Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Buckshot: In Which I Get Cranky About Readership

Here's the deal. I've got notes for last night's episode of 24 that can be easily put together for a review. But I'm not sure it's worth my while anymore. Because I'm not sure anyone's even reading these reviews. We're 1/3 of the way through this season and not one of my reviews has seen a comment, be it positive or negative.

And it's not just the 24 posts; it's the blog in general. Hooper checks the site traffic like it's heroin and he's Amy Winehouse. He assures me we're getting moderate traffic and fresh pageviews. But what we're not getting is comments and feedback. Aside from the occasional post from jmc or anonymous visitors, the comments sections are mostly empty. There are 25 posts on the main page, and 12 comments total for those 25 posts. If you're enjoying what we're providing, you're not showing it.

So here's what I want from the readers. Give me some sign that you're enjoying the 24 reviews (And sorry, Dad, you don't count, because I already know you're reading them.). Or a sign that you're hating them. For that matter, did you enjoy the recent The Colorado Option bits of original fiction, and some of our recent reviews?

I just want something to indicate people are reading this stuff, period. Make it worth our while to continue.



Tim said...

I'm reading, although I don't really read the 24 reviews because, well... I just don't watch 24. Nothing against it at all. I'd probably read them very closely if they were reviews on Heroes or House.

The original fiction is cool, keep it up.

You've done a few movie reviews... keep those coming if you get time.

However, all that being said, I'm not sure I really count since I've known Buck for a very long time and would be predisposed to paying more attention than the random reader.

What you need to do is use things like Twitter and Facebook to find more of your audience. Social Networking is key to finding people who are interested in your genre and keeping them engaged. Don't forget to post some links to subscribe using RSS clients or google reader!

The Den of Mystery said...

Admittedly, we haven't done a great deal of advertising. What was bothering me this morning is that I feel like I'm forcing myself to watch 24 for review purposes, rather than simply watching it for entertainment. I really enjoyed this week's episode, but still felt like I was watching it with too analytical of an eye. But that's my problem, not the readers'.

Putting the 24 review issue aside, it's nice to hear some positive feedback about the original fiction.

When it comes to movie reviews, the problem is neither Hooper nor myself go to the theater all that often, so I think we're hesitant to review movies when they hit DVD, knowing other sites had their reviews up months beforehand. Now maybe that wouldn't matter to our readers; it's certainly something to consider.

I've thought about reviewing other shows, and maybe those could simply be done in a group format with single-paragraph reviews rather than devoting entire posts to them. I watch Heroes and House and enjoy them both immensely, so there's really nothing stopping me.

Circling back to the advertising/finding an audience issue, I've used Facebook a bit to try and draw in readers. Neither of us has delved into Twitter, though I have a passing familiarity with it. I suppose I could put a link on my MySpace page, if I actually bothered to update it anymore (Is anyone even using that site at this point?).

I've been rather busy as of late (Mrs. Buck and I are moving), but have resolved to really up my productivity with regards to the Den once things have settled back down. That will probably involve looking into some of the social networking sites I'm not very familiar with.

Thanks for the lengthy response, Tim. I really expected something snarky and sarcastic when I saw this post had a comment. Thanks for helping show reasoned discussion hasn't completely vanished from the interwebs.


The Den of Mystery said...

We do get site traffic and most new readers find us from a Google search for a particular image or comic story or 24-related info. I doubt many search for "The Colorado Option." Buck's state fair and Justice (comic) posts net the most search results, and my political posts, when I made them, snagged a number of fresh readers.

We will explore social networking solutions, find what works best for us.

And...I'll start reviewing Heroes, including this and last week's episodes. My wife, if she has time, might jot some LOST notes.

As for new fiction? Out. The. Wazoo.