanosecond of a person's face and make a judgement as to what the pewrson is thinking.
    Is that Twitter-short-enough-for-you?

  11. i still LOVE "Ice Ice Baby" to this day. Happy HAPPY memories from when that song came out.
    So what if Michelle is giving the evil eye to that other chick...good for Michelle. The other one looks like a bitch.
    I am totally glad you write daily. Makes things seem right with the world.

  12. As you well know I can get in trouble with blogging but I am not going to stop. When I behave and blog non controversial I have a fair following for an old lady but controversy turns them off. You my girl are very dependable as far as saying what you think and now Rain is there to so I have 2 people that back me. Thanks.

  13. I just Youtubed the song and I have to say that I stand my opinion. The song rocks. "to the extreme I rock the mike like a vandal/light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle." How can you not enjoy that?

    And Mark - I didn't see the show you describe, but saw Van Winkle on a reality show where he rescued some of his roomates from butchering a karaoke version of his song. He seems to have matured into a pretty cool guy.

  14. I got a great picture of the look on his face just before he stifled a burp. I'm going to put it in my column along with an item about how he can't be trusted to be the governor with an attitude like that.

  15. I am SO GLAD you didn't let that go by. I probably saw the same comment about this picture by the same person, and I was really hoping that someone would rebut. I have seen a lot of snapshots of myself that have made me wonder what in the world was wrong at that moment to give me such a strange expression. As for the blogging statistics, those are incredible numbers. And it does make me feel a bit special; although I don't post every day I don't let too much time go by between posts.

  16. As a photographer, I can see that First Lady Obama is clearly giving her the look of hatred. NOT! If you take one moment to look at the photo you can tell by the angle of her head she is looking at something PAST Carla Bruni. Maybe her own children were acting up and she was giving them "the look". Without the full picture it's hard to tell. And if people seriously beleive all they see in print or in photos are living under a rock.

    As for blog closures, keep in mind you get flaky folks like myself who will shut a perfectly good blog down to start another fresh clean start blog. I know several who have done that. So, is it closing or just moving?

  17. Jim Carey Rocks :o) Vanilla Ice Does Not!

    This whole blog dealy for me is all you fault, "It is fun, you should give it a try"

  18. dear Beth, hugs!
    great entry!
    p.s. come and see me at Lurkynat.
    Ahead of time Happy Fathers Day!
    How will you and Ken celebrate/ let us know
    will you visit family?barbecue?


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?