Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Reflections on a year

Not on the year 2009 per se, but on my first year writing this blog.

That's right, it was January 3, 2009 that I wrote my first post on The Audient. Anal guy that I am, I really should have written this post yesterday, if I weren't bursting with information about my plane ride back from Australia.

During the first year of The Audient, I wrote 220 posts. So output most certainly wasn't my problem.

But I did have a couple problems, and in the interest of New Year's resolutions, let me cover them here:

1) Length. I tended to prattle on a bit. And I've already started to prattle on a bit in 2010, starting with yesterday's post. But I recognize that you, my readers, have limited time to be loyal to me. And if I constantly submit posts that take you 15 minutes to read, that loyalty will certainly be tested. So one resolution for year two of The Audient is to get to my point faster, and excise some of the parenthetical details. If I think of something interesting but unrelated that I want to squeeze in, why not save it for a later post? There will always be more.

2) Design. While design was not a problem as such, in the sense that I don't think The Audient looks bad, I also haven't advanced the look of the site since day one. This could be because I don't have any web design skills. Or it could be because I'm lazy, and haven't figured out the easy way to spice things up without becoming an expert in Dreamweaver, or whatever the current industry standard is. So here's a promise to look at that sometime in 2010.

3) Publicity. I was pretty shy about promoting The Audient this past year. I pimped it in my facebook profile and I sheepishly included reference to it in my year-end holiday letter, but reaching out to my acquaintances is probably not the best way to grow a blog. No, if I really want The Audient to break into the teens and onward in terms of its followers, I have to reach out to a preexisting audience of readers of other film blogs, people I don't already know. And again, this should just take a little effort and application on my part. If I haven't made myself a member of the film blogging community by going to other blogger's sites and commenting on their posts, I should hardly expect them to come to me. Here's to that in 2010 as well.

But there's one thing about The Audient I don't want to change, even though it was the biggest thing I talked about changing in 2009: My content.

In this post in particular, I talked about trying to steer the blog's content so that it got more at the meat and potatoes of movies, like their plots, themes and techniques, rather than the parsley sprig of movies, like their poster art or titles.

I've since backtracked a little on that stance. I've decided that I don't want to set content expectations at all. A blog is best when it's a free outpouring of whatever comes into the writer's head. It's my medium not to censor myself, but to write quickly and definitively about whatever interests me on a particular day. If I gave myself an hour or two each day to write a blog post, I could formulate hypotheses and see them through with repeated examples. And some days I will. Other days, I will just want to write a few sentences about why the music in a particular trailer annoys me. And that's ... okay.

I'll meet you halfway on the length. Heck, it'd be easier on me if I didn't need to write a novel each day.

But the content will continue to run the gamut, from the big to the small, from the interesting to the uninteresting, from the deep to the shallow. Every day I write, though, I promise I will try to entertain you.

Now, New Year's resolution #2: Stop eating everything in sight.


Don Handsome said...

Vance -
In the interest of brevity, let me just thank you for a great year of blogging. The Audient is my favorite film blog - and I read many. I think that you have a lot to say about a lot of different aspects of Film Loving, so the length and the varied content never bothers me. Keep it up, my man. You are a diamond in a sea of mediocrity.
- Don.

Vancetastic said...

What's the emoticon for a blush?

Thanks very much, Don. And considering that you have inspired many of these posts either through discussions we've had or viewings we've experienced together, thanks for that, too.

Onward and upward ...