Monday, August 8, 2016

Damnant quod non intellegunt

Pretty devastated at my blog getting a bad review from Patrick K. Phillips of Patrick's Place.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 25 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing, and he rightly pointed out that my blog's title could be harming my business prospects, explaining in a blog post:

Some blog titles are far more obscure.
Take the blog, “Obscurum per Obscurius”, for example. If you know Latin — Iassume it’s Latin — then you probably know that it means, “Explaining the obscure by means of the more obscure,” which also happens to be the blog’s tagline. Or “Freelance Flaneur”, which doesn’t explain what a flaneur is. (Flâneur is a French word meaning stroller, saunterer or loafer.)
Think about those two titles for a second: let’s say that you meet the person behind either of those blogs, find out he has a blog and you want to check it out: what happens when they give you the name? They’re going to have to write those names down. And since neither of these happen to be on their own domain names, the URL is going to be even more complicated.

Shit, the blogger, digital content manager and creator for local TV, writer, Mac lover, and Christian, though not necessarily in that order's right! Considering that I've earned my living over the last seven years writing blogs for clients, you'd think I wouldn't make such an obvious rookie error when it came to my own professional blog.

Well, strictly speaking it's more personal than professional really, since I've never tried to make money from it by signing up to ads or selling ebooks; sabotage posts that accidentally become popular; warn you against contacting me, and get right pissed off when people share my content (that I only gave accurate file names to for personal OCD sorting purposes. If it was just for you, you'd get DSC0528).

I hope he didn't explore my blog much further, because then he might have found some truly unhelpful titles, like 'Raymond Luxury Yacht' which doesn't suggest it's about a mangrove river cruise at all unless you make the connection to a 40-year-old Monty Python sketch.

Or 'Batu wouldn't Kek Lok Si when I'm Penangry,' what the hell was I thinking there? You'd need some kind of reference guide to decode some of these hopelessly obscure in-jokes. It's almost like I've made a conscious decision to keep people out of my affairs and I'm just here to amuse myself.

More importantly, “Patrick’s Place” is easier to spell unless you happen to be an ancient Roman or fluent in French.

I'm not fluent in French, but I know what a flaneur is because I took an arts degree. If you had some kind of practical, business-based education, maybe we wouldn't have that much to talk about anyway. If someone wants to talk to me enough to deal with the frustrating obstacles I put in their way, they're okay by me.

Bit weird that he picked this site, really. That other site he names and shames is at least trying to offer genuine advice, rather than just some aggressively unhelpful tips every few years.

Still, Patrick's right, and I'll be sure to keep his recommendations in mind when coming up with appropriate post titles for my new business blog, lupDujHomwIj lubuy'moH gharghmey.* Get in touch if you'd like a free sample (as long as you've taken the obvious precautions).

* Another 40-year-old Python reference to tediously untangle.

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