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Monday, May 10, 2004

Suggestion box

Over the weekend—around 3 pm Sunday afternoon, to be exact—this little website welcomed its 100,000th visitor since opening on January 7.  (Whoever you were, I apologize for not having a banner screaming “You Are A Winner!  Click Here for Your Prize!") Now, I still have a complicated relation to these metasystems of measurement.  On the one hand, as I’ve said before, I think it’s a terrible waste of time to keep track of these blog accessories (partly because it’s so seductive), and part of me just doesn’t want to care about the traffic-recording devices.  On the other hand, I obviously care enough to have registered with that Truth Laid Bear ecosystem, and I’m just driven and competitive enough to complain about it.  I mean, come on—I’m a rodent?  I’m behind John Bruce ("In the Shadow of Mt. Hollywood") in the rankings even though I have ten times as many visitors as he does (and rightly so, I might add)?  What’s up with that?  How can I be only number 1169 (up from the low 1700’s, but still) when I’ve been getting over 1000 visitors/day?  I demand ecosystem justice!!

Besides, I am not a rodent—I AM A MAN! (Or at least maybe a mammal or a marsupial of some kind.)

Oops, sorry about that.  Got carried away.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who’s told me about the tracking system over at Technorati, and special thanks to Tom Burka for (a) explaining to me that N. Z. Bear tracks only the sites that have registered with him, and (b) confirming, in what he calls a “reverse denial,” that he might very well have said the things I said he might very well have said about the current satire crisis.

But now I have a question.  My semester’s finally over, and I have a couple of small things to finish off (review essay, reading page proofs) before I begin writing Liberal Arts: What Really Happens Inside the Classroom and Why and The Left at War.  And, having been quite encouraged by the site traffic so far (and most of my reader email), I’ve decided that I’m going to keep up this blog for the summer.  So I’m asking for reader feedback. 

What kind of things would you—or do you already—like to read here?  What would you like to see more of?  Less of?  None of?

Here are some of the many options you can choose from (or make up your own!):

___ More hockey blogging!  There is a profound shortage of academic hockey bloggers, and we need them more than ever for the final two rounds of the playoffs!

___ Less irony!  We come here to find out what you’re really saying in your annoying little New York Times Magazine essays about SATs and grade inflation, not to get still more deferrals and demurrals from you!

___ More irony!  The site should be more Wildean, not less!  After all, as Lord Henry says in The Picture of Dorian Gray, “being natural is simply a pose, and the most irritating pose I know.”

___ More on Kerry!  Your silence speaks volumes—you know he’s really not what you wanted!  Tell us what you think of this election beyond the simple and overwhelming need to defeat Bush!

___ More hockey!  Explain why the NHL playoffs are so much better than the NBA—we know it in our bones, but we’d like to see the reasons written out!  Most of all, we need play-by-play accounts of your own games!

___ More about Jamie!  We loved the bit about his first turn on the go-carts, and we’re really waiting for you to write more stuff about Jamie’s life and disability issues in general!

___ More on academe and its foibles!  Don’t let the online discussion of academic literary study be dominated by cranks and curmudgeons—tell us more about the business from someone who actually enjoys it!  And go ahead and be ironic whenever you want to!

___ More on politics!  Never mind academe and its foibles—that’s your day job!  Give us your take on the events of the day, like those left-progressive bloggers and journalists you read whenever you’re not reading and teaching literature and cultural studies!

___ More cultural studies!  The Raymond Williams interlude and the Stuart Hall interlude—that’s what we like!  In fact, just transcribe entire passages from the British tradition—never mind your commentary!

___ More Onion-esque satirical items!  You know, like “Conservatives denounce gay marriage, Mars mission,” and “For a full and complete investigation.” That’s what we’re here for—not your ponderous maunderings about the state of the union!

___ New pix!  The family pix you have up here are two or three years old, and you yourself aren’t even making eye contact with us!

___ More hockey, dammit!  How many times do we have to ask?

For this post, comments open.  Be constructive or be deleted.

Posted by Michael on 05/10 at 07:25 AM
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