"Each man has a song and this is my song." (Leonard Cohen)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Howdy, blog-pardners

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I started this weblog in March this year. I didn't think anyone would follow it, really. I mean the blogosphere is teeming with blogs on every subject under the sun and there must be dozens on Westerns, written by and for fans of cowboy films and books.
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Writing is curious in that way: one commits one’s thoughts, brilliantly formulated, of course, and in deathless prose, to - well, it used to be paper but now to the ether. Who reads ‘em? Does anyone care? How many trillions of words are spewed out into webspace and never read or never understood or never thought important enough to bother with?
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And, of course, as Proust told us, reading too is a curious activity in many ways. Reading is, or should be, an interactive process. When we read, we stimulate our own thoughts. We don’t, or certainly shouldn’t, simply take in what we read and accept it as gospel. We reflect, we go “Hmmm,” or “Well, I’m not sure about that, pal” or, if the text seems good to us, we might say, “Yes, that’s right,” or “I agree with that, alright.” We might repeat what we have read in our own speech or writings (with or without credits). We might digest what is said and slowly come round to that point of view. Of course, on the rare occasions when what we read is really good, even art, we find ourselves understanding that the idea that has just been expressed was what we believed deep down all along but had never managed to express ourselves.
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Anyway, I recently looked at the stats for this blog for the first time. I was astonished: people are reading it. Or anyway, they are clicking on it. The stats are really clever. You can see (doubtless you knew this) how many ‘hits’ there have been to the site by day by week, by month, even right now, as I type. And we have a fascinating world map with the countries of origin of most hits in different shades of green.

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Typically, there seem to be between 15 and 30 on any given day. Now, I know that’s puny by comparison with popular blogs. But to me, it’s an amazing number! Who are you persons out there? Of course it could be one person reading it 30 times. More likely, I guess, is 30 people. Of those 30, maybe some clicked by accident or only stayed a few seconds, just long enough to see that wasn’t what they were searching for or just long enough to think, ‘What a load of old baloney’ and move on to their favorite porn page.
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And guess where you live? Most, the darkest green on the map, come from France. That’s not too surprising as that’s where I live and post from. French people love Westerns. Second is the US and Canada. Well, OK. We can easily imagine that there are more Western fans in North America than in the Ivory Coast or Baluchistan. But Germany and Russia come next. That surprised me a bit. But for those of you reading this post, danke schön and spasibo, друзья, meine Freunde, and I hope you enjoy it. Oh, and pozdravljen (or pozdravljena) to my sole Slovenian reader!
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The most read posts recently are:

.We deal in lead, friend Nov 9, 2010, The Mountie doesn't always get his man Sep 10, 2010, Too drunk to hit the ground with his hat Dec 15, 2010, The community of the Western Jun 2, 2010 and Terminal treacle Nov 18, 2010.
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Why the second most popular post is about a 1970s Canadian Western of ho-hum quality, I’ve no idea.
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I’m trying to suss out how you can leave comments. I’d like to hear from you. Especially if you agree with me. Oh, alright then, even if you don’t. As you will have realized, I’m not exactly a hotshot IT guy. Although I think I’m pretty damn good considering. (Considering what? Well, considering my age, IQ, laziness, that kind of thing).
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If you do leave a comment (or send an e-mail to westblogger@gmail.com) tell me what you’d like to read about. More books, fewer films? More about traveling in the West? Whatever.
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Farewell for today, you great tribe of followers. Both of you..


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