Going through the email. Someone sent me a screenshot showing that the USA Today op-ed was the #1 trending piece on Google News the other day. It's disturbing what I see. For instance, not a single new Twitter follower. No new traffic at the website whatsoever. No one signing up for the blog. Not a single note. The mail I do get on here takes various forms. People are often quite nice. Someone who was very kind offered to help me with the site, and I just saw that today and need to thank her. I don't get much in the way of outright hate, because when you write me, I have your email address. People don't want to go up on the blog. Someone yelled me for my Art Tatum V-Disc piece, because I didn't tell them where they could buy the music in question. Not my job, dude. Also, you have Google, and you have YouTube, and you have fingers--because you're using them to write me--so you can simply type in what you need to type in and find your music that way. I sent this big Beatles pitch to The Atlantic, and I hope I don't have to do what I've been trying to avoid doing on here.
This is an exchange from this morning. Says a lot about how things go here. It's in reverse chronology, because it was email.
Someone else: It is a true conundrum. I understand more than ever your desire for a level playing field. Heard an old, well known sports journalist talking about this in relation to Brady. He said the same thing you have often, that sports is one of the few places in society where you have a level playing field. You win or you lose; and if you lose, you got beat--no excuses, the scoreboard doesn't lie. How antithetical that is to publishing and really so many other aspects of the modern society. But yes, publishing is the worst.
Fleming: But you do get it, when it pertains to publishing people. It's a combination of things. Envy of the worst kind there's ever been. And also total incompetence. I think they sometimes have no clue what talent is. What I can't explain is how you can have a piece seen by millions of people, and not have your web traffic go up at all. Not get a Twitter follower. Because if John started his writing career today, with an op-ed that ran tomorrow, and launched a Twitter account, he'd wake up to 50,000 followers, no matter what that piece was about. It's me, man. There is a unique push-away from me. I don't know how to solve this.
Someone else: Yeah--a surreal and unique phenomenon. I just don't get it. Regardless of what you think of someone personally, you simply can't deny talent. It's like Marchand--if I wasn't a Bruins fan, I would hate the guy--and I don't think I would even like him if we were in the same locker room. But I sure as hell would respect what he can do and also tell him so.
Fleming: That's well said.
This is just so disturbing. It's almost literally unbelievable. I never could have believed anything could be like this twenty years ago.
Someone else: Colin, it's awful when the good news just reinforces the bad--but it is good news. No one could have written that piece better.
Fleming: Here's something disturbing: it has come to my attention that the USA Today op-ed was the #1 trending article on Google the other day. At some point in the day, anyway. As per usual, I did not pick up a single Twitter follower, subscriber to the site, any traffic to the site, and not a single note from anyone came in.
I try to push away from the "cursed and doomed" thing, but stuff like this makes it hard. Everyone either turned down or ignored the Charlie Brown op-ed. And going through the email after a week away, there's nothing here. The blackballing is...well, I don't know how to get around this.