Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Now We Are Four ...


As it is now the fourth anniversary of that day in December 2009 I started this blog with the intention of archiving posts from Steve's Kewl Doo Wop Shop written in 2000 I decided to commemorate my achievement by submitting the contents to OSTMB, the UK-based Office for Standards in Music Blogs.

This was done on a voluntary basis and I'm not sure what I thought might be gained from doing so. Above is a scan of the printout I received in the post today. After much waiting on the telephone I managed to speak to one of the inspectors for ten minutes (he put the phone down mid-sentence which I thought was discourteous, to say the least).

But I surreptitiously recorded the last eight minutes of the conversation so thought I would give a report here. My advice to other bloggers, however, is don't bother seeking out this organisation. If you gain pleasure from writing posts then go on doing so. Anyway, here are the "highlights" of what I was told combined with a more detailed email.

 We can't really see who this blog is for ... There is very little original research, or nothing that other people couldn't have found for themselves by surfing for a few minutes. To put it crudely, your blog started off as a doo wop archive, but what is it now? Anything goes, it seems: comedy of variable quality and whatever else momentarily occupies your thoughts ... Those who might be attracted to individual posts aren't given much encouragement to linger. And while there is a pleasing turn of phrase here and there why should you assume your fleeting enthusiasms must be of interest to others?

Crucially, the number of posts which explore a subject to an acceptable level seem to be mostly in the past. You seem to be claiming that some mysterious "project" is taking up your time but that can be of no interest to your online audience: either deliver the goods in a more consistent manner or our recommendation will be that this blog be closed down as no longer fit for purpose.

Our key suggestions are as follows:

1 Focus on one genre of music exclusively, and coin a more direct and informative strapline to encourage new readers. 

2 Post at least once a week, each post to be no less than 500 words.

3 Post titles must include a clear description of contents. Puns must be justified. 

4 The loosely-connected series of posts is confusing to casual visitors who cannot be expected to understand references to earlier posts. Either each post must start with a recap or posts need to revised in order to stand alone. 

5 Overall, there is insufficient evidence of  consistent effort being applied in the writing of blog posts and in a market of competing bloggers with  more specialist knowledge it is our opinion that this blog is unlikely to survive without a major change in attitude. 

So there we are. Not sure what I should make of it all. It seems unlikely that a single body like that has much power over the internet, and I'm beginning to regret paying for an analysis (£20.00 via paypal). I'd hoped there would be some phrase I could use to promote the blog but there isn't much. Still, it's Christmas, so here is a song by Nick Lowe which I recently heard on Spencer Leigh's On the Beat and enjoyed very much.


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