But I digress. What I was getting at is, there aren’t hard numbers on the half-life of the common web-log. But the few studies out there tend to underline the obvious: less than a third of blogs make it into a second month of publication, and the median number of posts in the lifetime of a blog is very probably two. The average life span of a blog that lasts longer than a month, according to one study, is 126 days.
Today is the fifth anniversary of Infinite Art Tournament, the blog formerly known as The Life and Times of Michael5000. (Don’t quibble about continuity, chuckdaddy. It’s the same goddamn URL.) This is the 1612th post.
It has certainly occurred to me that it would be a logical place to stop.
Like many blogs, this one found its origins in workplace dissatisfaction. In the first post (1, 2, Oh My God, June 7, 2007) I talk about getting ready for a job interview. That organization didn’t hire me, which was foolish; I would have been a steal for them. A while later, another organization nearly brought me on board for what seemed like a very exciting and dynamic position; my disappointment on being passed over by them one lasted only a few months, until I learned that they had suddenly gone out of business in unpleasant circumstances. At a third place, I blew a final interview by drinking about a gallon of coffee beforehand and chattering like a cokehead while the interview panel sat looking at me in puzzlement, occasionally interrupting my stream of gibberish in an attempt to ask one of their questions.
So I stayed where I was, and things slowly got better, and then they got quite a bit better. I’m in a highly specialized line of work now that I take seriously, and I like it; and damned if I didn’t get a minor promotion just this morning. That probably just means I’ll stay late more without getting paid, and I don’t even care. Which is to say, the days of the blog being the outlet for creative energies that were stifled in the workplace are long gone. Yet the blog endures. I guess it fills the space in my life that other people devote to cumbersome hobbies of their own, such as raising a family, or tending their house and land, or becoming involved in community affairs, or developing an artistic talent of some kind.
I like that the first word of the first post was “Mrs.5000.”
Most blogs don’t last long; similarly, most blogs don’t get read much. One survey asks us to assume that “100 million people regularly read blogs and that they each read 50 other peoples' blogs,” and that there are “20 million active bloggers.” With that (grossly inflated, I think) readership estimate, you end up with what the author termed “Nanoaudiences”:
250 readers per blog, far smaller audiences than any traditional one-to-many communication method. And this is just an average; in practice many blogs have no more than two dozen readers.I feel very honored, considering the singular content choices I have made, to have about two dozen regular readers and another three or four dozen long-term sporadic readers. The Tournament is honored by its voters. It is very sweet to have a nanoaudience. In fact, if I could somehow snap my fingers and give Infinite Art Tournament an audience of tens of thousands, you know what?
Well, I’d do it in a heartbeat, of course.
But I’d probably be sorry I had.
Thanks for reading,