What is happening around Borangutan? Things have been pretty slow around here over the last few months, and chances are, you haven’t noticed (except for maybe a few of you). A little inactivity has revealed some things about this music blog. Some of these might elicit a “duh,” while others are perhaps not so obvious. They are in no particular order:
- If a site is SEO’d well and in the good graces of the search engines that be, search traffic is static regardless of whether you publish or not (at least in a short-term / 3-month period).
- Referral traffic drops when no publishing occurs.
- Referral traffic rises exponentially when publishing does occur.
- Direct traffic comprises only a small fraction of overall traffic.
- Search traffic comprises the lion’s share of traffic (except during publishing days).
- People really like to see news and blog updates via Twitter and Facebook, and if they don’t see them there, then they tend to never visit.
None of this comes as too much of a surprise to me. With special emphasis on point 6, everyone (loosely) is using social media and social networks these days, and frankly, no one has time to follow a website anymore, let alone 50! Instead people expect that if you want their attention you had better go to them with what you got, because they’re not coming to you. From my perspective, it’s nothing to kick and scream about, it just is.
For all you time stressed bloggers out there, there is one profoundly positive aspect to all of this. If you, like me, receive your highest value readers from social networks, then chances are you needn’t feel so stressed about the lack of time you sometimes invest in your blog. Search traffic is transient, but once kind folks on social networks decide to give you the time of day, they’re willing to do it often… provided you let them know, and so long as your blogging is passingly decent (I’m proof that not all audiences have super high standards!). They’ll come twenty times a month for twenty articles, or they’ll come once a month for one article, and if you feel as if you’re slacking, they’ll probably cut you some slack.
That, or in all likelihood, they just won’t notice.
In my unique position, however, there is a particular kind of person who may not cut me some slack who almost certainly notices when I’m inactive. These are the local artists who are generous enough to send me their music and materials. The generosity is not in the giving so much as it is in the inclusion. These people think well enough of me to send a package that likewise is sent to people who move and shake far more things in this local scene than I do. On occasion I feel that I fail these artists, becoming too caught up trying make ends meet, and having no time to share their work with others.
What I resort to is that old adage “better late than never.” I actually believe in this statement quite strongly and apply it to the work of others (contextually, of course) as well as to my own. In the case of Borangutan “better late than never” takes on more potency since A) most people in the Twin Cities really don’t much of anything about the local music scene, and B) there are few who actually do who can keep up with it all anyway.
The result? Music that is one month, three months, six months, or even two years old is still new to most people, and that being so, still well worth writing about. The irony is that to be effective as a music blogger writing isn’t even that necessary. Just post a picture, a video, or a song. Create a link for the artist and let people know you like the music. Then call it good. It’ll be short, sweet, and minus all the boorish and nonsensical embellishments of pop music journalism. (Hmm… well that was uncharacteristically anti-establishment sounding.)
By the way, did I mention Is/Is’ new EP This Happening is a good listen? Check this band out at Cause Spirits and Soundbar tonight!
posted November 19th, 2010 at 5:42 pm MN Rock