Saturday, June 13, 2009

Important Notice to the Readers

I have honestly been considering throwing in the towel at Eclectic Grooves for quite some time. This probably doesn't come as a surprise to most of you, since I've been wearing out the grooves of this "broken record" for quite some time. I've been struggling between running this blog because I want to share music with people, and wanting to be popular and receive recognition for my hard work.

The comments have been sparse, and I really don't know what else I can do to increase the interest. In addition, the hits have gone down considerably in the past few months. I was never one of those blogs like 4Brothers Beats or My Favorite Sounds that generated a ton of traffic, but I was getting at least 275-325 a day. Now, I would be lucky to break 200, and that's on a day that I post something new.

Even though doing the Plain Brown Wrappers series seemed to spark the interest of visitors, it wasn't helping me generate very much new traffic to the site. I realize that I am competing with an endless array of full-album blogs with artwork and no review (or a pasted review from another source), but I find it hard to believe that people don't appreciate my blog more than this.

I have found myself at this place before, but I really am at a loss this time. I am considering making the blog private and inviting only a certain amount of friends to view the blog, or shutting it down completely. I hate to say it, but the amount of hits and comments from people is really affecting my ability to post more often. When I receive a lot of great feedback or an increase in the number of hits, I have more of a desire to share things and take the time to post something interesting. I wish it didn't work that way, but I am affected greatly by how people respond to my creative pursuits.

With the recent onslaught of "full album" blogs, many creative blogs have decided to shut their doors primarily because they can't keep up with the pace of the "full album" blogs. Honestly, I could make a post every day if all I was doing was posting a link to a record along with a review pasted from an alternate source like All Music Guide or Dusty Groove. It takes me 3-4 hours to write a new post on Eclectic Grooves, and that doesnt even include the gathering of music and materials in prepararion for a post. The botom line is that I have been putting a lot of time and effort into running this blog, and I would like to see people show a little appreciation. If any of you have any thoughts/ideas about this, please let me know.

Thanks to the dedicated visitors to the site, and to those who have subscribed to the blog as well as the podcast. Your support is greatly appreciated.

21 comments:

PQ said...

Too bad, have fun with real life :)

Chris said...

Those Allmusic album blogs piss me off. Make the album relevant to your blog and write something yourself. I know how it is as I've been blogging for a couple of years and rarely get a comment. Admittedly I only get around fifty hits daily.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Davis Presley said...

I'd hate to see you go, but at the same time I totally understand the situation. I've got nowhere near the amount of invested time that you have done, but the feeling is mutual.

Several of the points you made are exactly the same as I feel. It drives me nuts discovering blogs with a pasted review from another source. Even worse are the ones with a picture of the album cover and "download here" being the only thing on a post. If you're going to post an album, at least let's hear a small tidbit (a simple paragraph will even do) on why said record means something to you. You obviously (?) care about this music. Let's find out why that is.

That's my take. If you continue on, please let me know. I've enjoyed what you've done and will continue to read.

Take care.

icastico said...

'twould be a shame to lose ya...

Just curious.

What is the attraction of a private blog?

How would that change things for you?

JAZZYPIER ♪ said...

A lot of fun with ''the pissing off blogs allmusic etc etc''....or not?
Cheers

JAZZYPIER ♪ said...

..remember, english is not our language, so we paste & copy...
the reviews, not the links (....)

i think that SOME PEOPLE have to piss of for sure...

end of the soap

cheers

;_(

JAZZYPIER ♪ said...

just one thing...then i piss off...

cosa gliene frega ai dipiù di quello che penso io, che nn sono un critico musicale o altro...gliene dovrebbe fregare dove ho comprato il tal disco o se ho un orgasmo mentre lo ascolto, o se mia zia ebbe un colpo mentre lo suonavo?
via siamo seri....
ognuno dovrebbe saper stare al suo posto e pensare prima a quello che dice.
Sennó si dicono stronzate...

Don't understand?
paste and copy then act with a translator

:-))))

Miles said...

why fret over how much traffic you're getting, kevin? 200 people reading your posts is not such a shabby number. think of it this way, it probably represents at least 190 more than your circle of friends who might actually take the time to read on a weekly basis. sure, i understand --- downloads outnumbering comments by 15 to 1 (if you're lucky), no word of tahnks, stuff like that.

i used to trip on it too, but you know, the bottom line is that you have to please yourself first and foremost. if you get pleasure from posting, regardless of how long it takes, or how much time goes into it, that's all that really matters. do it for your own satisfaction, not the accolades from others.

it's doubtful that any casual reader actually cares how much you put into it, and telling them about it isn't going to change that. there's no getting around the 'full album' blogs. the majority of people out there surfing around are simply looking for some free music, not to stroke your ego (as nice as that might be). i put a lot of work into my own site too, but i believe i've gotten over the need for plaudits. i just do it because i enjoy music and writing, and blogging gives me the opportunity to work with both.

don't look to others for a reason to continue, it'll just make you crazy. satisfy yourself above all else. capisca?

Kevin said...

Jazzypier:

I sincerely apologize if you felt that I was including you as one of the blogs in the "full album blogs with AMG reviews". I completely understand that you guys don't speak much english, so it would be very difficult to write reviews that would be universally understood by your readers.

I was angry about the domination of full album blogs, but in no way meant to imply that My Favorite Sounds is included in this group of blogs. I made a mistake in mentioning the name of your blog in my post. I only meant to illustrate that my blog would never be up to the level of a blog such as yours or 4 Brothers Beats, because of the amount of hits that you guys receive and the quality of the tunes.

I noticed that you took my blog off of your links, and I understand why considering that you thought I was spitting in the face of your fantastic blog. Seriously, I have learned about so much music from you guys, that it would truly be a shame if we ended up enemies.

It would be great if you would be willing to post a link to my blog again, as I really meant no harm to you or the rest of the crew at My Favorite Sounds.

I really believe that this was a huge misunderstanding, and I truly hope that we can be cool with each other again.

Sincerely, Kevin

madrotter said...

hey kevin, thanks for your comment on my blog! things have been a bit hectic so i didn't have a lot of time to post. i've got a lot of stuff that i think you might like and i will send it to you ok! you might want to post some of it..

man i've seen blogs that are almost completely made up of stuff they've taken from my blog. it doesn't really bother me it just puzzles me a bit, guess i might as well take it as a compliment. i'm living in a small village outside the city, the internet connection is terrible...

exchanging links is fine with me, no experience with that, how would that work?

best wishes and keep your head up!

henk madrotter

madrotter said...

ow and where do i send you links and stuff?

Kevin said...

PQ: I think "Blogging" is real life. Sometimes I just find it difficult to make time for posting when folks aren't very receptive.

Chris: Thanks for your thoughts. I think I should have thought through what I wanted to say, before posting it for the world to see. Clearly, I was angry and frustrated about not getting that many hits.


Davis Presley:

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. I checked out your blog, and will add it to my links.
I think I have decided to keep plugging away for now, so I hope you keep coming back.

icatico- Thanks for your kind thoughts. As far as going private, my idea is that it would keep the amount of people who check out the site/download music to a select group. Thus, the idea is that this select group of people are people who really appreciate what I do. I'm not sure if that would actually change things, but I was just mulling over the idea.

Miles:

I love your blog, so I hope you continue doing it despite the lack of comments/etc. I know that you are right about not doing it to receive accolades from others, but to do it because I love posting about music. I have to decide to what extent it is still worth it for me to keep doing this. I will try to check out your blog more often.

Mad Rotter:

I appreciate you offering to send links to me. If you want to, you can post them in the general comments. I don't know that I will always post what you send me, but I'm always happy to receive new music from you.

As far as exchanging links, I have already added you to my links. If you can return the favor, that would be awesome. Through blogger, you go to the "Layout" section. Then, you can add a link to my blog by adding a gadget and then going to link list. This creates a list of your favorite blogs, and you can add as many as possible.

Jazzypier:

Thanks for adding me back to your links. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Thanks you all for stopping by and best wishes to all of you.

Kevin

icastico said...

Kevin -

But those people are already visiting...sometimes silently, but they are visiting.

If you restrict to a smaller group, I think you would have the same issues.

Maybe you should remove your hit counter...and even your comments option...take away the source of your anxiety and keep posting knowing that there is a select group of people are people who really appreciate what you do.

P.S. - Thanks for the link. For your other readers...there is more than just folk, experimental, and psych over at Pen & Mallet. We have plenty for the punks, math rockers, electronic music geeks, fans of ambient, and shoegazers as well.

Interpolater said...

I agree with Miles' comment. This should be about your pleasure and enthusiasm for music and that will be what comes through to the audience. people are turned off by bitter pity rants (just sayin). I don't know about the full album blogs? I'm mainly drawn to a blog from the enthusiasm of the writer twds his subject and what her tastes are. Not everyone feels a desire to comment all the time. and if you want comments try engaging your audience! ask them questions, etc. ask for them to comment etc. (look at all the comments this post generated!) anyway thats all I have to add. Also, I do enjoy your podcasts and listen to them on my ipod. maybe that's an area to expand?

E.B. said...

I only found your blog, quite by accident, about a month ago. I was looking for songs of appreciation and stuck at Led Zeppelin's Thank You, which was more romantic than what I needed at the time. Your post and the songs included in it were a breath of fresh air.

Anyway, as for your blog, I enjoy it. I hope you don't shut it down. I think many bloggers go through times of feeling like you described, feedback is nice and encouraging, but it's not the end all be all to life; especially the life of a creative person. If by writing about music and sharing it, you turn one or two people on to something they weren't aware of; or you encouraged them to consider something in a fresh way, doesn't that make it worthwhile to you? It does to me. If you enjoy writing about your passion, I think you should keep on doing it. I have several blogs that I follow, and just because I can't always keep up with them on a daily (or weekly at times) basis, doesn't mean I don't appreciate what flavor they add to my life when I finally am able to catch up!
Blessings~
e.b.

Chris Rich said...

Kevin, maybe its just the scope of activity. Just writing about the stream of material committed to recording, I'd find it exhausting.

I sorta cherish low traffic and never worry about feedback. Maybe you'll find it more satisfying to move toward the people side.

By this I mean, consider looking up some of the people who's stuff compells you and ask em some questions in an e mail exchange and post their answers. You have enough presence and clout to be a real asset to the people you like and may well have some interesting participants.

I use my myspace page as a contact clearing house and had a moving exchange with Prime Time's Calvin Weston after his son died from a hit and run.

Another facet I do is send question sets for new people or those who don't show up in the big sites.

I have a handle on basic oral history method and do question sets that are like changes they can riff on and their answers often rock, This then becomes very useful primary source material for researchers.

Kyoko Kitamura did the most recent one and it was wonderful. I add hyperlinks for every person reference and detail I can and it becomes this fascinating multi layer web mosaic of dense content.

You can also occasionally make mischief by poking fun at the Music Industry's garden gnomes as Mario Rechtern calls it.

I just had a ball doing that and it was interesting to see the various competing constituencies line up and ring their chimes.

I didn't wade through the torrent of stuff that ensued, just checked my analytics account traffic, did a few pattern searches to check the gists and built new pieces from the various assertions and hand wringings.

That'll keep me having fun for weeks.

Post an occasional drunk rant, those are a ball as long as you don't libel anyone and you can check it the next day and delete it if it sucks, think of it as a kind of pungent seasoning.

At the end of the day, you are taking care in your way of something beyond the narrow confines of day to day life and that alone is good for the soul.

papagianni said...

kevin, your blog is great and it is sad to see you regretting the good work. as a relative newcomer to blogs, i only am starting to appreciate the etiquette little by little. the first impact was of great excitement at teh variety and generosity of those who make their time available for others to enjoy new adventurous music. I owuld therefore like to thank you and all the others for the great effort - this is sometimes what makes me think there is a value in being human.
i am not sure i feel as critical as you for those who cut and paste reviews - it is a painstakingly complicated task to listen, think and write decent reviews, a real work of love that not anyone has time or skills to do. i usually am more than happy to read what authoritative sources have already published.
all in all, the music blog phenomenon is a major cultural advance to the uses of the internet, your blog is firmly established as part of the whole thing and i will be sorry if you decide to go. best wishes anyway whatever you decide to do: you have already given a huge contribution and inspiration to others.
all the best
papagianni

Kevin said...

Icastico: Those are interesting ideas (removing the hit counter and comments), but I think that I will keep it the same for now. Thanks for your thoughts as always.

Interpolater:

Your comments seem a little pointed, but I get the gist of what you're saying. Also you said
"and if you want comments try engaging your audience! ask them questions, etc. ask for them to comment etc. (look at all the comments this post generated!)".
I do engage the audience, and I do ask for comments. If you look back at the older posts, I used to say something like "your comments are always appreciated" or "please let me know what you think". If this isn't engaging the audience, I don't know what is. Thanks for letting me know that you like the podcasts. Which podcast is your favorite one? What do you like about it?

E.B. I'm glad that you enjoyed the "Songs of Appreciation" post. I was feeling especially grateful that day, and felt the need to share some tunes about being thankful for my life.

Thanks for the kind words, and I think that you make a great point about turning even a few people onto some new music making it worth the time and effort I put into it.

Chris Rich:


Those are some very intriguing ideas of shaking things up a bit. At this point, I don't really know that many artists that would like to be interviewed. I have done a few album reviews for artists who requested my services, so maybe I could interview them and see where it goes. As far as drunken rants, that's not really my style. Although some folks may judge this post as a drunken rant/pity party. Thanks for stopping by, and I will keep your ideas in mind for future posts.

Papagianni:

Thank you for such an inspired and thoughtful comment. I really appreciate that you took the time and effort to let me know what you think of the blog. I do my best to post interesting, challenging and provocative music. I hope that you will continue checking out what I post on here.

Thanks to all of you for such a wide array of comments. I really appreciate that you are letting me know what you really think.

Take care, Kevin

Don said...

Just stumbled across your blog while looking for Eddie Harris recordings. I'm sorry to see that you are having difficulty justifying the continuation of your blog.

Since I just got here, I wouldn't specifically miss you, I'd regret that we lost another person who loved music and had a broad enough knowledge that s/he could turn on the rest of us to something new.

If I may offer a criticism, and maybe a reason why you aren't getting as many hits...

The 'brown wrapper' is a great idea. But you aren't even hinting at what genre it might be. When I look at the range of interests you've offered in the past..Louis Armstrong to Flipper to Sonny Boy Williamson, I gotta think that this might be something I really hate. It may be better if you shrink the borders and say that all them will be about hard bop for the next two months.

I also think that trend-followers are looking for only one or two songs at a time while the musically voracious would prefer that you put out a whole album that you think is great and let us pick the songs that define why it's so good. I concede that I nobody else may share that opinion. If you want to offer only a few songs at a time, mix-tapes work well, but I prefer to build my own.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

Buns O'Plenty said...

hey Kevin, just came across your blog not long ago. Thx for the music, and i appreciate the time put into each post

Chris