A few weeks ago I was experiencing a blog identity crisis and announced that I would be undergoing a sex change. I mean a name change. Since then, amid all of your incredibly cool suggestions, and all of the dumbass names that I came up with myself, I still haven’t decided on one.
My indecisiveness leads me to believe one of two things: 1.) I’m not incorporating enough essential fatty oils into my diet, or 2.) I’m pregnant.
All that aside, I made a promise that I intend to keep and I’m gonna make good on it today. But I’m changing the rules up a bit; instead of blabbing on and on about one person, one winner, I’m about to throw a bunch of thick-skinned blogger buddies of mine onto the barbecue.
Congratulations. You’re all winners of the Name Adam’s Dumb Blog Contest!
Here’s how the whole thing’s gonna play out: I rip you to pieces, you cry for a few minutes, then you send me an anonymous death threat or a horse head, then we hug and makeup, and then you drop me a PayPal contribution for publicizing your blog! I just threw that last part in there. It’s not mandatory.
The Premise of the Roast:
I have a couple of really sharp computer geek friends that figured out a way to reverse the search term feed. I know who used what search terms to find my blog, and today I’m gonna let the dirty little kitty out of the bag. I’ll also try my best to address your long-forgotten queries. Of course I’m making all this shit up right now, but just play along.
So sit back, relax, crack a beer, throw some ABBA on the stereo, and soak up the sweet insults of the First Inaugural Roast.
Forgive me in advance.
It sounds like someone has been bumpin’ plugs with some dirty strange if you know what I’m sayin’. I don’t think those bumps are from your highly unfashionable, nylon runner shorts; you may well have caught your first raging case of gonorrhea. Well, you could easily be a repeat recipient of the crotch-critters, but who am I to judge? Merbear, head to your nearest clinic. Stat. And stay away from public restrooms in the meantime.
Blogger: Lady Anonymous: Blog Title: Alien Red Queen
Search Terms: “My boa constrictor makes a farting sound out of her mouth.”
You know, you always struck me as one of those chicks that shows up to some really elaborate wedding sporting shredded fishnets, combat boots, miscellaneous spiked-jewelry, and fucking purple hair. Queen of the damned. I can picture you all gothed-out, holding a one-sided debate with Ed the bartender about the current political climate in Sudan. Ed’s not listening. He’s staring at your eyeliner. And your hooters. Oh, and by the way, who buys a boa constrictor?
Which part is the fantasy here: the steamy sex scene with your interviewer, or actually finding an interview? I just consulted with my magic eight ball to determine the likelihood of either and here’s what it said: Fat Chance.
Blogger: Becca Blog Title: 25 to Fly
Search Terms: “My masterpiece liquor dispenser is broken how do you fix?”
I think the hair dye is starting to leach into your grey matter, darling. Anyone that can’t tell the difference between a hammer and a band saw should either call a handyman or toss it in the garbage. If you don’t heed my advice, you might not have any fingers left for me to put a ring onto.
Oh god, first Hasselhoff and now this tool? So Jen, if he did smoke, would that tarnish his otherwise flawless character? His whiny voice, corny hairdo, and the fact that he was kind of married to Helen Hunt doesn’t factor in? If he does smoke that would be the only cool thing about him (Don’t listen to me, kids. And stay in school). He strikes me as a Virginia Slims kinda guy anyways, which totally kills all that. You’re too uptight, Jen. Drink a fucking beer.
Blogger: Cathy Ulrich Blog Title: Large Self
Search terms: “Steven Segal Spine Punch.”
When Cathy’s not busy taking pictures of flowers and writing inspirational poetry, she’s reading up on how to perform violent Judo take-downs. I’m making a point to tread lightly here. If I say something stupid and we happen to cross paths in the future, chances are likely that I could end up in the back of a meat wagon with a dislocated head, courtesy of Dr. Ulrich. You look very lovely today, Cathy. Lovely indeed.
That’s a dump truck full of bullshit. You’re probably not aware of this, but we have a mutual friend, Amy. I know for a fact that you’ve been quarantined on drinking holiday weekends on more than one occasion. I also know about your lighter trick performance back in college. Video Proof: click here.
Blogger: Calahan Blog Title: B.L.O.G.
Search Terms: “One seated band wagon.”
Mike, your hair is definitely riding a one-seated band wagon. Ditch the mousse. Helmet hair hasn’t been in style since the 50’s. Neither has your blog. It’s gotta be difficult finding a jug of Drain-o in your homentown with you living in it. I can’t even imagine how many gallons a week it requires to keep your shower water from backing up because of all the fucking hair product you stuff into your plumbing. B.L.O.G: (B)uys (L)ots (O)f (G)el
Blogger: Madame Weebles Blog Title: Fear No Weebles
Search Terms: “Offended you are Yoda.”
Star Wars Nerds…
Don’t worry, Weebles, Yoda not I am. Or something like that. If it wasn’t for all of the nauseating publicity that you fan geeks get at these conventions with your themed weddings and Vader-humping get-ups, I wouldn’t even know what the hell a Yoda was…
Blogger: Edward Hotspur Blog Title: Edward Hotspur Search Terms: “I’m feeling verklempt.”
Oh stop crying, Eddie. This Romantic Monday stuff is elevating your estrogen levels. That makes me weepy. Listen, Ed, if you don’t start focusing more on testosterone-boosting activities like beer curling, hammer throwing, and chain saw woodcarving, you might start growing breasts soon. So bottoms up. Now go buy a chainsaw and start practicing. Start with something simple: a carving of Mt. Rushmore.
Blogger: Lillian Blog Title: High, High, Higher!
Search Terms: “there are already so many good blogs”
Keep practicing, Lillian. One day you’ll be this good. No I’m just kidding. That’ll never happen. Freshly Pressed twice you say? The WordPress editors were clearly drunk. Both days.
Blogger: “Yo.” Blog Title: Tales from the Motherland
Search Terms: “Blog straight from the gut bitches”
I know I wasn’t supposed to do this, and I won’t. However, I will say that your infatuation with the Adam and Becca show is now bordering on Glen Close in the movie, Fatal Attraction. Just a heads up, I’m filing a restraining order against you next Wednesday. Lawyer up, you nut.
Blogger: Pixie girl Blog Title: Exploring Pixie
Search Terms: ”Outdated Halloween Outfits.”
I see you took some time out of your grueling piano practice schedule, which probably consists of Chopsticks and the first five notes of the Sesame Street Theme Song, in order to update your wardrobe. There’s no doubt in my mind that you’re a Walmartian. Look, there goes Pixie Girl with her little fairy wings strapped to her back, floating aimlessly down the dairy isle in search of a loaf of bread. Clearly your school investments did jack shit to improve your financial situation. Or for that matter, your IQ.
Blogger: John Blog Title: Society Red
Search Terms: “I’m really lucky I took my hidden cam that day, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to shoot this hottie’s sexy big ass in grey butt pants.”
It’s clear now why you transitioned from construction worker to massage therapist: you’re a pervert. I’m starting to wonder if Society Red is a secret voyeur cult. I got my eye on you, Grandmaster John. I’m sure you got your eye on me too. And anyone wearing grey butt pants.
Blogger: Amber Blog Title: Lady lovely Blogger
Search Terms: “I’m warming my lips.”
Ok, I’m just gonna say it: I think you’re one of those anonymous hardcore sex bloggers. The gushy-poetry thing is just a fluffy diversion. Fess up. You’re a closet sex addict. And hey, since your lips are good and warm right now, why don’t you put them to good use? Wait, let me bend over first.
Blogger: Annonymous Hornball Blog Title: Fat Bottom Girl Said What
Search Terms: “Demonstrations on how to shave my pubis and cookie for my man.”
Where would you even find the time to shave your cookie? It seems like most of your free time is spent guzzling cheap beer and Facebook stalking all the guys that dumped your crazy ass after one date. The rest of your time is spent crying about it on WordPress. I was picturing an intimate dinner date with you just now and it went something like this: “Check please.”
Whew, that was fun!
You know, when I scroll through that list of mugshots, I don’t just see a collection of random people that willingly subjected themselves to public humiliation, I see a list of some of my absolute favorite blogger friends. Not only are all you people really good at your crafts, but you’re also good at inspiring, motivating, and encouraging others that share the same passion.
Speaking personally, at one point or another you’ve all helped prop me up during the dark times, flattered or complimented me when I sucked, encouraged me to keep writing when I wanted to quit, and inspired me when I didn’t have anything left in the tank.
Not only have you all played a part in the evolution of this dumb blog, but more importantly, you’ve inspired a very personal evolution. Nowhere else will I ever find this much heartfelt support for a silly pipe dream of mine. I can count the people on one hand in real life that support my writing. But here is different. I’d need a lot more hands. \m/
And lastly, I wanted to make honorable mention of one person in particular on the list: Jules, the author of the blog, McCrabass. Thank you for all your help outside the blogosphere. You’re an immense talent and a very gifted mind. Thanks for taking the time to point me in a direction. You have a big heart. I’m still your number one fan.
I wish I could have included everyone, but damn, this took a long time to put together. Thank you all again for being good sports. And thank you to everyone else not mentioned here that I interact with regularly. You’re all very much loved and appreciated. We’ll see where this whole thing goes.
Sorry for being a dick.
Thanks for your contributions:
- Jean, author of Wholey Jeans
- Tracy, author of, um, Tracy Fulks
- Sara, author of Laments and Lullabies
- Jenn, author of Jenn’s Midlife Crisis
- Vanessa-Jane, author of Vanessa-Jane Chapman
- Mystery Lady, author of Happy Zinny
- Mystery Lady #2, author of Words Fall From My Eyes
Feel free to test the thickness of my skin in the comment section.
- Happy Blogging \m/
- My Right to Bitch Facts and Fallacies (righttobitch.com)
- What Kind of Blogger Are You? 7 Different Blogger Types Explained. (zemanta.com)
- Bloggedy Blog Blog Blog (jessessential.com)
In order to find out what all of these things have in common, you’ll have to stop by the My Right to Bitch Blogroll Induction Ceremony on A Clown on Fire. And bring a side a dish. Preferably one with lots of beer in it.
It’s a gloriously festive occasion. I hope you can make it.
I’ve cracked the code. At least I think I did. Stop by the party, and I’ll explain the inner workings of the the very wacky, impressionistic, and sometimes indecipherable A Clown on Fire website. Important answers will be discovered. Answers to questions like, “What the Fuck is a A Clown on Fire?” Perhaps the most burning question of all…
It’s must read material.
Would you expect any less?
Here’s a Preview:
A Clown on Fire is Like:
#3. Eating the most delectable piece of chocolate cake, and finding a dirty band-aid with part of a finger still attached to it in the last bite… (the suspense)
I don’t wanna spoil the fun…
Go check it out!
-Happy Blogging \M/
- Blogroll Inductee – My Right to Bitch (clownonfire.wordpress.com)
- Whats the Difference Between Brownies and Chocolate Cake? (proflowers.com)
- Tinkerbell, Fairy 3 Tier Cake (fairydustdelights.com)
If you’re not tripping over an autograph line of rabid followers of your blog right now, I think I know the reason(s) why. I know what you’re thinking, “sounds kind of uppity coming from someone with less than 200 followers”. Don’t worry, I’ll get around to reading this myself too, eventually.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the whole scene, to my credit, I’m a fast learner and a close observer of people and their habits. And hot chicks. Throughout my travels, I’ve noticed a lot of stuff that us bloggers do which I believe is counterintuitive to acquiring and maintaining a fan base — providing that this happens to be one of your goals. That is what you want, isn’t it? The debate goes on…
Allow me to break down my Eureka moment for you.
The way I see it is that everything you’ll ever come across on a blogging site – regardless of what platform you use — falls somewhere along a continuum that is anchored by two different stylistic approaches.
At one end of the spectrum is what I call the Art Blog, which is more or less an exhibit; and the second type is what I call a Conversational Blog, which is used for exactly that — starting conversations. It’s difficult to distinguish the two from each other at first glance; however, a quick skim of any blog will reveal the author‘s motivation for creating his or her content.
Once you become familiar with this concept (that I invented just now), you’ll not only realize where your blog falls along the continuum, you’ll also understand what areas you may be lacking in. Hopefully you’ll be able to increase your following by making the necessary adjustments. Keep in mind that most blogs fall somewhere between these two styles. Let’s delve deeper.
Dorothy, step forward into the world of Technicolor…
The Art Blog
The majority of posts found on an Art Blog are exactly that — works of Art. Compositions are shared for the sole purpose of being observed and appreciated. Art Blogs are the poets, stream of consciousness writers, story-tellers, comic-strip artists, etc. Successful Art Blogs usually have a lot of likes, though they normally lack any significant interaction beyond that. Sometimes, if it’s a particularly great piece, many will drop an appreciative comment, but the conversation abruptly tails off at “Great job!” Really, what else can be said? Again, whatever was posted was meant to be looked at, not hashed up and down.
Art Blogs are like museums. When visiting one, the guest usually strolls about casually, looks around, stops, stares, maybe sits for a minute, contemplates, wanders off, and eventually leaves with a sense of appreciation for whatever was on display. It’s rare to happen upon a conversation during a visit. It’s not the type of setting that really promotes “mingling” with random strangers. That’s not to say that it doesn’t happen. Art lovers talk art, but the displays are usually designed to stir the emotions of the observer on a personal level. Plus, most pieces are open for wide interpretation – like a mangled ball of steel, for instance.
Writers of Art Blogs are probably aware of what they are already. They’ve constructed this type of setting for exactly the reasons listed. Most authors are either content with creating pieces to be appreciated, or use their blog strictly as a medium for online-journaling. There’s nothing wrong with that. Many will grow large followings based on their commitment to producing high-quality, artful content.
The Conversational Blog
On the flip side is the Conversational Blog. Content found on this type of page is constructed with the intention of promoting interaction with and among readers. The author usually bases his or her posts on topics that are meant to be viewed by a larger audience by comparison. Topics can often times be controversial in nature, and/or are emotionally-charged. A crafty author of one always leaves the piece open-ended by the end. If executed well, the article will continue to be expanded in the comment section by other readers – engaged readers. Write that down. I just wrote it down too. Wait a second, this is confusing now…
Conversational Blogs also incorporate other bloggers into their posts and/or pages. They’re not only excellent networkers, but also good cultivators of friendly “blog neighborhoods” (bloggerhoods? Hmm, I like that…) within the bigger sphere. Inviting guest bloggers and contributors, dual-posting, and reblogging are all tools that they use to help solidify and grow their audiences. By incorporating these tools and techniques into their pages, they’re not only promoting themselves, they’re also practicing good “PR” . By doing so, they increase the likelihood of future interaction with their fan base.
This type of approach doesn’t require a particular format or genre. Conversational blogs incorporate a wide variety of content. News, politics, random humor, medicine – whatever — the possibilities are endless. However, the goal is always the same — to pose or imply questions that elicit responses with the intention of opening a dialogue.
Cultivating a Fan Base
This may come as a surprise to some, but there are a lot of folks out there that want to engage with you. The challenge is to attract them and build a relationship from there.
When someone takes the time to read through one of your posts, don’t just thank them for the visit, seize the opportunity and speak. There are some interesting characters out there (like me) that are frothing to spar, share a story, or provide a laugh. Why pass on an opportunity that you’ve tried so hard to cultivate? By going into social-phoebe mode, you’re only setting yourself back and creating more work.
A post a day is difficult to do – especially when nobody’s reading.
When you’re hopping around and looking for a conversation, you’ll find that some will oblige, and others will decline. It’s worth a shot either way. After all, growing a following is based not only on consistently producing interesting content, it’s also about being likable. Charming is the word I prefer.
People are smart enough to pick up on sincerity, despite the fact that many operate through a persona. They also know whether you appreciate them or not, and it’s up to you to convey that.
More Free Tips
- Shtick ‘em Up – Most bloggers have a shtick. If you’re one of them, ask yourself if it’s a concept that will limit your writing, long-term. Personally, I consider this question daily. I may be limiting myself in the long-run. Don’t place limitations on your blog. It’s hard enough as it is. Variety is the spice of life, or something like that…
- Good Writing vs. Good Blogging – Being an excellent writer is one thing. Being an excellent blogger is something different all together. Consider this article. Where do you fall within the spectrum? Have your efforts been fruitful? Again, ask yourself if what you write about is something that an audience would want to engage in.
- Brevity is Key – There’s nothing that deters me as a reader more than an extremely lengthy post. I think I speak for most when I say this, but I don’t want to read a three thousand word submission. Ever. I hate books, and three thousand words is getting close to a book. Succinct and effective is the key. Get to the point, make it a good one.
- Quality, Not Quantity – If you’re in a hurry to post something daily, you might want to consider not only how it affects the quality of your content, but also how your audience is reacting to the frequency of your posts. With so many blogs out there, and with each of us following our fair share of them, it’s likely that most followers aren’t reading your stuff on a daily basis — unless it’s top-shelf, every day. It takes a lot of time to be a “follower”. Being mindful of that, it’s safe to assume that most people are selective about what they read. Also remember, it takes time to produce something high-quality, even if it’s only a thousand words. Be selective. Otherwise, you might not only burn yourself out, you’ll also burn your audience out too.
Hopefully you’ll find this article useful. If you’re like myself, you’re always looking for ways to improve your stuff. Interacting with an audience can be just as fulfilling as the writing part. So, considering all this begs the question:
Are you the Curator of an Art Blog or the Mediator of a Conversational Blog?
Let’s get this party started…
- The Art of Writing Blog Comments (zemanta.com)
- Zen and the Art of Blogging (clownonfire.wordpress.com)
- Art of Writing Persuasive Blog Entries for Greater ROI (mokshis.com)
If you’re not familiar with him already, Le Clown is a fast-rising WordPress phenom, and winner of the prestigious Alan Smithee Blog Award. He’s the man solely responsible for Canada’s leading export, quality blog content – surpassing the country’s previous top export, maple syrup. He’s also a surprisingly polite French Canadian (an oxymoron, I know), and a fluent speaker of both French and Frenglish. You might be wondering how I know so much about Canada? Please, there isn’t much to learn…
When I’m not busy looking for porn on the internet, I’m usually reading through blogs – lots of them. It’s a great way to find inspiration when (le) creative tank is running on fumes. When I first discovered Le Clown, I immediately noticed that his material had the opposite effect on me. Rather than leaving me with a new found sense of inspiration, I felt like a poo-head instead. View at your own risk. By the time you finish visiting the circus, you’ll undoubtedly want to end your pathetic blogging career.
I’m packing my desk as I write. I’ve decided to pursue things that come natural to me from now on — things like breathing, walking, etc. Ok, I’m no slouch, but god damn, this guy is endlessly funny — especially the comment threads.
Despite his ego being the size of the Northwest Territories, Le Clown is unlike many of the honorary members of (le) Freshly Pressed hall of fame. As we all know, the majority of stuff on the front page is sub-par. However, Le Clown has rightfully earned his star on the sidewalk by continuing to produce stellar content. As a result, his viewership is trending upward, post-induction – ahem, WordPress editors, market research opportunity!
His phenomenal readership aside, engagement with fans is what I find most impressive. Every person that interacts with his blog is acknowledged, unlike some truly arrogant players I’ve come across. I can’t even imagine the amount of time that’s required to keep up with (le) blog. I get anxious just thinking about it.
You may be wondering if I’m a paid promoter of the circus. The answer is no. You may also be wondering if I’d like to be a paid endorser. The answer is an enthusiastic yes. I won’t quit my day job yet…
More Clowns you Should be Afraid of:
- Homey the Clown – Step out of line and you’re gonna get a rock-filled sock to the back of the head. Whatever shenanigans you may be considering, rest assured, Homey don’t play that game.
- Ronald McDonald - Don’t be fooled by this clown’s happy disposition. He’s laughing all the way to the bank while you stuff your gut full of hamburger grease. If you’re not careful, he might have to blow up a balloon catheter animal inside one of your arteries soon. Would you like fries with that?
- Carrot Top - Never trust a clown that’s going through Anabolic Steroid withdrawal. What ever happened to the skinny goofball with the suitcase full of props? The bigger he gets the more he looks like a woman. I don’t get it?
A few other things Le Clown can do that you can’t:
- Impregnate women just by staring at them — some men, too
- Fashionably wear white foundation and a foam nose in public
- Watch Hockey Night in Canada while his ego does the grocery shopping
Very commendable effort my French-speaking neighbor to the north. I bow to Le Clown and always enjoy your humor. Canada, please don’t be offended by this ignorant American — he means no harm. Besides, I love Don Cherry.
-Happy Blogging Ya Coulrophobic Bitchers!
- Coulrophobia (thatguythatreviewsstuff.wordpress.com)
- WordPress To Retire Le Clown’s Not Featured on Freshly Pressed Jersey (clownonfire.wordpress.com)
- What’s On a Clown’s Mind (clownonfire.wordpress.com)