Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Light Twist of the Knife

Mrs. Guy and I are here in Blowing Rock, NC once again for the last of the yearly “Art in the Park” series. They hold this event six times, once each during the warmer months, and this the final one for the year. It’s always interesting to see the wide array of artistry here, from painting to photography to pottery to glass (stained and blown) to woodcarving/woodworking to … well, you get the idea. Mrs. Guy and I woke up early this morning and went for breakfast at Knight’s on Main (made famous in books by Jan Karon), and then went for a walk up into the high-priced neighborhoods up the ridge from downtown. It’s a beautiful area. I’d be tempted to move here except that property values are about four to six times what the are for comparable properties at home. So instead I’ll wait until we win that lottery.

I know that I’d mentioned writing about some “twist the knife deeper why don’t you” stories today, but I’m in a little too good of a mood to actually do that now, so I’ll just relate one that I find a little amusing.

When I started blogging back a little over a year ago, I really didn’t have any grand plans for fame or fortune (certainly not fortune) as a result of it. I really started doing it just as a creative outlet for myself. I began with a plan to update three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and either Friday or Saturday), but I almost immediately abandoned that for a mostly seven day a week schedule. Sometimes you have to give your muse a nudge.

Still, I didn’t want to necessarily call great amounts of attention to myself by self-promoting. I only told a few friends what I was up to (usually when checking facts or stuff like that). I figured I’d just see what came about naturally. My readership was boosted first by a link on the Fat Cyclist website (in fact, Elden’s blog was part of the reason I started mine with a bit of a cycling bias – I’d been reading his for several months). Other links followed, many with reciprocating links back to them from my site, and I got a fairly steady readership based on the hit data.

Now I started over on the MSN Spaces site, and I stayed there for about nine months or so, but I finally got tired of all of the indiscriminant changes they kept making. My URL changed at least four times during that period of time, and each time they did an overhaul some stuff just didn’t work right for a while if it worked at all. There were no warnings that I was ever aware of either, which really ticked me off. The final straw came in July, and I switched to Blogspot full-time.

But there was one interesting feature over at MSN Spaces that I liked. Each week they would feature four different bloggers in a thing they called “What’s My Story?”. Sometimes there was a general theme (e.g., all single mothers or something), but often there wasn’t. I picked up on quite a few of the blogs I still read by checking that feature every week. I know from their comments that their hit counts went up dramatically during their featured week (because of me and hundreds, if not thousands, like me). Fat Cyclist was featured three different times that I know of.

I recommended a few other bloggers to be featured, but I never asked to be featured myself, nor did I ask someone else to nominate me (as I know a couple of others who did). Thus, it never really surprised me that I wasn’t featured (besides, bike-blogs are a bit of a niche market). Still, it would have been nice, I guess, if only to see what different comments I might get during that week.

So, fast forward to September now that I’ve laid out all of the background. Just after I went on hiatus due to the wreck, I got an email from some lady at Spaces Live (which is what MSN Spaces has become, I suppose). She said that she was thinking about including me in the next version of “What’s My Story”. She went on to say that she had just looked in on my site and it appeared that I had moved my blog (yeah, I had). The email rambled around for a few more sentences and then concluded with something like “Well, if you were still on Spaces we’d feature you, but since you’re not, nevermind.”

Now, what I want to know is, what possessed her to actually hit the send button? I mean, really – what was the point? That’s sort of like Random House sending me a rejection letter for a book manuscript that I hadn’t even sent in to them. I just found myself shaking my head as I hit “Delete”.

In reflection, is it any wonder I left?

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