Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The 2019 Internet Is In America State of The Site Address

Celebrating EIGHT YEARS of whatever it is that we’ve been doing, I guess.

By: Jimbo X

*Cracks open a lukewarm Shasta Cola*

Yep. Eight years, man. Eight years.

When I started this here blog way back in the year of our lord 2011, I had no earthly clue the damn thing would still be chugging along in 2019. But here we are, and The Internet Is In America is still going strong, while Gawker remains dead as shit. There’s probably some cosmic justice in that, but I probably don’t need to tell you that.

You know, I thought long and hard about why I still invest so much time and energy into the website. Well, actually, I spent about two minutes, three minutes tops, before the answer made itself abundantly clear: as big a pain in the ass as operating it may be, it still allots me absolute and utter freedom to write about whatever I feel like. And when you’re as old and busy as I am, you’ll take liberty in any incarnation it manifests itself.

Ay, things have changed quite a bit since TIIIA first launched in 2011. Believe it or not, it started life as a class assignment when I was a senior in college, and instead of pulling the plug on it when the semester wrapped up, I just kept making content. I guess in some ways you can say the blog serves as something of a high-tech journal, but I like to think it’s grown into something slightly more significant than that over the years.

I have no illusions of grandeur here. On a good month, this site might get somewhere between 100,000 to 200,000 hits, which definitely ain’t a whole lot to brag about. But then again, TIIIA is one-man operation with a zero-dollar budget, no advertising and virtually no marketing beyond what individual readers post on the content aggregators or social media. Considering how little money is spent on the site, the fact that it manages more than one million page views a year is, in and of itself, a minor miracle. 

Just for shits and giggles, I decided to google TIIIA’s Alexa rank. As it turns out, as of mid-August, the site was ranked 1,345,580th globally, which, yeah, sounds like celebrating the highest test score in remedial math, but you have to look at it proportionally. Since there’s about 1.7 billion websites on the planet, that means — mathematically speaking — not only is this blog in the top 1 percent of ALL websites globally, we’re in, like, the top 0.07 percent of ALL websites globally, and if that doesn’t impress you, eat shit. TIIIA is arithmetically ELITE, and unless your website is ranked 1,345,579th or higher, I straight up don’t give a fuck what you think about anything.

I mean, unless you’re a subscriber — at that point, I do value your input, and also, your excellent taste.

As far as the future of TIIIA is concerned, I have short-term plans, but nothing really approaching a long-term goal. Certainly, it would be nice to commodify some of the content and let some of the more popular articles collect that sweet Google money in an offshore Roth IRA somewhere, but as far as outright monetization, it probably won’t be happening in the year ahead. Which is a goof on my part, I know, since enough eyes are here to make some supplemental income, but we’ll just have to wait and see — if the market takes a big enough shit, though, you better goddamn believe I’m going to be begging you people for PayPal donations. And lots of ‘em.

Since I’ve got a million-billion things to talk about concerning the immediate and long-term future of this here website, I’m just going to start random bullet-iteming things in a stream of consciousness fashion. This might take a while, so please, feel free to pour yourself a tall, fizzy cup of Mountain Dew Liberty Brew as we get the list unfurling.

— Yes, I’ve thought about migrating the site to WordPress, but at the end of the day, I’m a cheap gentile bastard who doesn’t like to use his credit card information for anything. Besides, if I migrate to WordPress I’ll actually be paying for less bandwidth that I’m already getting for free from Google, which is pretty much the only positive thing anybody can say about Google nowadays. Along those same lines, I KNOW I’ve been saying for years that I was going to cave in and get a vanity domain (i.e., a URL without the dreaded “blogspot” suffix in there), which would really help the resharability of the site on social media, but again, at the end of the day, I’m lazy as fuckin’ fuck and don’t want to spend money on this thing. So, as I’ve been saying for a couple of years now, I might migrate away from Blogger, but I wouldn’t bet on it happening anytime soon.

— On the great social media question, yes, I caved in and created another Twitter handle, even after writing a scathing, fuming, resentful article lambasting Twitter and everything it stands for a couple of years back. The brutal truth, though, is that until a viable alternative to Twitter comes along, that’s where the eyes are going to be, and from a promotional standpoint, that’s all that really matters. Personally, I’d love to see something like Gab or Voat really cross that threshold into being a legitimate Twitter challenger, but again, let’s come to terms with reality: Gab and Voat will never be on the same level with Twitter and Reddit when it comes to user adoption, and to centralize all of my “marketing” efforts there would be a tremendous waste of time. That said, I’ve at least mulled creating a few TIIIA-themed profiles on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, but I haven’t really laid out any firm blueprints. I need some feedback, ya’ll — do you think TIIIA even needs a presence on those platforms, or is Twitter good enough as an outreach tool for the time being?

— One of the things I’ve been considering for a while now is creating a special newsletter for subscribers. Again, I don’t want to invest the time and effort into exploring the proposal any deeper than I have to if the buy-in just isn’t there, but if enough people are interested in the proposal, it’s something I may consider doing as an incentive in the near-ish future.

— I’m still interested in bringing new writers onboard. I’ve had a couple of guest columns over the years, but I’d definitely be thrilled to have more up-and-coming scribes take full advantage of TIIIA as their own launchpad to literary greatness. As far as subject matter is concerned, I’m open to pretty much anything, just as long as the final product is a.) fairly well-structured in terms of grammar, b.) funny and c.) at least halfway intelligently argued, from a philosophical perspective. And remember: old Jimbo is a REAL professional writer off the internet, too, so I’d make a good mentor and shit for all you aspiring penmen and penwomen … or at least be able to call you out when what you write is so dogshit, you shouldn’t show it to another living soul ever again for as long as you live. 

— And speaking of content, I’m fairly happy with the way the 2019 Summer Spectacular went. I had a full three months of articles planned, and while I didn’t get around to all of them (and, in the process, meeting my quota of at least one new article per day), I think I got about 70 percent of the stuff I wanted posted posted, and as far as I’m concerned, that means I passed. Naturally, that’s our segue to the September-November “Halloween Season,” which is easily the busiest time of the year for TIIIA. Again, I’ve tried to iron out a schedule that means you’ll be getting nonstop, quality posts EVERY SINGLE DAY from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, but if that shit don’t come to fruition I hope it doesn’t offend you too much. So yeah, starting the first of September, get ready for A LOT of Halloween-centric content, a fuck-ton of football-related articles and the long-awaited return of perhaps the website’s most popular — and controversial — recurring column, this time under an all new brand name … plus a whole bunch of other stuff, but I don’t want to spoil the suprises before we get to them, kids.

*Takes another sip of that aforementioned, lukewarm Shasta cola*

So yeah, that’s pretty much all I’ve got for you. Considering I’m working anywhere from 60-100 hours a week at my “real job” (plus all of the random freelance assignments I get), I don’t have a whole lot of free time to do much of anything anymore. So between that and all of the stuff my girlfriend and puppy make me do, I’m afraid that TIIIA has to go on the backburner a lot — well, actually more like most — of the time. Still, I’m trying against all odds to bring you people regular content, and for that, you should be fucking thankful. Well, not really, but it makes me feel better about spending my scant leisure time reviewing Spider-Man popcorn that turns your turds green and rewatching shitty pro ‘rasslin PPVs from 30 years ago instead of doing anything physically or economically productive.

Which, I suppose, begs the question — just why am I so committed to this damn thing? The short answer, I suppose, is that it works as a memory book of sorts for me. Every now and then I’ll flip back to something I posted in 2012 or 2014 and enjoy it on a meta level, almost like I’m reliving what it was like to be in that particular spot, under those particular circumstances, at that singular point in time and space. It’s abstract as fuck, I know, but once you hit your mid-30s, you’ll know precisely what I’m talking about. 

Out of all the things I’ve written over the years, and I assure you, I’ve written A TON, I suppose this website is the closest to embodying my true sense of self. That’s not to say that its content is the best reflection of who I am or what I believe, but taken as a whole, it’s probably the best representation of the literary Jimbo experience out there on the Web. That, and it’s something that’s directly under my control, that doesn’t censor me or edit me or curtail my vision one iota, and having that utmost liberty to pretty much publish whatever the fuck I want to — more than any other factor — is probbaly what keeps me coming back to TIIIA, financial benefits or not. 

That, and over the years, I hope it’s brought some happiness and laughter to the lives of others. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in the funk of a deep depression, and reading cockamamie, pop-culture-themed nonsense on the internet was pretty much the only thing that could momentarily lull me out of my torpor, and when you’re whole world is being shit on, even a mild reprieve like that can mean as much as a golden blowjob from Taylor Swift. So hopefully, this here website remain small enough to avoid the pitfalls of “e-celebrityhood,” but still have enough loyalists that TIIIA remains one of the internet’s foremost unsung gems of ongoing video game/wrestling/MMA/sociopolitical/junk food/obscure media/comic book/propaganda/music commentary.

So, long story short? As long as people keep reading this — and keep getting a modicum of entertainment out of it — TIIIA is here to stay … in some manner, incarnation or format, for as long as old Jimbo’s still breathing. 


(PS: If you’ve got any idea on how to make the IIIA experience even better, or any ideas for potential articles or features, by all means, feel free to drop us a line right here. We’d love to know what kind of content you people want to see more of, what you want to see less of and how you’d prefer the site expand and branch out in the years ahead. Hell, not only will I consider your suggestions, I might even implement them … and, pending they’re successful, chalk ‘em up as my own ideas, naturally.)


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