The Art of Sustaining a Still Popular Website in an Age of Social Media

Part 3.) Content and Consistency at

How in all virtual reality did our site receive over a thousand-five-hundred visits on a single day, one X-mas eve in 2012? Consistency.

In January of 2012, I had early drafts of seven unpublished chapbooks. For over eleven months, published fresh content every day– one piece a day, every day. This knowing that there will be fresh material every time one visits brings people back. And then back again.

2012 was a time when Social Media had not yet its current dominance over our bandwidths. will never reach those levels again. Though we’re frequently hit hundreds of times in a day– most recently, October 1st, 3rd and 4th of 2019, four times that September– before then, August 19th, July 31st, and four times that June– we will never reach thousands, again. Hundreds of visits a day, though? How is that accomplished? I speculate it’s not because we have so much content, but, far more importantly, because this content appears on separate pages, resulting in another hit with each click. And, because all are easily accessible from every page, highly visible on our retro Navigation Panel, site-left. And because all of these links are self-explanatory. When you Lovers of Literature see “Prisoner Narratives,” you know exactly what you will find. Our FLASH SUITE Contest’s “2014 Finalists” link is the same, as is “ATLAS: vol. 2, Istanbul,” and equally so, “Halloween Nights’ Lyrics” under Multi-Media Content. As for “a Passionate Defense of the Existence of Unicorns“– you guessed rightly for a third time, it passionately defends the existence of unicorns. All of these are highly visible on our retro Navigation Panel, site-left of every page.

Our content has always been, and still remains, solid. Our collaborative publications– Complex Fairy Tales, and the flagship book of the site, the Art of Throwing People Out Windows— are wonderful, adventurous, surprising, and, above all else, oriented towards human differences. Our Disability Narratives are superlative. Our contest finalists are steady, and often outrageously outlandish.

My greatest disapointment for , it will never be a flawless, immaculately-groomed journal of literature. I may not edit it. Ethically, I may only request revision. For the bulk of our freshly published content remains in the fiction contests. They are contests. I may not ethically– or, perhaps, and only perhaps more importantly, may not contractually edit these stories. Unavoidably, advantage would be given.

I pound, I beg, I insist, I remind over and again that all submissions should be reread to edit over and over– and then over again and again. By damn, I give even the selected finalists two weeks for editing before their works are sent to our judging panel!

Anecdote: contest judge Glenn A. Bruce said this– aiming to induce chuckles, he admits– about one story in a past contest:

“Dear god, there are so many things wrong with this I don’t know where to begin—typos, misspellings, grammatical nightmares. Too many topical references! Add to that the ‘intentional’ format, and it all feels like the writer is just trying too damn hard to be clever and ‘unique.'”

I very much liked that story. Thought it quite clever, though not overly unique. I did vote for it as a finalist, after all. But chuckling most certainly occurred reading Glenn’s email, loud chuckling.

What is to be drawn from these details? The internet has never been known for flawless grammar or even passable verbal mechanics. To an unfortunate degree, this ensures more content, rather than better content– Blog syndrome, and we know where that leads: internet graveyard. But content does need to remain engaging enough to bring people back at least twice, while consistency will keep them coming back a dozen times, then, maybe, a hundred times, possibly even retain them for years.

That is all well known. But this much originality I can add to the discourse: a site maximized for multiple hits with every visit will sustain more traffic, as shows.

Numbers will next be addressed on the Art of Sustaining a Still Popular Website, in Part 4.) Traffic and Capitalism. So keep surfing, Lovers of Literature, through .

on to part 4.) Traffic and Capitalism at
or, start with part 1. of The Art of Sustaining a Still Popular Website in an Age of Social Media

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