In a previous post, I mentioned trying to shift away from a purely Facebook presence, to concentrate more on this blog/site. For my final pre-retirement employer, one hat I was handed, back when the Web was first launching, was “Internet guy.” And what with the company being a business, “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) became a significant part of that job. How to snag a highly visible spot on the first page of a search engine.
Some of SEO was simply a matter of early entry into a field: Look up the phrase “Write Source” on Google and on the first page you’ll find only a single entry that isn’t my old employer. The Edge browser is only slightly less dominated, as is the case with Yahoo! (the most popular search engine back then) and Ask Jeeves (another old one).
Short of that early dominance, there’s “long tail” (I like to call it “chasing the long tail,” because sarcasm), a practice of focusing the META description in a page’s <head></head> code on such specific phrasing that you dominate searches for that combination of words.
And tied to SEO is the idea of funneling searches and other Web presences—social media, posts on other blogs, whatever other diverse locations you can occupy—back to a single location, where you can focus your own time and attention, rather than having to keep up with and provide content to a zillion other places.
That funnel concept is as true for personal blogs as for businesses. A desire to be visible in a sea of other content. And for a “retired” game designer like myself, seeking to remain relevant in a hobby more and more dominated by Hasbro and Eurogame companies, my posting to disparate places is time I better spent on writing and self-publishing.
Which focus is why the occasional publication announcement or game related content here.
Not just about my own stuff. On Facebook I often promote somebody else’s, whether in my own feed or on a Group page. Because I’m a gamer first and foremost. Self-publishing is just one outlet of that hobby. Playing other people’s games is just as much a part, though unlike for many players my mind may be doing more than simply play: evaluating the design itself, musing on some aspect of it, learning something, envying some feature I wish I’d have thought of. Just as I do with fiction, non-fiction, movies, poetry, etc. The storytelling, the use of language, the philosophy and history.
True fact, the only reason I know much of anything about historical things like the Napoleonic Wars is from reading War and Peace and The Count of Monte Cristo. (Historical details I was supposed to learn in school just wouldn’t stick, until I took a Humanities course in college, which dealt with history and philosophy from the viewpoint of famous artists and writers.) And once the Napoleonic Wars were introduced in those two novels, suddenly the interconnectedness of the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, and suchlike came into focus.
So, forgive me if I’ve said it before, but this website is me. And though you’ll find quite a bit of stuff about my own works, that’s only a significant fraction of who I am and what I’d like to accomplish here. Most likely I’ll be changing the site’s banner sometime soon to reflect that fact for anyone who lands here by mistake. So they don’t immediately think I’m trying to sell something.
Because people do land here by mistake. I accidentally snagged the front page of search engines way back when, by getting the “lestersmith.com” URL and keeping it. So, though the dead Texas millionaire has been crowding me out of late, I’m still there. And one not unwelcome side effect of my paying more attention to this blog is likely to be crowding him out again simply by outliving the newsworthiness of his passing. I may be old, but I can still make news.