About This Blog

This blog consists of commentary on matters that I think might be of general interest. I post only occasionally.

There is and will be no commercial use of the site or advertising on it; I’m doing this for fun.

M.H. Johnston

A further comment written on 6/28/20:

A valued reader commented on Original Sin that she hopes that I am trying to expand this blog’s, ah, highly selective readership. She clearly meant her words as a compliment, but they left me feeling a little bit guilty for not doing so. Perhaps I should explain.

First off, CH is not a commercial enterprise. No disrespect to commerce, which I love; it’s just that I think of these posts as a very personal hobby and I wouldn’t want to have writing new ones feel like an obligation. It’s a quirk of mine, too, that on any given day when I am not obsessed with capturing in a new post an idea that has floated across my mind (which means most days), I am convinced that I may never write another. So far, I have been wrong about that – sooner or later another thought has come along that I thought if I captured well enough, you too might find it interesting – but one of these days I may be right.

Also, as you have no doubt noticed, the tone of my posts is all over the map. When I’m feeling agitated about something, I can be pretty strident; more often, my intended tone is contemplative – itself probably a turnoff to the broader audience of people who surf the Internet. (The strident posts get many more links and reads than the more contemplative ones that I usually think make subtler, more important points – like Original Sin, for that matter).

Topics range from something striking that I saw from my kayak or bicycle to American culture to how I am feeling about President Trump; as one (occasional? former?) reader who’s a friend once said, I write about whatever’s on my mind.

My tonal and subject matter inconsistencies doubtless diminish interest in CH – especially on the part of those who don’t know me. Why should they care what I’m thinking about? I’m no celebrity, and while I like to think the posts are reasonably well written, art they aren’t.

One more observation about the posts’ content: while I try to make them impersonal by avoiding both the use of names other than my own and subjects touching other than glancingly on my or other people’s private lives, I am under no illusions about the fact that the posts, taken as a whole, are a deeply personal statement about my values and interests. Again: of limited general interest.

So writing a post feels something like composing an email to somewhere between 50 and 90 friends, only about half of whom I’ve actually met.  (There are 171 people who subscribe to notices of new posts, but a typical post is read by fewer than half that number; I don’t know why those other subscribers want notices clogging their email in-boxes).

Would I like a larger readership? Sure; I like the idea that others might find these posts thought-provoking and I enjoy seeing comments online (and receiving private comments via email).  But – especially given that I do not use Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, and I have no intention of paying some SEO firm to gin up readers who may or may not have any genuine interest in the content – I have no idea how to reach a larger audience other than to encourage you to suggest that those who you think might find them interesting read them.  Also, truth be told, I rather like the idea that the readership consists of people who have come to the posts organically, through friends of friends.

Bottom line, if the readership grows, great. If not, that’s ok by me.

M.H. Johnston