If I was any good at learning from my mistakes, I’d be seriously smart by now.
In just over a year, Proper Discord has had 100 posts, 300 comments and 25,000 page views. What haven’t I learned? You can tell me in the comments. Here are ten things I didn’t know before…
1) I can’t write good stuff on demand. It’s a good thing I don’t work for a newspaper. Every time I feel like I ought to blog about something, I end up writing total rubbish. Two days later, an idea shows up all on its own. People who work for newspapers don’t have this luxury, which I think explains some of the stuff printed in newspapers.
2) It’s never a good idea to get in an argument with somebody who refers to themselves in the first person plural. They’re either using the royal “We” or the schizophrenic “We”. Either way, no good can come of this. Both monarchs and schizophrenics have been known to behead people. ’nuff said.
3) There’s a strong correlation between the posts that piss people off and the ones that lots of people read. I’m not sure how the cause-and-effect relationship works here.
4) I should go easy on people who make comments without really thinking them through. They’re reacting quickly and emotionally to something they’ve read. It isn’t their job to think this stuff through. It’s the Internet, for pity’s sake. I should probably thank people who say nice things, too.
5) There’s no easy way to link to footnotes in WordPress 1. It’s shame, because almost nobody cares what I think. If I’m to convince anybody of anything, a sprinkling of academic rigor would be rather helpful, referencing sources or at least explaining where I got numbers. I just can’t be bothered to code my own anchor tags.
6) Posts with numbers in the title always seem to be popular. Perhaps this is because they offer the reader reassurance that it will end soon. You, for example, are more than halfway there. Anybody who reads blogs (including this one) is familiar with the feeling of being lost on a sea of formless prose, wondering if there is a point to this anywhere.
7) I should make fun of album covers more often. It’s the one thing I do that everybody seems to like.
8) Proper Discord’s traffic grew slowly and steadily for about nine months, and then I made fun of music critics three times in the same week and suddenly I get more page views than Norman Lebrecht2.
9) I don’t think I will ever get tired of saying that I get more traffic than Norman Lebrecht.
10) Some of the comments on this blog are either written by comic geniuses or total morons. I just can’t tell – and I’m not even American. Perhaps life would be simpler for everybody if there was some sort of punctuation to indicate irony.
1 I can only think that this is a public service by WordPress to protect you from the sort of things I might write in them.
2 If you believe this, which I mostly do, even though they use the “<” symbol in a way that makes me wonder if they know what it means.