Friday, July 11, 2014
By MICHAEL WALSH
In a recent conversation, I mentioned to a tech-savvy friend that Reeling Back was nine months old. "That's pretty good," he said. "You know that most blogs don't last much more than three or four months."
Actually, I didn't know.
Later, I found myself wondering about website longevity, and went online looking for answers.
"Why do blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants?" was the question posed in a June 2009 New York Times feature by writer Douglas Quenqua. "According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 per cent of blogs being essentially abandoned."
Michelle Austin, general manager of a blog called SquawkBox, put it even more colourfully in a February 2012 posting: "Overall, it is estimated that within one month of creation, 60 per cent to 80 per cent of blogs worldwide are either abandoned or infrequently updated. This means that the average lifespan of a blog is equal to that of the common fruit fly."
Other sources indicated that "the average lifespan of a Web page is 44-75 days," or that “estimates put the average lifetime for a URL at 44 days,” and that "Web pages disappear after an average time of 75 days."
What are we to conclude from this? My takeaway is that Reeling Back, like all the children in Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon, is above average. The site currently boasts 221 postings, of which 165 are feature film reviews. My ten most recent postings were:
HENRY V — You'd hardly think that the names Thomas Bowdler and Laurence Olivier belong in the same sentence. And yet, in 1989, they came together in my review of actor-director Kenneth Branagh's breathtaking screen adaptation of Shakespeare's rousing history play. (Posted July 11)
SUPERMAN II — To mark the birthday of the Man of Steel's Canadian-born co-creator Joe Shuster, Reeling Back revisited 1980's second film in the first series of feature adaptations, and marvelled anew at actress Margot Kidder's portrayal of archetypal girl reporter Lois Lane. (Posted July 10)
KING LEAR — Noting that Vancouver's annual Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival is now in full swing, we recalled the day when great movies, such as Grigori Kozintsev's Russian-language Korol Lir (1971) were the main source of sustenance for die-hard Bard buffs. (Posted July 9)
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA — Understanding today's headlines, so full of Middle-Eastern mayhem, new acronyms such as ISIS and ISIL, and the old concept of a Caliphate, requires a refresher course in the Sykes-Picot controversy. What better place to start than with David Lean's 1962 epic. (Posted July 6)
AMERICAN GRAFFITI — Director George Lucas made his big breakthrough in 1973, distilling the spirit of the Fourth of July into a movie. Five years later, he showed his class by reissuing the picture in a director's cut that really was renewed and improved. (Posted July 4)
AMERICAN POP — Distilling his mixed emotions about American dreams into an epic 1981 cartoon musical, adult animator Ralph Bakshi took on a subject where his reach exceeded his creative resources. (Posted July 4)
MY AMERICAN COUSIN — From 1985, Vancouver director Sandy Wilson's award-winning debut feature captures the colours of memory as seen through the eyes of an almost-teen experiencing life in a B.C. Interior town, where "nothing ever happens." (Posted July 4)
BACK TO THE FUTURE PART III — Our three-day celebration of Canada Day concluded with 1990's final instalment of the McFly family saga, the one in which Michael J. Fox drives his time-travelling DeLorean into something like a steampunk Western. (Posted July 3)
BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II — Our three-day celebration of Canada Day naturally included the second part of the trilogy, the dark 1989 episode in which Michael J. Fox reprised his Marty McFly character, and added the roles of McFly's future son and daughter. (Posted July 2)
BACK TO THE FUTURE — On Canada Day, Reeling Back celebrated that very Canadian entertainment tradition, finding fame in the United States. Our example was Michael J. Fox, whose feature-film breakthrough was in Robert Zemeckis's rockin' 1985 time-travel comedy. (Posted July 1)