After 9 solid months of existence, it continues to surprise me that the most viewed single post here at Culturephiles is one of the first posts we put up -- this old chestnut from 5/23/08 about Linda Ronstadt. Further, the majority of the internet searches that bring visitors to Culturephiles are in some way related to Linda. (Not that there are many, but there are some.) The most popular, oddly, is a search for “hashimoto's disease” in conjunction with Linda’s name, something that was never referenced in my original post, but was actually mentioned by a commenter (we don’t have many of those either, but Ronstadt pulls ‘em in!) after the fact.
I find this fascinating for whatever reason; the vagaries of the internet are boundless. On the one hand, I love Linda Ronstadt, and am glad that other people who love her have found my thoughts on her here on this blog. On the other hand, as our name suggests, the Culturephiles is about many other things besides Linda. Why was that the one post that brought (and continues to bring) visitors to this blog? In short, it’s both wonderful and totally inexplicable. Why are there so many people on the internet googling Linda Ronstadt and not Jane Lynch? Or Ane Brun? Or Joe Pug? I can’t imagine that Jane Lynch, Ane Brun, and Joe Pug are all SO much more popular right now that googlers have a zillion other options and never make it down to Culturephiles. Or, conversely, that nobody is googling Lynch/Brun/Pug at all. (If my reading has taught me anything at all, it's that somebody is googling everything) OR, alternatively, that Ronstadt is so far removed from her heyday that ours is the only site with a mention of her. I just don't get it.
As I spend more time reading and learning about “new media” and social networking and blogging and all that stuff, it actually becomes more complicated-seeming to me. There are endless sites and posts explaining how best to start a blog, and even more that suggest ways to promote one. There are sites (some of which we use here) to track information about who visits this blog, how they found it, how long they stay, and so forth. And yet, it seems to me that you could follow every suggestion for making your blog stand out in the sea of virtually identical blogs, twitter it, digg it, facebook it...and at the end of the day, all the well-intentioned hard work in the world can’t generate as much traffic as a post on a largely forgotten music star can.
Maybe it’s just me who is somewhat baffled yet fascinated by this. But regardless: thanks Linda Ronstadt, wherever you are.