It's not a rare sub-species, and is often hard to tell apart from the rest of humanity, other than wider pupils, jerky movements and extended periods of unintentional nudity. And the enormous blogger's cape we tend to wear.
Recently I saw a great T-shirt with the slogan "More people have read this shirt than your blog" on it, and it got me thinking. Hmm, more people have read that T-shirt than my blog. I tend to think in italics. I wondered if I should try and put myself out there a bit, like a blog-whore advertising my wares. Hello sir, hello madam, take a peek under my skirts. Like what you see? There's more of that in here. No obvious rash either, and they're not warts, they're beauty spots. Big, crusty, slightly oozing beauty spots, oh yeah . . .
So,in which metaphorical corner of the internet super-cul-de-sac should I ply my trade then?
The Gravel Farm isn't very technically advanced. It hasn't got flashy links and gifs, and the avatar/logo/identifying image is a picture of some gravel, which I took myself. It's not what you'd refer to as a sophisticated blog set up, so I can't rely on flashy visuals to tempt in the curious. I'll have to rely on content. It would be nice to have someone make a much more fancy blog for me, popping in every now and then to empty the bins and pick the soiled underwear up before making me a nice cup of tea, but until I get an IT savvy assistant who's willing to be paid in compliments and whatever I can find in my garden, I'll have to manage on my own. Still, it doesn't hurt to advertise, does it. Unless you're a burglar.
I sent off a query into the bowels of the web, and the search imps skittered back with a few suggestions for registering your blog and thus increasing your punterage. One of them was Technorati, which I subsequently logged onto.
Initially, I thought I'd let them off for the unsavoury use of the word "claim" rather than "register", as if The Gravel Farm doesn't have an owner unless they say it does. A bit like those people who have certificates telling them they own a bit of the moon (I think you'll find folks, that the Clangers have got Lunar real estate sewn up pretty tightly thank you very much, and you don't want to cross those buggers; they've got a dragon). In the past, it has been seen as an influential site in generating blog traffic, so I set up an account and put myself down as a member of the blogerazzi.
I then spent the best part of five days (on and off, not constantly, because that would be silly) battling with the ethereal mysteries of Technorati.com and it's less-than-crystal-clear instructions for "claiming" my own blog , all to no avail. Apparently, the URL is invalid (that's right, the one at the top of your screen there, the one that your computer is using right now to let you read this. Utterly invalid that is), and any queries via email are met with an automatic reply informing you that they probably won't be able to reply. Thanks for the help there.
The instructive instructions instructed me to post a single piece of code so they could recognise my blog, which I duly did (and got eleven quality comments!), but still no luck. Utter refusal to acknowledge this blog.
My mind switched back to italics, and I thought sod it.
The daft single word post was deleted (apologies for the comments lost) as I'm not far off the lovely hundredth post, and I don't want my tally to be sullied by such lack of verbosity.
Following this very unproductive episode, I now feel the need to post something more constructive.
So, onto my post.
As some light relief, I was quite taken with a recent blogging exercise I read about where you post the sixth picture from a file on your computer and blog about it. Sounds reasonable I thought, with the mental addendum that anything that would get me flagged with an Adult Content Warning sign would be deleted.
I didn't actually take this. My ladder isn't long enough. It's from the Hubble space telescope and it's an amazing image of the Shuttle Atlantis crossing in front of the sun. I've actually got this as my current desktop wallpaper.
That wouldn't do though. I think the spirit of the exercise lies in using a photo that you have taken yourself. The space shuttle isn't really blogworthy for me as I've been up in it less than half a dozen times.*
I'll try again. This time, I uploaded the sixth picture from the first file under the cryptically entitled document 'pictures' which, beguilingly, contains quite a large number of pictures, most of which I've taken myself. The exciting result was this:
Hmm. A picture of a set of (artfully laid out on my sofa) magazines from the 1930s and 40s entitled 'Illustrated Carpenter and Builder', which I have been asked to sell on a popular auction site on behalf of a friend who eyes the internet with the suspicion usually afforded a very still snake. Possibly wisely.
Well, that won't do either. A bunch of elderly magazines, and not a single Sudoku in any of them. Hardly riveting blog material.
Another go. Go down to the sixth folder under 'Pictures', choose the sixth photo and, verwallah:
An action shot of me, suitably ensconced at the front of a stage at a local beer festival a few months ago, playing a gig with our ukulele club. I remember it well because it was a gorgeous, sunny day liberally enlivened with a few decent pints of lovely beers and ciders, combined with a spot of hardcore uke fun. The gig went well, although a lot of the audience were so well-lubricated that they would've probably been happy with a monkey banging a couple of bin-lids together whilst refraining from throwing it's poo.
Actually, that sounds quite cool. I'm going to think about that.
Monkey. Bin-lids. No poo. Cooool . . .
So there you go. A quick exercise with moderate amounts of cheating, perfect for inducing the flow of the old bloggy juices.
And to get traffic to my blog?
Well, I'll just continue my witterings as per usual, and be grateful to any and all of you who deign to spend some of your valuable time here.I don't often say it, but thank you.
*Six less than half a dozen, in fact.