Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year tomorrow

Tonight, Other Men's Flowers marches (staggers? crawls?) into its ninth year, having since January 2004 amassed (garnered? spewed?) 347,768 words in 1,213 posts, with 598 pictures, 1,290 links and 1,852 comments (not counting comment spam).

I know a dozen people who read every word of the blog, and there are perhaps a hundred more who glance at it from time to time. This is quite enough for me and the figure of 237,091 page views logged by one of my counters over the past eight years is of no interest, since the great majority of visitors will have stumbled on OMF when looking for something else, and there is no reason to suppose that more than a handful actually read any of it; I do not labour under the delusion that I am reaching out to a planet-wide community.

So why do I bother?

Well, actually, maintaining the thing is really no bother: I am committed only to publishing five or six posts a month (used to be fifteen) of any length, in any style and on any topic, and if I sometimes don't quite make it no-one will care or even notice. Also, only about 60% of the content is actually written by me: the rest is plagiarised or merely pasted wholesale from books, newspapers or elsewhere on the web, so there is no stress and little sweat involved.

The benefits to me are substantial:

First, it gives me something to do; Other Men's Flowers, a couple of websites and nine other blogs (rarely updated) keep me happily occupied and I am never bored.

Second, it brings me acquaintanceship with an extraordinary variety of people around the world: I never feel lonely.

Third, it is a modest intellectual exercise, helping to keep the mind alive.

Finally, after a few hours at the keyboard I have a sense of achievement, much more than I get from any of my other major activities such as emptying the dishwasher or watching old movies. I have done something, even if it was only drafting a paragraph of a post which I later decide is not worth publishing.

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR to everybody. Fat chance, we are told.



Grumio said...

I would notice.

And care.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for OMF and have a very happy New Year too.

Froog said...

I'm with Grumio, of course.

I'd thought for one nasty moment that you might be about to announce your retirement from blogging. You gave me quite a turn there, sir.

I wonder, do you have some clever gizmo that counts all of these blog statistics for you, or are the figures here just plausible inventions. You probably won't let on, will you?

Happy New Year, Mr B.

Tony said...

No gizmo and no guesswork. In pursuance of the OMF Total Transparency Policy, I can tell you that since January 2004 I have made a note of the number of words, pictures, comments and links relating to every post. All are collated on a mammoth spreadsheet, OMFDATA.xls.

I never really WANTED to get out more, you see.

HNY, Froog-sansei

Grunion said...

Presumably, under the OMF Total Transparency Policy, OMFData.xls has been made available for peer review and statistical analysis in all the right journals - Blogging Today, Commentary and Commentators Biennial, Compendium of Contemporary Musings, The Screed?

Tony said...

Yes, plus Anglicanism Today and The Proceedings of the Royal Statistical Society, for a fee of course.

Grumio said...

Yes, quite.

Obviously you donate the fee. What is OMF's charity of choice this year? If it's not too late, would you consider joining with Reginald's Swear Box for this year in giving to Free Treatment for Catholic Priests with the Clap? It's a worthy cause and one which is unjustly overlooked by many other givers and stakeholders.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the pleasure of your writing. You are consistently interesting and entertaining -- and provocative and whimsical. I would miss your blog very much were you to stop. Glad to hear that you are soldiering on.

Best wishes to you for a happy and healthy new year.

a loyal reader from the isle of Manhattan

Tony said...

Loyal Manhattan Reader:

I get a lot of comment spam so anonymous letters normally go straight into my junk folder, but I was very happy to have your kind message and I cordially reciprocate your good wishes for the New Year.

Elizabeth said...

Grunion: offspring of Grumio?

dandd said...

I've been away from my desk for a couple of weeks, hence the belated "happy new year." I'm late in joining your vast army of readers, but as with the others: Keep it up!

Tony said...

No, error caused by Apple predictive text.

Tony said...

And to you too.