Podzilla 1985

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unexpected Attention and the Problem it Poses

I received quite the shock this morning when I got up.

My article, and I still hesitate to call it that, about Gamestop had received well over a hundred visitors since I posted it late last night. I was surprised, but also a little worried. This was not one of my best written pieces. I didn't do much research or delve very deep into the reasons I mentioned in passing about Gamestop being an awful corporation. It was legitimately just a personal attack on a store I still hold a grudge against, brought on by the pain and suffering my friends are going through because of the closure of store 261. It was personal, and I wrote it without giving the words much thought.

After all, it was just an angry little rant, and we're all entitled to one every so often, right?

So, I was worried that these hundred or so people had read these angry ramblings without understanding the passion behind them. I assumed that something like this would have only been read by the people who are being effected by it, and they would already know where I was coming from. They know the stories and the people behind them by personal experience, and they wouldn't need any explanation. I worried that I was going to come across as a poor writer to anyone unfamiliar with the situation. I kind of hoped the article would just go away, and I could go back to more thoughtful pieces, like the one I did recently about the situation in Ferguson.

And then came one of the biggest mistakes I'll ever make.

A friend on my Facebook page asked another friend to get it to the front page of reddit, because he was a frequent...I don't know what you call them, redditer I guess? Well, I laughed it off and told him to do it, half expecting him to not care and half worried that he would.

Well, he did. The little angry rant that I wrote for a certain group of people suddenly became a huge thing, and that hundred person viewership suddenly exploded to, as of this sentence, 14,688 people.

To put that in context, Blogzilla 1985 had received almost 25,000 views since I reopened it earlier this year.

The count increases by 50-60 new views every time I reload the page.

My TNA Impact story, which I assumed would be the pinnacle of my site, has a little over 1/14th of the views that the Gamestop article does.

I really didn't intend for this to happen. If I had to pick one article to take off like a rocket, it would not have been that one. It has made me reflect on what exactly my goal is with Blogzilla 1985. Am I writing for a small community, or do I want to achieve massive success world wide?

For a lot of people, 15k hits is nothing. I know a certain radio DJ that would tell me 15k hits is a drop in the bucket compared to what he gets daily on the radio's website. For me, 15k hits blows my mind. It's a soul shattering revelation that has given me the urge to close down Blogzilla 1985 for good.

You're probably asking why I would do such a thing when I've just now received my greatest success as a writer.

And that's exactly it. Blogzilla 1985 isn't my first foray into the world of writing, you know. I've written short stories, poetry, legitimate newspaper articles, lyrics, reviews, interviews, and just about everything else a man who plies his trade by words can do. I've achieved success in my other ventures, but nothing I've ever done has received the attention that this one angry rant about a video game store has.

That was never my intent. I always wanted to be a Hollywood screenwriter. I love video games, but my greatest passion is storytelling. I want to write something that brings joy to people, scares pretty girls into the arms of their equally-terrified-but-too-tough-to-admit-it boyfriends, and impresses my own fiancee. I never wanted to be an "internet writer," but that's exactly where I've found my success. It's kind of disheartening.

I love writing for Blogzilla 1985. I love the fact that people read my opinions, whether they agree with it or not. I have no problems with critics, but the internet community isn't exactly known for their tact or classy ways. For every well thought critique of your work, there is a bigger percentage of internet users who exist only to make your day miserable. It doesn't matter if they agree with you or not, and more often than not they never actually read what you have to say in the first place. Those people are looking for a place to slither to and yell the loudest, and it doesn't really matter what they're yelling about as long as people are listening.

I love my readers. I know a lot of them personally, or at least, I did until today. I appreciate the fact that my blogging site reached a new milestone, but I never wanted to achieve it this way. Not with an article I'm not particularly proud of, and thanks to a community I don't really understand or agree with.

I'm not really where I want to be, and I'm not sure how much further I can take Blogzilla 1985. Eventually all of the attention will go away, and the site will be back to the same audience that I enjoy writing for. But, even when that happens, I just don't know if I'll be satisfied anymore. There is something more out there for a guy with a talent for creating worlds, and sometimes I wonder if I'm missing out on it because of the success I've found with BZ85.

For everyone that enjoys the site, I just want to extend my thanks to you. You've kept my passion for writing alive this past year, and it's been a damn rough year at that. Between some hard decisions and the passing of my father, there have been plenty of times that I've almost thrown the towel in. Thank you for reading the meaningless thoughts of some guy who really likes Godzilla.

And for all of the new people who came to my site because of Gamestop, I want to thank you too. Whether you agree, disagree, or just saw a chance to tear me apart, you've given me my greatest success and helped me with a couple of realizations. I don't understand the internet sometimes, but I'm old fashioned. You're definitely a lively bunch.

So what does this mean for Blogzilla 1985? Nothing. I'm sorry - nothing yet. I'm doing some soul searching and trying to figure out my next move from here. Until then, I'm going to keep posting those random thoughts that boil the blood and make you think. At least, I hope it does.

Still, at some point soon Blogzilla will have to follow the sounds of amplified birds into that giant crater for the final time.

And if you don't get that reference, I highly suggest you go find a copy of Godzilla 1985. It will change your life.

Or, at the very least, inspire you to make a blogging site about nothing in particular.