A New Direction
For the last month I've been contemplating a new direction for Blue's Cruzio Cafe. The reason for this is the lack of growth in the audience for the videos. Let's face it, poetry has an extremely small audience. A couple of thousand people per year visit the Cafe and the growth at the site has flat-lined. The same people visit over and over, but very few new people. As well, it takes a monumental effort just to find poets who are willing to appear and another monumental effort to co-ordinate the production of a video. A lot of effort for so few eyeballs.
The only way to expand the audience for the Cafe is to request links at other sites. To date, every email request I've made has gone unanswered or refused. Mostly unanswered. I'm not a very popular fella with my contemporaries. Sad, but true.
Now, most of the refusals have come from portal managers who don't consider my site a poetry site. I assume the unanswered requests are not answered for the same reason.
But some of the refusals have come from sites that only list links to sites that link to their sites. It's called reciprocal linking. In order to obtain a link at those poetry websites the Cafe needs to be redesigned into a portal. I swear, I think eventually all poetry sites will be portal sites. No destination sites, just portals to other portals. [sigh]
But redesigning the Cafe into just another portal seems like a waste of time. There are so many portals already. So, exactly WHAT the Cafe will mutate into isn't clear to me yet. Maybe political satire? Jib-Jab seems to have a wide audience. Maybe short films of one act plays? I think it would be fun to make a cartoon of Albee's 'The Zoo Story' but I have no idea what kind of audience that type of artistic expression could draw. Besides, Albee's got a copyright and I don't write plays.
I'm sure something will occur to me in the coming months.
I have eight or so 'poetry' cartoons in the works right now. They'll be finished over the next few months. The front page will then be redesigned into a fancy Playbill page leading to the current stages and a new stage called 'The Patio'. I'll leave the site up for as long as it draws some attention, but its role as my main artistic endeavor ends this year.
Finally, it has become more and more apparent to me over the last three years that I don't do poetry. I haven't a clue what it is that I do - having thought for 40 years that I do poetry - but the REAL poets have convinced me that it isn't poetry. Poetry flows from MFA programs, college students, and professors, not from a retired engineer who writes in seclusion and draws with a computer. So I leave the field to the academicians. It's their playground and, small as it is, they guard it with passion. I have scars to prove it.