LG recently read an article about increasing one's blog traffic. It said that there are now over 125 million (125,000,000 for those of you who have trouble with words) blogs on the internet, and most don't get much in the way of readership. Not a surprise.
One of the article's tips to increase readership was to narrow down your blog's focus to a very specific niche. That way, the thinking goes, you'll attract a lot of readers who are interested in that one topic.
The LG Report's stated goal -- to inject humor into your day -- is rather vague and general. There are a lot of humorous things in this world, and on the internet. Thus, there's a lot of competition for the time and attention of people looking for a daily dose of humor.
So LG started thinking (I know it annoys you that I refer to myself in the third person, but, conversely, it amuses me to annoy you...) (ditto the bold-facing of LG), "What niche could I occupy to increase my blog readership?"
A few ideas came to mind.
Most prominent among them was to write a blog about Greece and being Greek in America, from a humorous viewpoint, of course.
My thought was that Greeks would forward my blog's address to all their Greek friends, and, pretty soon, the word would spread like wildfire and I'd have hundreds -- or thousands -- of daily readers.
But, then I remembered that I'm only writing the blog for my own amusement, and I don't really care how many readers I get.
So that idea went out the window.
Although, I still may try to do a once-a-week Greek-themed posting, just to draw in some Greek readers. Hey, a guy's cyber ego still needs some stroking and having a respectable number of readers doesn't hurt. You'll probably take this opportunity to forward The LG Report's address to three of your closest Greek friends. Thank you.
Having said all of that (are you still with me? Of course you are, otherwise, you wouldn't be reading that question...), here are two quick stories to illustrate how the Greeks have done away with the concept of Political Correctness -- if they ever had it, which is in doubt.
In 1990, just before my friends Dan, Geo, Carl and I were getting ready to go to Greece on vacation, Geo read in the New York Times that Greek authorities would only let people through customs in Athens if they had proof of hotel reservations. We were going to be staying mostly at my family's house on Andros Island and had no pre-arranged hotel reservations. This made Geo nervous, so he called the Greek Embassy in New York to inquire as to what we should do.
"Oh, don't worry about that," the man who answered the phone told Geo, "That only applies to Yugoslavians. They come to Greece and sleep on the beaches and we don't want that. You're fine."
Can you imagine a law in the United States that only applies to one ethnicity? Not likely...
Later, on that same trip, we rented mopeds on the island of Mykonos. That's not us above, that picture is from an earlier trip, but it's the only one that I had on hand at the moment so please work with it.
My Greek is good enough to get by, so the moped shop owner, who only spoke Greek, was directing all of his comments to me as he explained the various nuances of the mopeds. Finally, towards the end, he said "Oh, and make sure that you keep the mopeds locked up wherever you go, there are a lot of Italians on the island right now."
My friend Dan, who is part Italian, was a bit offended later when I translated that comment to him. But, of course, it didn't prevent us all from making a point of hiding our wallets from Dan as we slept during the rest of the trip. Political Incorrectness knows no bounds....