From the latest National Book Critics Circle newsletter:
Eric Banks then spoke about the blogging committee. Our blog visitor numbers, he said, are down sharply. We’re getting only 10,000 visits per month, with an average of 250-500 each day. One of the problems is that Google is misdirecting people to the old blog which is no longer forwarding reliably to the new one. It was suggested that we create a wikiprofile and Jane Ciabattari underlined the importance of blog visits when it comes to our application for NEA funding. Everyone, Eric Banks urged, needs to help by thinking of ideas for new posts, even if they are only a few sentences long. One idea in the works is a series of interviews with editors about the move toward on-line reviewing. Laurie Muchnick suggested a sort of six-question template for editors, the answers to which we could post periodically.
How do I put this delicately? Perhaps the numbers are down because the content put up isn’t exactly scintillating. Perhaps the failure to link and include other bloggers, whether NBCC or non-NBCC, might be one of the reasons why nobody cares to visit the site. Perhaps nobody really cares about what stuffy and humorless book critics have to say about $27 hardcovers that regular people can’t afford to read because the unemployment rate is rising and the job market now sees 200 people applying for a busboy job and there are pedantic matters such as figuring out which relative you can ask to loan you the money to pay the rent and keep food on the table. Assuming you are even that lucky.
There are endless possibilities here. And it’s certainly not going to be remedied by a six-question template for editors or a wikiprofile. I don’t believe that James Wood has ever required a six-question template for editors or a wikiprofile. But if decent blog stats can get you NEA money to survive, just where in the hell is the bailout money for the bloggers?
© 2009, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.