On seven years, and other stuff

I keep almost writing a post about cops, and about police departments, and about protests, but I’m not sure what else I could say that I didn’t say here. Ain’t a damn thing changed except it’s gotten worse, and six years after Ferguson (6!!) I am more than a bit less willing to grant the idea that cops can be good people now than I was before. We are at the point where the institution itself is so rotten that it’s impossible to participate in it without getting the stink on you.

Fuck the police, is what I’m saying.

Hm. Maybe this is why I can’t do WordAds:

I dunno if it’s something I can appeal or not, and I don’t really know if I want to, but after seven years of writing at this place and putting, at this point, a decent chunk over a million words into it, I’m not entirely averse to the idea of making a buck or two off of it here and there. I don’t know that I agree that I “serve mature content,” though. Sure, I don’t censor my language most of the time, but that’s just profanity. It’s not like I’m sharing porn around here.

Nut the fuck up, WordAds, is what I’m saying here.

So, yeah– we’re now two full years past the point where my first long-term blog died; the final post over at Xanga just happened to be on the site’s fifth birthday, and it had been months at that point since I’d been posting regularly. My slowest year on Infinitefreetime was 2017, which featured 247 posts and over 82,000 words. By comparison, this is 2020’s 150th post. It is also 2020’s 158th day. And at an average of 414 words per post, I’m writing longer this year than I have in any year since 2013. I don’t know if that will stick as the year drags on, of course, but who knows.

Still have not successfully ridden the bike, by the way. I’ll try again tonight. I went shoe shopping yesterday, and was in the mood to buy something lighter and brighter than the can-wear-them-to-work shoes that have been my primary pair for a while, and I took a long look at a pair that was a lovely burgundy red before realizing that they matched the bike. I liked the idea for all of a minute or two and then came to my senses and bought these, in navy blue. I only mention the specific pair because a day later they might be the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever purchased. I am lazy enough that I generally just try to shove my feet inside my shoes without unlacing them anyway, so buying a pair of laceless shoes seemed like a natural step to take. Right now, it definitely feels like the right move.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods, other than the world ending?


6:07 PM, Saturday, June 6th: 1,909,077 confirmed cases and 109,497 Americans dead.

Blogwanking, 2019

The short version of this entire post: basically everything is down slightly from last year, but not shockingly so; I’m still getting far more eyeballs on this site than actually makes any sense to me at all, so I can’t really complain about it, because Jesus, people are actually paying attention to my nonsense?

Yeah, turns out they are.

Posting frequency was up from last year, which was up from the year before it, but engagement is continuing to drop. I’d like to find a way to drive more comments, definitely, and more likes would always be nice, but I’m not sure what the best way to do that is. I keep hearing that blogs are dead; needless to say, this one ain’t going anywhere; while I’d like to more engagement, I’m not gonna shut up or anything if my numbers keep falling.

Geography’s always fun. This is 2019 specifically:

And this is the entire life of the blog:

Basically at this point I only have a few types of countries left: totalitarian dictatorships (North Korea), a few tiny islands, and places where there is either very little infrastructure or very few people or both. I keep hoping to get a hit from Svalbard Island and so far it hasn’t happened yet. That little hole in Europe is still Kosovo; I refuse to believe I have never had traffic from Kosovo in six years and am blaming something wonky about the way WordPress handles geography.

The overall top 10 posts are the same ones they always are, basically; I’m at the point where my “back catalogue,” so to speak, is definitely driving most of the site’s traffic. This is an image, and isn’t clickable:

The Snowpiercer post just refuses to die, although it did have one (1) day this year where it got zero hits, which very well might be the first time that has ever happened. Supposedly the TV show is launching soon, so this will never, ever end. I feel bad about the weird popularity of that Tana French post, too; it’s literally the only thing she ever wrote that I didn’t like and I reviewed a bunch of her other books, so it sort of feels unfair to me. I love you, Tana! I swear!

Top 10 posts written in 2019, and these are clickable if you like:

Most of those make some sense, I suppose; the “dress for success” post is a bit inexplicable but the rest of them are either all hashtagged, of inherent interest to a substantial group of other people, promoted by outside sources (the two book reviews were both posts where publicists sent me the book) or, well, kind of important (the last post).

How did your blog do last year? (If you don’t have one, start, dammit!)

In which I’ve been here a minute

Sometime in 2004, while I was in graduate school working on getting my teacher’s license, a friend at a party suggested that a bunch of us start blogs on a site called Xanga.  I had jumped into blogging a couple of times at a couple of different places but didn’t have anything live at that particular time, so I agreed, starting a site called Monkey Knife Fight.  Monkey Knife Fight ended up lasting much longer than any of the other blogs my friends were running; its high points were being the top Google search result in the world for the phrase “Duck cock” and my wedding, where I literally logged into my blog on a laptop at our reception and let anyone who wanted to post a comment or a little written piece.  I’m still in touch with a number of people who I would never have met had it not been for that blog, and it’s arguable that I would not be married to my wife had it never existed as well.

That blog died in 2009; the final post was a wordless picture of a five-year birthday candle posted on the five-year anniversary of its opening.  I still have all of the posts saved on my computer and a couple of different cloud-based backups; some of them were preserved in Searching for Malumba as well.

Fast forward four years, roughly, and one of those same friends announces that it is time for all of us to start blogging again.  The first iteration of infinitefreetime—the name was a joke, as I not only had a toddler in the house but I believe I was working at least two jobs as well– was actually at Xanga, which quickly killed itself soon after I started it, forcing me to reopen this account at WordPress, which is where the blog currently lives, six years and some change later.

And, as of this post, 3000 posts.

And, as of about another hundred words from now, a million words.  

Ain’t none of those other folks around any more, damn them.  More people I know IRL should be blogging.

Fun fact: this blog actually started in June of 2013, but the WordPress account it uses has been around since 2008.  I got a single pageview on whatever site was created that day and then nothing for five years after that.  I did get a nice little ten-year email from them last year, though.

By the by, here’s that millionth word:

Pants.

Because, well, obviously.   Other than “fuck”, which seems a bit gauche, what else could it possibly be?

I first figured out that I was approaching a million words and 3000 posts, I dunno, a couple of months ago, and started trying to make them happen on the same exact post a couple of weeks ago.  I have known what that millionth word was going to be for basically the entire time.  I have a cat in my house who has been here for over two weeks and we’ve not named him yet.  But hell if I don’t know immediately that if there is a chance for me to knowingly make pants the millionth word I write on my blog I’m sure as hell gonna do it.  

I dunno. What the post was actually going to be has been in flux that entire time, including various plans for retrospectives or announcing new projects or maybe my 10 favorite posts from this site or a whole bunch of other things, but honestly I’m not feeling maudlin enough right now for any of that and the end of the year is coming soon anyway if I want to do retrospectives. So we’ll just use the post for this; to note that three thousandth post, and note that millionth word, and to note that it’s ridiculous how much of my life has been spent living on the Internet.

On to the next million, I suppose.

Damn

At 968,927 total words, I am closing in on a million words written on this site since it started in 2013:

There will probably be a real post later, assuming I shake off this ass-poor mood I’m in, but I just decided to check on my word count and felt like it ought to be noted.

On milestones

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This is the fifth anniversary of the beginning of this blog.  Starting tomorrow, it will be my longest-lived Web presence.  My very last post at my original blog site at Xanga, of blessed memory, was also a fifth anniversary post, but by that point the blog was all but abandoned anyway and I just happened to notice and post on the right day.

Amazingly, this is also a milestone for the number of posts I have made on the blog.  It is, believe it or not, post number two thousand and five hundred.  I have somehow averaged five hundred posts a year over the last five years, a number that don’t even believe, except that I’ve checked it half a dozen ways and WordPress is insisting that it’s true.

I did have a two-year run of posting every day at one point, and I had over 700 posts in 2014.  It’s ridiculous, but it’s true.

It is rather difficult to express just how important writing for this site has been for me over the past five years.  I can’t really say that it’s brought me fame or fortune, but seeing as how this is the site that has launched my writing career (such as it is) it has genuinely changed my life.  I’ve written six books during that five years, started a company, and started going to conventions to promote my books.  With the help of my new Patreon site, I’m going to be experimenting with new ways to promote the site and my work, so the remainder of 2018 has a chance to be really big for me.   If I ever do gain fame and fortune– and, to be honest, I’ll gladly settle for “moderately well known” and “don’t have to worry about my bills”– the work I’ve done here will be the foundation for it.

Genuinely, to everyone who has ever commented, linked, Liked, shared, forwarded, followed, anything around here:  thank you.  Thank you so very, very much.

Onward.