Thursday, March 31, 2011

Keywords: the Best (funniest) Part About Blogging

If you've read some of my early posts, you'll know I am a bit of a nerd for statistics. So whenever I visit my blog, I spend a fascinated (and fascinating) 10 minutes looking through my Stats bar. You can view how many hits, on what posts, from what countries and computer systems, referring sites, all by day, week, month, or ALL TIME. ;) So far, my most popular post is "The Twilight Problem." But that's beside the point. The most fun part of all this is that I get to see the search keywords people use to get here...

For example:
vegetarian roommate annoying
"kissed a zombie"
laura littlethumbs (me: *looks at thumbs in confusion*)
analysis of juletane
"amodern hell"

...and a lot of amusing (and inappropriate) things about hating Twilight. Anyway, the point to this post is that I found out how to view the search keywords people use to get to the articles I write for brighthub.com. Specifically my review of Rango (Rango - For Kids?), which jumped to the second most popular article in about a week and half. And now, thanks to this new feature, I just found out that it shows up on the first page of Google! *ego smiles happily*

Better than that, though, I just spent five minutes giggling in delight at the list of keywords people use to find Rango. Yep, I have nothing better to do after midnight than update this blog, wait for my laundry to dry, and giggle at statistics. The list goes on for four pages with things like:

is Rango for kids?
DON'T TAKE YOUR KIDS TO SEE RANGO
why did beans kissed rango
does johnny depp say thespians or lesbians in rango
rango gay joke
i think swallowed plan b
plan b joke in rango
references in rango kids do not get
topless Barbie in rango
political message in rango
rango is not a comedy
rango drug references
rango owl images
KISS logo in rango
is the movie rango politically incorrect for kids

And finally...
is rango ok for 6 year olds?

NO. An emphatic no. It's hilarious (if you have the right sense of humor for it, that is...) See it. But please, please don't take your kids. Even if you don't get any of the references, it's a little too uncomfortably violent, weirdly realistic, and overall mature for small children. Link's on the Writing page for my review if you're interested.

In other news, I have to go calculate statistical data for psych lab. Not quite as fun as lists of keywords...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Writing Online

As you may have noticed, I've added a blog tab with a new page: Writing. Exciting, no? Took me long enough to figure out how to do it...

This has made me think a bit about writing online. Of course I have this blog, and you can find links on the Writing page to other things I've written. But for the most part, I don't write creatively on the Web. I write a lot about writing, I share my opinions, and I review--but with the exception of my Haiku for Japan post, I don't post my "writing."

Offline, I write poetry, stories, etc. But you don't and won't get to see them on here, for which I apologize. I follow the blogs and Twitter accounts of several writers and artists who use their blogs to share their poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, photography, and other creative output online. The advantage to that is reaching a wider audience--many writer-bloggers get the views, comments, feedback, and fans they wouldn't get if they published traditionally or not at all.

However, I am a fan of secrecy. Perhaps it's just a part of my perfectionist personality or a product of having parents who work for the government, but I'm pretty paranoid about people seeing my writing. Especially when it's not "finished" yet. Post a draft online?!? *gasp* Maybe I need to get over this attitude, but even so, posting online--even on a blog--means that many contests, journals, and literary magazines won't accept your work. They're looking for previously unpublished work and if you post, say, a poem on your blog before submitting it to them, they won't consider it. This goes for everything from my own college's online literary magazine to more widely read and distributed print publications.

I completely understand--it's a legal issue; they want first North American (or wherever) publishing rights. Literary magazines that do accept previously published work must have a citation to where and when the poem/story/excerpt/art piece was first published. To draw a connection to college and high school, it's the "real world" version of plagiarism rules...except they call it copyright infringement and other unpleasant things.

Better safe than sorry, I figure.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eating my own words >:(

So a while back I got into this intense #poetparty discussion on Twitter...well, two intense #poetparty discussions. To be completely honest, I'm one of those people who will try to offer differing opinions to further disucssion. It makes life more interesting. But in these two cases I happened to believe very strongly in my opinionated opinions--about confessional poetry and "prose poems."

I've already written a post about confessional poetry ("Confessional Rant" http://lauraplusthevoices.blogspot.com/2011/02/confessional-rant.html ) explaining why I distrust it so much. As for prose poems, I generally dislike them...with a few exceptions. Well, two, to be exact. On the other hand, I love microfiction and short short stories. Needless to say, the #poetparty's were rather spirited.

However, in the past week I have done three things I never thought I would do. One: I wrote a purely confessional poem. Two: It was a prose poem. Three: I read it out loud. ARGH. *eats words* And to make it all worse, I actually liked the poem. It was good, or at least decent. Horrendously uncomfortable to share with my poetry class, of course, and I still refuse to actually like the concept of "prose poetry." But the class I'm in now has made me experiment with writing in ways I know I wouldn't have otherwise. And I appreciate that.

In other news, I visited some D.C. art galleries, ate a gigantic pulled buffalo sandwich, gave up YouTube for Lent, and returned to Twitter after a week-long hiatus. I wasn't in time to catch a new #poetparty, though--Sundays 8-9 on Twitter, if you're interested.