Thursday, September 27, 2007

Geoff Klock's Blog: Expansion Pack

The comments threads on this blog are often great, especially in the Free Form Comments. We have a lot of smart, cool people around here. A few weeks ago I realized that these comments were being missed by incurious readers, and so I decided to pull one good one out a week and give it its own post, a Comment Pull Quote post. Now I want to expand again.

I want to start publishing blog posts by other people here. You can find my email address in my blogger profile page (click the link at the top right of the blog). If you think your Free Form Comment would be better as a post -- email it to me. If you have an idea for a post for this blog, email it to me -- an idea or a draft. You can also put your pitches in Free Form Comments, if you want your pitches public. On every post you write that is published here your name will be prominently displayed in the title and a tag with your name on it will be put at the bottom. Neil Shyminsky commented on a Slate article a few weeks ago. Under the new system that post would have been called "Neil Shyminsky: Slate on 300" and his writing would be the post, rather than merely a comment.

Why would you publish a post on a blog with my name at the top when you can open or create your own blogger account in seconds?

If you want to start a blog but you don't want to deal with the responsibility of updating frequently -- you can pitch blog posts here whenever you like, with no pressure to do any more. If you update your blog irregularly or rarely, your audience, who don't know to check in, may be small: consider sending your post to me for publication here; I update almost every day and you may find more readers through me. If lots of people do this we may get a lot more readers. If you are a regular commenter here, people may already know you, and like you. If you are advertising your blog on Free Form Comments, you are only reaching those readers who bother to check the comments. If you publish here you will reach the "lurkers." Keep in mind, there is no reason you cannot publish a post here, and immediately post it again on your blog. This is not a "real" magazine, and I do not "own" your posts or anything. Consider publishing an exciting first paragraph here that links to the rest of your post, which continues on your blog. Stephen Frug -- your blog could go all-politics if you published your comics and book reviews here. Jason Powell -- this is where you can do your Clairmont X-Men issue by issue analysis.

Posts have to be short (no longer than my longest blog post) and I would prefer posts that are focused on single, small things, such as individual songs. If you have read my posts you know what I am looking for -- but I would like this blog to expand into subjects outside my wheelhouse, such as the evaluation ofvideogames . What I am looking for is short appreciations of high culture and popular culture -- that means no politics unless it is part of a larger critical/evaluative point. Theory also, must be intrinsically interesting (e.g. Zizek ) or help in aesthetic evaluation. No jargon unless it is clearly explained. Reviews of all kinds -- TV, Movies, Comics, Albums, Games, Theatre -- are always welcome. I am not looking to publish creative writing. I am willing to consider pod-casts and video-blogging.

I will be the editor-in-chief. I may send your post back to you with revisions. I may reject posts if I think they are not appropriate. I think I would like to write short -- 3 to 5 sentence -- introductions to any post not by me, but we will see.

I do not know what this will actually be like. It may be that occasionally there is a post here by someone other than me. It may get to the point where a lot of the posts here are not by me. This may turn out to be too much trouble for me and I will have to drop it. It may turn out that we have far too many posts, and publishing them would exhaust readers. There is no way to know how many people will beinterested in writing here, or how many I will want to post.

I plan to continue publishing here as usual. These new posts would be posts in addition to my usual 5-7 a week.

Your reactions to this idea to expand are important, so if you have something to say, please put it in the comments.

20 comments:

sara d. reiss said...

this is actually a common practice. seen on such blogs as http://www.designsponge.blogspot.com/, which is mostly guest bloggers. It's a win-win situation in the blogsphere, where bloggers can get more and better exposure and the blog itself has a stable of talented people contributing.

I think you should pick a day for guest blog posts, and only have one guest write one post, just because multiple posts per day often get lost.

James said...

Wow, this is a great, generous and cool idea. I hope I have something to contribute at some point. I think sara's right that a set day(s) for guest posts would be good, and keep things from getting overwhelming.

Geoff Klock said...

Sara and James: fair point. But unless I get more than 7-9 posts a week I want to put up -- very doubtful -- we should never have more than two posts a day up. Anyone who reads this blog knows how crazy I am about quality control, in terms of what comics I buy; I will be pretty tight with quality control around here, as well.

I really don't think I am going to get that many submissions anyway, I just wanted to announce that I am open to it.

Jason Powell said...

Wow. I agree with James -- very generous and very cool.

Although in response to this ...

"Jason Powell -- this is where you can do your Clairmont X-Men issue by issue analysis."

...Really? You know that would be an insane amount of posts, right, if it was a post per issue? I still would do it, though. :)

Also, Claremont, not Clairmont! I thought I'd straightened you out on that one!

Geoff Klock said...

JP: you know I actually spelled C-L-A-R-E-M and then stopped. I thought -- Jason Powell wants you to spell it the right way. And then I wrote C-L-A-I-R ... thinking I was fixing it.

As for your posts -- yeah it would be a lot but you could just do them once or twice a week if you wanted, take a break after an arc, or abandon the thing after an arc. It would be up to you.

And while everyone is calling me generous and cool, let's all admit that me trying to get people to publish without pay on a site with my name at the top in big letters may also be lazy and egomaniacal IN ADDITION to generous and cool.

I contain multitudes.

Jason Powell said...

This is a really appealing offer, and one of the reasons is not just the whole "increased readership" notion, but I was also struck by you saying that you might "post back with revisions. "

One of the reasons I had kind of backed off doing the Claremont thing is that when I actually wrote them (and I have, in fact, already written several because I wanted to have a bunch in the bag before I started posting), I realized that they were too long and a bit draggy, and lacking a lot of what makes your own reviews so readable and good.

An average Claremont review of mine (meaning the ones I have already written) is about as twice as long as one of your reviews of Morrison's New X-Men, yet I feel like I manage to say only half as much as you do.

So, Geoff, would you be willing to have a look at my first Claremont review -- I could send it to you via e-mail, or in a myspace message -- and maybe give me some pointers on how I can make these beasts tighter and better? I feel like I'm too close to my own writing right now. I can tell that something's ... not right. But I can't tell what it is.

Geoff Klock said...

Yeah, I will look at whatever you have, though my comments will probably be brief.

Streebo said...

So - Geoff - by getting others to write for your blog - is this your version of John Cassady using the same artwork in multiple panels?

I'm just kidding - of course. Just razzing ya!

Geoff Klock said...

It is nothing like that! Didn't you read how generous and cool I am for opening up my blog to other people? I am allowing regular people to post on the internet FOR FREE. Who else does that? Besides Blogger, and LiveJournal? And so what if they let you put your name at the top in big letters and do not censor you? I am letting you post under MY name!

Oh, this post has made me look like such a jackass. In the heat walking home it seemed like such a good idea...

Stephen said...

Geoff,

I trust that that last paragraph was a joke, because of course it's not true.

I think it's a great idea. Aside from how I might participate in it, I think adding guest posts (additional posters... whatever you end up calling them) would be terrific.

I'd certainly like to see Jason's Claremont posts here, e.g.

I actually like having a mix of things on my own blog (although I suspect that it keeps my numbers from growing - successful blogs specialize, at least along politics/culture lines, mostly). As far as I am concerned, if you wanted to post the first paragraph of any review of mine, with a link to read the rest at my blog, that would totally fall into the category of fair use (I don't know if it does legally, but it ought to -- and other blogs do it all the time.) That way you could pick & choose what you think fit your blog. (And I know I could never keep to any sort of schedule.

But my feeling like I might want only that limited form of participation does not mean I think it's a bad idea. I think it's a great idea -- a good blog made better.

Okay, better stop before I start to sound more like a car commercial.

SF

Marc Caputo said...

You know, Geoff, that last comment of yours was REALLY funny. I knew you must have a sense of humor - you still buy and enjoy All-Star Batman. But that was like stand-up funny.

I like the idea. In a time when the only traffic to my blog is my brother and my father (who "just doesn't get it"), anything to increase traffic is a boon.

Matthew J. Brady said...

Cool idea, Geoff. I might throw some stuff at you and see what you think. Maybe; I do keep up a pretty steady schedule over at my blog already...

neilshyminsky said...

Geoff - Cool idea. I reposted my thoughts on the Slate article to my own blog largely because they were hidden away in a comment thread where no one would ever see them again. Well, and because it's just convenient to have them stored on my blog, where I can find them more easily in the future. I don't know that I would often send you something - maybe something in relation to the sorts of discussions that spring up here? - but it sounds like a fun idea. Or...

Jason: ...depending on what Jason chooses to cover from Claremont, I might also be tempted to write something about those comics and do something of a dialogue. Or even a point-counterpoint kind of thing. Maybe.

Jason Powell said...

"Jason: ...depending on what Jason chooses to cover from Claremont, I might also be tempted to write something about those comics and do something of a dialogue. Or even a point-counterpoint kind of thing. Maybe."

That would be sweet, Neil! As I said above, I'm having trouble bringing together the stuff I've already written into something solid and interesting. A dialogue might force me to tighten the screws a bit on my writing.

Did you ever read the comment I posted way back in response to your X-Men essay?

Geoff Klock said...

SF: yeah I was being silly. but i am on painkillers for 2 cut out wisdom teeth so you cannot trust anything i say. i will steal paragraphs and link to them.

Marc: join mt blog and together we will rule the internets. :)

Matt -- yeah i did not figure you would write for me, sine you post so much on your end. But if you think of something, let me know.

Neil: cool. i like the post you did on 300.

neilshyminsky said...

Jason: I think that you're absolutely right to suggest, in response to my paper, that Claremont came to recognize that the X-Men as a political allegory were a big friggin' mess. Destroying the school and refashioning the Brotherhood as Freedom Force were certainly, to my mind at least, steps in the right direction. And then 1991 came, the school was rebuilt, and X-Factor replaced Freedom Force as the government-sponsored mutant team with absolutely no sense of irony. (Although the original X-Factor, who were mutant hunters like Freedom Force, also managed to muddle the issue. Claremont might have been thinking provocatively and progressively, but his cohort was not.)

Anyway, this stuff certainly deserves mention, and I'm now regretting having not covered it in my original paper. Maybe I'll have an opportunity to revisit it at some point...

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lue lyron said...

I miss college, and I find that reading critical analysis often spins off into new research, which, obstensibly invigorates better writing and whiter teeth. On occasions when I balance that with song writing and my naive attempts to draw, I find it infinitely more satisfying than depression.

I always had a strange attraction to letter columns and forewords, so this is a pretty logical progression. I dearly love Plok, the heir apparent to T.M. Maple if every there was one.

I will consider where my material and your criteria might connect and offer you some goodies soon.

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