Publicity

It’s an odd experience. You’re talking to someone, telling them about something you’ve done, and they say, “Oh yeah! I read about that on your blog!” The first couple times it happened my response was along the lines of,”Uh… you what?” I try to hide from my readers how excited I get when the graph on my stats page reaches 12 hits in one day, and I try to avoid making remarks about how no one reads my blog (partially because it’s not true and partially because it makes this attempt at creating a voice for myself on the internet sound pathetic,) but I’m starting to think about ways to increase my online publicity. It’s not that I want to be a celebrity, or that I want to gather a fan base, or even that I want my blog to turn into a high-traffic social area. I want to increase my publicity because there is something to be said for people actually hearing what you have to say about something.

I like to talk. I like how it feels to talk, I like seeing people react when I talk, and I like getting my opinion out there. This is probably part of the reason why I love giving oral presentations and why I’m currently directing my school’s theatre troupe. By extension, I also like to write; I like my voice when I write, I like my writing style, and I like what people have to say about my writing (both praise and criticism.) So naturally, the combination of these two things means that a blog is an excellent place for me to chronicle my ideas. But I want to talk about one aspect of blogs in particular, and that’s how blogs relate to globalization.

Yes, globalization. This is not something I talk about a lot. In general, I like the overall flattening of the world that is directly due to the advent of the internet and new media (flattening due to the ubiquity of multinational corporations is another issue all together.) However, in this new world where anyone can say anything, all of the voices tend to blur into one, and the opinions that people listen to tend to either be the biggest, most popular voices, or the voices that we happen to “hear” at the moment. For example, if a video you see on YouTube confuses you, your opinion of the video might be colored by the first few comments that you see. (Note that I say might.) But how do we collectively pick the voices of the 21st century?

The voices of the 21st century are, in my opinion, picked by hits, ratings and subscriptions. For example, the vlogbrothers (John and Hank Green) are two YouTube celebrities because their channel has over 200 thousand subscribers, and they have that many subscribers because they are both highly intelligent, objective, and hilarious. Their voices carry more weight in the world than most peoples’, and when they unite with other popular YouTube-ers who have even more subscribers, they can accomplish amazing things. This happened during the DARPA balloon challenge (the goal of which was to locate several balloons placed randomly all over the country,) and they came in second place (MIT beat them with a different approach.) The fact that they could mobilize several hundred thousand people across North America to perform one task simultaneously is an amazing thing, and what I believe to be one of the greatest advances of the very early 21st century society.

So back to my publicity. I like to talk. I like to listen. I like to listen, process, and then talk about what I’ve heard and the opinions that I’ve formulated. This is why I have a blog. I also like to do interesting things and then tell the world about them. This is also why I have a blog. Finally, I like to tell people about mistakes that I’ve made and the things I’ve done to correct them so that people who find themselves in the same situation that I’m in can use my experience to gain incite into their own predicament. And I’d like people to read this stuff, because although I do enjoy writing this blog, I want people to actually read it.

A few minutes ago I found out that WordPress.com has a feature that will automatically share my posts on Twitter and Facebook. I debated the issue for a few seconds: on one side, it might make me seem like a sell-out/wannabe blogger, but on the other hand people might actually start reading my blog in greater numbers. After my last post I started to add Add-to-Any buttons to all my posts, so why not add automatic sharing? So I’ve enabled it.

It still feels a little like prostitution in a way. I feel like I’m soliciting the masses of Facebook and Twitter to get as many people hooked to my blog as possible. Nevertheless, I think I’m going to start posting more often and investigating more ways of publicizing my opinion on the internet – for free. I’ll probably even share some of the with you.

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