Looking outside the office at about 2:30 today, I saw snow coming down. Hard. Knowing that the last time we got hit with a sudden snowstorm, the County of Los Angeles’ attitude towards it was “Eh. It’ll melt eventually,” I decided to skedaddle home rather than be trapped. Which won’t be of much help if I have to drive back crosstown and rescue The Wife.
On the way home, it occurred to me that traffic on this blog is not nearly so great as it could be. It’s been around a while. There are several regular readers I’ve managed to attract. But how, how, how to increase traffic? What other blogs by other people get bigger hits?
The answer seems to not have a whole lot to do with whether the blogs are on blogspot, wordpress, or any other format, or even particularly whether the blogger has invested the money in a snazzy domain name. No, it seems to come from the immoderateness of the opinions expressed in the blog’s content. Hard left, or hard right, seem to be the content of the blogs that attract the most eyeballs.
I’m too damn moderate. Nuanced. I actually do try to look at different sides of an issue — I often don’t stay on the fence; I certainly have my opinions. But I don’t assume that people who disagree with me on stuff are malicious demons or traitors or lunatics or idiots. I assume that they have reached their conclusions in ways I would not. I actually try to explore sometimes why they disagree with me and if their points of view offer anything of value. In so doing, I also examine the bases for my own opinions — and sometimes, finding them wanting, I modify them and incorporate things of value from other perspectives.
This may be intellectually honest, or at least have some pretense of rigor. But it isn’t the sort of thing that moves copy. Outrage is what sells. I’m simply not outrageous enough.
But I can live with that.