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  • Michael Krakovskiy 3:36 am on September 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Boing, Boing Boing, , , , , , Merlin Mann, , search engine traffic, , , the Starbucks post   

    State of the blog 2008 

    A while ago Merlin Mann gave a pretty neat definition of what makes blogs good:

    ” 1. Good blogs have a voice.
    2. Good blogs reflect focused obsessions.
    3. Good blogs are the product of “Attention times Interest”
    4. Good blog posts are made of paragraphs.
    5. Good “non-post” blogs have style and curation.
    6. Good blogs are weird.
    7. Good blogs make you want to start your own blog.
    8. Good blogs try.
    9. Good blogs know when to break their own rules. ”

    My list would have been very similar, and I am pretty sure deadprogrammer.com is a good blog. God knows I try :)

    On the other hand, I seem to have about the same thousand readers I had 4 years ago. I was kind of hoping that my writing and photography would work on their own, bringing me a steady stream of new readers. It does not seem to be working. Every time I try to put some extra effort into a post, my hopes of somebody linking to it, digging it, twittering about it, or even just leaving me a thoughtful comment are dashed. After a few years of this, it gets harder and harder for me to write. My posting frequency is not what it used to be.

    Several hundred readers still subscribe to my blog from Livejournal. The majority of the rest resulted from a single Boing Boing post. I don’t really think it’s the most interesting post I ever wrote, but to this day it brings in about 25% of my search engine traffic, and the majority of outside links.

    Back then I actively tried submitting my posts to Boing Boing. Boing Boing submission form can rival magazine publisher’s black hole. I finally practically begged Cory Doctorow in a personal email to take a look at at the Starbucks post (which the submission form vaporized previously), and I did get that link.

    I tried to get Jason Kottke interested in my blog, especially since it seems to me that a lot of the stuff that I write about is very much up his alley, but after a chat or two I got tired of pitching. It just does not fell right for me to buttonhole busy A-list bloggers – hey, look, I wrote this, you might like it.

    Anyhoo, what’s the point of all this? Apparently I suck at PR and self-promotion, and I would really like some help here from the audience. Do you know somebody who’d enjoy reading Deadprogramemer.com? Please, tell them, especially if it’s an A, B, C, D or E list blogger. Please?

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:06 am on July 18, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bidstrup, Boing, Cartoon, , , Herluf Bidstrup, , North Atlantic Treaty Organization, , , similar site, , To, ,   

    Blast From the Past 

    Boing Boing, with it’s love of red and anti-red comics made me remember Herluf Bidstrup. You see, for some reason in the Soviet Union multiframe format comics were seen as a western influence, despite their usefulness as a propaganda tool. Single and two-frame caricatures were common though. One glaring exception to the rule were comics of a Danish illustrator Herluf Bidstrup, who worked for a Danish communist newspaper. His work was published in a 5-volume set of coffee table books.

    The fifth volume was all political, and thus particularly interesting to the Soviet reader. But the other 4 were full of amazingly drawn multi-frame comics that showcased Bidstrup’s eye for little things in life and his crisp, flowing line. I spent hours upon hours looking at his cartoons. Unfortunately we left the books behind, but I will absolutely replace them (I’ve seen them for sale in a Russian bookstore, but balked at the price).

    Here you can find some political editorial cartoons and everyday sketches, probably from the last volume at pretty good resolution. These include sketches from his visit to the Soviet Union.

    This site, on the other hand has a lot of the good stuff from the first four volumes, alas at a terrible resolution that absolutely destroys Bidstrup’s elegant line. Here’s a similar site.

    Bidstrup was pretty much anti-US. Here’s Denmark scared by the Soviet menace joins the Nato. These are just few frames out of a longer sequence.

    I absolutely love Bidstrup’s take on the generational conflict and his other cartoons about families. This is another favorite of mine.

    Sometimes he just could not help himself and drew pinup girls, and the editors of his books were forced to add politically motivated copy: this cartoon’s title said something about how “this Bulgarian Eve is safe in the Garden of Socialism” or some such nonsense. I think it’s just that Bidstrup liked exotic women in bikinis (forgetting to thank Uncle Sam for the bikini, of course).

    I bet that if he were born in the US Bidstrup would have become one of the finest pulp illustrators. I wonder if he illustrated any sci-fi at all…

    Oh, and another thing. To this day I prefer cigars that taper on ends because they were prominently featured in Bidstrup’s cartoons. These are collectively called “figurados” and are rather uncommon in the American market. The type that tapers on both ends is called “perfecto” and the one that tapers on one end is called “torpedo”. These are hard to roll, so usually only experienced rollers venture to make them.

     
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