Tweet Emotions: Notes on the Process of Futility [Pt. 3]

So, now I have spent a month establishing myself as yet another constantly tweeting knucklehead, and losing those tweets amongst millions of others, having them read only by a small fraction of the 140 or so followers on my Twitter page, only three-quarter dozen of whom I can claim any sort of real, lasting friendship, work relationship or kinship.

With such a tiny, immediate audience available, why I would think Twitter would be a decent place to push The Cinema 4 Pylon and the writing that I place upon it?

The answer is this: it's better than nothing. Certainly better than my options currently at hand, which is less than nothing. As I said, Facebook and MySpace have proven to be busts for this. Only a few friends are willing to make the journey over to this site, and they are known quantities. Otherwise, I believe those sources are tapped out for the most part (and I used "tapped out" in a more traditional sense, rather than in the sense that lead to a line of idiotic T-shirts). And while I do get some decent comments from complete strangers on the Pylon directly, it is so random and so infrequent as to be not much of a factor. Thus, trying out Twitter seems as worthy an attempt at reaching an audience than any other. The potential for audience gain is immeasurable; the trick is getting people to the site.

I must state something to anyone new coming to The Cinema 4 Pylon, whom I will mostly assume to be those who do not know me in the least: there is nothing for sale here.

Any promotion that I do to get people to this site is solely so I can have you read what I have written. All of my writing is from my heart, and is not meant to promote anything else except for my opinion. That is it. The Cinema 4 Pylon, as I have stated numerous times before, is nothing more than my notebook, filled only with film non-reviews (though most would think they are actually reviews, criticism of film criticism itself, tributes to my favorite films, records, comics, books, etc., and attempts to begin discussions on just about any topic that catches my fancy at the time.

There are no ads on here at all. No Google Sense, no AdWords... nothing. I do not allow them on the Pylon, even though I have had a couple studios contact me to ask if I would place ads on here, owing to the fact that I primarily write about movies and video. And I will never allow them on here. I am not against commerce, and on another site built for mass appeal rather than personal depth and growth, I would certainly consider it. But the Pylon is not the place. It's about keeping my opinion pure. And myself in the process.

The problem on my end is producing material worthy of having more people tuning in to it. If you dig back a couple of months on here, you will find a series of articles reflecting my dissatisfaction with myself (you will find I am my own harshest and most terrible critic) over the work I had done on the site since September, when I still reviewed for Spout and last believed myself to be firing on all circuits, and just before I hit my latest deep and sincere bout with depression. And since taking myself to task, I have done relatively little in the way of "reviewing," instead throwing most of my concentration into my real world employment (I get paid to work for a soccer organization, co-edit their website, and write and associate edit the organization's membership magazine, which goes to 90,000 homes quarterly).

It isn't that I haven't been writing; I just haven't been concentrating on my own work, fairly putting it on the back burner, and only working on it sporadically. What I have been doing, though, is watching droves of films, all based around the moment when I will be ready to plunge headlong into writing more again. Also, in the meantime, I started goofing around on Twitter, TwitPic and -- all in the last month -- and I will not lie to say that they have had some small, detrimental effect on the way I approach writing these fuller pieces of late. Once you start thinking in 140/150 characters, it is hard not to do so. It's like when I play a video game too long, and then go to bed, but the game is still playing out behind my eyes, and I can't get to sleep. I keep working your brain through escapes to get me to the next level. The same with Twitter, where I can't even eat a burrito or lose it later through other means without working through a dozen different sentences to place on my Twitter page. After a single month, it has evolved -- or de-evolved -- my grey matter.

But, assuming that my work once more reaches a level where I am halfway satisfied with it, the question remains: why should you come here? What is in it for you? The truth is, this site is no good for those looking for a quick fix, seeking out a place for pocket-sized opinions and celebrity gossip. You will only get something out of it if you are the sort that isn't looking for a "This film sucked!" approach to criticism, though I do hold out the possibility for you that on the day that there is a film that sucks so mightily that I cannot blurt out anything else but "This film sucked!", the reason for my not posting more than three words regarding the film's failure as entertainment on any level is because I ran out to get my first driver's license, purchase a car, purchase a house with a garage, drive my new car home legally, lock myself and the car in the garage, and then turn on the engine so I can rid myself of the memory of said suckhole of a film.

My approach to film criticism has very little to do with the way it is practiced popularly, and rarely has much to do with the overall excellence of a film. It's a small part of every piece I write, to be sure, but its not the most important part. My chief thrust here is criticism as self-held therapy. When I talk about a film, it is usually because I am trying to understand what I see or don't see in it, how it affects me personally, how what I bring into the film emotionally and experientially affects the way I see the film, how what I have seen before affects the way I see the film, and how the current film fits thematically into the massive pile of films I have already seen. For me, as always, each film watched -- feature-length, animated short, etc. -- is part of my personal conceptual continuity; every film, no matter the quality, as equally important to my overall artistic sense as the next. And none of my approach depends at all on worrying about spoilers or sneak peeks or pirated advance copies, etc.

If this seems like pretentious hooey to you... well, goodbye. I don't need you. I have told you already that this site is primarily for me to immerse myself therapeutically through the cinema. If knuckle-headed fanboy stuff is your thing, go back to your Harry Knowles-type sites and enjoy spoiling films for yourself with idle speculation long before they actually come out, or head off to your four-word review sites for a less-than-haiku wackoff session. Because I don't do "condensed" here, and I don't do gossip. I like to take my time when discussing a film or an idea, and if you are sort that wouldn't mind hanging around for that, then I invite you to join in. Leave a comment or two, take part in the discussion, and please, always leave a link for your site so that I can follow you too.

I will probably get one or two of you at most, but if you are quality people, that would be just fine. It would certainly help to class the joint up around here.


Matthew Fosberg said…
I, am one of the ones guilty of sporadic attendance here. I admit to a penchant for facebook, and cannot bring myself to join Twitter. Too much of the online "tech" content I absorb on a nearly daily basis is obsessed with it and I just don't want to do it. Elitist? Trying to differentiate myself from the maddening hordes? Possibly. It also seems like too much work. I've considered checking out friendfeed, but I really don't want to invest the time in it.

One small note of why I don't come to the site too often, although I now realize I could read this from Facebook, is the white text on black drives my eyes crazy. I was almost unable to finish the three part post on Twitter.

As always, I enjoy reading your thoughts, and it makes me feel somewhat closer to you over the thousands of miles we're apart.

Miss ya,

Rik Tod said…
Thanks for the words, pal o' mine of long standing. I appreciate it. But this wasn't a call out to my old friends to visit more often (you were included amongst those who do visit on occasion), but rather to get people who do not know me to check it out, or those old friends who do not ever visit, to take a chance.

Hope all is dandy in the 907,
Rik (Boog)
Matthew Fosberg said…
Oh, I was aware of the fact that you were trying to expand that audience, and I applaud the effort. It was just that it got me to thinking about what I do when I spend time online (much of it fairly useless facebook game playing) and how I could improve that time.

Thanks for putting in my sphere of knowledge, by the way. I'm trying to blip at least one interesting song a day.

We'll see how it turns out.

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