Friday, January 21, 2011

A Message To My Readers

I started Adventures of Der Kosmonaut nearly 5 years ago at the suggestion of my room mate in Montreal. Blogging was still a relatively new trend on the Internet at the time. Blogs had yet to become as popular or as powerful as they are presently with start of the second decade of this century.
Initially, the blog was intended to showcase my poetry and literary writings along with social and political commentary. The blog was also intended to be a travel log reflecting my impressions from my global adventures as a nomadic bohemian poet. Though I was computer literate and had been using the Net for a decade, I knew next to nothing about the mechanics of the world wide web. If you were to ask me about about Search Engine Optimisation or SOE, I would have drawn a blank. Moreover, I had a very small audience at the very beginning consisting of my small circle of friends in Montreal and the few contacts that I had in Austria and the US. Though I was sure that there were other readers that came in from time to time, they were few and far between.

At the time Blogger didn't have applications to track how many viewers visited the blog. A couple of years later, I added Google Analytics but found that no one had come to visit my blog at all. The graph chart was flat-line.
Between 2007 and 2010, I was on the move nearly all the time. I spent most of 2008 and the first half of 2009 writing The King of The Woods. Also contributing to the lack of content was the lack of residence. I had to rely on other people to use the Net. Sometimes a half year would elapse before I was able to post content.

In December of 2009, my writing started to get recognition. I was asked to submit to Lichtziele in Austria. For the first time, I was paid for any of my writing. Last spring, I was hired to write regularly for The Age of Nepotism. It was the first time I had ever been paid to write regularly. Of course, the pay rate was ridiculously low but it was still enough for me to survive in Belgrade.

The Age of Nepotism was a turning point in my writing career. I used Word Press, which employs a much more professional application than Blogger. I was instructed in the use of backlinking in order to increase visibility on Google and other search engines. I also learnt to use links as references to facts that I would write about. Suddenly, I had a much larger audience. Most of my articles elicited comments, even though most of them negative. Still, I had a growing audience. As more people read The Age of Nepotism, traffic increased to this blog. I also utilised my skills of journalist writing. I learnt to condense my articles. The publisher wondered why it was impossible for me to write under 1000 words. My writing became more concise and on point.
The publisher hired me full time to work for him in the capacity of marketing and sales for his business website. I was given a crash course on online marketing and the use of SOE to generate publicity and increase web traffic. I even wrote my first technology article about the dawn of the digital age which received good reviews from computer industry insiders.

I discovered Alexa, which is the premier online rating agency. Last summer, this blog wasn't even ranked. Later, I updated the editing application tools on Blogger and for the first time I could actually see the number of views to the site, as well as the countries from which people visited. I was surprised and humbled to see that I had a small yet substantial international readership. Many visitors have stumbled on to this blog searching for "train wrecks", which brought them to my article about the collapsing EU economy. However, the number of views for the blog exceeded those simply searching for train wrecks.

Unsurprisingly most readers of this blog are in the United States. Of course many readers are from Austria and Serbia, which makes sense as I have resided in both countries over the past 3 years. The biggest surprise is that I have a significant audience in The Netherlands, Russia and Denmark. Honourable mentions go to the UK, Ireland and Slovenia. Since May 2010, my blog as been viewed nearly 2800 times. Many of those views are repeat views from the same computer. That means that I have a regular audience of around 1,000 (give or take one hundred or two) readers by conservative estimates.

The other day when I checked Alexa, Adventures of Der Kosmonaut was finally on the map on its rankings. I'm still near the bottom of the standings with more than 12 million websites with higher traffic than mine. My reach of the total web traffic is 0.00002% However, last month this page had more than 613 views. Two days ago I hit a one day record of 77 views. Still, my audience is increasing and I appreciate all of you.

The reader will notice some changes in the coming weeks. I plan to transform Adventures of Der Kosmonaut into a multi-media blog. In addition to the regular fare of my commentaries, poetry and literature, I will add videos of documentaries and news broadcasts which most people in North America cannot find on the corporate and controlled media. People like Max Keiser and Gerald Celente are much more knowledgeable about economics and finance than I am but both have been stating the same facts I have been over the same period of years. Keiser and Celente have been predicting and reporting about issues as this blog. Documentaries by John Pilger can better elaborate and explain historical and current events better than I can. I will also post videos from performances and music of mine which have been recorded over the years.

We live in critical and dangerous times. I have attempted to highlight the coming and present dangers which we face. On the other hand, we are living in exciting times as well. We are living in revolutionary times. I hope to use this blog to document and to provide an unique insight to what we are experiencing today in the fields of art, culture, politics, economics, media.

I am grateful for my tiny audience. I'm even thankful for my critics and enemies who read this blog and to those that comment negatively. This indicates that people have taken their precious time to read and comment on my often long-winded articles. That it even provokes a reaction is testament to the power of my writing. It's reaffirms what every writer hopes to achieve with his audience; that is a reaction and response. Negative feedback simply shows that I have touched a nerve,that I have managed to get inside that person's brain and aroused a trigger. My only complaint is that most of the negative comments are petty and trivial. Even worse, most of the rebuttals are neither well reasoned nor thought out. I don't mind serious intellectual critiques and challenges to my interpretation of events and facts. I don't expect the readers to always agree. I just ask that they do so with a certain level of intellectual maturity. Nitpicking over a minor "inaccuracy" which has very little to do with the main point of the article is nothing but a distraction. Nearly every major newspaper, magazine and other news media outlets contain much more than minor inaccuracies. More often than not, they are filled with vagrant bald faced lies and deception. So too is simply making comments just to contradict without further explanation or reasoned argument. I will not be lured into YouTube infantile bickering about bullshit. Feel free to post bullshit criticism but don't expect me to reply. With all that said, keep the arrows coming!

Please spread the word and share with as many as possible. I have added a Tweet button. I refuse to have anything to do with Facebook so please don't ask or even attempt to find me or this blog on it. My biggest desire is for the reader to enjoy this blog as you view this mad, dangerous and exciting world through the eyes of a revolutionary poet. Thank you.
-Der Kosmonaut
Belgrade, Serbia



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