Metablog Goes Forth

The title retains the brief Blackadder theme for metablogs one last time, but it’s mining a seam which is now exhausted.  Given the theme, at the end of this post we should all go over the top to our certain doom – not sure about certain doom, but some may feel that this blog has been going OTT for some time.

As I write this today (as opposed to as I will crochet it a week on Wednesday), the blog has recently passed its three-thousandth page view.  It has also passed 150 posts and if we assume an average of 500 words (say) per post then the blog is up to 75,000 words (excluding comments) – which is around the length of a first novel.  Each post is, natürlich, a classic of its kind – as long as ‘its kind’ is defined with a suitably restricted scope (a common ‘weapon’ in the armoury of the marketing industry – I think you will find 77% of 17 women agreed when offered a free sample and the question was suitably phrased).

The blog is also approaching its first anniversary: well, obviously, it has been approaching its anniversary since its inception – but now it is actually getting quite close.  GofaDM was birthed back in August 2010 (to the sound of whale song and without an epidural), though it lacked any content whatsoever until October.   Even once content arrived, back in those halcyon days, a new post was a rare and precious thing.  It wasn’t until the end of the year that the production rate was ramped up with a concomitant decline in quality.

So, congratulations are due to any of you who have stuck with it, wading through a novel’s worth of my ‘wit’ and observations – interspersed with the odd (rather desultory) review and a few rants.  I would promise something special for the first birthday of the blog – but I’m aware that readers are still awaiting the video promised way back in post 99A, so perhaps I shouldn’t create false expectations.  Instead, I will just suggest that the blog will continue very much like a de-oxygenated red blood cell – or, for those who are not students of the work of William Harvey, in the same vein.

Finally, I have recently noticed a new feature in WordPress – well, I admit that it may not be new but my awareness of it certainly is.  When accessing the public view of my blog (as opposed to the usual engine-room perspective given to the author) I am given the option to “Report as mature”.  I fear I shall never need to use this particular function…

The one with the flake in it

Despite the powers-that-be at Channel 4 ensuring for the last decade (and more) that at any time you can be guaranteed that one of its myriad channels will be showing an episode of Friends (it’s analogous to never being more than 8 feet from a rat), I am strangely (perhaps, inappropriately) proud never to have seen one in its entirety.  It hasn’t been easy, let me tell you, but despite my total abstinence some knowledge of the sitcom has wormed its way into my brain – and the title of this post could easily have belonged to an episode from that much repeated series.

But I digress, the allusion is obviously to ice cream as this post is number 99 (and if mere mention of a flake causes you to imagine the author lying languid and naked in an over-flowing bath, then you should probably see a trained psychiatric professional).  It was either ice cream, or a reference to Maxwell Smart’s significantly more competent partner – and even I’m not old enough to remember her, so I eighty-sixed that idea (there will be a prize for understanding that gag).  This post represents a nervous number for a batsman given our decimal counting system: can this blog make it to its first century?  Or will it find itself the electronic equivalent of lbw?  Of course, had cricket been played in ancient Babylon a score of 100 would be meaningless – batsman would be aiming for 60 runs as the key milestone of an innings and 59 would be the time for nerves.  But advanced as the peoples of ancient Mesopotamia were, they never developed cricket – probably as well, not sure their maths could have handled the Duckworth-Lewis method.

I wonder if I will receive some sort of telegram from the Queen of WordPress when I reach 100 posts?  Is WordPress even a constitutional monarchy?

As you can read, excitement is mounting here in Fish Towers but I am starting to feel some pressure to pull something special “out of the bag” for post 100.  Get your suggestions in now if you want to be a part of blog history!  You should be thinking Henry V and St Crispin’s Day here – you’d hate to think yourselves accursed and counting your manhoods cheap (heaven forfend) when this blog breaks into 3 figures!

Metablog Two

This is the fiftieth post to this blog, so I now have quite a body of work on-line, and WordPress tells me the blog has received more than 600 page views.  This does suggest that it can only be a matter of time before the men in white coats come and take me away (ha ha).

As a result, it is time once again for me to peer out beyond the electronic proscenium arch, over the virtual footlights and directly address the darkened (and quite possibly empty) auditorium which forms the inevitable conclusion to this (probably ill-advised) extended metaphor.

Teaching has been described as casting imitation pearls before all to real swine (by me, just then, for one, but also, I believe, by those that came before me), and the careful crafting of a post can feel surprisingly similar.  I cannot help but wonder if anyone understands the many layers of meaning and humour painstakingly built into each entry – but then I think, I’m lucky anyone looks at my depraved ramblings at all!

WordPress does provide tantalising snippets of information on my readership – it shows which pages are viewed and any searches that deliver the unwary surfer into my clutches.  This information is, at best, confusing: for example, for some strange reason, “Windows” and “A Classical Education?” are the most viewed pages.  I can only assume these are being accessed by some sort of bot or a reader with severe phalangeal ataxia.  As for the incoming searches, I can only speculate as to the disappointment experienced by a reader seeking enlightenment but instead being delivered to my electronic demesne.

Several of you, dear readers, have been good enough to rate or comment on some of the posts and one has even managed to “Like” a post – a possibility of whose existence I had been unaware.  From this feedback, I have attempted to draw conclusions as to the content which receives the highest level of approbation.  I can’t, in all honesty, say that I have succeeded – though perhaps the more autobiographical and/or satirical posts might be mildly more positively received.

So, I’m afraid that all I can promise you is more of the same, by which of course I mean: promulgation of the work of Carl von Linné, classical allusions and weak jokes, references to particle physics and, when I can find a peg to hang them on, tales from my mis-spent youth and earlier middle-age.  There will also be more long words shoe-horned in wheresoe’er they might fit, more alliteration and further “reviews” (OK, passing mentions) of classical music.

By the way, I wouldn’t want you to think that I only listen to classical music – in 2010 alone, I went to two concerts of young people’s music (i.e. music made for, rather than necessarily by, young people).  The major downside I found with these occasions was not the music, but the fact that (a) no seating was provided so I had to stand-up through the whole concert and (b) there was no upmarket ice-cream to be had at half-time (vital for the maintenance of safe blood sugar levels – doubly so when standing).  I had assumed this desire to sit-down for music was a sign of my age and the fact that I am no longer (OK, let’s face facts, never was) down wiv da kidz.  However, I have just heard an interview with Fyfe Dangerfield (a man of only 30, and founder member of indie band Guillemots – order Charadriiformes – and so who would probably count as one of the “cool kids”) who also revealed the desire for a seat during concerts – so I am in vaguely respectable company.  As many will know, I live my life by the simple maxim “Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down”.

At this point, a rousing call to arms would be in order – go back to your constituencies and prepare to be mildly stimulated and/or amused, perhaps.  But instead, I will just say that you should know what you are letting yourselves in for by now, so you have only yourselves to blame if you continue reading.