Tuesday, March 21, 2006

On the occasion of my 200th post..

..I would like to share with you all an email I recently sent to Fifi. It was triggered by an innocent enough question - namely how, when I first started blogging nearly a year ago, did I get people to visit here? What follows pretty much sort of covers my perception of how this whole thing works. Feel free to agree or disagree. What you're not allowed to do is say nothing - this is my 200th post, and in the spirit of that everybody has to say something in the comments. Love me or hate me - regular, lurker or psychopath - at least tell me hello. Anyway, here it is:

"...I can't really remember. My friend gave me a link, and then you just basically trawl all the good blogs you can find and leave pithy, erudite comments so that people are fascinated by you and are drawn to your blog, where you have oodles of beautifully-crafted, snortingly hilarious things to delight them, so they comment, so you link to them (but PLEASE, only if they are good and NOT perpetual, stalking weirdos or anyone who is shamelessly whoring [you’re not because you really do like the blogs you comment on and you’re not one of those people who leaves generic comments just to drive traffic or anything and besides, it’s not just you who does it, is it?]), so they link to you, and it's all just beautiful and symbiotic (no idea what that means) and ooh.

And then, somehow, you appear to be Popular (inasmuch as upwards of twenty people pop by on any given day). And then you start to run out of things to say. So you obsess on a daily basis about what to post, and when to post it, and how many comments you get, and how many comments other people get, and why are they more popular than you despite being rubbish, and why won't that perpetual stalking weirdo STOP FOLLOWING YOU ROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE, and should you stop? Or keep going? Or be funny? Or tell your secrets? Or make it all up? But you carry on anyway because it's too late now - you're locked into it and you can't stop because you crave the attention, and you read somewhere that only 30% of bloggers carry on after three months and because you need to prove that you are able to stick at something, anything at least once in your life you resolve to carry on. And it's like a job now, but one you really enjoy, and you have to visit your favourite blogs every day and read everyone on your list and leave a comment because that's what they do for you and that's why you go back to them and comment and that's why they come back to you. And every so often you think "there are millions of blogs out there. I need to get out more," so you do, for a while, but it takes too long and is just too much effort so really, the blogosphere is tiny and you have this thing where even if you think you've struck out into a new area you bump into people you know (usually that perpetual stalking weirdo, which annoys you but you don't know why, because it’s not like you actually know this person, but still, the sight of them in the comments on your favourite blogs really, really irritates and you want to say something but you don’t because on the very verge of doing so you realise how weird it would make you seem) but it's all ok because these people are your online friends now which is sort of sad but really ok because apart from the mentalists (and you know in your black, secret heart that on somebody's list you are one of the mentalists) they're pretty cool and you have your in-jokes and your people you email behind the scenes who know your real name and then that makes you panic because can you trust any of these people? What if they out you and get you sacked? What if they want to meet you? What if you agree, and instead of the friendly mommy-blogger you were expecting, you unwittingly offer yourself up to the depraved clutches of a six-foot-seven psychopath called Trevor who has separation issues from his mother despite being forty three and before you know it you're headline news and people on Newsnight investigate blogging and shake their heads wisely and marvel at the stupidity of making friends on the internet and your family are devastated and slightly embarrassed at how lame you were and people set up blogs to discuss you and how lame you were and you live forever as an example of all that was wrong with people's social lives and emotional judgement in the early 21st century and your kids change their name so nobody will know they were related to you.....?"

Do you think I might be reading a bit much into this whole blogging thing? And if anyone can come up with a better name for it than the "blogosphere" (saying that makes me feel like I've crashed a fifteen year old niece's party and proceeded to do the Twist to the Black Eyed Peas) then please, let me know.


Blogger Urban Chick chimed in with...

**holds hands up and drops gun in style of cowboy giving self up in tinpot western**

do not meet me: i am trevor...OH was right to be fearful

oh, and i've also dobbed you into your employer and posted those photos of you on the BBC website and told newsnight that you will definitely be up for being interviewed by paxo about your incredible naivety in all things internet-related

but, scaremongering aside, what you say: yes, oooooooooooooooh yes

trev x

21 March, 2006 20:21  
Anonymous Whinger chimed in with...

When I first found you, Miss SG, I just loved your outlook and wit, etc. I left a comment, and then continued perusing your writings.

And THEN I saw the post from a few days earlier about how you hate the blog pimp and was mortified. You, happily, were nice to me and were one of my major inspirations in finding my own voice.

There are so many new social nuances to learn in the Land of Blog, and I think you've summed them all up nicely. Best of luck to Fifi.

Am happily holding up my hand as the stalker of the hour.

21 March, 2006 20:28  
Blogger Betty chimed in with...

I am a 15 foot cross eyed hermaphrodite goth and I've been sitting behind the shrub opposite your new house, casing the joint before you move in.

Anyway ... birthday? Moving house? 200th post? Have I got to crack open ANOTHER bottle of champagne?

21 March, 2006 20:48  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

surgical spirit is fine by me, betty. give me three weeks or so and i'll be making you all celebrate my first full year of blogging (sorry if that sounds like a threat - i'm never going to stop, you know).

uc - i knew oh was right all along.

whinger - but you never pimped, or whored. you were and are lovely (except you get more comments than me so actually i hate you).

21 March, 2006 21:02  
Blogger james henry chimed in with...

Well that's about how I feel, if that's any help.

21 March, 2006 21:32  
Blogger garfer chimed in with...

I generally only read the first paragraph of posts. If that bores me, I move on. I read almost all of this one.

We are all sad social inadequates recovering from various addictive disorders. I think I've found a new one.

I am a comment whore. I once hit 48 (half of them were me).

21 March, 2006 21:36  
Blogger treespotter chimed in with...

anyway, just to note, another good way to get all sorts of people around is to post something with "lesbian list" on the title. you'll be surprised how many ppl comes around. seriously. you should try.

even surly comes around, and she writes helluva lot better than i do. :-)

21 March, 2006 21:46  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

james - but you're a proper writer....

garfer - almost all? hmmmm. the addictive disorders bit rings true though...

21 March, 2006 21:47  
Blogger treespotter chimed in with...

and ah, that third paragraph a tad long. but you write well. really :D

21 March, 2006 21:47  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

oh, and treespotter? i just tracked you back through your comment..it was nothing to do with lezzers, honest.

oh, and everybody? i'm only responding to your comments because i am trying to avoid packing up my life for moving. i'll try and keep up, but it depends on how busy i am at work tomorrow. don't be offended (unless you know i hate you, in which case i am deliberately ignoring you....).

21 March, 2006 21:51  
Blogger shiftclick chimed in with...

I am so glad you made a comment on my blog, because I'd lost you. Since I was stupid enough to completely re-do my blog to the point where it was totally new. Anyway.

I think I've got my breath back now after reading your wonderful synopsis and can post an articulate

21 March, 2006 22:09  
Blogger shiftclick chimed in with...

:: pant :: pant :: pant


Well-done, SG, and congrats on your 200th.

21 March, 2006 22:09  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

did you hear that?
what was that?
that noise?

thats me.
i'm the stalker.


21 March, 2006 22:27  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

shift.click - hello again.

first nations - see my comment. don't you Fucking Dare.

21 March, 2006 22:39  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

There can't be anyone stalking us from the hedges opposite our house 'cos opposite is still a fucking building site...so there, stick that in your stalking pipe and smoke it ner ner ner ner ner ner !!!!

How mature of me...I must be tired and fractious. I too have been packing my life into tiny cardboard boxes that looked like they were perfect for the job but now seem hopelessly inadequate.

21 March, 2006 22:50  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

isn't it fun, though?

the answer to that is "no!!". roll on a week on saturday. pass the parcel tape.

21 March, 2006 23:01  
Blogger Huw chimed in with...

I tried to read that in one breath. I have burst a number of blood vessels. Happy 200th/nearly a year.

21 March, 2006 23:58  
Blogger mig bardsley chimed in with...

Apart from the bit about upwards of twenty people and making pithy erudite comments and having oodles of beautifully etc etc. Yes that's mostly about it.
Happy 200th, happy moving day and I love your blog :)

22 March, 2006 00:15  
Anonymous NRG chimed in with...

"in the spirit of that everybody has to say something in the comments"
*doing as ordered*
Hello. I'm new to this whole reading blogs thing(and even newer to this commenting malarky), only started because i've suddenly found myself with far too much time on my hands and nothing much to fill it with except the internet. Don't have one of my own because my life is nowhere near interesting enough for other people to want to read about. Ok so the same can be said for most people with blogs, but at least a small portion of them manage to do this writing about nothing business in a witty enough way for it to be worth reading. This appears to be one of them. Well done. *off to comment on a whole bunch of other blogs to see if he can become a legendary stalking wierdo type* (well, it'll be more interesting than anything else i've done this year)

22 March, 2006 01:09  
Blogger Universal Soldier chimed in with...

I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head there. Nice on on your 200th.

22 March, 2006 06:30  
Blogger Who is this Dave? chimed in with...

As requested, I'm saying 'hello'.

Dave (nee Trevor).

22 March, 2006 08:10  
Blogger Spinsterella chimed in with...

Is anyone else thinking

"am I 'that perpetual stalking weirdo'?"

22 March, 2006 08:53  
Blogger Donna chimed in with...


22 March, 2006 09:12  
Blogger crisiswhatcrisis chimed in with...

I am that perpetual stalking wierdo, I'm sure of it. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that everyone isn't out to get you, you know.

Is that 3 month thing true? Wow, I beat that, just. A Proper Achievement. Of which I don't make many.

Well done on the 200, well done in advance on the year, happy birthday for last week, and hope the house move goes ok. Have I missed anything?

22 March, 2006 09:22  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

i think that just about covers it.

spinny - it's not you...

22 March, 2006 09:38  
Blogger Sherbert chimed in with...

Is it me then? Am I the stalking weirdo? Shit, more blog-paranoia for me to deal with along with all the other paranoia that you described so well. Well done 200th and hope the packing goes well. Surly, expect to sit on the stairs of your new house on the first day and cry - I find it's obligatory.

22 March, 2006 09:59  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

How can you tell? I look at the stats and lose the will to live after about two nano seconds.
Rather hoping it's me, but then I did supply you with kittens once so maybe not.
Well done on 200.
Now, go pack and move into your new exciting life.
O, and most of that post is spot on.
Do you talk like that too? Just buy you a pint and sit back? I like people like that. Saves e having to talk. And that can only be a good thing.

22 March, 2006 10:55  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...


dropped it earlier. Sorry. Litter.

22 March, 2006 10:56  
Blogger don't chase it chimed in with...

surly - congrats on all the good stuff happening to you, SP and OH: long may it continue

and even longer may we all read about it (and, possibly, the dustbin argument... ...which will surely happen)

if I was about twenty years older and my kids had kids, I'd be changing my blogging name to "A Random Grandma" BTW - sheer brilliance!!

good luck with the move

22 March, 2006 11:13  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

does anyone know where i've put the "paper counterpart" (cool band name! the paper counterparts!) to my driving licence?

22 March, 2006 11:21  
Blogger MinCat chimed in with...

yaay yay ya! heres to more surly. seems like only yesterday i was joining the parade of monkeys on the 100th post.

22 March, 2006 11:30  
Blogger Sherbert chimed in with...

You've put it in a Safe Place Surly.

22 March, 2006 11:52  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

that's what i'm afraid of.

22 March, 2006 13:06  
Blogger MJ chimed in with...

Happy 200th! I've been lurking here for months thanks to finding your link on either Geoff's blog or Wyndham's blog. (It's all a blogging blur now.) Hope you won't be put off by the fact that my first comment of the day was over at Betty's. And I visited Tazzy and Piggy before I popped over here.

22 March, 2006 13:33  
Blogger patroclus chimed in with...

Cripes. I think you've just written my whole dissertation! Happy 200th, surly, and long may it continue!

22 March, 2006 13:48  
Blogger patroclus chimed in with...

And just before I pressed the 'send' button by mistake, I meant to say to Spin, yes, I did worry that I am that perpetual stalking weirdo.

22 March, 2006 13:49  
Blogger funny thing chimed in with...

You put it in the bottom of the drawer in the kitchen..........

...at a guess.
(I don't know that for definite, I have never been to your house, barely know where London is and I don't think I'm a stalker.. I'm too busy.)

Happy 200th.

22 March, 2006 14:01  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

not you either.....

22 March, 2006 14:01  
Blogger Jane P chimed in with...

I think of myself less as a stalker, more as a lurker-with-intent.

22 March, 2006 14:14  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

thank you, jane p, and thank you for the picture of your bottom (is it your bottom? why am i even asking?).

22 March, 2006 15:27  
Blogger shiftclick chimed in with...

SG, it's the last place you saw it, I know this for sure.

My "OH" tells me that every time I've misplaced something. I always want to kill him. Lovingly, of course.

So do you know your stalker? Can you out the person here? Then we can all jump on him and grind him into a million blog words. HA! Take THAT, you stalker! And that, and that!

:: stomps away ::

22 March, 2006 15:48  
Blogger Geoff chimed in with...

I know who the stalker is, so there!

You're one of the few bloggers who found me, SG. Usually I just go to most places the trouble and strife finds. Only about five hours later.

Carry on.

22 March, 2006 17:09  
Blogger Brian chimed in with...

happy 200th! This post would make a good Wikipedia entry for blogging.

How about Pyscho Stalkers Virtual Meat Market instead of blogosphere?

22 March, 2006 18:03  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

*slides folded paper up through the heater vents* here's your facsimile. you put it in your underwear drawer and it got stuck in the back of the dresser.

22 March, 2006 18:32  
Blogger Kellycat chimed in with...

Is it not in the bread bin with your passport? What do you need it for anyway?

22 March, 2006 18:39  
Blogger Tabby Rabbit chimed in with...

What's the point of a handy-sized driving licence that you can carry with you when it has an ordnance survey map-sized 'counterpart' (that is somehow so much easier to lose)?

Yours was one of the first blogs I ever left comments on and I think used to get a bit carried away. Wasn't sure how the whole set-up worked. Am past that phase now (though still trying to grasp how it should work). Happy 200th.

22 March, 2006 18:49  
Blogger rockmother chimed in with...

I think I found you via another site via an astute comment that you made - can't remember too many winter nights in drinking fine wine seem to have made my head a bit fuzzy. Congratulations on 200th - good luck for your move and I think you should pursue a career in writing as you write very well. Ok - enough of my ingratiating sycophancy - going out for a girls supper whinge-fest in an hour and I have to get my own SP to bed before he consumes more yoghurts while I'm not looking! Start packing and get those Iron Maiden tickets - you have to! RM

22 March, 2006 19:22  
Blogger Jemima chimed in with...

Your driving licence is inside the cookbook, and K says you're not to feel guilty, she's looking out for you but the shoes will only bring you misery. Oops, came over a bit Doris Stokes there for a moment.

200 is pretty special. 47, erm 48 comments is impressive. Who says I should go back to the real world: it's all going on in here.

22 March, 2006 20:58  
Blogger GreatSheElephant chimed in with...

happy 200th

22 March, 2006 21:03  
Blogger spindleshanks chimed in with...

hello, happy 200th, try your socks and undies drawer (for your counterpart that is), please let it not be me..

22 March, 2006 21:11  
Blogger 30-Something chimed in with...

I think you hit the nail on the head, you start and then it gets to the point where it's just too late to stop.

Btw, am I one of your weirdo stalkers? *paranoid* Best say no, you don't want to send me over the edge...

22 March, 2006 21:35  
Blogger Spinsterella chimed in with...

OK, if the Perpetual Stalking Weirdo isn't any of us lot...

I'm starting to feel really sorry for him/her.

What did (s)he do to incur your wrath in the blogosphere? (Can't think of an alternative to that word either.)

22 March, 2006 21:45  
Anonymous jk chimed in with...

Happy 200th!

22 March, 2006 21:48  
Blogger bedshaped chimed in with...

You will only lose that 'sparkle' if you start to take each other too seriously.

I have no idea where your paper counterpart is and to be honest, I don't give a shit. You are a girl and by definition, should not only be able to multi task, but also know exactly where anything is at any given time.

Congrats on the postings.

Oh and good luck with the move!

22 March, 2006 22:05  
Anonymous The girl behind the partition chimed in with...

Hoorah for your 200th blog post and hoorah for your impending move to fancy new house and hoorah for cake and hoorah for drunken nights out. love ya Surly Girl

22 March, 2006 22:23  
Blogger Cleavers chimed in with...

I have no idea that I found you but I'm glad I did. I rarely comment as I'm no way near as erudite, pithy and entertaining as everyone else - I'd probably embarrass myself stupid - but I don't *think* I'm the stalker. I only vist 10 times a day, right?


23 March, 2006 03:09  
Anonymous not trevor chimed in with...

hi dear one.
I'm tired, fed up, anxious, and somewhat drunk. But because I love you so much and can't imagine a day without D-flat Chime bar. Here I am.

23 March, 2006 03:11  
Anonymous kyahgirl chimed in with...

yes, that was me. I know how freaking paranoid you are so don't want to give you anything else to panic over.

Happy 200th, looking forward to the next 200.


23 March, 2006 03:12  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

i didn't even get round to looking for the paper licence (for some reason, in the 21st century i can't just ring the dvla and change my address - no, i have to send in the piece of paper. twats.

as for the stalker, it's nobody who's asked if it might be them..

ooh, it's like murder she wrote, isn't it?

23 March, 2006 09:17  
Blogger DavetheF chimed in with...

Sorry I'm late, I just came from Quinquireme to praise your double century. I so envy your ability to write posts with such broad appeal, which I think is a prime reason you attract such large volumes of comments.

I wish I had the knack; I've done the rounds and left my razor wit on many blogs in this burg but only my loyal regulars turn up at the Vapours. I seem to do my best work in the trenches of the comments.

23 March, 2006 09:39  
Anonymous Stu Savory chimed in with...

Lemme see, 200 in roman numerals would be CC.
Which is why there are so many Carnpn Copy blogs?
Or is this comment merely a CC-Rider?

Oh, and all the best for the next CC :-)

23 March, 2006 10:03  
Blogger crisiswhatcrisis chimed in with...

Arse. It's me. I knew it would be. It always is. Story of my life. I didn't 'ask', did I? I just said, trying to be funny, that it was me. And you didn't disagree.

I'll get my coat.

23 March, 2006 10:18  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

Hmmmm. So tell me, Surly, what do really think of Lady McCartney. Isn't she just a lovely addition to that wonderful family?

23 March, 2006 10:20  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

if you were paying attention, crisis, you'd know that it isn't anyone who's asked if it was them.

beep - please, today of all days, don't get me started on Saint Heather Mills McCartney, Patron Saint of Prosthetic Limbs and Marriages of Financial Convenience....

23 March, 2006 10:27  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

but Surly, look at all the good she does in the world, and how she's caring for that poor old chap who had just lost his wife to cancer and would be all alone were it not for her tender loving care. Don't you think?

23 March, 2006 10:32  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

do i bollocks. not content with boring the world to death about life after amputation (look! i'm skiing! look! i'm swimming! look! my massive compensation payout means i don't have to survive on state benefits with an nhs prosthetic!), she then threw a pity fuck into macca (and don't tell me she found him irresistably sexy (see also phil collins)) and hey presto! was rewarded with a millionaire lifestyle and a new "career" bothering wildlife. i'm not for a minute suggesting that she doesn't deserve some sympathy for what happened to her (the leg i mean, not shagging mccartney. eeurgh..imagine the over-dyed hair flopping onto his wrinkly forehead as he feebly humped away), but people live with all sorts of physical limitations and manage to do it with quiet dignity.

that's all. i told you not to get me started.

23 March, 2006 10:39  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

very good. I'm laughing.

And why does Macca die his hair that sort of raspberry colour?

23 March, 2006 10:44  
Blogger patroclus chimed in with...

Yes - another fantastic outing for classic Surly phrase "feebly humping"! I love that one.

Wait a second, I'm supposed to be working. What am I doing here?

23 March, 2006 10:50  
Blogger Fifi chimed in with...

68 comments! Your navigation of the bleedin' Blogosphere obviously works then Surly Sis!
As well as the fact that you're just too good!

23 March, 2006 11:07  
Blogger crisiswhatcrisis chimed in with...

Oops. That's me told. If it wasn't me before, I think it might be now.

*Resolves not to get on wrong side of Surly by trying to be ironic again*

23 March, 2006 11:27  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

no...really! i'm not grumpy or anything today, but my irono-meter might be running a little slow due to my impending nervous breakdown.

are we all friends* now?

* except you. you know who you are....

23 March, 2006 11:39  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

Happy 200th Surly! I found you thru Whinger's comments if you're interested & found whinger thru K who i found from a Best Of post on craigslist. There, see? Only 3 degrees.

Good luck with your move!

23 March, 2006 16:02  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice chimed in with...

72 comments? 72! Congratulations on your 200th!

Make sure you come back.

I promise I'm not a stalker... : )

23 March, 2006 16:55  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice chimed in with...

Oh shit! I've just read all the comments now - it's not me is it?

I may have stalker-esque tendancies but I've not yet passed the Stalker exam.

I think I found you through Glitter for Brains... I think?

23 March, 2006 17:10  
Anonymous jonniker chimed in with...

BAH! Priceless. And I swear, I'm not a comment whore OR an Internet stalker.

No. Really.


24 March, 2006 02:59  
Blogger longcat chimed in with...

i rarely comment and i get almost no comments on my own blog...

and i have nothing else to say right now except... good luck with the move...


(you know when you read something back and you think that you seem brainless...?)

24 March, 2006 18:47  
Anonymous Yez chimed in with...

"What you're not allowed to do is say nothing"

Hey wait. No grace period for gasping for air, recovering from hiccups, wiping eyes, etc.? Harsh.

"...this is my 200th post, and in the spirit of that everybody has to say something in the comments. Love me or hate me"

Yes. Love you AND hate you. You've brilliantly articulated (love you) my own inner rants (hate you) (but love the rant-validation), and just in time for the start of my second year as a blogger (convivially pouring more wine). Congratulations! Your 200th deserves its kewl number, and more. By several orders of magnitude.

25 March, 2006 01:02  
Blogger JonnyB chimed in with...

I'm late, what with being a bit busy an that now. But you won't see this comment at all now. Oh.

Er - yes. What you said.

Sort of.

25 March, 2006 16:00  
Blogger star firstbaseman chimed in with...

I love it. So very well written.

30 March, 2006 19:07  
Blogger Fifi chimed in with...

just wanted to make it 80 comments, people.

03 April, 2006 13:57  
Anonymous Mr Angry chimed in with...

81. Probably my first comment on here, but been reading for a wee while.

I'm a big believer in being fashionably late y'see. I find 15 days late is about the optimum time for maximum effect.

Or maybe not.

05 April, 2006 10:50  
Anonymous Anonymous chimed in with...

actually. 15 days is about right. welcome, mr a.

05 April, 2006 12:19  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

that was me. was it me again? stupid comments box.

05 April, 2006 12:21  

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