In approximately six months, thanks to the Webb Space Telescope, we should possess the power to peer into the past and potentially view the first faint flashes of the universe’s creation as well as planets that house actual ancient aliens. Not quite as amazing: Peering into this blog’s not-quite-so-distant past—i.e. last December—I can see my resolutions for 2021: More First Impressions, more Essentials, more “other stuff,” less Top 5s, and improved organization.
As a result, I’ve spent much of this December in a navel-gazing pose, meditating over this blog’s successes and stumbles during 2021. (Yes, I’ve fumbled the proverbial ball more than once. Unlike with the highs, however, I prefer not to wallow in the lows. Though, now that I think about it, a “December’s Embers” post might be fun. Or not.) In the macro sense, The Old Grey Cat exceeded my expectations, surpassing 35,000 page views for the year on Friday and, if this last week of 2021 goes as expected, falling short of 20,000 visitors by just two or three hundred. That’s 4000+ more visitors than it attracted in 2020 and more than double than 2019. But in the micro sense, at least from where I sit, it fell short as often as not. Too many posts failed to connect and as many suffered from stilted prose.
First: I lived up to four of last year’s five resolutions. I almost doubled my reviews of new releases, ending the year with 62. I introduced The Fogelberg Files, aka “other stuff.” I also reduced the Top 5s to a mere handful, which made them pop all the more; upgraded my use of categories and tags (thus, in theory at least, improving the recommendations at the bottom of each page); and added a featured image to my 600+ posts. But I failed on the Essentials front. While it might be argued that The Fogelberg Files stole some of those slots, making it a wash, they didn’t steal as many as one might think. When added together, my entries in the two ongoing series equalled last year’s total of 20.
With that, here are my resolutions for 2022 as they pertain to this blog:
- More Essentials. Besides being the most fun to write, the essays drive more traffic to this blog than anything else.
- Less First Impressions. While championing up-and-comers will continue (and reviews of a few are already on deck for early next year), my goal is to find a better balance between the young artists and established acts—and, too, to make room for more Essentials, not to mention the occasional Of Concerts Past piece.
- Less navel-gazing. Yes, the irony of this specific resolution isn’t lost on me given my month-long vacation in mantra chanting. Next year, I plan to condense the Remember December revelry into one week. It drags even for me.
- Proofread or Die! I often click “publish” prior to proofreading only to discover mitakes hours or even days later. (Oops. Make that mistakes.)
- More Springsteen content. More Barn (aka Neil Young stuff).