Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010: The Year At Your Cup of Joe

A quick look back at 2010 through a blog filter --

While recently reading through the information about those who visit and read here often, I learned that in 2010 this blog had landed on a site which declares Cup of Joe P. to be in the top 5 best political blogs in the country. And yes, that's certainly an wise observation. The reason, according to the writer(s) is that I am apparently the lone liberal in Tennessee pushing out political posts. Quote: "
The political experience of supporting the extremely minor party in what's essentially a single-party state is compelling." Which is not true. I think there's at least five of us here in Tennessee who write something other than the usual political hype.

But I won't link to the site that says this, as my browser advises me the site has a dubious quality (meaning it's probably a site full of malware) and it has the odd, odd title of 'guide to online schools' and seems, though flattering to me, just a strange aggregator of hackerish infamy.

A more reputable bit of praise came in 2010 from Knoxville's Metro Pulse newspaper, marking me as being a site worth bookmarking and reading, though they also noted I was somewhat of an 'old-fashioned' thing, a blog, while the modern now-a-go-go kids all Twitter instead. You know I've always hated the word blog but twitter sounds even sillier. I thank MP for the mention, though in truth, Knoxville-centered sites like the News Sentinel's No Silence Here and R. Neal's KnoxViews have been consistently supporting my work here since just about day one. Welcome to the Cup of Joe party, MP.

Of course, my family continues to look at me with a hairy eyeball since I do not earn big bucks with this page. Not that they ever read this page. My family has generally been supportive of my creative efforts since I made it my profession some 25 years ago, but they think I'm ten kinds of crazy to continue writing as I haven't made tons of income nor tons of fame and I admit I often have to look anywhere and everywhere for other ways to make money. (Pleasing family is hard/impossible.) And 2010 was a horrible year for writing work. Newspapers, magazines, online web sites and other places where I have usually made decent money all shut down their programs of paying for freelance writing. And then there was another writing job I took this year where someone else got all the credit for writing it. Thanks for the ego kick.

Writers just don't get much respect - even those who make big bucks have to wade through derisive assessments of their work (regardless of the quality). Here's a way of looking at this situation -- let's say you have need of a plumber, or attorney, or mechanic or consultant or etc. etc at your home or office. If you contact that professional you know, you know, that you will have to pay a fee just for getting them to examine your problem, then there is a steep hourly fee for work they do. But a writer - we work first, submit the work for someone to approve and only if said someone likes it will you get paid. And you don't get paid by the hour. They offer pennies per word. If I told the folks who ask me to write something that there is a non-refundable fee just for considering their request I would be brushed aside like some funny smelling leftover in the fridge.

And really, I knew since I started putting my writing efforts online, for anyone to read for free, that while I was bypassing all the kings who control publishing, I was going to have to endure long waits for a payoff. So be it. Great satisfaction arrives as I see that readers from such places as Great Britain, France, India, China, Australia, Chile, Morocco, and on and on, land on this page and read something I've written.

I don't feel bitter, even if a touch of bitterness is discernible in these words. I knew long, long ago this compulsion to write was a personal thing. And I have learned over the decades that I can (and so I do) demand certain levels of compensation and fees for my work. Especially if you seek me out to write something for you to use. The way I see it, such demands should make us both feel good that we are working for something of a higher quality.

(Now back to the topic proper)

In 2010, some of the posts which brought the most readers (note: while there were many posts which were of a serious nature and/or garnered state and national attention, it seems the odd and offbeat items I comment on are usually the top draws for visitors):

-- This post on Iran's legal/religious perspective on a mullet haircut was quite popular (especially since Instapundit and Pajamas Media made mention of it).

-- A consistent hit among Google searches this year came from this 2009 post wherein a theory is presented by comedian John Hodgman that President Obama is somehow linked to the fictional 'Kwisatz Haderach" from the Dune books by Frank Herbert and the tale wins my own personal award for Weird Political Delusions in a most delusional political year.

-- Cows invading a home also brought many thousands upon thousands of visitors, as is proper, it seems to me, when cows invade.

-- My favorite item here on this page is not my own creation - but this video, wherein doodles and flipbooks craft the vast tale from creation to the present day still amuses me greatly.

Meanwhile, here are a few other items from TN bloggers as they review the year 2010 -

Southern Beale has her take on the best in books/movies/music of 2010.

Newscoma is celebrating her 5th year of blogging (and really, I am working on finding another word besides "blog" to categorize the online writers/writing I am part of).

News stories, politics and more which held attention in 2010 at KnoxViews is presented here.

SEE ALSO: Google has compiled the info on the most popular searches on their system for 2010. The World Cup was the big winner, followed by disasters from around the world.

And here's to you, dear readers, for making a habit to visit and return often. I wish you each and everyone the very best 2011 possible.