Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Happy 7th Birthday
Another gloriously unproductive year on Flying Houses, but for some reason, it felt better than the last one. There were only 21 posts, compared to last year's 25. We currently sit at 77,318 page views, when we had 59,169 last year, and just over 30,000 the year before. Thus, our growth has slowed, and that makes me sad. It makes me feel like I am dying.
Of course, everyone who reads this blog knows two things: (1) blogs about books are not all that popular; (2) I don't market the hell out of it, and apparently update it less than twice per month.
But still, this year feels better than last year, and I have to attribute that to my professional situation. Those of you who have been with us all the way from beginning (brave souls!) know that it was started at 11100 Santa Monica Blvd. I forget which floor. Though that job sucked, and though I have posted highly-sensitive details about my exit and distaste for the temporary help industry, I have very fond memories of those days. However, it was an unsustainable and ultimately sad life that I lived in L.A. Certain days (this morning included) I wish I had tried harder there, not given up, not gone home, not bought an LSAT book. I suppose most of us have to learn the hard way; sometimes things do not have a way of working themselves out.
I digress! I would not have started this blog if I had not been at Jefferies & Co. at that specific time in history and I thank them for that inspiration. (I'd also like to thank Rahm Emanuel for causing the recession.)
We did not hit 300 posts this year. We are 4 short. I am not going to quit, however. I may quit one day, but that may be when I know the end is near, or the day the printed word becomes obsolete. There is still work to be done.
The most notable achievement from the last year was certainly the posting of Think and Grow Poor, which now sits above Daylight Savings Time on this blog's homepage. I am seriously depressed that I'm not making money off of this writing, but I have avoided posting S/M for a long time now. I may release that as an e-book.
Speaking of money, this blog has earned $29.21 in seven years. It must be the most unprofitable venture of all time.
That said, I am reasonably sure that AdSense has systematically raised the minimum payment amount several times to avoid any remuneration to me. I'm pretty sure it used to be $10, then it was $25, and now it is $100. So it will take me a long time to get paid. I read about a class action lawsuit that was going to be filed against them. I hope to be included, but I'm afraid my claim is not substantially similar.
I realize it was about 15 years ago that people used to tell their friends, "Click on an ad!" but I will just ask once. About a year ago I was working at CTA, and we had a plaintiff come in for a deposition. She said she fell down on a bus that slammed on its brakes. Somehow it got brought out that she ran a blog--a fashion blog--where she took pictures of herself in various plus-size outfits. She said she made about $300 a month on the advertising. I was like, holy shit. This girl could teach me something.
So don't be surprised if I start putting myself out there.
Speaking of putting myself out there, I am afraid to Google myself. I know what used to show up, at least, and it makes me want to either kill myself or fly into a murderous rage. Neither would be conducive towards a happy future. At this time, I am concerned that it has turned me into a joke of a person that no one would ever want to hire. Now I may be a joke of a person, but I want to be my joke of a person--not anybody else's. Fuck people who presume to know the details.
Having said that, there is a request for a new NIED piece. It would appear that all of my columns have been archived at BLS Advocate, However, #25 was chopped in two, and I think it seriously lost its power by being cut down into manageable bite-size portions, one with convenient advice for passing the bar exam. The original text of #25 is lost, so it must remain in its expurgated form on BLS Advocate. #26, however, will be coming soon...
Generally, this was a good year in terms of maintaining a readership and eliciting fascinating and helpful comments. I received an offer for a review copy of a book by a Turkish feminist about the 16th century Ottoman Empire. I said I would be delighted to receive a copy and review it, though none has arrived. It is unfortunate that neither the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Reader, nor any other publication has reached out to me regarding a part-time position for once weekly or monthly book reviews, but perhaps, if forced to work within the confines of an editorial staff, the substance of my criticism would be sapped. For there is little substance. It is all reader-response here. I do not deign to posit a formula for a great book other than being moved by my past tangible experience.
Stay tuned for NIED #26, which could be a doozy, and a double (possibly triple) review of The Pale King. Be patient for the latter.