Wednesday, February 22, 2006

On Ethereal Lithography

Monday's blog, which consists of no less than 18 paragraphs, took me between six and seven hours over two days to write, edit, post, and re-edit to my eventual satisfaction. As a couple of caring friends have pointed out to me, including my dear wife, this is more time and energy than I should be investing in a blog.

I can see their point. I take a great deal of satisfaction from seeing my work "published" immediately online, and I derive much pleasure from receiving immediate response from it, but blogging isn't really publishing; it's ethereal lithography. Work such as I posted about THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON should have been reserved for VIDEO WATCHDOG. I realized this after finding that someone had posted on the Classic Horror Film Boards, saying that they had enjoyed my SuperBlog and were wondering if they could look forward to even more indulgent coverage in the pages of VW. To which my answer was, basically, No -- you got 18 paragraphs; that's everything I had to say about it. I'd feel I was cheating the readers of both blog and magazine if I reprinted that material. We have a long-standing policy against publishing previously printed material, except in the case of Joe Dante's "Fleapit Flashbacks," which almost nobody interested in his work ever had a chance to read. (Someone once tried to sell me an interview that was already freely available online, and we found out about it literally on the day of our copy deadline, meaning that I literally had to pull a feature article out of thin air at the last minute.)

As successful as Video WatchBlog has been, I need to keep that success in perspective. This blog is not nearly in the same league with VW in terms of readership, so it could be construed that I am cheating the products I cover here, rather than in the magazine, of greater exposure -- and cheating VW's readers by not reviewing for them certain high-profile releases like the SUPERMAN sets. Furthermore, this blog has not proved successful in attracting additional review discs from companies that do not already supply VW. (Shout Factory, whom I approached last week for review copies of their DICK CAVETT programming -- reminding them that I had already covered the ROCK ICONS set for SIGHT AND SOUND, a review that Cavett himself briefly referenced in a recent VH-1 interview -- replied with an unsigned note that simply declared, "We don't service blogs or publications outside the U.S.") So, not only is there no financial compensation for doing this blog, it's not helping me to save any money either.

I'm also very much aware that I have done little to no creative writing since launching this blog, which has demanded much of the enterprise I should have been directing toward another novel or script, or more reviews for the ever-thirsting pages of VW.

I don't want to surrender this blog, but I need to figure out what it needs to be in order to continue to exist.

Bear with me.

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