- I don't know why people read my journal. I'm not super popular,
and I never expected to be, but I do get some traffic and have some regular
readers. Sort of like high school, except this time I'm too lazy
to get to know the other students' names, except for the Mighty Kymm, who
seems to be Class President for Life. How many regulars do I have?
I dunno; stupid Sitemeter gives me too many "unknowns" and is too slow
in updating results for me to even think about tracking em'. But
I know I have some and not as many as others.
I've got my select group of 8 journallers that I follow around like a puppy, although some of them might wish I'd just go away. But I read them because I like them. What common denominators do they have? Mostly age and geography; they're all in their twenties minus Robin and Athena. But Robin is very unteenage-like in a lot of ways (but very teenagish in others), and Athena, well, she...uh...what am I talking about, she'll be in her twenties forever!
Geography wise, there's a Cali-hook; Stung, Brian, D-Khan, Jen Wade, and Athena are all from Cali. The other three are from...somewhere else: Edmonton, Georgia, and Bumfuck, MD. (Someone should make up a t-shirt: My Grandparents Went to Bumfuck, Maryland and all I Got was This Lousy T-shirt).
So I don't know exactly why I read my journals, only that I find them "interesting" if I could be anymore vague. A hook is important, at least for me -- Dr. Dre says that the first 30 seconds of a song are the most important, because that's all the time he'll give a new song when he decides if he wants to hear more or not. I do the same thing at Borders' when listening to CDs and killing time. So maybe I need to look at some to find why I like my eight, and maybe I'll try to find out why people read mine.
(I'm a little nervous because this entails me having to quasi-publicly judge other people. OK, now I'm ready).
BaddGrrl's Daily Journal, by BaddGrrl, which ranks fourth on the Open Pages' stats list, so it supposedly gets lots of visitors: Ok, minus the frames and the frequent images of shit she thinks is neat, there isn't much here in the way of text or pretty site design. The biggest hook seems to be her webcam pictures -- she's pretty, and Asian, which will attract a horde of netsufers. And the title definitely sucks people in -- visitors go looking for a hussy ready to blab about her sex life. Plus she's has like 40,000 links, and probably an equal number of links back to her site, which probably explains why she's so high up on the Open Pages' stats. But really nothing particularly engaging besides the pictures. Until I get a webcam (and, uh, a computer) and become a hottie, I won't be able to match her success. Next...
Someone for Anyone, by Jeannette, picked at random from the Lives Written ring: OK, the pic of Noel Gallagher made me instantly want to pretend I didn't see it, but I'm trying to be honest here and go forward. OK, like BaddGrrl (and me!) she's got the black background. Oh, but she changes background color. OK, now there's way too frequent mention, as well as pics, of Noel Gallagher. She is a teenager living in Singapore, which means she's likely Asian. OK, this Asian Female thing has got to stop...(Ahh, what am I saying? More Asian Females!). And I read her first entry, and...she's on hiatus until December (or so she says). But I'll read a few entries anyway...OK, she talks a lot about school and classes and Noel Gallagher and has pictures of her dog. Yick. OK, no help here. Or is this what people like? Next...
De Psychedelic Scenario, taken because it's high up on the list of Lives' Written journals; OK, cute script to have little ants follow the mouse. Different look; black on white (so hard to find nowadays anywhere except in those darn books). Hmm, recounts his unimaginative trip to San Diego in a matter-of-fact manner...OK, despite his catchy splash page and his distinct index page, there isn't much here of interest. He's a little older, married, and got kids. He likes talking about his wife and kids. He seems pretty with it, but I don't find anything here interesting enough to give it a second look. Next...
journal, by...I'm not sure. I remember the Little Bastard ring from when my idol Jay Tsukamoto was part of it, and decided to see what became of it. I clicked on the last link on the Little Bastard Link and got: OK, interesting because it sticks me straight into an entry. No index in site. Simple text; black on white again. No graphics. No capital letters. Wow, good entry -- a guy accosts him for pot, he's depressed, he walks around Seattle a lot, is cynical, and gets a donut. I like this guy...OK, he's big on content - talks about shit I like, has a line of thought for every line of action, and sounds like a lonely soul who hates himself and other people and who likes donuts. Similarities to myself, dissimilarities to myself that I like. I get chills wondering if this guy would be contemptuous of me if he saw me on the street. Probably. Most of all, it's in the writing style. Except...there's no index. Hell, there's no previous entries, just a "today" file. Fuck fuck fuck, I find something I like, but I can't dig through his life like a hookworm. I'll e-mail the dood and tell him I liked what he wrote. Next...
Stylycho, by Stylycho, which I grabbed because it's the next entry after Stung's in the diarist.net list by title: Got his own domain name and a sparse, dark and mysterious welcome page. Who is Stylycho! it practically screams...OK, I follow the link but oh no! He runs his page using Flash 4.0, and the UCLA computers don't have Flash .04 installed, so I'm screwed. Attempts to find a non-Flash page meet with failure. So, I can't read it. Someone else can feel free to read it, though, and tell me what they think. I don't know why, though...
I'll check out MetaJournals, which I should read more often. Naturally I find an article right there on how difficult it is to find a journal that is a "hidden gem." But instead of being discouraged since someone else has snaked this idea (not that it was entirely original), I'm happy since the author, Kristi, has done all the work for me! And what does Kristi recommend...
Unspoken, by Kristin. Ignoring the similarities in the names of the article's author and the journal author, I plunge into it: Great, she's fucking on hiatus to, since she's in Amsterdam. Now I'm disappointed, AND jealous. No fucking fair, not only does she get written up in MetaJournals, but she gets to smoke all the bud she wants in Amsterdam! But I'll give it a shot...nah, I won't; since it's not on-going, then what's the point? Maybe I'll come back at some point, but not right now. It did look nice, though, with the white on green-gray, and the pretty blue stripe. Uncomplicated with a flair of style.
So what have I learned? Well, for one, scanning through the thousands of journals for one you like is much tougher than scanning the TV for a show to watch, simply because it's more time consuming -- I can decide whether or not I like a show in three seconds, but it takes that long just to load a journal. But like TV, I know the stations that are more likely to have good TV -- the Little Bastard ring might turn out to be like ESPN Classic, while Open Pages and Lives Written are like NBC and CBS. (More twisted, incomprehensible analogies, I know). And with all these journals going on hiatus or being taken down, it makes it even harder to find one you can get into for a while. I know, it's happened to me -- twice.
Three, oh yeah, have I learned anything? Well, I like people who are similar to me. Twenty-ish sounding, West Coast, dry writing style. I get my hat's off to the three journals I read who don't fit that exact pattern -- Athena, Robin, and "Aylin".
And did I learn anything about why people like some journals and not mine? Well, I'm not Asian or Asian American, I'm not female, I'm not a hottie. No web cam, no enticing journal title, no thousands of links. The e-mails I've gotten tell me that they like me for a variety of reasons, basically because my life is fucked up and they think there's is, too. Some of them think I'm cute. Some are from LA. A lot of them mention that they think I'm funny. So from those e-mails, I can deduce this -- I attract a lot of people who have no taste. But neither do I -- oooh, something in common.
I realize that this was amazingly unscientific. But who cares. It was interesting. Judge not less ye be judged, or something...so judge me, what do I care?
I wrote an e-letter to the author of journal.
You can read it yourself: