Wednesday, October 1, 2008

You

I do not know who you are, though I think I can hazard a pretty good guess. The odds are that you are a friend or close acquaintance of mine who at some point clicked on my blog link through Facebook, or was otherwise bullied into checking out my site by me. On top of that, you are probably bored at work and trying to figure out what other things you could be doing right now to use your time as you try to make it toward the end of the work day. That is pretty clear from the rapid readership decline over the course of the weekend and subsequent increase on Monday. The odds are also in my favor that you, at some point, lived in Michigan or had family or close friends who lived in Michigan, and you have at least a passing interest in the success or failure of this state.

I find many fascinating things about you (or non-you, as the case may be). For example, it is sometimes absolutely impossible to convince some of my best friends (a certain fellow by the name of Brian M. comes to mind) to come to this website, even if they like me and the state of Michigan. I know that nothing I write is really that important, but I'm astounded that there are some people who absolutely refuse to read blogs - even if the subject matter is close to their hearts and composed by a friend. Can anyone help me with some insight about this? That is one side of the coin, but the other side is those people who keep coming back because they care about Michigan, believe in the cause, and think I am a halfway decent communicator. This is a verbatim message I received from someone with whom I have not spoken since grade school (> 12 years), reprinted with permission:

"When I left Michigan 8 years ago, I can honestly say that I despised the state due to the fact that it couldn't stay warm (or what I consider to be warm) for more than
1/4 of the year. However, after reading your blog, I do have to say that my love for my hometown state is starting to grow on me again. I guess it just took someone that I haven't seen in 13 years, along with some witty commentary, for me to see everything in a new light! Thanks."

This is the entire reason that I spend probably minimum 5 hours a week writing, and this message made me both proud and hopeful that more converts (or re-converts) could be brought into the fold. We have many reasons to be proud, and it is our job to convince others of these reasons.

Now, this brings me to you and how and why I need you. My breadth and reach is fairly limited - I can tell friends and family about the blog, post a link in Facebook or other away messages, and work with other bloggers to spread the good news about Michigan. This has been effective to a point, but I think my readership growth has mostly stalled. The problem with this is that I need people, at a minimum, to read to make the type of impact of which I dream.

And so, I beg for your help. As I've written right here, you are likely to have positive feelings and hopes for Michigan, and its success is important to you. If you feel that I am a decent spokesperson toward this end, is there anything I can do to convince you to tell some friends, post my link somewhere in your profile or away message, or spam the universe with my website information (you can handle a 10 year felony in federal prison for spamming. I will bake you cookies when I visit you)? I know I am shameless and I have always disliked shameless people, but I did not realize how little this would matter to me in my attempt to make a difference. You bear no responsibility for my success or failure, but I am appealing to your sense of purpose, hope, and pride in Michigan.

2 comments:

Alex said...

you should start some type of referal system.

say if i bring over 5 new readers, you can give me a We Are Of Michigan themed t-shirt. but the shirt would be part of a collectible set. so now I want to keep bringing in 5 more readers and 5 more readers until I complete the 10 shirt set.

it could do wonders.

Joseph Fisher said...

Hah! "Brian M." That caused a wicked flash back to an 8th grade dance when "Jump Around" came on and he proceeded to...jump around. I've got your blog figured out sir. You're running for governor aren't you?