500 is one of those beautiful, fat, round numbers that everyone loves—it’s got charisma, gravitas. Five (5) is a strong number, not like the effeminate four (4), or that weaselly three (3), always so mischievous and ubiquitous. Nor is five a rotund country preacher—that’s eight (8)—or a couple of street toughs, leaning wolf-like at the corner, eyes peeled for their next mark (7 and 9). Five isn’t a child, like two (2), and while he’s proud, he’s not haughty like that diva, one (1)—always standing alone.
Couple Five with two juicy goose eggs, and you’ve got a number with some real heft, some real authority. It’s an auspicious number, one that suggest great longevity and antiquity, yet with some spring left in its step. 500 years is a long time, but, historically speaking, it’s just the beginning (well, maybe—we’ll see if America makes it to 500; we’re not even halfway there and we’re struggling).
When you do an image search for the number 500, you come up with a lot of crummy Italian cars—“Fix It Again, Tony.” While searching, I also recalled that nonlinear romantic comedy, 500 Days of Summer, which spawned a decade of movies about “quirky” hipster chicks, thus ruining the dating landscape forever (suddenly, being flighty and unreliable became virtues, and none of the would-be hipsters looked like Zooey Deschanel). Curiously, the Indianapolis, Daytona, or even my local Darlington 500s didn’t show up, at least not in the image search.
So here we are. But where is here? Let’s take a look at the State of the Blog:
It’s a mixed bag. Traffic is down following the dizzying highs of December 2019, January 2020, and February 2020. It seems that even with most of the population sitting at home with nothing better to do, they still don’t want to read a 600-word post once a day.
Of course, the effective end of the Democratic primaries didn’t help. I was seeing hundreds of visits per week—sometimes per day—thanks to my piece “Tom Steyer’s Belt,” which at the time of writing has 2937 views—338 more than even the homepage! Once he and his sartorial virtue-signalling slunk out of the race, traffic nosedived. The mad rush for toilet paper and groceries probably didn’t leave people with much time for animal posts.
As The Age of The Virus has lingered, living us in a state of perpetual limbo, it’s been difficult to write about politics. As I’ve noted several times before, I was already moving away from covering politics, as it’s lately involved the same patterns playing out over and over again. When President Trump first took office, he was a chaos agent—every day was exhilarating, as we never knew what he was going to do next. He’s still a great president, but the swampy ecosystem around him keeps calling the same plays (to mix metaphors) repeatedly. It just gets old—maybe I really am tired of too much winning (well, no—let’s not be too hasty).
I’m going to dedicate this summer to researching ways to boost traffic to the site, and may even do a total overhaul. I’ve also gotten very comfortable recording after two months of distance learning, so the long-discussed Portly Podcast could finally happen. That might lead to a YouTube channel, although I’m going to stick to audio only—I’ve never been a video guy from a tech perspective.
My major goal for the summer—besides teaching History of Conservative Thought again, and rebuilding my Virus-decimated private music lesson empire—is to write some eBooks. I’ve had several ideas I’ve been kicking around for years. It’s time to put those ideas into action—to write! That might mean scaling back the blog a bit.
Finally, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What works? What doesn’t? I enjoy the act of writing, but sometimes I wonder if I’m writing to an empty room (that’s probably why most posts of late have taken on a girlier, diary-style of self-indulgence).
Nevertheless, thanks for your support, and for 500 Days of Blogging. Maybe I can get Zooey Deschanel to join me.