Saturday, 26 April 2008

Geek success

So this graph here, broadly shows my site, wot I do on my own without anyone else, has a bigger reach than Bowlie.

It gives me a slight fuzzy feeling inside, but also sadness that whilst one of the original goals of the site has so easily been met, the other more important goals are still just out of reach. But then again, I should have learnt the lesson of Hugh McLeod, it was never going to work.

Makes you wonder about world-domination, is it worth it?

Monday, 21 April 2008

No need for cold turkey

Its like some crap drug addiction, having to increase the doses to get the same effect. It used to be fun, drawing, sketching, tracing the contours. Thinking it was an innocent diversion, some kind of artistic project, that it would get me into the club that evades me.

But of course, it wasn't art, it was engineering. It was functional design, carefully construction for a specific effect. To draw as much traffic to the site as possible.

The YouPorn thing was a godsend, everytime I put up a picture, it would go on their blogs aggregator, the more often I put up pictures, the more often I'd be at thetop of the list and get more traffic than those at the bottom. I plotted graphs of different times of the day, and when I post to get the maximum traffic.

I begged other sites for link, I coerced and bribed. I carefully selected those who would be likely to reciprocate, those sites where they keep a keen eye on where links come from and go to. Which sites were worth the most effort, and most likely to pay off.

But each time the results were less than before. The traffic figures slowly rose, but the peaks were smaller. I'd have to work harder and faster for the same results. In early months I'd churn out 20 pictures and a link on indienudes would get me ten thousand hits. The animations where in one night I'd do 20 pictures, they could get half a million hits on video sites, but just the once. And now in the final month I'm churning out six or seven a night, the lines still going up, but not as dramatically as before.

Some of my best stuff, but no longer with the thrill of the new.

I sold my soul for barely a blip. Sure the graph keeps going up and more new people are visiting. But the traffic figures, the playing field has changed, its larger, more vast. And the reasons I started it all for are drifting away.

I had the best night in London ever on Saturday at HDIF. I was on my own, grinning like a madman at the memory of last time I was there, standing outside a year ago, but now safe in the knowledge that I'd know people.

But even then it was kind of unexpected how it turned out. Karl in the same position as me, on his own safe in the knowledge other people he'd know would be there. Then The Just Joans arrived from Glasgow with other ex-pats. And everything started accelerating as the alcohol flowed. We made new friends, we chatted to old friends, old animosities vanished. There was hugging and drinking and dancing and crazed conversations. The people at the bar friendly and chatty and nothing to be scared of.

I staggered out when I had drunk my fill, leaving behind those I loved without a word, to get the usual late bus home.

But I'm back behind the pen, grasping, gasping.

On the final straight, only ten days left.

Why ten days? Why not just call it quits.

The tearing the page out of the phonebook, Terminator-style, has fallen apart with drinking and losing and winning. The rules have changed even in this last month.

I'll be glad when its over. I want to drink with friends.

Will you come for a drink with me?

Friday, 4 April 2008

Failed attempt at being.

Its mostly guilt that brings me to Barden's Boudoir tonight. Sure I could claim to be a big fan of Arthur and Martha, but that would be doing a great disservice to Sharon from The Gresham Flyers who spent the best part of an hour working on me last weekend.

Since I've known half the people in the room for half a decade, but save the merest glimmer of recognition from the girl on the door, it counts for nothing. What I get, I have to get myself, like my damned fool plan to have one of the most popular political blogs in the UK, on a whim, because I can.

My car's parked just down the way, this is my first time in Stoke Newington, well, the first conscious time. A mob of locals came yahooing down the street as I locked my car, I swear one was packing heat. I'm only quite sure I'm not some kind of split personality serial killer, avenging some half-imagined crimes of the past, but sometimes I wake up in strange placed covered in blood that isn't my own.

Arthur and Martha on stage, halfway through AutoVia, my favourite song of their's, alas it the final song of the set. 'Arthur' seemed to be rocking out a little more than usual.

Summer festival appearances should be good.

I don't know if I was actively trying, maybe it was just going through the motions, I stood at the front, as near to the speakers as possible without people thinking 'he's standing as close to the speakers as possible', but I didn't hear any of the second band, save the blistering shards of an epic guitar solo and people clapping. Instead, I was in another place.

It was like in geography class or some MRPII meeting, slipping out of consciousness. Faces of girls I'd loved and any tenuous connection they had with the band before me. Memories of seeing them there or photos of the scene, glimpses like from a passing car, from too far away or the wrong side of the room. The stabbing shards of seperation, of missing something very important, of helplessness, of fate and damned bad luck.

Even in my slipping out of lucidity, I knew something was wrong and sought to guide my stream elsewhere to Manchester and Bolton and married life, anything away from the hell I occupied.

But it didn't quite work, the stabbing shafts of reality and it all comes back to east London cutting through. The here and now, crushing on what once was, or what I remember of it.

Even the reaffirming terrible truth that what I remember isn't the same as what actually happened.

The memories are wrong, incorrect, I know that for certain. But they are still the memories in my head, crystal clear, as though it was yesterday, last week, last year or a decade ago. The memories, soured by the truth.

Where the hell are the toilets in here?

I think I saw Das Wanderlust at Indietracks, but I can't for the life of me remember what they sounded like, and it would be unfair to judge them on tonight's performance considering it was mostly "imagine that last song sounded great" on the grounds that the singing girl had lost her voice, and the one song where DJ Waz played the 7" and the mimed along.

There were people behind me who wouldn't stop talking.

If asked what did I think of the evening, in an imaginary conversation with some vague acquaintance who happened to ask, I think in order to improve my quality of life I should have gone to the My Sad Captains single launch instead. I can barely control what goes on in my head, providing rope to hang myself was never going to be good and a better tunes would have been nicer.

Maybe that's unfair.

I think I've made many bad life decisions. I can't quite pin-point any of them, where or when.

Except climbing out of an eleventh floor window in 1997 and deciding to climb back in.

The oddest thing, after the bands I slouched out of the venue to scribble notes in my car, and as I drove away, I wanted to kill myself even more.