Intervista #6

Last week I was interviewed for Film in Focus's ongoing series of film blogger profiles, Behind the Blog (a series that recently featured our own Kimberly Lindbergs). After much internal debate I decided to risk posting a link to it here. Granted, I'm the only member of Team Gunslinger represented, and you could perhaps make a case that posting it at all is horrifically self-indulgent on my part (I certainly won't defend myself against the charge). But the principal subject of the interview is this blog, and it might possibly give our regular visitors some marginal insight into how the thing works (as well as my chronic inability to write a simple, uncongested sentence of english) . . . assuming that's of any conceivable value at all.

So until I rethink the matter and delete this post, dive in.


Howard said...

Okay, since you mention the lack of comments on Gunslinger, I'll dive in.

Since I started viewing Gunslinger regularly, I've posted exactly one comment: One of you posted a picture of Buddy Ebsen when he was a tuxedoed hoofer; I posted a link to an image of Irene Ryan when she was a B-movie vamp. (The connection, if I have to spell it out, was The Beverly Hillbillies.) I followed it for 24 hours to see if there was a reaction; I thought maybe gorgeous, sexy Irene Ryan was even good enough for an FPP. No followup. So I stopped commenting.

I love Gunslinger, have it in my RSS feed, and check it daily. But it's up to you to create an atmosphere for comments, if that's what you want. If you don't want the comments, that's cool, too, and I'll continue to check every day, because I love what you do.

Shorpy is a good example of an imageblog that gets a smart, engaged commenting community. They've created an environment where they'll post an obscure vintage image, and readers will start searching old archives in order to find out details of the people, objects, and buildings in the images. And the posters then follow up on the comments. I don't know if that would work with Gunslinger, because the images are iconic rather than obscure, but I think if you engage with those who do comment, you'll find the commenter community will grow.

Vanwall said...

Hmmm. I comment on here regularly, and there are ongoing conversations many times, often with the principles here involved. I figure one shot is never good enough, gotta keep throwing stuff at the walls until you get a reaction. I don't comment on that many blogs, and while this one has so many obscurities, they don't overwhelm the overall aspect of the familiar in unfamiliar territory. This blog is really like no other - it has it's own space and meaning. I salute the "Charlies" - they have something here for the ages.

Vanwall said...

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't compliment you Tom, on an excellent interview, BTW!

Tom Sutpen said...

Well, I really wasn't complaining about the absence of such interaction, merely observing it as a fact. I can't speak for my co-conspirators, but I will tell you that my own non-participation is often because of time. I don't look in on this blog for days on end; and even then not for more than a few minutes, just to see if anything needs correction.

There's another factor . . . and I'd be a frightful liar if I were to say that this isn't, to me, the most important one: While the people who run Shorpy (and other blogs) are, I'm sure, very vigilant in holding up their end of the comment section (which is nothing if not admirable), they're only able to do so if they first assume, as a matter of course, that anyone cares about what they have to say. I can't delude myself into believing, rightly or wrongly, anything remotely like that. Very often I'll start a comment and then bail out after a sentence or two; and that usually happens at the moment I realize that there's no way in hell people could give a damn about my deathless perspecive, regardless of the issue (nor, I have to emphasize, is there any reason they should). Occasionally I'll chime in, but that requires a momentary suspension of belief in this fundamental reality.

So I apologize for not following up, but I'd be willing to bet my paycheck that if I had, whatever I might have said would've been utterly inane (and not very well written to boot).

Tom Sutpen said...

Thank you, Rob. For whatever it's worth, I'm glad you're still sticking around.

Vanwall said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, Tom - I like reading your stuff, and anybody don't like it, they can piss off. More is better.

Cinebeats said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview and thanks for the mention, Tom! It's nice to put a face (and it's a very nice face btw) to your name.

As for the blog comments . . .

In all honesty I've been tempted to turn off the comment option at my own blog only because sometimes I just feel like tossing stuff out to the world without having to explain myself. Time is a huge factor too. I often don't have the time to answer all the comments or emails I get. I'm a bit of a hermit by nature so I suppose that effects the way I interact online as well.

Images by their very nature are powerful (worth a thousand words) and I suspect that the images shared here speak volumes to people. I personally love this blog because I feel that the contributors and visitors are all sort of having a conversation without the need for a lot of words. This place is special and thanks for letting me be a part of it.

Tom Sutpen said...

Thanks, Kimberly. I once entertained the idea of turning off the comments, because I knew I wasn't being as good a host as I outhg to be in that department. But there's something slightly off-putting (to me anyway) about blogs where you can't comment. The 'hermit' point is an interesting one, because I think that expresses what I was trying to say before better than I. Call it shyness, or a reluctance to say anything that I suspect I might not have the time or the will to follow up on, but there's some mental block in me that prevents my answering comments more than I do. Whatever it is, it's my problem and no one else's.


Mille grazie, Signor.

R.H. said...

I want NO RESPONSE to my comments! (except to say how wonderful I am).

Well seriously I do understand that some commenters appreciate a response; fair enough, but I don't expect it here, it's not that kind of blog. It's a photo blog and the photos are startling, and Trickie Dickie was on TV here last night (a doco called: 'The Man You Love To Hate').
I'm surprised they didn't call it 'A Shopkeeper's Son', they said so often enough.

'The Boy From Oz'

Mr DeBakey said...

I comment here regularly, but not often.
One truism - comments beget more comments.

I think the reason few comment here is because of the specialized subject matter.

I've seen more films from more places than 95% of the population.
I can say the same thing about the number of jazz albums in my collection.

But, even so, I am not qualified to address, have nothing useful to say about,
Red Garland's A Garland of Red or John Ford's Seas Beneath [two recent posts].
So I don't.

Its not by accident that the 60's Bunnies or Sex Education posts always have comments.
Its not that the followers of this blog are lechers,
though they may be,
its that ogling pretty girls is a widely shared experience.
Ford films from 1931, not so much.

More comments would be fun
But they're certainly not necessary to keep me coming back.

Flickhead said...

Tom, thanks for the kind words about Flickhead in the interview!

R.H. said...

Maybe Ford should have stacked pretty girls into his films.

League for the Preservation of Lechers.

swac said...

What, Maureen O'Hara's not good enough for you? :)

I'd like to add that from time to time I comment when things are a little dead around here hoping to get the ball rolling, but I'm not disappointed if no one takes the bait. Plus I can never turn down the opportunity to be a smartass.

On a lecherous note, I see the Vintage Pulchritude blog now has an "Offensive Content" flag on it. I wonder if any of our trapped-in-amber images will ever cause such a stir...?

Greg said...

1.) I've never commented here, particularly because I have little to offer, but I do check into the site with regularity.

2.) I actually have learned a lot of cool information by following links and/or searching for information that has been referenced in the comments, so if you do have another fit of emotion regarding whether or not the blog should have comments, I'd like to put in a vote for "YES PLEASE."

This is a great site; keep it up!

joel. said...

ditto to what greg said above. thanks for the great blog.

Tom Sutpen said...

Monsieur Head-of-flick:

You're entirely welcome. I think most of the other bloggers whom I gave plugs to found it an insult, but I'm pleased you did not.


There seems to be a general crackdown on pulchritude in the blogosphere. As far as I know, we've never been flagged for Objectionable Content, but for some reason Photobucket has seen fit to delete three out of the last four 'Art of the Centerfold' entries. It's frustrating as all heck.

Greg and Joel:

Thanks to you both; but I really need to underscore that I wasn't complaining about the number of comments we get. It was simply a distinction I was drawing between this and other blogs with our caliber of visitor stats. Frankly, I'm content just to have people visit the thing. I don't believe we are owed anything else.

shahn said...

Comments seem to be down all over the blogs I patrol. Mine included. Reader contributions add to the fun of a post, but are most certainly not necessary for me to keep coming back.

Thanks for the mention, Tom. I really do appreciate it. And thanks for including your photo. I was starting to believe you really did look like that blond, curly-haired man in that picture.

swac said...

I would just like to point out that I look *exactly* like Conrad Veidt in The Man Who Laughs.