Hey you! Stop reading this blog!
I’m taking a few minutes out of a busy weekend to let you all know that this abject blog is now officially in crisis mode. Having entertained more than 50,000 visitors per week for the past two weeks—and having incompetently posted a couple of uncompressed photos along the way—we are so egregiously exceeding our bandwidth allowance that it’s not funny. In fact, Kurt took some time out of his actual vacation to send me an urgent e-mail (subject line: whoa baby) letting me know (a) that we were basically running more than double our bandwidth limit and (b) that just after he’d renegotiated the limit, we surged to something like 5G a day. OK, so we compressed the photos. But still, the growing pains are intense.
This blog has never sought reader donations, and we’re not about to start now. I thought for a while about looking for corporate or foundation sponsorship—I hear Wal-Mart is looking to break into the blogging business, and I considered asking Richard Mellon Scaife for a friendly helping hand—but I just don’t want to deal with the paperwork. That leaves only one solution: I have to start driving readers away. I’m sorry about this—you know I love you all—but I don’t see any other way out.
What’s especially curious about this most recent spike in readership is that it comes just after Butterflies and Wheels did not recommend this blog. Back on April 13, Ophelia Benson wrote:
The blog overall I don’t recommend. Bérubé has always struck me as quite self-infatuated, and unpleasant to people he disagrees with. . . . The combination of aggression and self-absorption is not all that appealing. . . . [S]elf self self always seems to creep in. If only he could keep the style and bag the preening.
When I read that, my heart just sank. Butterflies and Wheels does not recommend my blog—and it was personal, not business! Readers, you know perfectly well there’s no way for me to keep the style and bag the preening. So I figured I might as well fold my little blog-tent and go home. I mean, sure, this humble blog has been, from time to time, smugly self-satisfied and absurdly self-aggrandizing, but self-infatuated? Ouch! Surely my days were numbered. Imagine my surprise, then, to be hit not only with Ms. Benson’s stern disapproval (which hurts quite enough on its own), but with a series of overage charges to boot. April is indeed the cruellest—and the busiest—month.
But I think I have my solution to all this traffic, for now. For all of you who didn’t get the memo: Butterflies and Wheels does not recommend this blog. Go someplace else. And if you don’t, I warn you: I will come back tomorrow and blog about my hockey season. Don’t make me do that.
Oh, darn—you’re looking to drive people away just as I thought you might increase your crossover appeal by adapting this photo into a new logo for your site:
I saw this cover painted larger-than-life on the side of a Tower Records store last night, and it struck me that just a small application of Photoshop skills could make it your new “look.”Posted by Swopa on 04/23 at 02:47 PM
In the interest of preserving the appearance of objectivity, you could go for covert sponsorship. How about the Deptartment of Education? I hear they’ve got some fantastic top-secret grant mechanisms.
In the meantime I await (with barely suppressed anticipation!) tomorrow’s “Liberal arts academics and pucks on ice: bring the first aid kit”.Posted by on 04/23 at 03:08 PM
we are so egregiously exceeding our bandwidth allowance that it’s not funny
I heard Card. Ratzinger has declared charging for bandwidth a worse sin than contraception, and rightly so. Get another provider that doesn’t force you to blog in the Devil’s Playground!Posted by NTodd on 04/23 at 03:24 PM
Michael, you should never have let this on. Soon, Horowitz and Co. will start reading your blog from start to finish in hopes of draining your bank account. You’re now opening yourself up to something akin to click fraud.
Of course, if that happens we could all file bogus complaints with Students for Academic Freedom and see how many of them are just posted on the website as verified without anyone actually doing the work… nah. That would be Sokol-esque. Mean. Petty. Vicious....Posted by Sherman Dorn on 04/23 at 04:44 PM
1. Take your picture and stow it in a link. Clearly, this will violate the self-infatuated & self-absorbed aspects of your personality, so it may not be possible. Just sayin’.
2. While you’re at it, take the data under About, Left-Handed Compliments, Blogroll, Search, Monthly Archives, Most recent entries, and Syndicate and stow all of it in links. (By the way, why isn’t “recent entries” capitalized?
3. Only show your last three or four posts, *max*, on your home page. For people who don’t read you regularly, they can go to the archives.
I bet that would cut your bandwith useage in half. Plus, this will have the effect of cleaning up your page, making it much more pleasing to the eye.Posted by on 04/23 at 05:03 PM
I noticed that there were over a hundred comments posted on the crown of pop post yesterday, when i checked in at my usual time; i was surprised. Yet when i read through all of them(and the other 60 or so posted since then that i just read) i realized why there is such an interest here. They are evidence of a thoughtful, interested, literate community. This blog is free of the vile and vitriol of trolls, unless of course one is constructing their own subtexts from the satire, parody, irony etc.
Please know this site is hugely appreciated for the essays and the comments. If however, there are others out there, such as myself, who make it a practice to read a blog for two months before posting any comments, then you are soon to be hugely swamped. I must concur with Roland’s suggestions as well.Posted by on 04/23 at 05:17 PM
Mocking of Michael Bublé is to be encouraged—a couple of saxophonists from my band had to bail on my gig because they were out on tour with him.
(Of course, his gigs actually pay real money, allowing those guys to afford to play my gigs when they’re not touring with him. So, no, wait, everyone go out and buy Bublé’s records so he can afford to pay his band more!)Posted by on 04/23 at 05:20 PM
Hmmm, maybe Michael just needs a different hosting plan? Of course, that (usually) costs more money :-(
Two simple ways to make some random money to pay for more bandwidth would be an Amazon.com affiliate account and some Google ads (which can be fun.)
I am frankly a little envious: my web site uses a tiny fraction of the bandwidth I am paying for. (And I think they automatically upgrade me if I ever was to run over.)Posted by Tim Horrigan on 04/23 at 06:53 PM
Perhaps you should take the advice of one of your students—let Janet sub for you for awhile on this blog!
At least your students gave you a hot pepper. There’s something to “smugly” boast about.
Seriously, one brillliant post from Janet?Posted by kd on 04/23 at 07:13 PM
Um, we at trip to wonderful have b/w. Drop us a line.Posted by Eric on 04/23 at 07:29 PM
… a couple of saxophonists from my band had to bail on my gig...
Uhh, how many saxophonists do you have in your band?Posted by Swopa on 04/23 at 08:01 PM
We will get even with your childish attempt
at scaring us off. We will clip on your site,
but not actually read your posts.
bwaaaahhhhhaaaahhaaa!!!!!Posted by on 04/23 at 08:54 PM
Just to clarify, the issue of requesting Janet to post was to give the ego a bit of a rest—not to slow down traffic. All “humble” blogs need R & R. There must be better things to do than tracking the opinions expressed on incoming links in this busiest of months.Posted by on 04/23 at 09:16 PM
Not so fast! I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt charmed and groomed into being a regular around here. Wall-to-wall hockey coverage would come as near to chasing me off as anything, and then again, you fooled me several times with some of those flights of fantasy of yours. But I plan to continue hangin’ out around here, if for no other reason than for your fine blog-link menu or to take a peek at your frequently tantalizing output. And you even found a portrait that greets us smilingly. Nope. No go! I’ll continue to hit the scene around here.Posted by on 04/23 at 10:08 PM
It seems, from my extended period reading posts at Crooked Timber, that Ophelia Benson is practicing a bit of projection.Posted by on 04/23 at 11:00 PM
Isn’t “Ophelia Benson” a drag queen name? Seriously.
Wait, you mean that’s a real person?Posted by on 04/23 at 11:11 PM
I guess the whole who breaks a butterfly on the wheel thing is pretty much settled now.
Someone needs to tell the London Times.Posted by julia on 04/24 at 12:26 AM
I have stopped reading your blog, as of two days ago.Posted by Kevin on 04/24 at 12:33 AM
A non-recommendation by Horowitz is HOW I found this blog!Posted by on 04/24 at 12:45 AM
Uhh, how many saxophonists do you have in your band?
Five—although much of the time they’re playing woodwind doubles (flutes, clarinets, etc.) instead.
To preempt your next question, there are 18 players total, not including me. (Because with eighteen players, somebody has to play traffic cop… )Posted by on 04/24 at 12:50 AM
Thanks, kd! You read our collective minds in this house (these collective minds are located in our plural heads, you know). Janet has a post ready to go for next Friday’s Feature, and it will kick some arbitrary-but-fun butt.
And Roland, thanks for the suggestions! They’re very helpful. Besides, I was looking forward to losing the pic in the masthead, and I think we’d do well with some compression and self-restraint around here. Speaking self-infatuatedly, of course.Posted by Michael on 04/24 at 01:17 AM
Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number “ comes to mind. You could have a change of heart. Hey, Keep that number Michael,.
“there are others out there, such as myself, who make it a practice to read a blog for two months before posting any comments, then you are soon to be hugely swamped.” spyder.
Swamped or not,"there’s no way for me to keep the style and bag the preening,” so what! I am another daily visitor Michael. Spot on kd. Alan.Posted by on 04/24 at 01:36 AM
"The blog overall I don’t recommend. Bérubé has always struck me as quite self-infatuated, and unpleasant to people he disagrees with. . . . The combination of aggression and self-absorption is not all that appealing. . . . [S]elf self self always seems to creep in. If only he could keep the style and bag the preening.”
Note to self: Try trashing my favorite blogs. Reverse psychology always seems to work well
Note to Ms. Benson: The combination of aggression and self-absorption is what Blog readers crave. It’s what keeps them coming back for more.Posted by on 04/24 at 06:08 AM
I’m thinking about starting a meet-up group called Philadelphia Bloggers/Attention Whores. I wonder if anyone would show up.
I love the content on your site. I’m fascinated. I’m happy to have discovered you.Posted by Jessica on 04/24 at 06:31 AM
According to this profile on normblog, Ophelia Benson’s #1 intellectual hero is....Christopher Hitchens. Her aversion to self infatuation and unpleasantness to those with whom one disagrees apparently doesn’t run very deep. Or maybe she just prefers drinking to hockey.Posted by on 04/24 at 07:32 AM
I keep coming back because this blog has convinced me that we’re finally in R.A. Lafferty’s AU where philosophers and intellecutals are stand-up comedians - “TONITE! See THE AMAZING MICHAEL BERUBE live onstage, juggling memes, phonemes and hockey pucks as he carries on a running cultural critique. Don’t miss his FOURTH-WALL SHATTERING performances playing the eccentric “Prof. Bérubé,” (don’t forget the accents!) with the assistance of his adorably cute kid Jaime and audience participation galore! All this AND music reviews! Every nite at ***Michael Bérubé Online***!!!Posted by bellatrys on 04/24 at 07:53 AM
I hope to be as thick skinned as you someday, Michael. I’m still weeping and cowering in a fetal position over someone calling Buddy Holly overrated on Friday’s free-for-all. If we can count on science and technology to avert the impending global ecological collapse, then we can surely count on some tech-geek to solve your bandwidth problem.Posted by on 04/24 at 09:32 AM
Maybe quit pretending to be a wingnut? Some less bright ones may think you’re serious and jacking up your hit meter.Posted by Amanda Marcotte on 04/24 at 10:16 AM
Mlle. Marcotte, qu’est-ce que c’est “pretending”?Posted by Michael on 04/24 at 11:25 AM
Well you could send the overflow to deserving smaller, lesser-known blogs (he said in a painfully obvious attempt to blogwhore)Posted by rev.paperboy on 04/24 at 11:57 AM
Well you could send the overflow to deserving smaller, lesser-known blogs (he said in a painfully obvious attempt to blogwhore)
Hear, hear! Or is that here, here?Posted by NTodd on 04/24 at 12:00 PM
Can I suggest that you start to blog in French?
Its the only thing better than blogging in Latin, and I know you’ve already tried that.Posted by Ryan on 04/24 at 12:39 PM
Well, there is a remedy, but as a responsible spouse you’d want to sound your wife out about a sex change first.Posted by julia on 04/24 at 12:53 PM
Excellent. I wonder if I should get someone to rubbish my blog too. As a relative newbie, I could use the publicity.
Brilliant blog, by the way. Very eclectic mix of topics. Cheers. LukePDQPosted by LukePDQ on 04/24 at 12:54 PM
I imagine that blogging about the hockey season would certainly cut down on your bandwidth usage. You certainly wouldn’t have to worry about compressing too many photos of the action, unless, of course, you wish to become the comprehensive go to place for the NCAA program.Posted by on 04/24 at 02:16 PM
I hope to be as thick skinned as you someday, Michael. I’m still weeping and cowering in a fetal position over someone calling Buddy Holly overrated on Friday’s free-for-all.
Well, Chris, this is the first time anyone’s accused me of being thick-skinned! But really, this little swipe from Ms. B. doesn’t bother me a bit. Now, John McGowan, his opinion I care about. Besides, when it comes to blog-recommendations, there’s really no question that this comment section rocks. (It’s right up there with Rox!) By contrast, over at B&W it’s “ho ho ho! someone has written a review of Judith Butler’s new book, and the keen-eyed Ms. Benson, by pointing out the review’s clotted prose, has driven yet another nail in the coffin of Cultural Studies, whatever that is! Oof! Well done!”
Besides, Buddy Holly is not overrated. The Everly Brothers, they’re overrated.Posted by Michael on 04/24 at 03:05 PM
Writing as a Canadian, I am truly not intimidated by the idea of hockey news.
I imagine I’ll be somewhat bored, but never intimidated.Posted by on 04/24 at 04:34 PM
Who said Buddy Holly was overrated? Was it Don or Phil?Posted by on 04/24 at 11:38 PM
Bring on the hockey talk, even if it’s bragging! World Championships only begin to fill the playoff void.Posted by on 04/25 at 06:21 AM
Do not merely blog about hockey, blog about European hockey. Two times the bloviation effect for half the bandwidth effort.
Of course, don’t you dare say anything agin my nom de plume.Posted by on 04/25 at 10:45 AM
Who is Ophelia Benson?Posted by on 04/25 at 11:32 AM
Whatever you do to resolve your crisis, Michael, don’t send your readers to us. We’re firmly in the camp of folks who write for the purpose of not wanting to subject anyone to read our hieroglyphics, too.
Oh, and if you really need to reduce your traffic, you might follow the lead of your commenter, Jessica. Post pics of your tan lines, and all the puritans will avert their eyes.Posted by Kevin Hayden on 04/25 at 06:45 PM
One other thing… go sell some advertising. All the neo-Bolshevists are these days.Posted by on 04/25 at 09:17 PM
no, the neo-bolshevists are all working for the NSA.
I think they have other sources of revenue.Posted by julia on 04/25 at 10:02 PM
Michael, if you really want to get your bandwith to a reasonable level, consider this: turn the site into an audioblog, with links to the mp3s of all the pop songs in the Friday Feature comments.
There, now doesn’t your bandwith seem reasonable?Posted by Blar on 04/25 at 10:05 PM
check out what gizoogle.com does to this post:
This blog has neva sought reada donations, n we’re not `bout ta stizzart now. I thought fo` a while `bout look’n fo` corporate or foundation sponsorship—I hizzle Wal-Mart is look’n ta break into tha blogg’n business, n I considered ask’n Richard Mellon Scaife fo` a friendly help’n hand—but I just don’t want ta deal wit tha paperwork. Thiznat leaves only one solution: I have ta start rollin` gangsta away. I’m sorry `bout this—you knizzow I love you all—but I Don’t see any otha way out . Im a bad boy wit a lotta hos.
What’s especially curious `bout this mizzost recent spike in readership is T-H-to-tha-izzat it comes jizzy pimp Butterflies n Wheels did not recommend this bizzy . Back on April 13, Ophelia Benson wrote:
The bizzle overall I Don’t recommend cuz Im tha Double O G. BÃ©rubÃ© has always struck me as quite self-infatizzles n unpleasant ta thugz he disagrees wit. cuz Im tha Double O G. . I’m a mutha fuckin 2-time felon.. . The combinizzles of aggression n self-absizzle is not all that cruisin’ but real niggaz don’t give a fuck. . . . . [S]elf self self always seems ta creep in . Snoop dogg is in this bitch. If only he could keep tha style n bag tha preen’n.
Wizzle I read that, mah heart jizzle sank. Butterflies n Wheels does not recommend mah blog —and it was personal, not business! Reada, you knizzay perfectly well there’s no way fo` me ta keep tha style n bag tha preening. So I figured I might as W-to-tha-izzell fold mah shawty blog-tent n go home. I mean, sure, this humble B-L-to-tha-izzog has been, F-R-to-tha-izzom time ta time, smugly self-satisfied n absurdly messin’ but self-infatuated? Ouch! Surely mah days were numbered. Imagine mah surprise, thiznen, ta be hit not only wit Ms. Benson’s. stern disapprizzles (which hurts quite enough on its own), but wit a series of overage charges ta boot. April is indeed tha cruellest—and tha busiest—month.
But I thizzay I have mah solution ta all this traffic, fo` now. For all of you who didn’t git tha memo: Butterflies n Wheels does not recommend this blog. Go someplace else. And if you don’t, I warn you: I wizzy come bizzy tomorrow n bizzy `bout mah hockey season. Don’t makes me do thizzat where the sun be shinin and I be rhymin’.Posted by on 04/25 at 10:54 PM
"Quite self-infatuated, and unpleasant to people he disagrees with.” I think she needs to go to Brian Leiter’s blog for a little perspective.Posted by on 04/26 at 12:36 PM
May be too late to chip in, but:
MB, your onsite headshot eats about 75-80k; I re-saved it in Photoshop’s “Save for Web” at a jpeg quality level of 63, which reads as “high” quality. The result came in at only 21k, and it was difficult to see any degradation of the image. (Straight line.) Anyway, doing this on the blog might be helpful.
And, isn’t ‘63 close to your natal year? Can’t remember exactly, and I don’t feel like checking, but that was the intent.Posted by on 04/26 at 04:39 PM
unpleasant to people he disagrees with.
Agreed. Why, I disagreed with Michael here before going away for two weeks, and I come back to a suspicious package in the mail. I opened it, and it was a big red firebrick with a note attached:
“The next one comes through the window.”
and “through the window” had been scratched out and emended to:
The price one pays for disagreement around here is far too steep. I’ll have you know my wife is terrified. Sending cod by mail is far too slow, she says: unless it has been packed in salt, it spoils in transit.
Curse you, Bérubé!Posted by Chris Clarke on 04/28 at 06:47 PM
I also sent a warning brick as an e-mail attachment. Wait ‘til you open that one.Posted by Michael on 04/28 at 07:23 PM
Ms. Benson seems perfectly able to be unpleasant to people that she disagrees with. Oh, hang on, that’s alright because of course it’s a case of her being right and the other party being wrong. Yes, of course, how silly of me to not make that distinction…Posted by Simstim on 04/29 at 05:09 AM
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The price one pays for disagreement around here is far too steep. I’ll have you know my wife is terrified. Sending cod by mail is far too slow, she says: unless it has been packed in salt, it spoils in transit.Posted by on 02/07 at 10:38 PM