Either an Exceedingly Happy Accident and/or The Quickening...
Chalk this one up to "Exceedingly Happy Accidents". Yesterday morning (Thursday), it suddenly struck me that I had forgotten to post a link to my review of Patton Oswalt’s stand-up show that Jen and I attended on Monday night at the Irvine Improv. I had written the review for Facebook originally, but had, once the piece moved beyond a couple of brief paragraphs, also decided to publish it on The Cinema 4 Pylon as well. I totally put aside any promotion of the piece, which is quite out of character for me, but the reason I put it aside is because I was concentrating on actual work. Actual work, as any other member of this household will tell you, is quite out of character for me now as well.
I usually start out promoting on Twitter and then move forward through Google Plus, etc. and finally end up on Facebook. On Twitter, I did up a brief 140-character or so line, included @pattonoswalt within the text in the absolutely vain hope that perhaps he might see it, though I doubted he ever would, and pressed the Tweet button.
It didn’t take very long at all and it was not what I ever could have expected. Minutes later, I received a tweet from Patton Oswalt. He had gone to my review and read it, and sent me a message (partly in response to issues that I bring up in the review) that read: “Thanks for being there. This will be ongoing, but I’m finding a gear.”
I lost my shit.
I am such a fanboy, at least as far as certain celebrities are concerned and Patton is one of those celebs. I have had brief conversations with directors Rian Johnson and Duncan Jones (David Bowie’s son) on Twitter, and those were pretty cool. Years ago when I still lived in Anchorage, Roger Ebert once replied to an email I sent him, and that kept me going for a good while.
But this was different. Patton had read something I had written about him and replied. AND he didn’t rake me over the coals for it. Not that I said anything negative about him in any way, but I was touching on the sensitive subject of his wife’s passing and his handling of comedic material regarding said passing onstage.
Patton did something else that blew my mind. In addition to his response to me, he retweeted the link to my website on his own Twitter page. You know, the one that has 2.83 million followers to my meager 2,750.
I lost my shit again. Within a couple of hours, I had 500 visitors to my website. By noon, over a thousand. It’s not even 24 hours yet right now, and over 2,000 people have visited my website since yesterday morning.
Now, on the average, I am happy to get 50 visitors to any one of my websites per day. The Pylon gets about a thousand visitors a month on average, usually a bit more, depending on how frequently I post. My animation blog, Cinema 4: Cel Bloc, usually gets twice as much, and sometimes even more. I am not surprised by this, as it has always been more popular, especially since I revived it last year. The Shark Film Office is really just taking off, but when I post it has been getting comparable numbers to the Cel Bloc.
But to match what has happened in a single day? I’ve had posts that have gotten a couple of thousand hits over the years… OVER THE YEARS. Most of them have taken many years to accumulate those totals.
So, I know my levels, and as much as I would like to love to have an ego about even the tiniest boost, I know that I am a very small fry in an exceedingly large and uncaring pond. I promote like crazy, and though I have been having more success in the past few months, the rewards have been very fleeting. It’s hard enough to get one’s own friends and family on Facebook not to ignore it when you post a new article, imagine trying to get total strangers in the vastness of Twitter to pay attention for even a split second and give you a chance.
For Patton to do this was nice beyond words. I don’t even know if he thought about it, like “Hey, I’ll throw this guy some table scraps.” If he did think about it, I doubt that he would think in that manner. I think it was more like, “Oh, this was very nice that this guy wrote this about me. I should acknowledge it.”
I wasn’t trying to get his attention, it just happened this way, which is why I am chalking this up to “Exceedingly Happy Accidents”. Now I have had over 2,000 people who normally didn’t know I existed stop by my website in the past not-quite-a-day and read my words. And for that I have to thank Patton Oswalt.
P.S. Someone just left a comment on the Pylon and it turned out to be Carl Gottlieb, the co-screenwriter of Jaws. I just lost my shit for a third time.