The state of AMV at 5

A Motley Vision launched as a solo blog on June 2, 2004. It was born out of two key events:

1. Clark Goble introducing me to Times & Seasons in late January/early February of 2004.

2. The AML-List crashing in March of 2004 and me not finding out that there was a new version of the list up and running for several weeks.

The odd thing is that I had been aware of blogs since Instapundit first spun out of Slate’s Fray (mainly because I found myself monitoring some of them as part of my work), but it had never occurred to me to start blogging because I wasn’t interested in political or personal blogging and the AML-List met my Mormon Studies needs. The two events above changed all that. (and if you want a laugh, take a look at my initial pretensions. Talk about pretentious.)

If the mood strikes me, I may at some point put together a historical timeline for AMV. But the main thing to know is this: Five years, more than 600 posts from  13 contributors and 1 emeritus blogger plus the contribution of many intelligent, civil commenters, and I still feel like there’s more to say.

By the numbers

Our traffic is not mighty like unto the bigger, more prolific blogs. We get between 7,500 – 9,500 visits a month, which is respectable for a niche blog, I think. Like most seasoned bloggers, I don’t worry much about traffic anymore. It’s all about having a good community (and there’s always room for more — newbies and lurkers who want to join in are always welcome).

Depending on the month 10-15% of that traffic is to two Stephenie Meyer posts — the Q&A (which I might add was the second or third interview with Meyer ever published) and the erotics of abstinence post — and the Postum post.

This is the 604th post in AMV history. I account for roughly 45% of the posts with Kent and Patricia solidly in second and third place behind me. We’ve also racked up more than 6,000 comments, so basically 10 per post.

If you click on the drop down menu over there on the left nav under the heading Archives, you can see how many posts we’ve had per month. As you can see, we’ve really picked up steam in the past three months — finally breaking my record of 22 posts set in the first month of AMV’s existence.

Some thoughts

I’d say that the biggest success of AMV has been the creation of a community of contributors and commenters who enjoy the conversation. In addition, the level of discussion has remained civil and sophisticated. This is rather self-congratulatory, but I want to applaud all of you for keeping this blog vibrant and fun and interesting, but also free of the flame wars that rage across cyberspace. Certainly, there are times when we can get a little echo chamber going on. I don’t know any online community that doesn’t. However, I do think that even though we could do better to include more voices (but more about that later), we have a pretty good range here. Our posts and comments fall within the radical middle that is my primary interest (and which I may attempt to manifesto up at some point). More importantly, the writing is always thoughtful and interesting (and often humorous).  And that goes a long way to keeping me engaged* and willing to put in the time to keep this concern going.

So thanks everybody. (And no resting on our laurels — back to work ya’ll).

* This is not a minor thing. Burn out happens to even the best bloggers. And as I’ve told a few some of my fellow AMVers, the minute this thing isn’t fun anymore, we’ll move on to something else. Now, I don’t see that happening right now. I can’t speak for the others, but I have at least two more years in me. Maybe more.

15 thoughts on “The state of AMV at 5”

  1. Happy birthday, little guy! I think this calls for a piñata and some cupcakes.

    Thanks for all you’ve contributed, William, and your constant work to keep this fascinating ball rolling. 🙂 Personally, I’m good for 5 more years. 😉

  2. Anneke (1), who does the piñata represent? Parley P. Pratt (IMO, the first writer of Mormon literature)? Orson F. Whitney? Nephi Anderson? Perhaps Neil LaBute? (who some would say deserves a good whack!)

    Or, perhaps its Deseret Book!! If so, then give me the stick![GRIN]

  3. AMV rocks! I love this place–even if it is all cyber-spacey.

    I’m not surprised that the Postum post gets a lot of hits. I’m still waiting for you to design an “Got Postum?” t-shirt 🙂

    Maybe the pinata should be William? I mean, if the picnic is in honor of him it seems appropriate *wink*

  4. An heroic bust of William. (Note my affected use of “an.”) Dressed in motley, of course.

    (Sorry. I’m writing up marketing research right now, which does strange things to my brain. Though it never gets as strange as Harlow’s brain. I’m so jealous…)

  5. Thanks, Will, for introducing me to Mormon letters around the time you started this blog. If you hadn’t invited me to New York Doll and told me about AML and written those early blog posts, I don’t know that I would have gotten involved in the Mormon arts community. Which involvement is something I cherish.

  6. 🙂

    Seeing New York Doll in San Francisco with you and Ann and Ellen and Greg Call and the others is definitely one of the highlights of my involvement in Mormon arts.

  7. Good work, Wm. Happy anti-verserary.

    Jonathan said “Though it never gets as strange as Harlow’s brain. I’m so jealous”¦”

    As the song says,
    I’d collect all the residuals
    For all those individuals
    In motley or in plain
    duh-duh, duh-duh-duh-duh-duh
    If I only had a brain.

    But, lacking one of those I’ll just say that I
    walked into the temple of books, (recorded and otherwise) today on the way home from the other temple to check out a recording of Virginia Sorensen’s Miracles on Maple Hill (which, I realized within a few minutes, treats the same theme as Dean Hughes’ _As Long as I Have You_ a shell-shocked soldier’s healing–though I think they were calling it battle fatigue by then, undoubtedly foreshadowing the term metal fatigue, which describes an aging rocker’s ennui) and in the sales bookshelf I noticed a copy of Treason, perfect for a textual critic who wouldn’t mind comparing it to his copy of A Planet Called Treason, and another book, 25 cents each.

    The second book has a dedication which reads: “To Sergey Poyarkov, for sharing his dream of freedom, with special thanks to Laurel and Jonathan Langford, and Cheryl for their thoughtful suggestions.”

    Ah, jealousy.

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