Providing meaning to a mass of unrelated needs, ideas, words and pictures – it is the designer’s job to select and fit this material together and make it interesting.—Paul Rand
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]Welcome to our grand experiment, one which is far from being scientific and authoritative in nature, but still slightly more than anecdotal. You see, for websites like this one to be profitable, one of two things has to happen: either it drives enough traffic to make advertising ratios work, or it drives enough traffic to actually impact business. Neither of those has happened yet. There are a number of factors involved, of course, but one of my frustrations is that the content of the articles seems irrelevant to their popularity. What matters is how provocative are the pictures. Last week proved that premise quite handily. The pictures were totally unrelated to anything. We knew we were pandering, and it worked; our weekly hit count was higher than it’s been in months.
So, this week we continue in the same vein, but going a step further. The articles this week will not only be unrelated to the pictures, but they’ll be unrelated to anything. They may be funny, they may be nonsense, they may occasionally be serious, but you won’t catch us talking about technical things like how the mirror reflected light awkwardly back in the model’s face in this picture. Nor will I tell related stories like how it snowed nearly nine inches while we were shooting this set, or how the place where we shot no longer looks anything like this now, which makes me sad. Instead, I’ll talk about something totally different, like trees.
Except that, for the moment, I’m not really interested in trees. I’ve not done any research on trees. I have noticed that our lack of rain is ruining the fall foliage. Rather than turning colors, leaves are simply dying, turning brown, and falling. How depressing that is. No pretty colors. Rather sucks when you think about it. We had all that rain back in the spring and now we get nothing. I suppose this is making it easier to get in the fall harvest; fields aren’t muddy so farm implements can roll across the crops with optimum efficiency. I have cousins whose business involves leasing combines and such for the harvest. I would imagine their business is doing rather well at the moment.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]For the two or three people who actually attempt to read the articles, this week could be either entertaining or frustrating, depending on what happens. What I’m expecting is that I’ll get up each morning and just go with a stream of consciousness based on how I’m feeling at the moment. Milan Fashion Week wraps up on Tuesday, Paris Fashion Week starts Wednesday. Both require me getting up earlier than usual some days, but at least Paris is only a five-hour time difference versus Milan’s six. That extra hour can be brutal when there’s a critical show at 3:30 AM our time. I’m not sure I’m capable of anything resembling consciousness at that point.
Early morning writing requires help. I have a browser plugin that not only checks my spelling, which can be atrocious early in the morning, but also checks my grammar. Sometimes its grammar checks are a little too strict for this style of writing. I am, after all, being rather conversant. This isn’t the New York Times by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, it pains me to see any writing where the grammar is totally ignored, and when the plugin corrects things it usually does so with good reason. I miss things when I’m tired. I also have difficulty caring when I’m tired. I’ve been tired a lot, lately. The plugin has been working overtime.
Totally unrelated, I’m wondering what would be too explicit; at what point would a photo be so audacious as to actually turn traffic away? Is that even possible? At the same time, I more frequently wonder what it would take for people to actually start sharing these posts; that’s what it’s going to take to really bump the hit counts. I can only reach a limited number of people at any given time. For us to get the big numbers, where the website begins to pay off, people have to share what they see here and that’s not happening. But then, how many people are doing anything more than looking at the pictures, anyway?
Yeah, that’s what I thought. Totally unrelated to anything.[/one_half_last]