The Snoozeletter @

Adventures in alpha-blog baiting: A couple of years ago, I baited Defamer (currently ranked #52), and this anemic little blog went from 20 hits/day to 200 hits in 20 minutes.

Yesterday, I baited Boing Boing (currently ranked #2) and TDQ (my Palm Springs Life blog) got 1,000 hits in one hour... up from its previous hourly average of 30. Holy crap.

Moral: bait the big boys. Take it from a master baiter.

[24 hour totals = 3251 hits from Boing Boing, which snowballed into 513 hits from in Brazil and dozens of folks putting TDQ's RSS feed into their newsreader/aggregators.]

April 29 update: our tracking software says there were 7 hits from Daypop Top 40 at 2:45am this morning. That means TDQ was one of the most-linked blogs on the web... for about 10 seconds. ;-)
The Blogging Goldbergs: At yesterday's PS Book Fest, I had the rare pleasure of meeting two brothers who both have enormously successful writing careers. Lee Goldberg claimed to be the younger and handsomer one, even though his brother's blog contradicts this. Later, I met Tod Goldberg, a CV resident who's engaged in the arduous task of popularizing the word "Fucktard." Both Goldbergs are charming and witty and talented, so I naturally responded with overwhelming envy... the highest compliment one writer can extend to another.
Screenwriting Blogs (check their blogrolls for more): (John August: Go, Big Fish), I find your lack of faith disturbing (Josh Friedman: War of the Worlds, The Black Dahlia), ScreenwriterBones (Philip Morton: Fantastic Four, Fire Down Below), The Artful Writer (Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott: Rocket Man, Scary Movie 3; The Mask of Zorro, Shrek), Terry (Terry Rossio: The Mask of Zorro, Shrek), Complications Ensue: The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog (Alex Epstein: Galidor, Charlie Jade), Dead Things on Sticks (Denis McGrath: The Conspiracy Guy, Skyland), Who Are You People? (Michael Gilvary: working rewriter), A Writer's Life (Lee Goldberg: Monk, Missing), Yankee Fog (Jacob W: Dennis Miller Live), The Inside Pitch (Christoper Lockhart: ICM Exec Story Editor), Alligators in a Helicopter (Scott: working script reader), Living the Romantic Comedy (Billy Mernit: struggling screenwriter), The Screenwriting Life (Warren Hsu Leonard: struggling), The Thinking Writer (Jon Deer: struggling), Things they won't tell you in film school (Julie Doe: struggling), Development Hell (Christina Ferguson: struggling).
Monkeying around with the world's oldest chimp. A high-school buddy still sings this to me on the phone, every January 5:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
You look like a monkey,
And you smell like one, too.
Time flies when you're goofing off. On April 4, 1996, I took a short break from designing this piece of screenplay formatting software, and added two new pages to my fledgling website: "...a hotlist (an eclectic mixture of special interest sites and 'Meta-sites', where you can pretty much run up that connect bill until you're staring into the stratosfear), and this [Snoozeletter]."

On the hotlist page, my enthusiasm knew no bounds: "Isn't the state of the W³ exhilarating?! Someday the current duct-tape, baling-wire, bad-interface, slow-response-time, sixty-two-browsers-but-only-three-that-work, choose-your-own-HTML-standard, 17,000-search-engines-to-find-anything, and Congress-thinks-they-can-regulate-this-anarchy-HAH! will all be standardized, but the Status of Quo is rife with possibility. I'll bet Butch and Sundance felt the same way about the frontier, before they went to Bolivia. We're all privileged to be a part of this sinister/glorious/loopy cultural force in the Good Old Days; it seems to be our century's version of the Wild West."

However, the first signs of civilization came to cyberspace much sooner than I expected. The term "weblog" was coined on December 17, 1997, and automatic blogging software appeared during the next year.

So I guess you could say I became a blogger ten years ago today, long before any of us realized our hand-coded HTML journals/diaries would be called "blogs" by future analysts. I've created postings at home, in the car, on mountaintops, near raging floodwaters. I've blogged during lunch breaks, in the middle of the night, and on vacation. But I never dreamed I'd end up teaching it for the University of California, much less doing it as a full-time job. What a long, strange trip it's been.
America's Top Fools: Michael Jackson, Dick Cheney, Paris Hilton, George Bush and Tom Cruise.