One Million Views

One Million ViewsAmanda’s Reading Room passed its first big milestone this past weekend: one million views (or web hits, same thing). In fact, thanks to our recent three-update celebration, we blasted right through that ceiling and are now over twelve thousand views into our second million. Onward and upward!

The Reading Room has been on the air (so to speak) since 2007. Needless to say, a million views over seven or so years isn’t that impressive compared to what your more popular caption blogs can achieve. But we don’t publish daily updates here (sometimes weeks go by with none), and even then only one item at a time. And we plan to go right on standing on our little soapbox shouting “quality over quantity” until the cows come home, have had dinner and are relaxing in front of a nice fire in slippers and pipe.

At any rate, you may now refer to me as Lady Million.


One Million Web Hits


PS. With regards to the perfume shown in the photo, allow me to quote Krusty the Clown: “I heartily endorse this event or product.”


(Part of what follows was originally in the above post, but I decided to move it down here so I could elaborate.)

I’m of two minds about web views as a measure of popularity. Most of the time when I’m cruising the TG fiction/captioning blogosphere, I’ll click on a picture that looks interesting, only to barely skim the actual caption or story. Sad to say, most (but not all) TG fiction falls under the heading of “same-old, same-old” and simply isn’t worth a close read. Errors in the text (typos, misspellings, etc) stop me dead in my tracks. So what does a web hit really mean? The plain truth is that we don’t know. It could be someone who read what was on offer and loved it, or someone who lost interest right away.

I like to think things are different here at the Reading Room. I proofread everything before it’s posted, and I begin every story or caption at a point where something is happening—which should make the reader wonder “what’s going on?” and keep reading. That’s why I suspect that a web view should mean more on this website than it might elsewhere. This is only a guess on my part, but it’s an educated guess. Heck, it might even be true.

That said… I would hate for anyone to think that I’m some kind of stuck-up egomaniac. For the record, I applaud the fact that so many people post their writing on the web for all to see. It takes courage and I don’t want to discourage anybody from exercising their imagination and working to improve. When I say that something “isn’t worth a close read”, that actually says more about me than it does about the story or caption in question. To put in bluntly, I lack patience.

Why might that be? Well, I’ve put a lot of effort over the years into improving my writing, including taking classes and reading many a book on the subject, and one result (besides improved writing) is that I can no longer tolerate seeing the same writing errors crop up time and time again. (If you’re thinking that I’m not teacher material, you’re right.) But it’s not fair to judge other people’s work by those standards, because if we all did that then every online story would be drowned in a tidal wave of criticism—and no one would ever dare post their work. Were that to happen, we would all lose.

In the future, I pledge to try to be less critical. But knowing my mind as I do, it won’t be easy. So be kind. Your author is a flawed earthling, just like you. We should all try to appreciate the story before us for what it is.

Amanda Hawkins

8 thoughts on “One Million Views

  1. It is really weird how much spam some lowlife types TRY to post on this particular post. (I get spam on other posts too, of course, but this one gets far more.) All that spam is intercepted by WordPress’s spam filter, of course, so all I have to do is a block delete every time I log on, so really—what’s the point?

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  5. Congratulations! I’ve always highly valued good spelling and editing, which makes me appreciate your efforts all the more.

    • Thank you! I value spelling and editing as well, but not just because it’s the right way to write.

      (MOUNTS SOAPBOX) I believe it’s all about being reader-friendly. Fiction should go down smooth and easy, like fine wine (which is a metaphor I really can’t relate to because I don’t drink). Errors in the text (typos, misspellings, even poorly chosen words) are like bumps in the road (to thoroughly mix metaphors); they take the reader (however briefly) out of the story (even one as short as a caption) and that means the reader cannot enjoy it as much as they might have otherwise. So to be kind to my readers, and encourage them to come back for more, I PROOFREAD! (OFF SOAPBOX, WANDERS OFF TO FEED THE DUCKS)

      Thanks, Liz, for giving me a chance to sound off on what surely must be my favorite topic! 🙂

  6. Congratulations Amanda! The first million is always the hardest!

    I, for one, am happy when people take the time and effort to proofread their work. Once they get that, following conventions of spacing, pacing, proper paragraph breaks, etc .. are just icing on the cake!

    I always wonder at what point do we stop encouraging the initial effort of leaping into making TG captions and stories, and get into the whole, “please take the next step with proper grammar and desire a more polished product.” push which you hope doesn’t stop them in their tracks..

    • Thanks, Dee. And thanks as well for your recent mention of my work on your blog.

      As for your last point: I think two things are important. One is having good role models to show what can be achieved when you do take the time to polish your product. (So what you and I and others do is important in that regard.) The other is when captioneers and authors go back and read their earlier work. If they are actually improving over time, then seeing their earlier mistakes is a powerful inducement to keep improving. (Of course, some people never seem to get any better; could it be that they never read their own work?)

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