My Brief Flirtation with Blog Fame, OR What It’s Like Being Freshly Pressed, OR How I Embarrassed Myself with Margaret Atwood
For 24 hours starting yesterday through today, I was featured on the WordPress “freshly pressed” home page. Well, I personally wasn’t featured, but one of my blog posts was.
Some background: My blog, in case you hadn’t noticed, is about movies. I started filmdrift on January 1st of this year. I’ve been posting an average of a couple of times per week, 22 posts year-to-date, not counting this one. I’ve been getting about ten visits to my blog per day, sometimes more, sometimes less. My blog is a labour of love, so I am perfectly happy with ten folks per day. I figure, over time, if people like what I write well enough, then I’ll develop more of an audience. If not, no worries. I still love movies, and I enjoy writing about them.
Flash forward to yesterday. I arrived home from work, and when I got online, I had over 100 emails. My first reaction: WTF? And then I saw that most of the emails were from WordPress, people subscribing to my blog, notices that I had comments to approve, etc. Plus I had some messages from Twitter about new followers. I immediately logged on to WordPress and saw that I had 80 comments to moderate, and some of them were saying things like “Congratulations for being freshly pressed”. So I checked the WordPress home page, and sure enough, there I was.
I was ecstatic. I started approving all of the comments, but I kept getting emails, and every time I refreshed my stats, I was getting big jumps in my numbers. Comments were coming in faster than I could respond to some of them. (I eventually gave up on that.) In retrospect it was really fairly easy to manage, but I was a bit overwhelmed–and just tickled pink. People were writing and agreeing with me, disagreeing with me, sharing links to their own movie blogs, sharing links to posts of their own “inspired” by mine, debating movies, sharing their own favorite movies and much more. I loved it. By the time Wordpress took me off their home page today, I had nearly 7000 new views to my blog, more than 165 new comments, 63 new blog subscribers, more than a dozen new followers on Twitter, and a few new Facebook fans. Plus, it gets better (or at least more goofy).
At one point I noticed that positioned very close to my blog post on the WordPress home page, was a post by Margaret Atwood. That’s THE Margaret Atwood, the award-winning novelist, poet and all around great lady. I thought, I know her. I mean, I don’t know her, but I know who she is. I’ve read her book, Oryx and Crake. I have that book’s sequel (The Year of the Flood) next to my nightstand ready for future reading. Coincidentally, just a week or so ago, I had watched (listened to) a spoken verse video on YouTube by Tom O’Bedlam reading one of Ms. Atwood’s poems. And then I thought, OMG, my blog post is featured almost next to Margaret Atwood’s. So I did what every professional, self-respecting blogger would do. First, I did a screen capture of my post next to hers so that I could forever remember the moment and show my friends; and second, I wrote a gushing, completely unprofessional and self-serving post on Ms. Atwood’s blog (complete with a couple of horrifying typos which I cannot correct). Sigh. I’m almost embarrassed to link to it. But I will, right here. (I think it’s the 24th comment down on the page.)
Ms. Atwood was gracious enough to respond to my lame-brained comment. She replied, “Thank you! I will look for your movie blog!” Imagine that. Margaret Atwood might have taken a peek at my movie blog. That, pretty much, is about as good as it gets.
Cheers, all. Thank you for giving my blog a look-see, and for your nice comments. Thanks to WordPress. And thanks to Ms. Atwood. You’ve all made my week, er, um, year.