Hi, my name is Randall at Midlife Crisis Crossover. I was Freshly Pressed twice. Once for The Day An Empty Chair Ruled The Internet and again for Midlife Crisis Crossover 2012 in Review, Assuming the Next Thirteen Days are a Complete Write-Off. It’s been four months since I was first famous; three weeks since my encore.
One evening while pondering my blog’s tiny but breathing audience, I noticed millions of Americans were ignoring me and paying attention to an empty chair. I could write and entertain. It could not. This imbalance seemed unfair. However, the chair had the advantage of being lectured on live TV by a famous actor/director. I can’t say for certain that that’s happened to me yet. Advantage: chair.
Out of frustrated cognitive dissonance I wrote “The Day an Empty Chair Ruled the Internet”, the underlying moral of which was, “No chair should be this famous.” Imagine my surprise when the WordPress kingmakers elevated it to Freshly Pressed status, citing a perceived “impartial” tone, in that I sided with neither Democrats nor Republicans in the fracas. Assuredly not: I was on the side of those who find the American political process distasteful and fruitless. Where they inferred bipartisanship, I intended anti-partisanship.
Nonetheless, I appreciated the opportunity for a wider audience, albeit over Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, holiday time frames historically experience a downturn in Internet traffic while users spend more time away from their devices. My net stats consequently fell short of the thousands of hits and hundreds of Likes garnered by other FP posts I’ve witnessed. I was grateful for my respectable traffic uptick anyway. By Tuesday my traffic plunged and created the “middle finger” effect described in other FDP posts, though my subsequent day-to-day plateau was nudged up a notch. I contemplated implementing a new retention plan to pander to my new followers. I considered more chair-themed topics, perhaps adding new categories such as “Living Room Trivia” and “Furniture Follies”.
Three months later, FP lightning struck again. Never saw it coming.
I already had a year-end recap planned before the WordPress Daily Post announced an identical Weekly Writing Challenge. Without changing much (except one extra tag), I proceeded with my self-review – meticulous, critical, and filled with links for the reading majority who hadn’t been following me since Day One. A few days later, The Editors That Be notified me I’d been granted a second fifteen minutes of fame because of my “thorough” approach, just in time for Christmas…again, a period when busyness shrinks Internet crowds.
The maximum single-day traffic was a little over half what my first FP had reached, but the stats this time were shaped differently. Instead of one lonely giant column standing tall in a crowd of dwarf columns, I had a slowly descending staircase, my spotlight lasting a smidgen longer as other bloggers slowly returned to WordPress from their vacations or day-job overtime or whatever.
Funny thing about that second FP post: at center stage was an acknowledgment of “Empty Chair” as one of my year’s biggest posts. My first FP was me riding the chair’s coattails. Now, technically, that blasted chair was riding mine as my blog’s unofficial mascot. Fine, then.
Thank you, trusty inanimate chair. If only all seats were half as rewarding as you are. If you have time in your schedule, I have a cheap credenza that could use some performance pointers.