interLOST: How did we get here and what do we do now?

18 05 2010

Hey everyone, I’ll be back late tomorrow with my analysis of “What They Died For”, but just as LOST Finale Week kicks off, I wanted to take a few moments to look back on this blog…how it all started, how it turned into what it is, and where it goes now that LOST will be leaving the airwaves.  I’m fully aware that this post might not be the most compelling thing that you can read as we approach the finale, but I’ll go ahead and risk the idea that you may stop reading at any time in order to capture some of my thoughts.

In fact, that was one of the biggest things I learned from this blog.  If you’re going to write a blog, you’ve got to do it for yourself.  At multiple times during the blog, I wondered whether or not I wanted to continue with this thing.  I felt like everyone was doing it, and I honestly couldn’t say that I was bringing anything unique to the table.  On top of that, I knew that I wasn’t as timely as any of the other blogs out there.  But ultimately, this blog was about me: about what I wanted to say about the show, and what I wanted to look back on as the series progressed.  However, that was a hard lesson for me to learn, especially considering the way the blog started.

Initially, I had grand plans for this blog.  I wanted to expand it to an interLOST website that would include my analysis as the focal point, but would also contain a LOST fantasy league, a forum where we could discuss the blog entries and other LOST topics, and would house the latest information about LOST in general.  But my partner on the site, Brad, was unable to get the forum to work the way we wanted, and once Dark UFO’s site took off, we thought it was a bit of a lost cause.  I’d still do the blog, but it would only be my entries.  I think my biggest disappointment with the blog was the lack of serious discussion.  It’s not so much that the items I wanted to do didn’t come to fruition, but the result of them not being implemented.  When I started doing the “LOST lunches” at work, the part I enjoyed the most was discussing and theorizing everything with everyone.  When it shifted into e-mails, and then a blog, that aspect almost completely disappeared.  I still get alot of hits on a daily basis, but it’s rare that anyone takes the time to post a comment.  If there’s anything that I wish would have been different, it would have that I would have had more commentors on the site that I could have conversed with.

But really, that may be largely my own fault.  One of the things I decided early on was to not do ay external advertising or marketing of any kind.  Any friends who asked about the blog I would tell; but I never posted my site on any other forum or website to try to increase traffic.  I wanted to see just how much traffic a “grassroots” blog could generate.  I knew that the only way I’d get any traffic was if my entries were good enough for others to recommend it by word of mouth.  I used that fact to motivate me every week to put out the best blog entries I could.  I’d have to say that I’m happy with the results.  I feel like I’ve earned the traffic that has come to the site, and am not a sell-out.  But on the flip side, I think that if I pursued things more aggressively, I probably could have tripled my reader base.  So for anyone reading this and thinking about doing a blog for advertising revenue (another thing I decided against from the start), it’s really important to get the word out in as many channels as possible.  You can get traffic solely by word of mouth, but if you want to reach the most people, you’ve got to put the time in to market yourself.

Overall, I had two real goals for this blog: help my readers understand what transpired on their screen that they may have missed or not understood, and to be at least moderately entertaining in the process.  Overall, I think I achieved those goals, and am very pleased and satisfied with what I’ve done with this blog over the past few years.  But in all honesty, while I’ll miss putting this together every week, I’ll also be happy to get a large part of my life back.  As LOST leaves the air, so will interLOST leave the internet.  I won’t be taking the site down, but other than a full-blown series analysis that probably won’t come until June, I don’t see myself adding many entries either.  And while some of the more popular LOST bloggers have now gone on to sign book deals or become film critics, nothing like that has happened to me.  I do, however, think that’ll continue to blog somewhere, about something, after a brief hiatus.  I’ve found this to be too enjoyable to give it up completely.  But I’m still rolling around in my head what that might be, and I’m in no rush to figure it out before LOST ends.

So for those of you that inspired me to start this thing, thank you very much.  Your encouragement and faith in my work has really been inspiring.  For those of you faithful readers that come in here and read my entries regularly, thank you.  Even if you haven’t commented, I see the hits and spikes on my site stats, and know you’re there.  And for those of you that come by and take the time to comment, thanks a ton.  Sharing your thoughts with me is the most enjoyable part of this whole thing, and I can’t thank you enough.

I know we’ve still got over a week of entries to go before I call it good, but I thank all of you for taking this journey with me.  It’s been a wonderful experience.

-Paul

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8 responses

18 05 2010
Dana R.

Hi, I’ve only commented a couple times in the past here, but I just wanted to say that I’ve really appreciated your blog and I read it every week. It’s clear that you put a lot of thought and time into it. Thanks for all your hard work!

18 05 2010
hablodepablo

Hi Dana, thanks so much for stopping by every week! I remember you being one of the people that posted and encouraged me to continue during one of the times I didn’t know if I wanted to keep this thing going.

I wish you all the best of luck with your own blog. I hope it’s turned out to be everything you hoped it would be!

19 05 2010
Vy

Paul – One of my favorite memories of AHL were our LOST lunches. I visit the site every week because your insight is so thought provoking. I will truly miss you and this blog! Thank you for your time – it was not a wasted effort!

19 05 2010
hablodepablo

Thanks so much Vy! I’m glad that the blog has allowed you to think about LOST in different ways, and improved your overall experience with the show. I appreciate you stopping by every week!

19 05 2010
Karen

I just happened upon your blog – don’t even remember how – but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Looked forward to the analysis each week. I think I commented a time ot two, but, as my daughter says, I am mainly a “lurker,” both here and on Facebook. Thanks for being there – have really enjoyed this blog and I think there are alot more like me out there. 🙂

19 05 2010
hablodepablo

Hi Karen, thanks for sharing! Stories like yours are really neat to me. It’s nice to hear that a total stranger can somehow stumble upon my blog and be impressed enough with the insight to stick around and become a regular. Thanks for coming by each week…I’m glad you enjoyed the ride!

19 05 2010
Mike P

Paul,

Vy said it all. LOST would not have been such a full experience without our lunch meetings, and this blog. I can’t imagine LOST without your analysis. I would truly be “lost” without it.

Thanks for everything…

Mike

19 05 2010
Shannon

As with the show, I attempted to keep up with your analysis. I believe I threw in a few theories, but as any fan of the show knows, the plot line can be very elusive and near impossible to decode and predict. It was fun to see your thoughts each week and struggle with us in the interpretation. Even at the end, I find that I’m as lost as the characters! Thanks for the blogs and hard work. If only I knew about the lunches…

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