Thursday, January 11, 2007

Welcome New Readers

Starting a week or so ago, my readership increased by quite a bit. My recent popularity probably comes from posting links to my movie reviews at Chicago-SF along with the pretty heated discussion there.

The writer of Shire in the City has taken some responsibility for the escalation in readers (hopefully not a surge in my audience). Unfortunately, after viewing the Myspace and Blogger versions of Shire in the City, I didn't see the link to my site.

Either which way, to all the new readers, welcome! I think you deserve a little introduction to The Lextopia.

The blog started unofficially as the Ontok Cafe, hosted by the college that I attended from 1996-2000. It presided on that server from 2001 until they took away my server space around 2002. For a year or so, I had stored those entries on a computer somewhere while experimenting with Blogger. My early Blogger work had a range of themes from trying to have a topic a day for discussion to trying to have a story written by multiple people to creating an H.P. Lovecraftian persona that had taken over my body and vied to bring its into this world.

At some point, I settled on The Lextopia where I focused a lot on my bachelors project, that I still need to finish, politics, diet and other personal interests. I had even transferred the original (horrible) entries from the Marlboro College blog to The Lextopia. It worked fine for awhile as just a place where I could ramble, ruminate and write spontaneously.

Then the fiancee and I moved to Chicago, where I started looking for a new job. I, then, discovered Google Adsense. In the meanwhile, I had also stumbled onto some marketing and business intelligence blogs. Maybe I could make some money by doing what I had done before, maybe focus a little more on politics and Chicago, and just copy entries onto multiple blogs. That latter element proved too time consuming and labor intensive. I scaled it back to creating blog gateways to here, where, once a week, I posted a list of links to Lextopia entries.

One of my readers had even inspired me to set up a mailing list, which I use to inform subscribers of entries written on a particular day. This particular idea sounded really great to me because it cut down on people needing an RSS feed and cut down on people needing to check for entries everyday or as frequently as they would. They can just conveniently receive an e-mail then look at the entries that sound interesting. In my opinion, this features feels like the least utilized element of this blog. If you really want to keep up with The Lextopia but want to cut down on the hassle of checking it out on your own, you really should fill out the subscription form in the right column.

Back to the history, though: The Lextopia started heating up when I decided to have more of a focus. Inspired by Denis McGrath, over at Dead Things on Sticks, I decided to write more about narrative and writing than anything else. Sure, I'll foray into politics, personal issues, etc. etc., but most of the time, you'll find me writing about narrative and writing, even if that writing comes in the form of criticizing movie narrative, book narrative or TV narrative. I also intend on mentioning some books I've read recently about writing and narrative.

My secondary motivation for The Lextopia comes from a desire to promote myself. For those who don't know me, I dream of becoming a fiction writer and/or a freelance writer. Poetry could also become an interesting addition. Right now, I have a few projects lined up: my bachelors project that involves a novel and psuedo-thesis, a short story and an attempt at a psuedo-editor position that I still consider mostly under wraps for now.

After reading my blog, an original member of my unofficial fan club has described me as "he's like a walking TV Guide. Good to know he likes LOST." (Have to mention, though: Except for a few isolated episodes, I haven't liked LOST in awhile.) I dumbly objected to that fan club back when it started, but as someone looking to build an audience, I now welcome it. I feel that I just need to legitimate my ability to write narrative by publishing someday and by also displaying enough knowledge of it here that I attract people's attention.

With the start of a new job this past Monday, the need to study to get a health and life insurance license then plan and promote a wedding, I can't say how often I'll write an entry. No new TV and missing new movies doesn't help, either. Nonetheless, I'd like to make somewhere between 2 to 3 entries a week. Hopefully I can make them more about narrative, writing or even just SF than I have done in the past.

Please keep in mind, however, that I don't dedicate too much time to drafting entries. Since this blog doesn't present too much opportunity for instant return, I can't justify putting tons of work into writing perfectly here. So, if anything, you'll get something more raw than you would get otherwise from me. Maybe it will provide for some interesting entertainment or even gossip. Who knows?

For now, though, I've got to end this entry. My many other responsibilities call, along with my belly and slumberland. Ahhhhhhh. . .slumberland.

Thank you for coming and hopefully I can entertain and enlighten you readers in the future. Also, please feel free to pipe in anytime with any questions, comments, feedback, criticism, argument, what have you. And one last favor: please keep responses to these entries on this blog as much as possible, especially if you get the link here from me. Thanks!

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