Sometimes the Internet is strange. I mistyped the URL to my blog the other day and my browser did a web search instead. It found this page, which is mystifying. Someone (maybe Sixpence? Maybe David Naylor?) is analysing Sixpence’s blog for word density, links, and other SEO (search-engine optimization) metrics.

I always assumed Sixpence was popular because he was stunningly attractive and because he blogged about interior decoration, but compelling content isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t hit eyeballs, so it appears Mr. Notthewiser might be taking a more systematic approach to cultivating brand loyalty. One does not become as popular as he is organically.

This is yet another disappointment of the blogging world. When blogs started we were told that we could all express ourselves and find an audience for our thoughts. We weren’t told that when hundreds of thousands of other voices are also blogging, it takes real work and dedication to stand out from the crowd. The Long Tail is real, and most of us are at the end of it unless we are willing to devote enormous amounts of energy to tweeting and primping ourselves for Instagram and chasing brand sponsorships and interacting with our fans. No shade to the superstar bloggers like Maddie and Debra and John Gray and Sixpence who put in that kind of effort, but I am of that entitled generation that wants results without being willing to put in the effort. I learned a long time ago that I would never be popular in the blogosphere, but I’m still bitter about it.

Independent of viral popularity, we are all supposed to be cultivating our personal brands for success in life. This is particularly important on LinkedIn. We are supposed to be inspirational and positive and not crazy, demonstrating to others that we are effective teammates with hale enterpreneurial spirits. At the same time, we are supposed to “be ourselves”. Whatever. As someone who struggles with homosexuality I long ago learned that there are aspects of onesself we do not share with others, lest there be Consequences. There are many aspects of my self and my personality that others would find reprehensible if they knew, and thus are better kept locked inside. That is not limited to homosexuality, of course; those of us who are mentally ill are allowed to talk about such things so long as we have successfully triumphed over such, but those of us who continue to struggle had best sit down and pull those bootstraps. All those employers who boast about diversity and non-discriminatory hiring practices get real quiet if you are upfront about being mentally ill (or worse, a Poor) when applying to their jobs. (Oops. There I go leaking identities again.)

The unfortunate part is the the compartmentalization is imperfect, and if we are not careful aspects of our Shadows leak into the daylight (see: Catholic priests who join the Church to escape their homosexuality). Maybe it is best to live like Jimmy and scrub our social media posts shortly after publishing them, so we can delay the inevitable social scandal and cancellation a little longer.


17 thoughts on “Analysis

  1. If I wanted a gazillion followers, I’d have to blog on Instagram or TikTok where the cool kids are, and only post about clothes, makeup, celebrities, food porn, real porn, etc. Plus be able to buy huge blocks of fake bot followers. And pretend that I’m about 20. You bet I’d have to suppress the real me too.


    1. You may not have a gazillion followers, but you have several dozen, which is way more than average.

      Do you not suppress the real you? I remember you writing that your sister was surprised when she read your blog, because you are much more serious in real life.


      1. I don’t suppress the real me on my blog, but of course I do judiciously edit some characteristics, as I do in real life as well. Just as we all do, quite frankly. Different situations and settings require different characteristics to be front and centre at the time. But they’re all still “me” — as Walt Whitman wrote: “I am large. I contain multitudes.”


  2. I tend to agree with Debra. I was just blog with interest me or what kind of mood I’m in, or what’s visually stimulating me in my head and post it. I really enjoy our little blogging community whether we have three or 3,000 followers. And I always get tickled when I go to my reader and I see you’ve done a new post. I too have thought about doing what Jimmy does, but then I change my mind about my 4th or 5th Year in thinking I may look back someday and read my blog as a diary of sorts. And then I’ll probably have Alzheimer’s and wonder- who the hell was this drunken salacious slut?


    1. It would be better for everybody if I regularly deleted my archives, but like you I think of blogging as a time capsule. Sometimes I look back at old entries and surprise myself. More often I look back at old entries and cringe.

      Sometimes I look back through your old entries too — particularly when I am trying to remember whether you reviewed some queen on Drag Race.

      Jimmy’s approach makes a lot of sense, but it makes it difficult to maintain a blog conversation by linking back to people’s old posts.


  3. I really enjoy lurking around your posts. I don’t have much to say these days. But your posts always make me think.


    1. Overall starting this blog has been a big mistake, but your presence here has been one of the compensations. Don’t tell anybody I wrote this, but you have been one of my favorite commenters. Drop by and say hello whenever you want.


  4. Wait what?
    Word density? The hell??
    I have no idea how Blogger works, TBH. I blog because I enjoy TMI and like many others, I use writing as catharsis. I literally do group therapy with several dozen (hundreds???) of strangers every week and use my blog as a journal. And I don’t have all that many followers (Bob and Upton have a LOT more), nothing like the hundreds of thousands I used to have on Tumblr (I was Tumblr famous for hot second) and I kind of like it like that. Too many Russian bots on Tumblr by the time they fucked it up.
    I have also always avoided monetizing my blogs. Not worth it. And don’t you dare delete your posts. I have thought about telling Jimmy to let his up, but we never know why other bloggers blog the way they do.
    I have to investigate more about this topic. I sometimes get tons of hits, but the people who comment are always the same… The rest just flutter around the blog.
    Oh, BTW. If you get a black screen when accessing my blog, scroll up and you’ll find my Sensitive Content Warning. The black screen happens to me when I’m not blogging from my Mac. Blogger IS indeed a little bitch.

    And it’s so sweet you think I could be attractive! LMAOOOOOO




    1. I am surprised that Upton has more followers than you. Although his dong to text ratio is higher, he seems to have way fewer commenters than you do.

      No, the blank screen on Firefox is not fixed by scrolling up. Rather, it was an ad blocker that blocked . If I enable that domain then the “Sensitive Content Warning” screen shows up. Commenting still appears to be broken, though.

      Of course you are stunningly attractive. How else could you have earned tens of thousands of followers on Tumblr?


  5. I cannot believe my name was mentioned so many times by so many people. The simple fact is, who wants to see yesterday’s news/events/life when it is nothing more than seeing a photo of a hole in a wall. I hide nothing. Let me know if you want a ‘dick pic’. lmgao


    1. What can I say? You are a popular guy.

      I personally feel archives can be used for good or for ill. My archives are mostly used for ill but nonetheless I find perusing archives useful. (Did I ever mention that I am a hoarder?)

      I’ll pass on the Dick pic, even if it is Cavett or Dale.


  6. LOL…..I’m surprised you haven’t blocked me. Since you live out of a trash bag and shopping cart, I’ll give you a pass on the hoarding.


    1. Why would I block you? You are a dear.

      Your description of my living situation is not exactly right, but it is not far off. Once I lose my current housing I may well be living rough.


    1. They aren’t equivalent in the sense that they are the same thing. I do suffer from both mental illness and from homosexuality. You would not know it from what I write here, but the mental illness is more prominent and more dire.

      It certainly is not the case that every mentally ill person is homosexual, and (the “every gay man is in therapy” joke aside) it is not the case that every homosexual is mentally ill (hello Evelyn Hooker), but in my case both are at play.

      Neither homosexuality nor mental illness have been a net benefit in my life, as far as I am concerned. And yet, it seems I am not willing to swallow a pill to cure either.


  7. It’s been awhile since I made the rounds on my blog-reads.
    I try not to bother on my stats etc. I figure if I scribble something and folks read and like it so much the better.
    You write well ; let thems who come come what may.


    1. You are a better person than I for not obsessing over blog stats. I write an entry and get four comments and feel abandoned and/or unpopular. Clearly I do not have the constitution to be a proper blogger.


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