had a lot of intentions for this site. First off, I thought it would be a good way to drive sales (it didn’t, not really). Also, as I was moving my first book to market shelves, I thought that it would be great to make this site into a cyber coffee shop. Originally I clumped it all together, discussions about books I was reading and thoughts about publishing and media. But quickly I realized that these were two different things so I split hem into reviews (about books I read) and Dog Ear (which is about thoughts I had).
Of course, my intention (this being a “coffee shop”) was to allow all sorts of spirited debate so I inserted an add-on that allowed user feedback. This worked well enough – people could comment on things I posted. Also, occasionally writers for my reviews would post in and comment on my feedback (which was always a minor honor). So, yes, it was cool to have site feedback.
But this eventually fell by the wayside. Firs off, since I post up my pieces on Facebook, a lot of the discussion would happen there. And while the blog feedback was okay, it did have a significant issues. First off, bots would spam all over it, so every day was a cleanup effort to get the crap off my site. Worse, the feedback add-on eventually had security vulnerabilities (and since my site hosting was in Joomla, that made it even worse). Suddenly my host service was flagging me for all sorts of malware, including RobertRaymond.com being in the first wave of a denial-of-service attack on various sites.
So I transferred the site to WordPress and removed all feedback add-ons (which make the site much more secure). I still get some feedback on FaceBook, and people occasionally follow my book recommendations.
But the last unexpected consequence of the site was my posting of model train operation sessions (where we run like a railroad). I write these in all manner of ways – critiques of myself or others, fictionalizations of what happened in the session from my point of view, comments, shoutouts, all that. They are generally fun to write and followed by everyone I operate with. And the funny thing (not in a laughing sort of way) is that these “OpsLogs” are actually more popular than my literary efforts (checking the hit counts). And that’s either gratifying (or not, given my intentions). But that’s what writing is – you never know where your success might be. If something doesn’t work, try something else.
P.S. And I’ll leave you with this fact – I made more money writing erotica than I did with my novels. So there you go. Intentions, indeed.