Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ukulele lessons.


blog (bläɡ/) noun: blog; plural noun: blogs
  1. A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of my first posting on The Infinite Revolution.  Since then, I've posted a total of 637 short pieces featuring my thoughts on science fiction, fantasy, and the supernatural.  I've talked about science, spaceships, giant Japanese robots, movies, comic books, cosplay, interplanetary voyages, visits to bookstores in foreign cities, zombies, artificial intelligence, space exploration, video games, ghosts, time travel, Canada, Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Great Cthulhu, Conan the Barbarian, Hugo Gernsback, psychotic belly button fans, and whatever else has caught my passing fancy and seemed worth writing a couple of paragraphs about.

Acquaintances who discover my blog are often surprised that someone would actually do that - write for fun - and it is fun for me, even after ten years.  Sadly, the fun has been somewhat adulterated over time by a sense of pressure to produce:  if I don't post for a few weeks, I start to feel that I'm somehow behind, and I begin to stress about finishing topical postings so that I can move on to other content which is closer to completion.  (As an example, this piece is pushing back a half-finished post on Disneyland.)

The odd thing about this is that, really, there is no pressure - it's purely a hobby, and pending Bill Gates paying me to do this, it makes not one bit of difference in the world whether I regularly post something or not.

Nonetheless, I put a lot of thought and consideration into the postings. The final paragraphs are the most challenging, because for me, that's the punchline.  If I can't come up with a clever ending, I feel that I've somehow failed, even if the rest of the posting feels well-written and interesting. The titles are equally challenging, but more fun - I try to use as many obscure genre references as possible.

I actually first started talking about doing something like TIR in about 1992 - it's a testament to my archiving process that I still have the first version of the logo that I designed for the site, as seen at the top of page.  (Please note that my initial usage of the atomic structure graphic predates The Big Bang Theory logo by 15 years - and that's the only part that survived from the logo, as my end mark.  I also experienced a change in demonstrative adjective from "an" to "the" when I did finally start the site.)

At the time, I pictured it as more of a resource-oriented web site, with author profiles and bibliographies and so on, but one of my co-workers commented that it sounded more like a blog to him.  I nodded gravely, then crept away and looked up "blog" online.

At the time, nothing came of it. I was incredibly busy with work, a condition which continued for more or less the next decade, and I really didn't have a clear idea of how I would actually go about turning my idea into a real thing.  However, when my friend Colin started his blog, it demonstrated to me just how simple and straightforward it would be to create, update and maintain something like what I had imagined. (Full points to Blogger for having set up a system which allows for such easy site creation and maintenance - although I live in fear that they'll start charging for the privilege.)

To my complete surprise, this site has also become a significant part of my social life.  I have conversations that end up here, and I write things here that then become part of conversations, and I have to send links to people so that they get the whole story - it's a vicious circle.

Even more surprisingly,  I seem to have established ownership of the brand.  A Google search for "the infinite revolution" returns over fifty million results - and my little blog is the first on the list.


However, I have sometimes wondered how long it will keep going - how strong is my commitment?  As an illustration to the question, when I first started dating Karli, she had been taking ukulele lessons for some time. Not long after our first date, someone asked Karli how her lessons were going.

"What ukulele lessons?" she replied.  "I have a boyfriend now."

As a result, "ukulele lessons" has become a euphemism in conversations between Karli and I for the things you do to fill the time when you don't have anyone important with whom to share your life. Initially I was concerned that my relationship with Karli would displace blogging, and that The Infinite Revolution would just fade away along with her interest in the uke.

I'm pleased to say that this didn't turn out to be the case. Over the past two years, I've more or less maintained my level of output, and it would appear that TIR isn't a ukulele lesson after all. In fact, Karli has even contributed to the site, which I think clearly demonstrates that it HAS to be love.

At the exact moment that I cut and paste the number, The Infinite Revolution has had a total of 211,830 visitors - roughly the population of Regina*. I realize that a lot of that readership is web bots, crawlers, spiders and spammers, but I'd like to think that at least some portion of that number is actual human beings who stumbled across the blog for whatever reason, in addition to the people who read it because they know me personally.

If you do represent one of those 211,830 visits to the site, I'd like to thank you very much for your interest - even if you just looked at the picture of cosplayer Jessica Nigri in an armoured bikini and then moved on.

- Sid

* For non-Canadian readers unfamiliar with the Jewel of Saskatchewan, you can substitute either Akron, Ohio or Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

5 comments:

  1. Oh gosh no, after all, I still have Disneyland posts to finish off. (And I feel I should say SOMETHING about the eight exoplanets that NASA just discovered.) This was purely to commemorate the blog's ten year anniversary.

    - Sid

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  2. Yay!! 10 years is a great accomplishment! Your blog also played a part in us reconnecting and getting to know each other, so I am also very happy it is not a ukulele lesson!

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  3. I can't remember if I read your first post when it came out but it has been enjoyable reading it all these years! Keep it up!

    Chris

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  4. I've been a fan of the blog since it's inception, it's been a source of amusement, of (sometimes extremely obscure) information, of reading recommendations and oh so many other things. Congratulations on the 10th anniversary and long may you blog.

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