The Ugly Bug Ball turns two today!
When I first started blogging, I read that it takes about two years for a blog to get established and find an audience. Not encouraging! I wasn’t sure that it would last for two months, but I’m still committed and enthusiastic.
I recently watched a few episodes of Party Down with Jane Lynch. I cringed when the geeky cater-waiter kept telling people, “I have a very active blog.” Identifying yourself as a blogger isn’t particularly cool, and everybody and his dog now has a blog, a tumblr site, and probably even a pinterest board. People are so busy doing their own thing. I’m sincerely grateful for every visitor, especially those who take the time to leave a comment.
My first year, I published 95 posts. This year, I managed 145 posts. There are new subscribers, and my daily traffic has more than doubled. To be realistic, many of my “visitors” never actually land on these pages, because of the way image search engines work. WordPress recently added a world map to their detailed stats, so I now enjoy seeing where my visitors are located. Most are in the US and the UK, but some are in Poland, Brazil, Hong Kong…even Malta!
I’ve tried to keep things balanced with lots of different topics. Of course, what I call “balance,” others might call “lack of focus.” When I’m in the grip of an obsession, I could easily go overboard. Fortunately, most of the things that fascinate me already have devoted fan sites that I can’t compete with. On the other hand, it would get too monotonous if I stuck with just the topics that bring the most visitors. These include Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Ramin Karimloo, and Hadley Fraser. I feel an obligation to the subscribers who follow me because of the these interests. I added a West End Index page for those who don’t want to scroll through all the other content. I also invite friends to write concert and theatre reviews, since I’ve never seen Karimloo or Fraser perform in person. My first year, I would have been horrified at the idea of guest bloggers, but now I’m delighted when friends contribute to these pages.
I think my favorite post in this second year is Postcards from Camp Hell. I had a great time putting it together, although it was a struggle not to correct my adolescent spelling and grammar. I also really enjoyed writing My Huckleberry Friend, My Sondheim Summer, The Rifleman, and all the Stage Door/Celebrity Encounter posts. There are a lot more photo essays than before, and my favorite is Tanya and Chloe. Getting silly in photoshop has also been very entertaining. Congratulations, Jeff Nicholson! is probably my best creation, but I also love a good birthday party.
Making videos and posting them on YouTube began with Enation’s “video for a cause” contest back in July. I didn’t win, but I definitely got hooked. It’s another chance to get creative in photoshop. Now I check my YouTube stats almost as often as my blog stats. I also finally overcame my aversion to twitter. Mostly.
I’m not really sure what the future will bring. I keep getting the feeling that something new should be arriving any minute to grab my attention, but it hasn’t quite happened yet. Bear with me until it does, and then bear with me when it does! Thank you to all my friends who keep me going with encouragement and support. It’s not a ball when you’re dancing alone.
I wanted to post a photo here of this great cake, but I didn’t hear back from my request for permission. Take a look, and be sure to click the enlarge button! Who wouldn’t want a frosting slug?!