Sat, 1 November 2014
I had any number of goals in mind for this space when October began. But the overarching goal was to make reader/listeners more engaged. And at this I think that – together – we succeeded in spades.
How did I go about it? By providing an unprecedented amount of content for Ho`olohe Hou – perhaps for any blog or podcast ever. (I have no way of proving my last assertion, but it makes me feel terrific nonetheless!) Here is the month by the numbers…
Number of articles: 66
Word count: 79,163
Page count: 241 pages
Hours of music presented: 10 hours 45 minutes
Hosting space utilized: 714.19 MB (I had to double my hosting plan)
Hosting plan cost: $40
Hours spent writing: 150 hours
Hours spent editing/remastering music: 16 hours
Number of new segments/themes introduced: 4
(“OOPs,” “12 Records That Changed My Life,” “Precious Meetings,” and “`Ohana”)
Number of contests: 2
Number of contest winners: 0
Number of new page “LIKES”: 116 (from 449 on 9/30 to 565 on 10/31)
Total article reads/listens: 1,837 (a one-month record)
Highest one-day read/listen total: 229 reads/listens (a one-day record)
I could slice and dice these numbers in any number of ways, but I like to think of it like this: At 79,163 words and 241 pages, in only one month I wrote a small book about Hawaiian music. If this were a podcast, you would likely get a new one-hour program each week – a maximum of five hours of music. I more than doubled that! Either way you look at it, you responded enthusiastically with more reads/listens than ever.
Mahalo nui loa!
Some things I did not do in October…
Read a book or magazine
Take out the garbage or recycling
Put away my clean laundry
Fix the leaky roof
Rake the leaves
Unclog either of two clogged sinks
Take a turn against any of my 31 opponents in Words With Friends
Renew the registration for my car (resulting in more than $300 in tickets)
In the business world, this is what would otherwise be known as “opportunity cost.” But how did I end up here? Two reasons.
First, due to an extended illness (which continues to linger undiagnosed), I did not do much of anything in the month of September. That includes blogging. The theme and continuity of Ho`olohe Hou is largely predicated on the anniversaries of historic events and dealing with them in chronological order, but blogging only occasionally through September meant there were events in September about which I didn’t write and which I felt couldn’t wait another year. So although you may not have known, I was writing September’s and October’s articles at the same time. And I posted them in chronological order. (If you read Ho`olohe Hou through the Facebook feed, you could not have known this because Facebook dates articles as they appear. But the main blog – at www.hoolohehou.org – allows me to cheat the publication date of each article – so they remain chronologically intact.)
Second, some of these topics proved to be “rabbit holes” that I was chasing down seemingly endlessly. I wake up one morning and think I could write five or six articles about this. But then once I start to do the research and hear the music, I realize that there is more there “there” than I originally realized – stories left untold, mysteries to unravel. In fact, I covered only four topics in depth through October, and here is how those topics break down by the numbers:
Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs – 14 articles – 126 minutes of music
Lexington Hotel “Hawaiian Room” – 16 articles – 175 minutes of music
Lena Machado – 15 articles – 131 minutes of music
Genoa Keawe – 17 articles – 189 minutes of music
(There were four articles on miscellaneous topics and an additional 28 minutes of music.)
And because of a compulsive desire to tell the whole story, let’s just agree to say that I went a little crazy. But it also takes a considerable amount of time to sort out “facts” from “lore” – to find a second and third piece of corroborating data, to say meaningful things, to spell all the names right, to get the dates and the players right, to put every `okina and kahako where they belong, and all in order not to become the Wikipedia of Hawaiian music. And I suppose that is a little compulsive in its own way, but I have read so many unreliable sources on Hawaiian music that even I don’t know where to turn anymore sometimes, and I don’t want to become simply another unreliable source.
Was it worth it? More than I can say in another 79,163 words. So I will simply say hiki nō (Hawaiian for “of course”). Those of you who do not miss a single post at Ho`olohe Hou may recall a month ago my asking for your help in achieving 500 “LIKES” on our Facebook page. We only needed 50 “LIKES” to achieve that goal, and I really thought that was a stretch. But we more than doubled that number and increased our reader/listenership by more than 25%. The monthly total of 1,837 reads/listens isn’t merely a record. It is a record by leaps and bounds – blowing the previous monthly total of 1,231 reads/listens out of the water. And the one-day record of 229 reads/listens beats the previous record of 164 reads/listens by a mile-and-a-half. (And I know I have Aunty Genoa to thank for this. Mahalo, aunty!)
But I have to get back to some of those other items on my list now. So Ho`olohe Hou may slow down a little bit through the remainder of 2014. I have a number of topics I want to cover, but I have a plan for covering them in a less rabbit hole-like manner. More about that tomorrow…
If you have clicked “PLAY” on the audio track that accompanies this post, you are listening to a preview of a topic I will be covering throughout the month of November. And you may be wondering to yourself… What do these songs have to do with Hawai`i or Hawaiian music? And that, after all, is why Ho`olohe Hou exists: To preserve the forgotten songs and voices of Hawai`i. If you want to know more, stay tuned for our next exciting episode…
This is Ho`olohe Hou. Welcome to my world!
~ Bill Wynne