Reflections on my first year of blogging
Today is the one year anniversary of The Ugly Bug Ball. I wasn’t sure I could keep it going, but here we are on post number 95. 100 would have been a nicer number, but I’m not complaining. Honestly, my only goal a year ago was to find a way to stop driving my boss crazy. She was tired of all my entertainment chitchat, so I took it online.
A year ago, I was obsessing over Matthew Goode and Michael Sheen, and I was mourning the cancellation of EastEnders on my local PBS station. I think I can be forgiven for neglecting Matthew Goode, since he hasn’t released any new movies. Michael Sheen has been very busy, but I have to confess, I didn’t finish watching A Special Relationship. All the politics went right over my head. I still miss Albert Square.
A year ago, I’d never heard of Jonathan Jackson or his band Enation. I didn’t know I’d be spending every weekday afternoon watching General Hospital to see Jackson as Lucky Spencer. I was so excited when Enation tweeted links to my blog and even commented on one of my posts. Now my current obsession is the Les Misérables 25th anniversary concert and some of the West End actors who performed in it. Who knows what will entertain me next. I try to “spread the love” by having lots of favorites, so there is always something new just around the corner.
I wish I didn’t feel compelled to check my blog stats so often. I’m fascinated by how many visitors I get, and what brings them here. It took me a long time to figure out that a portion of my “visitors” weren’t real, but spam referrers and creepy link posters. Once I got over that disappointment, I soldiered on. A dramatic change came a few months after I started, when the UK dating site with the same name was launched. Suddenly, I had a dramatic increase in visits, but it wasn’t my Bug Ball they wanted. Google soon sorted them out, although I still get a few strays. My other wish? That more people would leave comments. Even after a year, it’s a thrill to know that people from all over the world are looking at my pages.
I never really planned to be “Ugly Bug,” but that’s become my username in various forums and sites that I visit, and when I leave comments on other blogs. My gravatar photo is a damselfly, and I quite like that for a name, but I never got around to trying it. It amuses me how some folks are uncomfortable with the word ugly. I’m usually addressed as UB or Bug, which is fine, too. I’m fond 0f that old saying, call me anything except late for dinner!
My most popular post this first year is A Silent Scream, which talks about silent film. Lots of folks out there are googling “Louise Brooks.” A surprisingly popular one is All Thumbs, simply because of the photo of Hrithik Roshan’s double thumb. Another entry that gets a lot of visits is In Remembrance: Armistice Day due to the WWI art. My Les Mis posts have brought in a lot of new people, too. I’m not sure how many more screencaps I will add, but at least my photoshop skills keep improving.
New technology has brought big changes to my blog and what entertains me. Last summer I got my first mp3 player. Then my brother gave me my first digital camera, so I was able to start adding fresh photos. I got a new Epson scanner, so old photos and slides were resurrected and added to these pages. I learned how to make screencaps using Paint and Photoshop, and I learned that YouTube videos could be converted into mp3s. Speaking of YouTube, I had no idea until last summer what treasures could be found there.
Another big blogging milestone was when I started writing about personal subjects. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there. Writing about my favorite uncle, Dennis Severs, was a wonderful way to share a few memories, and I found it deeply satisfying. I’ve been neglecting my Stage Door Encounter series, but it’s been a fun way to combine personal experiences with my interest in actors.
So here’s to one year and counting, and hopefully the best is yet to come!