Looping the Loop
Publishing on the web is both an exciting and frustrating business.
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
It is has been an incredibly loopy week here at the old digital ink mill. We had a blast, Sunday night, with our Oscar Twitterama (the tweets making for considerably better entertainment than the awards show). This bodes well for our upcoming event, Twee-atre (we have the writers, we are about to set a time and a date). Another thing is that, last week, we surpassed our all-time record for pageviews (the one established during the WildSide Festival and when comic Mike Birbiglia tweeted our review of his show to his thousands). This week it looks like we will surpass last week's record.
The most-read articles, needless to say, were those connected to Patrick Goddard's 10 Things I Hate About Theatre (Joel Fishbane's subsequent edito, and Patrick's response to all of it). All the articles and the 50 or so comments to them were widely read and discussed in the community and proved, at the very least, that theatre people do not sit on their hands when they have something on their minds.
Today marks the beginning of our fourth month and all signs point to a nice future.
This makes publishing on the web both an exciting and frustrating business. Exciting because reaction is immediate and real (unlike the old days when everyone said they were going to write letters to the editor but very rarely did) and frustrating because people don't get a chance to simmer down before they're at their keyboards firing off the vitriol. In this light, I would like to put a period on the convo on Patrick's piece: he did not write it in the heat of the moment (and I suspect the series that was to follow would have been fascinating). He asked me if he could write it and then asked me for some time to think about whether he wanted to. His language was well chosen to provoke debate and thought (the word "hate", in my opinion, more interesting than, say, "get my dander up").
We are now starting to get real numbers about our site visitors. Number of pageviews tell us one thing, number of visitors another, and number of absolute unique visitors quite another still. The last number is key as it is the count of computers/users who have visited (after the first visit, the computer/user is no longer counted). CharPo is moving toward the 2000 mark. That's a whole mess o' people who, for the most part, are visiting the site every day and using it as a key resource for theatre information, news, reviews and (as you can readily attest) discussion. Clearly the number also indicates that it is not just theatre people coming here but the specificity of the site content suggests that it is all people who have a very particular interest and that they have found a place to explore it.
Of that fact, all of us at CharPo, are very proud. Today marks the beginning of our fourth month and all signs point to a nice future. We know things will be a little loopy, sometimes—but, really, is it any different than what we all face each time we walk into a theatre: a wonderful combination of nerves, anticipation and hope?