sand is overrated

all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

reflections, comments, and directions

the past three days have been an extremely introspective time for me and sand is overrated. i've been considering a lot of issues which i hope will help me to shape and transform this site into exactly what i wish it to be. what i've been thinking about can basically be broken down into what sand is overrated was becoming, what i wanted it to be, and how to make that happen. if i may, let me briefly explain what i've been contemplating.

in the four months since sand is overrated went live, my traffic has increased from about 150 hits in august to what would be a projected 10,000 in december. i say "what would be" because i have found that the statistics vary wildly from day to day, and i doubt that i will sustain the pace i have set during the first week of this month. i have found that traffic is almost solely dependent on two things--the frequency and the trendiness of the artists that i post. the quality of my posts and the time spent on writing them did not seem to correlate with traffic in the slightest way. noticing these effects, i realized i was almost forcing myself this past week to write something every day, and i was becoming fixated on choosing artists that i knew would be "hot" and generate a relatively large amount of traffic. this realization left an unpleasant taste in my mouth, for this was entirely untrue to my intentions and desires upon starting this place. so, i stepped back and tried to remember what it was that i wanted to create.

commercial radio and mainstream media have so far minimized the importance of artistic creativity and expressions of substance in music, instead embracing the high style and shiny appearances that are apparently embraced by the general public. my relationship with music runs infinitely deeper than that, and from the beginning, my intentions have always been defined by an underlying desire to express the relationships that i forge with it. it is an affliction of sorts, and one that most people are completely indifferent to. but those are not the people that i wish to read sand is overrated. nor am i seeking to draw the crowd that comes by only to freely download anything they can find, without pausing to read or consider what has gone into one of these posts. so this is an opportunity for me to reestablish my intentions, to share with you my own personal connections with music, drawing from my own experiences, and stimulate you to share your connections with me.

so what will change? well, probably not very much. to be honest, despite the tribulations of last week, i think i have done a very good job so far of resisting the temptation to post just for the sake of posting or for the sake of increasing traffic. but, i would like to make a more concerted effort to provide more of myself in what i'm doing here. ideally, every song would be accompanied by a personal story or experience that hopefully at least one other person will be able to appreciate or relate to. it may be that my posting frequency (and thus, my traffic) decreases--although i have a lot of ideas in the pipes that should keep me busy in the near future. but trying to hold myself to a higher standard, idealistic as it may be, is the only way that i am going to continue to get anything out of this besides the cosmetic satisfaction that comes along with exceeding 500 or 1000 hits in a day. if i can succeed in drawing a lot of traffic while still doing this the way that i want to do it, then great. if not, i will be satisfied as long as i remember my two rules for music blogging:
1) write about what you love
2) remember who you are doing this for
as a start, i'm finding a lot of these feelings i've had--veering off a chosen course, waking up in a strange place, and remembering where home is--reflected in radiohead's "lift". this would be an example of satisfying both my personal reasons for doing this and posting an artist and song that will, well, generate a lot of traffic.

radiohead : "lift (live)" (mp3)
this is the place
sit down, you're safe now
you've been stuck in a lift
we've been trying to reach you, thom

this is the place
it won't hurt, it will not hurt

a smell of recognition
a face you barely loved
empty all your pockets
'cause it's time to go home

this is the place
remembering all the things you always see

you've been stuck in a lift
in the belly of a whale
at the bottom of the ocean

a smell of recognition
a face you barely loved
empty all your pockets
'cause it's time to go home

today is the first day of the rest of your days
so lighten up, squirt

***** thanks to rachel for her advice and insight *****

14 Comments:

Anonymous Jean Pontillier said...

a little constructive criticism:..you post a lot of good music on your blog site ..really like that last live versicon of lift...but what u right is too sentimental...when reading it it seemed somewhat trite..leave your comments more openended maybe you will get more traffic

December 9, 2006 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger tad said...

jean,
thank you, i appreciate your comments and will keep those things in mind. if you return, though, it would be helpful if you might elaborate a little on what you found overly sentimental, or what seemed trite. i do worry about sounding trite but hoped that including my own personal experiences would lend a freshness to my posts. and i would just like to point out that getting more traffic is not my primary objective.

December 10, 2006 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Michael Niebuhr said...

I don't know if Jean is having a go at irony, or simply doesn't get the meaning of your post AT ALL.

Here you are, trying to establish a recent for going on, besides mere hits which hold little more than cosmetic value to you. You find it, in your deep appreciation and connection with music. Then someone goes and tells you not to rant so much, and get on with the updates, so you can get more hits.

I, for one, feel you, and look forward to reading anything you feel worth posting.

Thanks for a great site!

Michael Niebuhr
Denmark

December 10, 2006 at 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Michael Niebuhr said...

I meant to say 'reason' not 'recent'. ;o)

December 10, 2006 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger tad said...

michael, thanks for your comments. i have a feeling jean actually was well-intentioned and maybe just didn't word her thoughts quite right. i definitely don't think she was telling me to stop ranting, but i could be wrong. it'd be nice if she'd fill me in, but i doubt that will happen. thanks for the more positive vibes though. (wish i could read dutch)

December 10, 2006 at 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
Just wanted to say that I really appreciate your blog. Found it while I was looking for M Ward news.
Really looking forward to see your top list of records of 2006.

December 11, 2006 at 12:19 AM  
Blogger tad said...

thank you, anonymous. anyone looking for m. ward news is surely alright in my book ;-) my lists will be coming soon, probably this weekend. hope to see you again!

December 11, 2006 at 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i will be satisfied as long as i remember my two rules for music blogging:
1) write about what you love
2) remember who you are doing this for


That right there is what it is all about. Great post!

Thank you for being you! :)

December 11, 2006 at 8:40 PM  
Anonymous doctashock said...

I myself have been contemplating many of the same issues when it comes to my blog. I however also have a decent sized group of other writers working on the site that I have to consider when deciding what direction I want to go in.

I try not to censor them or "program" what they choose to cover, even if some of their choices aren't what I would necessarily like to focus on with the blog.

Oddly enough it was through browsing The Hype Machine that I stumbled on you site. I however am one of those who does take the time to check out what the writer has to say and usually a quick skim of the blog in general to see if I want to add it to my list of regular reads. I realise I'm in the minority when it comes to that.

I'm still having a little bit of a debate in my own head as to how much I should try to influence my other writers. We're still new and it'd be nice to see how much and how fast we can grow traffic wise, but as you have already stated I have to keep in mind my purposes for starting a blog ofmy own in the first place.

December 12, 2006 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger tad said...

doctashock, thanks for the taking the time to read through everything. not sure i could possibly help you out with your predicament. this blog is such a personal thing for me, i couldn't imagine sharing it with a bunch of other writers. though that would take a little pressure off, it just wouldn't give me the same satisfaction. all depends on what you want your site to be, i guess. good luck with it though

December 13, 2006 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you.

December 16, 2006 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger tad said...

you're welcome...

December 18, 2006 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Jad said...

Tad, I recently started a blog of my own and I am currently going through exactly what you've written about. Traffic does seem to be dependent on frequency and hotness of artists.

I like your style though, and it's inspired me to be more true to my original motivations of getting good music out there and not worrying about site stats too much.

Thanks dude. Keep it up.

April 9, 2007 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Paul M. Davis said...

First off--thanks for the kind words on my blog! Much appreciated, I totally agree about "Lilybelle."

I've noticed the same thing, and ever since I posted my blog to The Hype Machine, it's felt like a bit of a social experiment at times--sometimes traffic spikes predictably (when I feature "hot' artists) and that's disheartening, but every once in a while something totally left field will cause a spike as well, which is nice to see. I think it's inevitable that a majority of people will gravitate to a small number of options--behavioral scientists are finding just that--and even for an individual blogger, it's hard not to pander to that at times.

Good for you for making your realization and staying true to your initial ideal for the blog--it might take longer for as many people to discover the blog, but I imagine the people who do will appreciate what you write and feature much more!

July 24, 2007 at 5:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

Wikio - Top Blogs - Music Add to Technorati Favorites