Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘blogging

Man To Go Around Punching Everyone Who Didn’t Read His Post

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Black_eye_2Lansing, MI, September 17 – Frustrated at the continued lack of attention to the results of his hard work writing articles for his blog, local man Alex Dufresne has resolved to remedy the situation by administering a beating to each person he encounters who has not read his most recent entry.

Dufresne, 38, decided to take matters into his own hands, so to speak, after a particularly well-written and incisive post went unread by others, despite his sharing it on the usual social networks and various other means. The mission is set to begin today after he finishes his shift as a floor manager for a sporting goods retail chain.

At least fifty of Dufresne’s followers usually read his offerings within 24 hours of his posting them, but his most recent article, which involved clever wordplay, scathing social satire, and a healthy dose of ridicule for holders of political opinions different from his, was read by only four people by the time the first 24 hours elapsed, and not a single one deemed it worthy enough to Like or share on Facebook or Twitter. The feeling of being ignored led Dufresne to the conclusion that, lacking the resources and budget of a big-time media outlet or advertiser, his only option lay in convincing people one by one that reading his blog was better for them than not reading it.

The disincentive he hit upon, as it were, was the most direct method that occurred to him: administering a knuckle sandwich to every person he meets who professes ignorance of, or worse, active lack of interest in, his articles. Already, Dufresne has purchased a set of boxing gloves with his employee discount, and will begin whacking people on his way home this afternoon.

This might take a few days, but if I can build of a following loyal enough, I won’t have to worry about this happening ever again,” he says. “I might have to do some follow-up, or some new recruiting a few months down the line as people die or move away, or whatever, but that’s OK. It’s better than sitting at home stewing about it.”

Written by Thag

September 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm

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Ignored On Blog, Man Bets On Being Ignored By Much Bigger Audience On New Site

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PoT AnalyticsTired of having his efforts to attract lucrative attention via a WordPress blog come to naught, Thag, the author of Mightier Than The Pen, has decided to move some of his niche material to a new site in hopes that a bigger, more passionate readership can ignore him there.

Over the last several years, Thag has devoted only a small amount of attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though many of his acquaintances and family members harbor strong feelings about it. The material covering Israel or loosely Jewish themes amounted to perhaps 5% of his output, but tended to generate the posts with the most page views, the number of which would still be laughably short of the traffic necessary to make the blog a financial success.

Thag therefore decided to spin off the Israel content into a separate site, preoccupiedterritory.com, where he could find a new niche crowd of potential readers not to give him the time of day. PreOccupiedTerritory even has a WordPress theme that costs actual money, and technical flexibility and control not available on the free blogging platform. Thag hopes the investment will pay off in increased numbers of people across the world overlooking his material, numbers that will be reflected in a 1000% increase in the advertising revenue he currently enjoys.

“The cool part about that is I get to choose whatever percentage I want to for that figure,” says Thag, “and it will still be true.”

Though fully operational for less than a few weeks so far, the new site has already attracted an exciting new array, and higher class of, spam comment submissions. “I used to get the same solicitations for SEO stuff and sports jerseys,” Thag recalled. “But on PreOccupiedTerritory I now get random phrases from technical manuals and philosophical treatises, so I know I’m in better company with the new site.” He has yet to determine whether to aim even higher, where the spam bots might offer material on historical analysis or astrophysics.

In contrast to Mightier Than The Pen, PreOccupiedTerritory welcomes submissions from readers, both for article content and tag lines. That way, Thag’s nonexistent readers can engage more deeply in their nonexistent literary relationship with him, a prospect everyone might find rewarding if there were anything to feel rewarded about.

Written by Thag

February 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Report: You’ll Never Make It As A Writer

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suicideNew York, January 29 – An analysis of the data available to date indicates that you have no hope of earning a living as a writer, let alone breaking into the big-time.

A new study that interpreted the information on the writing field, your talent, available opportunities for exposure, and competition from established or moneyed entities led the researchers to conclude that not only will your efforts to establish a career  as a blogger fail, they will do so in such a fashion you will be continually confronted with doubts regarding your worth and identity. You might be able to console yourself with the notion that at least the fruits of your creative impulses have been preserved for posterity, but that will prove cold comfort in the face of the overwhelming futility of your writing enterprise and the long odds of future generations caring at all.

Although the researchers recommend that you immediately cease pouring such time and energy into a fruitless pursuit, they also found that you would not heed such advice, and would proceed to double down on that investment, digging yourself into an ever-deepening cycle of disappointment, redoubled efforts, frustration, and self-doubt.

“There’s no way anybody can compete with the big boys for the online eyeballs,” said Arthur Buzzfeed, the lead researcher. “The established media companies can afford to spend big on exposure, whereas small-time operators can hope for, at best, an occasional item that makes the rounds on social media before fading away.” As a result, says Buzzfeed, your efforts will be stymied, but not in such an immediately convincing way that you will be prompted to pursue other, actually productive, outlets.

Social media expert Mark Zuckerberg agreed that the fate awaiting you involves pathetic stretches of time during which you will repeatedly refresh the browser tab that shows your visitor stats, hoping in vain for an uptick in traffic. “Alternatively, those periods will be spent staring at the Google Analytics real-time traffic monitor, with the horror and dread building as the minutes tick by and the big, black zero remains on the screen.”

According to Buzzfeed, that mix of negative emotions will be multiplied by the petty frustrations that confront all users, such as spotty internet connectivity: with every interruption of connectivity you will become convinced that you are missing some redeeming spike in visitor stats, “which will culminate in the crushing realization, when the wifi signal returns, that no one has been interested the whole time,” he explained.

At press time, you were laughing at this article and thinking how well it applied to several other people you know, but definitely not to you.

Written by Thag

January 29, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Study Confirms You’re Wasting Time Right Now

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Written by Thag

December 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

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FBI Uncovers Conspiracy To Deprive Your Blog Of Traffic

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FBI sealArlington, Virginia, August 2 (AP) – Federal investigators have unearthed a plot to keep internet users from visiting your blog, FBI spokesman Shelby Cummin-Rounthmountain announced at a press conference today.

In February, the FBI’s Online Investigative Division received an informant’s tip to the effect that a shadowy group of conspirators had, for at least six months, if not much longer, diverted potential visitors to your blog, and continues to do so. The investigation is still in progress, but Cummin-Rounthmountain said they were nevertheless allowed to offer certain specifics to the news media, including the fact that most of the members of this alleged cabal operate from overseas.

The Bureau was prompted to recruit an informant after you observed repeatedly that by all rights, your blog should enjoy significantly higher levels of popularity and acclaim, given the manifest quality of your work. However, despite significant time and emotion invested in this project, traffic to your blog has never exceeded 633 page views in a single day, and that figure represents an outlier. The median number of visits per day is actually 28, with only six days in the last three years in which your blog attracted more than 100 views.

FBI Director Roberst S. Mueller III immediately ordered an investigation. According to the rudimentary details offered to the press, agents have documented hundreds of cases in which your posts were removed from display on the relevant category pages within minutes. Your efforts at finding the right blend of category tags to help users navigate toward your urbane useful, and well-presented material proved for naught, as this group of online pirates forcibly pushed your posts off the front page by stuffing those sites with a barrage of inane, meandering, badly-written posts by other users.

The FBI is exploring the possibility that these blog-stuffing posts were written by bots programmed to detect when you posted. This would serve to explain why so little of the traffic your site does attract comes from the users of the same blogging platform. In addition, fellow users who have actually subscribed to your blog seldom actually see your posts unless they make an effort to do so, which deprives you of the page views you so clearly deserve, no doubt about it. One possible angle of investigation of this issue involves collusion with these criminals from within the blogging platform enterprise itself, who for some unfathomable reason will not allow you to realize your dreams of becoming a blogging superstar. Perhaps jealousy is the motive, the FBI suggests.

However, says Cummin-Rounthmountain, the activities of this conspiracy extend beyond the boundaries of WordPress or Blogger, or whatever stupid platform you use. When you – or, on those all-too-rare occasions, someone else – shares a post of yours on other social media such as Facebook or Twitter, it still goes all but ignored. This, the FBI asserts, suggests a much broader effort to silence you and frustrate your ambitions. It simply cannot be, they reason, that there is so much other compelling material on the internet that yours would go effectively ignored.

This is not the first time that the FBI has investigated crimes of this nature. The case remains open on who exactly is behind the popularity of certain TV shows with no recognizable merit whatsoever, such as The Kardashians. Similarly, several dozen soft drink industry executives face federal felony charges for defrauding the public by convincing them that there is actually an appreciable difference between Pepsi and Coca Cola.

Written by Thag

August 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Four Moderately Annoying Things WordPress Doesn’t Tell You

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mehYou’ve been pouring out what passes for your soul into your blog and are wondering why, despite your, uh, creative efforts, your material has somehow not fired the public imagination and made you famous, rich, and an object of near-religious veneration. Or perhaps you have yet to experience the crushing disappointment of a masterpiece ignored, but wish to prepare yourself for the inevitability.

We’re good for the latter bit. In no particular order, here are some of the frustrating features of the WordPress blogging platform:

Useless Referrer Stats

SubmarinesIf you’re really into SEO and the search engine referrals help you, you’re probably not reading this right now. And you probably should get a life. For the rest of humanity, even if the stats worked properly they would be of limited use, if any. Do I really need to know that someone reached my blog by searching for some random phrase that happens to occur on a post I wrote back in 2011?

Compounding the annoyance is the near certainty that no actual humans are performing 99% of these searches. And that if I perform the same search, my blog doesn’t even show up in the results. This one is not just annoying, it’s mystifying, because there seems to be no earthly reason for a bot to manufacture search terms in order to leave a nonexistent trail.

WordPress Doesn’t Count Views Through Their Site In Your Stats

invisibleLet’s say your content is good enough that another WordPress blogger – we’ll call her Stacy – decides to subscribe to your blog. Stacy will be informed every time you make a new post, and if the news moves her to do so, will click through to it. Great! But you have no idea that’s happened unless Stacy comments or Likes your post (more on that below). WordPress doesn’t care to let you know that the people who care about your content the most, the ones who have actually registered interest in what you have to say, have visited.

This blog has almost 350 subscribers. That’s almost as many people whose gaze you avoid on a typical walk from one New York City avenue to the next. Or the number of times a professional baseball team performs manual crotch adjustment in a typical nine-inning game. And while we harbor no illusions that anywhere near every single one of those lovely subscribers – and they are a lovely bunch, if a bit reticent – sees all the posts we make, WordPress does not alert yours truly to the fact that these folks – have we mentioned they’re lovely? – have done so. Makes audience management a bit pointless.

Ah, but if your content is good enough they should be expressing that in visible ways, right? Not exactly. Which brings us to:

llama carcassWordPress “Likes” Are About As Useful As A Rotting Llama Carcass

If all you want is to feel good that someone has found your content worthy, the WordPress Like can provide those warm fuzzies. So maybe a taun-taun carcass. If you’re like most people, however, warm fuzzies don’t cut it. You want attention. Credit. You want it known that others have liked it. There’s got to be a way of making a Like visible to the subscribers of those other subscribers. You know, the way a Like on Facebook becomes visible to the friends of the one who did the liking.

There’s No Alert When A Post Has Been Shared On Social Media

like sadnessYou can keep track of which of your posts have been shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, or any of the other online substitutes for an actual existence, but you have to track down on your own whether that’s happened, and it’s not very illuminating. We, for one, would love to receive an alert of some sort when a share happens, since we are, just as you, an attention whore. Just as WordPress can alert you instantaneously that MarmiteGlutton33 has liked your post about your guinea pig’s ingrown toenail, it should be able to alert you when someone has gone one better and actually shared that content with an even larger circle of readers.

It might also be nice to know who did the sharing, if their privacy settings allow that information to be conveyed. We’re not holding our breath on that one. Especially if it’s MarmiteGlutton33. Good grief.

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That’s what we find annoying about this platform. At least they got rid of the yodeling with every page load.

Written by Thag

May 13, 2013 at 8:22 pm