You’re passionate about something, and you blog about it. The subject of your passion, however, isn’t a matter of common knowledge or interest. In fact, it’s wild, nutbar and lies far over the blue horizon from the lives of most folks. When casual web surfers come ashore on your blog, they’re lost at sea. Is there any fast way to inform them about your topic, involve them and perhaps get them to read?
It’s My Problem
I’m struggling with this very problem of uninformed visitors to my blog. In my blog The Abandondero, I write about Richard S. Shaver, a visionary science-fictionwriter and artist who may have also been a madman and a fraud. I write about Shaver because his life and ideas touch themes I want to explore: publicity, mental illness, religion, paranoia, science and pseudo-science.
If you haven’t heard of Shaver, I’m not astonished. He reached the height of his notoriety about 1951. To help newbies learn about him, I put a link to the Wikipedia article about Shaver in the header of my blog. After all, I don’t want to explain Shaver’s life and works in the first paragraph of every post. Unfortunately, the trip to the article on Richard S. Shaver in Wikipedia moves the reading visitors do off my website.
To keep my less informed readers on my page, I recently made an animated short called “The Shaver Mystery in 83 Seconds” that presents a quick overview of the story of Richard S. Shaver and the Shaver Mystery. I embedded the video in a box in the right-hand panel of my blog, a location where I hope it will catch the eye of visitors. I also mention the video in the header of my blog as well.
Although I take my blog seriously, I don’t take everything Shaver wrote or thought seriously, so I made my expository short comic. I hope the my short presents both sides of the controversy about the Shaver Mystery without offending thetrue believers too much. I’m not, however, very concerned about the feelings of the true believers.
I used Xtranormal to make my video, and it worked well for this project. Familiar with the software from previous experiments, I didn’t have to learn anything new. Xtranormal also offered images that fit with the Shaver Mystery and voices that fit my treatment of it.
The better to promote my blog, I published my comic short on YouTube. YouTube gave me my only disappointments with this project. The YouTube version of “The Shaver Mystery in 83 Seconds” is 84 seconds long, as you can see in the embedded video above. In addition, I wasn’t able to fit the YouTube version of the video into a box in the right panel of the Blogger template I use for The Abandondero. Fortunately, Xtranormal provides users with its own player that does fit and presents the video in 83 seconds.
I’m quite happy with the addition of “The Shaver Mystery in 83 Seconds” to my blog. I no longer need to drop a lump of exposition in my article to clue in the newbies. My uninformed visitors--at least those with enough curiosity to click on the video--can now quickly come up to speed and read the articles, perhaps with interest.
You can see my video on my blog The Abandondero (http://abandondero.blogspot.com). This article is an abridgement of an article that appeared September 27, 2012, on Triond's Writinghood website: http://writinghood.com/online-writing/you-can-hook-views-but-can-you-reel-in-viewers/.