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Is This Thing On?

December 27, 2010

The end of the year is upon us.  And even though it feels like I just celebrated New Years a few months ago (actually, I did), I am still not immune to the impulse to look back and take stock of the year that is rapidly coming to a close.

Instead of starting with the triumphs, I will start with the failures.

After all, I’m not just hard on local restaurants, food critics and diners.  I am also equally hard on myself.  It’s no secret to me which categories of posts have failed to thrive on the FUSSYlittleBLOG.  I’ve known for a while.  And I do them no favors by putting them on days of the week that have lower readership.

But there are some things I like to write about, and dammit they are going to stay. Even still, the following posts did worse than expected. Maybe you all just needed to wash your hair on those days.  

So now, at the end of the year, I’m giving them all one last chance at life.  Ladies and gentlemen, here is the parade of the damned, the dirty dozen, the twelve posts that went by mostly unnoticed, and certainly unloved.

Some of them deserved to be disdained. Specifically, there were three posts that only served as an index to other posts. Given the nature of today’s post, the irony of this does not escape me.

Independence Day 2010
What can I tell you?  On July 4th, I didn’t really feel like writing fresh material, so instead I used the day to promote past posts on burgers, fish, cocktails and sweets.  I don’t know if a brilliant post would have had better readership on a beautiful summer holiday, but I doubt it.

A Food Journey in Nine Parts
Wow, that was self-indulgent.  In my defense a few things were going on.  One, I was traveling on an airplane, and really couldn’t get a brand new post up.  Two, I realized that the first few posts from my food journey story got plenty of page views, but a few of the later installments were less well read.  I suppose I thought this could help get people through the story of How Cheese Came Into My Life.  It wasn’t surprising that people didn’t care.

A Wine Round Up
You will see in a moment that my wine posts are among the least well read.  Well, much like the previous index posts, this was an attempt to get a few of the less read wine stories another shot at an audience.  But much like the previous index posts, it failed miserably.  Maybe I need to reassess what I write while I’m on vacation.

Speaking of these kinds of index posts under performing, I’m going to pick up the pace here.  Because the next set of posts that tanked were the wine ones that I tried to highlight again and again and again.  Still, when I walk away from wine writing for a period of time, I get complaints.  It’s odd.  One of these days I hope to nail the right tone that will enchant wine novices and geeks alike, and propel me to the top ranks of international wine journalism.  But that’s never going to happen with posts like these.

A Very Good Year – All about demystifying vintages
Fire in the Barrel
– All about the role wood plays in winemaking
The Anatomy of a Wine Pairing
– A step-by-step real-life example of how to pair wines
The Anatomy of a Wine Paring Part Two
– Answers all the questions from Part One
Half Glasses and Flights
– How to use wine bars to your advantage

Thankfully, my cocktail and spirits posts generally perform better than what I have to say about wine.  But still, there were two laggards.  One, Independent Spirits, was all about making people more comfortable with absinthe.  It has a scary name and a sordid reputation, but it’s really just a lot like an intensely herbaceous gin.  The other, Adam’s Last Apple, was a rare cocktail invention with a name that is not only evocative but seems to be unused anyplace else on the internet.

And while I may not have been so surprised that most of you were not excited by The Espresso Olympics, which was all about the World Barista Championships (the U.S. won, incidentally), I was a bit more surprised to see Eyes on the Prize go by unnoticed.  After all this was a post about food in restaurants.  It involved one of my strategies for honing in on the best thing to eat when dining out.  All of these things usually go over well.  But in this case, nada.

It’s too bad I’m not cleverer.  If I learned anything this year, it is that these kinds of index posts do poorly.  Yet not only did I just complete yet another one in 2010, tomorrow I’m going to do the same thing, but in reverse.  Come back on Tuesday for the most read posts of 2010.  Chances are you read them all, but you never can tell.

Thanks to the help of my friends, this has been a very good year.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2010 2:24 pm

    Ahhh, shameless link fishing. I have learned that people feel patronized by posts composed entirely of the “you should read this excellent stuff that my beautiful mind came up with” type. I find that if you want to back link stuff and drive traffic to older posts, just work the links into the narrative of a normal post. Be sparing with this, if every other phrase is hyperlinked people are going to be equally annoyed.

    I learned long ago to stop judging my content by the amount of traffic. I leave traffic up to the fickle mind of the internet and spend little time worrying (or even caring) about it. In fact, I often attempt to discourage traffic of a certain type. My blog was getting very “meme-y” for a while, so I put the halt on some of that.

    Anyhow, write about whatever suits your fancy. If you are traffic and recognition are your goal, you are going to have to pander to the vacillating interest of the internet public. This is probably more of a full time job then a hobby. I never want my humble site to become work, I just enjoy writing for its own sake. I have a small group of friends and family who enjoy my stuff, that is enough for me.

  2. phairhead permalink
    December 27, 2010 2:41 pm

    Happy New Year, Profusser!

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