Plato’s Digital Cave

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Admittedly, summer has been particularly slow in regards to blog content. Perhaps it’s the lazy days of the season that make writing out of reach for me, or possibly because I just didn’t have much going on that warranted a blog post. However, that has changed.

I’m going to talk about World of Warcraft and game addiction. More specifically, my own experiences with the game and what happened as a result.

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Where Art Thou, Audience?

 

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Photo by DodgertonSkillhause @ Morguefile.com

Much like my previous ambitions to attain Discover, my ambitions for an audience have also grown. In my days at Eyes Through the Glass, I was very grateful for whatever audience I had. There were a handful of people, though I do not recall much in terms of a community.

If I recall correctly, many of my followers for Eyes Through the Glass were spambots. So perhaps the fact that there are far fewer means that I am simply not getting picked up by spambots for an easy follow.

In terms of SEO, you can find my domain if you Google “memoryofthestar”, but won’t find it if you use “Memory of the star”. I am unsure of what to make of this. I’ll probably get someone on Google to explain what is going on.

I must confess, I don’t think I do enough in terms of promotion and outreach. Part of that has to do with the fact that I prioritize my journalism and schoolwork over blog promotion. I am on Flipboard since that has the greatest return on investment in terms of audience. However, I also fell behind with putting posts up.

I do have a Facebook page but it doesn’t really generate views. Neither did my Twitter feed. Part of the difficulty is not just finding an audience, but finding the right audience.

I could go to Reddit and post, but I honestly doubt that they’d be interested in my writing style.

I also recognize that I don’t have an audience. There will be people who are interested in my autism spectrum posts. There are going to be others who are interested in hearing about board games and Dungeons & Dragons. When I finally get to writing about other geeky topics, I’m sure that’s gonna be part of it too. The difficulty with catering to a single specific audience, as I learned during Eyes Through the Glass, is that I am interested in writing about many different things. You can pull out some patterns, for certain. But I still wonder about what I can do.

And yes, I am still eyeing Discover. Though the process is that in which I submit an article and summarily hear nothing ever again. It’s no one’s fault, but I wonder what the issue is in particular.

I’ve heard the cliché a million times, “just write for yourself and don’t worry if people read your stuff” But I find that unsatisfactory. The purpose of making a blog, one that is publicly accessible, is so that someone else can read it. It’s why I’m typing on WordPress and not on Word.

I don’t want fame, but I confess that I do want recognition. Perhaps my expectations are unreasonable in that regard. If I had the money to burn on advertising, I’d take it up. But I’m a student, and still trying to find exactly where I fit in, especially since journalism is a tough field.

I have found that getting people offline to read my blog is a Herculean task. Some of my friends do, but only on occasion and usually without comment.  My thoughts have turned to attempting to establish myself as a Baltimore blogger. Currently, there is no Baltimore blogger meetup group present, so I may just go ahead and attempt to rectify that.

Until then, I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do. I guess I’m just going to keep writing good content and then hopefully an audience will find something that I produced.

Gunning For Discover!

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Photo by clarita @ Morguefile.com

I must admit, after resurrecting Memory of the Star, I have sought to achieve some of the things that I did during my heyday at Eyes Through the Glass. At that time, WordPress’s term for “editor’s choice” was becoming “Freshly Pressed”.

I received that award twice, and given that I have come quite far since that time I have been considering the option of submitting my posts to Discover. Previous attempts have proven futile, with a submission sent and nary a response.

It is difficult to surmise what exactly they’re looking for. I say that because they have a general overview of having a strong point of view, using images, and so forth. But, I question exactly what content works.

I say that because the content I produced that got me Freshly Pressed wasn’t my personal favorite work. Then again, my taste and my editor’s tastes are never going to be exactly the same.

Admittedly, now that my blog has had a taste of views that go to the double digits…or in my best case quadruple digits with my Dungeons & Dragons article, I have begun to seek a larger audience.

The process has been slow, with most of my views coming from Flipboard users and nearly fifty followers. I am fortunate to have readers like Suze and SunkenThought who regularly contribute to discussions. Part of the nature of online discourse means that most people who read your posts do just that. They don’t necessarily hit the “like” button, leave a comment, and so forth.

I speak regularly on the virtues of Flipboard, and out of all social media platforms I’ve used it’s had the greatest return on investment. It is, however subject to booms and busts, depending on how things are categorized. I also don’t post everything on Flipboard, usually blog announcements and random images, so my November posts were scant.

Getting followers on Flipboard took a while, I have a few now, including (out of all things) a Japanese newspaper. Truth be told, I always wanted a connection to Japan and I hope to translate my articles into Japanese when I get the chance and I manage to relearn the language.

Still, the process of climbing the blogosphere ladder remains somewhat of a mystery for me. Perhaps the issue is going to be time, out of all things. Until then, I will be producing the best content I can make.

 

In Defense of the Mainstream Media

 

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Photo by 5demayo @ Morguefile.com

 

One of the things that I learned about journalism when I started is that the media is a very different entity than what the public makes it out to be. I have learned quite a lot in the past two semesters.

I was spurred to make this post due to seeing a post on the Blogging Meetup by fellow blogger Steven Sawyer. Now, internet drama is the domain of my friend Maggie but I suppose she’s rubbed off on me in some ways. But unlike her Facebook posts that are designed to stir the pot, I am going to take a moment to address something that is actually important to me.

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