Calm waters restored

Going to Mayo for a weekend of relaxation is a calm, mature and dignified activity.

Raising hen to paper to write a post about the experience is entirely predictable – after all this whole blog is based on my personal experiences and twitterings. I’ve been consistent over the last year in discreetly revealing my life (although never once have I revealed the name of a friend in here – not everyone is as fond as I am of navel-gazing).

Occasionally the blog posts will be widely read (when I say widely read I am talking  about by my own standards – this is not the BBC).Sometimes the reason a post will be widely viewed is explainable – for example I might have strategically pimped it out to get added views.

I always post a link to the blog on Facebook. It is from among my nearest and dearest Facebook friends (each and every one of whom – except for the handful I’ve never met – I count as close, personal acquaintances) that I get the bulk of traffic. When I stop to think about it, this is probably a reason for my discretion – it’s unwise to reveal one’s deepest, darkest thoughts about people, when there’s a chance that they might read it. It’s bad enough that I’ll meet someone and say ‘You’ll never guess what I did over the weekend and they’ll look at me and reply ‘Well yes I could in fact – you blathered on about it in your last searing 600 word expose about life on the bus.’. If I revealed that I thought someone resembled a heavy breather with intestinal woe, then it could negatively impact my real life relationship with that person.

Sometimes I will target an audience. If I’ve seen a concert or a play and I’ve enjoyed it I will want people to know about it. Including the actor or painter or musician. Heaven knows the arts are not a financially lucrative business so offering a bit of encouragement and congratulations is the least I can do (aside from buying a ticket to the show I mean). I’ll then use the medium of Twitter to inform the artist. And then if they want to use that as promotion then it is a mutually beneficial exercise. Performers are ego driven creatures after all (this is not a criticism  – it’s simply the nature of the beast) so if someone enjoys their work then they want others to know about it.

If I think a show or a concert was disappointing I won’t write about it. This is not dishonesty. It’s more about compassion . Nobody sets out to give a shit performance in a bad play with terrible music and a useless set. These are invariably labours of love, into which the same amount of  blood, sweat and tears have been poured. If I haven’t enjoyed something,  that doesn’t diminish the effort that has gone into creating the piece of art. There’s no good to come from raining on someone’s parade with snarky comments.

Karma has a habit of biting you in the ass. As I’ve written some plays,  and received the very occasional bad notice, I understand how painful these are. I won’t offer false praise if I didn’t enjoy something. I’ll just zip my lip.

The exception to this is the massive show by the well established rock star, film actor or writer. These people won’t be personally or financially impacted by my opinion in a positive or negative way. Being more blatant is permissible.

At other times certain blog posts will attract attention thanks to me posting a link to it in another article.

Before Christmas I wrote a scathing review of the loathe-some lifestyle website ‘Lovin’ Dublin’ (which is big and successful enough not to have to worry about my opinion). Three days later an article appeared on another widely read site detailing how Lovin’ Dublin had approached Oscar’s Bar in Smithfield begging for free catering for a Christmas party, in exchange for the equivalent value of free advertising on its vile, dishonest website. Unfortunately as the self same website had thrashed Oscar’s Bar only months earlier, the bar was having none of it. Oscar’s reply that they would rather stick pins in their eyes than host the Lovin’ Dublin party went viral. Buzzfeed wrote about the feud. I posted a link to my piece. And the next thing you know my post had been viewed many, many more times than would be usual.

Other times you are caught entirely unawares.

Like when you go to Mayo, have a gay old time (in the 1920s meaning of the word gay – last weekend in Mayo sadly lacked any immorality), write a blog, and then move on.

Only to check the viewings stats some days later, and wonder what in Dolly’s name is going on. Why are the numbers in the four digits (when reaching 3 digits in a day is a rare occurrence).

A bit of investigation reveals than a Chamber of Commerce and a Tourist board has linked your blog to promote their beautiful county.

Luckily I was a one day wonder. Normal viewing figures have now been restored.

Is this what’s known as going viral though? Isn’t that what the hip young cats say these days?




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