Friday, May 28, 2010

The Revelation

Well... it has become apparent to me that the popularity of this site has been decreasing considerably over the last several months. My hits have been dwindling since February, and they keep going down at about the rate of 1000 hits a month.

I figure that there are many reasons for this shift in popularity:

1) Sporadic posting (Once or twice a month isn't cutting it)
2) Fewer full-album posts
3) Many of the blogs who once linked to me are either gone or have removed my blog from their links, which tells me that they have decided that my blog isn't worthy of space on their site
4) The design of my blog is archaic compared to the Flash and You-tube filled sites that are flooding the internet, which is evident by the amount of visitors who spend two seconds on the site and then move on
5) The blog is cluttered with too many gadgets, players and links to other sites.
6) I haven't featured very much experimental or free jazz music on the site lately, which is the style of music that seemes to garner the most praise from the readers
7) Oh, I suppose I could go on and on, but you get the point

What I plan on doing in the next several weeks is to work on the design and the organization of the blog so that it catches the eye of the readers. I have kept the current design for over three years now, and I think it's time to work on making the design of Eclectic Grooves more visually appealing. Unfortunately, my knowledge about HTML is fairly limited, and I doubt that I'm going to become an expert overnight. So, I welcome suggestions from everyone, especially those of you who know a little bit about HTML, or who have graphic design experience.

With the current state of blogging, it's next to impossible to keep people interested by featuring only podcasts and single mp3's. Therefore, I plan on featuring out-of-print albums on here more regularly. I feel that this will bring some attention from the types of people who don't get enough from a single song or mix of songs from different albums.

Last, I would like to hear thoughts, suggestions and constructive criticism from the readers. Tell me what you like about the site? What works for you and what doesn't? What artists and genres would you like to see me post about more often? As I said before, your comments, requests, and suggestions are always appreciated, so please don't hesitate to speak your mind.

With that being said, I would like to reveal the answer to last week's Plain Brown Wrappers. While there were two of the usual suspects in the comments section, I have to say that this edition was the least popular of any of the Plain Brown Wrappers. I guess I should feel glad that I turned a couple people on to some new music, but I can't help but feel underwhelmed by the overall response to this one.

Anyway, the answer to last week's mystery disc is Toto Blanke Electric Circus. Those of you who are familiar with the the German-Dutch avant-jazz fusion band Association PC will most likely be familiar with the recordings of Toto Blanke. His mastery of the guitar is evident on this record, as complex guitar lines are interweaved with ambient electronics and metronomic grooves. There is a little something for everyone on this record, so don't hesitate to download this stellar recording.
















Until next time...

8 comments:

Reza said...

just too many blogs out there now, going back a few years was only a few doing specialist music,found the same on my blog , not that much left that hasnt been posted ,keep on doing what you do , all the best to you

said...

Shit, I just wrote out a long-assed comment & poof!...gone into the aether. I'll try again.

Agree with Reza. Many many blogs these days. I don't even check anal-ytics anymore. Don't give a flying F***. I'm keeping my blog old skool & ridin' out the storm.

PBW#8...Thanks. Loving it & now that I know, I grabbed Toto's Tales of Tomorrow & Spider's Dance. In my opinion, PBW#8 is better than Tales, but Spider's Dance is phenomenal. Nearly the same cast of characters as Joachim Kuhn's Cinemascope release, also great. Hadn't listened to that for years or I might have made the sonic connection to this PBW. Now I'm listening to them all in heavy rotation, so a hearty THANKS!!!

Hope that helps your mood.

khunbaobao said...

Blogging is a little like social work: a labor of love, and precious little thanks for it. If one does it for any other reason than personal satisfaction they're lining up for a disappointment, I believe.

Agreed, though: regular posts are important. Otherwise readers fall out of the habit of checking in.

Best of luck to you, though. I found you by accident while going through some older MP3 links I'd saved for "further investigation".

No-head said...

Suppose this was inevitable. Personally speaking i hope this isn't the end. I only look in on a few blogs these days - the only criteria I use being the quality of the music. Otherwise I couldn't give a toss about the bells and buttons. Idris Ackamoor, Evolutionary Jass Band, Chrissy Zebbby Tembo, Ken Nordine, Sylvinha Araujo, Mary Halvorson, and so on and so on.... I've got a lot to thank you for. I guess it is dificult to keep regular posts up and that is probably the key to maintaining a loyal following. Once a week would seem to be the optimum rate of posting. Hard to do when we have other lives to lead. Good luck with the relaunch if that's what you decide to do.

Finally PBW. You know I had Spider's Dance donkey's years ago and sold it during a period of unemployment. I was falling out of favour with that particulat genre of music at the time. Magic album. The only one of Toto's I've ever actually heard before now. So thanks for the post. After a couple of listens there's not much resemblence to Soft Machine though except for that fuzzy keyboard sound.

Peace

uglyradio said...

Here's hoping you continue on in some way. Yours is one of the more informative and clever blogs.
Like others have stated, it's a big blogosphere out there. While the golden age of music blogging might well have passed, there are so many, highly focused niche blogs out there that it might mean that most of us see our hits drop off and level off somewhere that makes us question why we bother. And it's art, so there's little tangible rewards coming our way.
I would also think about why you do it and which posts seem to be the most popular or original (I'm thinking Plain Brown Wrapper).
I also think a lot of people - like me - read their favorite blogs via RSS reader, which, if I understand it correctly, doesn't distribute hits unless it leads the reader directly to you. Reading multiple blogs in this birds-eye manner means (for me anyway) that I don't often actually visit that many blogs directly anymore.
Also, I would limit the Flash plugins to an absolute minimum. This isn't a criticism of your blog, per se, but I tend not to land on blogs that have so much of it installed that it takes nearly a minute for my web browser to recover. Some are so plug-ugly that they completely paralyze Firefox for several minutes - and I have a pretty zippy computer.
Keep it up though, Kevin! I have always enjoyed your writing and originality!

hideo said...

I've enjoyed your work and posts for some time and needless to say, feel bad that I hadn't checked in for some time (I haven't checked in anywhere else for some time either)

don't sweat the flash and fireworks--you have always had the essentials which is commentary, a compelling reason to post and the goods--all the other eye candy just slows Firefox to a crawl (I have a couple of sites bookmarked that I have to get in and get out before they seize up my browser)

thanks for all the eyes you opened, especially mine

Zer0_II said...

I hope that I'm not too late, and we haven't seen the last of your updates. Part of the reason your incoming traffic may have decreased is because I took so damn long to update my blogroll. I know that a lot of people report that they receive a lot of traffic coming from it, so if a link no longer works on it that could also explain a dramatic decrease in traffic. I'm in the process of updating the blogroll now, and I will be adding the new url for your blog if you can just write me back on my main blog (not the blogroll) and let me know if you plan to keep going. Thank you for all the music you have put up, and for the hard work you have put into the blog itself. Here's hoping you aren't finished yet.

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