Listening to: Melody's wonderful Desert Island Mix
Lilly and I just finished math homework. God knows I try to be patient, slowly sucking air between my teeth while I silently count to ten before reacting to a wrong answer, applying my own arithmetic to parenting. Not teaching. My own prospects as an elementary school are dismal. Working with Lilly on her assignment, I'm tangential (though, to my credit, not explaining geometry theorems), attempting to explain base-10 theory and algebra to a first-grader.
Some of my frustration comes from my own geekiness - I'm one of those people for whom mathematics is intuitive. It just comes naturally to me, like rolling a joint or composing bad poetry. In my Senior AP Calculus class, 19 of the 22 students wanted me dead (one was better at Calc than me, one wanted to sleep with me). Some mathematicians believe they have some psychic conduit to Plato's realm of Forms but I think that's absurd, it's just a matter of applying the abstract to the real; there's nothing mystical about it.
In fact, if my intuitions are correct, I can transmit some of my math abilites to my daughter without working myself into some kind of spastic fit. She is, afterall, crazy about animals and that's my ace, convincing her that she'll never get through science unless she understands math.
As I said, my mind is mathematical and applying that, I have a rational explanation for why our little bloggy community seems to have dissipated or at least justify why I've gone from 12 comments a post to 2 comments a post (if at all).
Time Magazine was tempted to make "The Blogger" the Person of the Year for 2005 (and damned good thing they didn't because, who was the Person of the Year?), only to realize that, with few exceptions, most bloggers are fairly unexceptional by impeccable MSM standards. It's not as though any of the bloggers I know pretend to be anything other than online diarists but for whatever reason, the media seems to think we bloggers are out to turn the world upside down.
I got into this game relatively early on. I started my first blog back in 2002 and if anyone was reading that tripe, I didn't know about it. In 2003, I started another blog to vent my political ranting since my first blog was on the site belonging to a friend's band and I didn't feel right using their space to bombard their fans with my politics. The presidential election of 2004 took the wind out of my sails and by 2005, I lost my passion for political rants.
This blog started mid-2004, not exactly with a running start. If you check my archives, you'll see that for the first few months, three posts a month was a busy month. If I had 5 hits a week, I was ecstatic. This was a much smaller place and the blogosphere, a much smaller world. I trudged on, writing about my kids and my life and didn't much care if anyone was reading me here.
Then - "Bang!" - I went Big Time (or as Big Time as this little blog will ever get. Someone told someone else about this space, and someone else told Jay The Zero Boss (now sadly defunct) and the hits went through the roof. Also, I was nominated for a Best of Blogs award and that was driving new traffic to me. Whereas in 2005 I wasn't on a single blogroll, by early 2006 I was blogrolled in more places than I knew. Suddenly posts were getting 15 - 30 (or more) comments, an unreal situation to me considering that just weeks prior I'd flip out over one comment. More than that, I was introduced to a blogging community that was completely new to me. It was fun, dizzying, and a little overwhelming.
Little did I realize that I was riding the wave generated in the heyday of blogging. It seemed everyone was starting a blog and I seem to recall hearing sometime back then that a million blogs were being started every month. The blogosphere was buzzing back then.
So what happened? Where did my readers go? How did I go from having several thousand hits a month to maybe just over a thousand?
Well, it's not just my blog. Interest waned about everywhere, I think, the dew is off the lily. That's part of it. Plus, I think I can be a little abrasive (JUST a little) and I'm positive I've alienated not a few readers. My online romance (and break up) was also a little off-putting, as well, while the paucity of posts that followed the demise of that relationship certainly didn't help matters. Not updating much doesn't lend itself to holding onto a consistent readership.
I'm blessed with a small but loyal readership, folks who treat me better than I deserve. I whine about not getting comments and then fail to leave comments at their sites. And yet, they continue showing up here and leaving some love. I learned a long time ago that one has to click around the blogosphere and leave a little love if one wants love in return. However, I refuse to play those games; I never leave a comment unless I feel like I have something to add to the conversation. I'm not leaving a comment on someone's blog just for the sake of being seen.
Sure, I'm a prick but apparently, a loveable prick. I didn't start this thing to get noticed, I started it as a place to write about what it's like being a single dad. And that's what I continue to do. Those of you who continue to read and comment add so much joy to this endeavor and I appreciate your feedback more than I know how to say. Thank you. I love you all.