Sunday, August 04, 2019

Time for Some Housecleaning

Just a couple of months back, author Dana King (Ten-Seven)—weighing the value of his having composed One Bite at a Time for more than a decade—lamented the arduousness involved. “Anyone who has maintained a regular blog schedule,” he wrote, “can tell you it’s a lot of work. Blogs are most effective when they have some kind of regular schedule and it’s the regular schedule that can be a grind. Writers have other obligations and other deadlines both hard and soft; the blog is just one more thing to try to stay ahead of.” Furthermore, there’s rarely any money to be made from blogging, and very little in the way of reader response. It’s generally a solitary enterprise.

Is it any wonder, then, that blogs—including those devoted to crime, mystery, thriller, and and suspense fiction—come and go? As King notes, it’s much easier to maintain a presence on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. None of those social-media platforms demand as much writing effort, and pages there enjoy at least as much attention from friends, strangers, and the occasional trolls.

I was thinking about all of this recently, knowing that The Rap Sheet was near to achieving yet another milestone: its 7,500th post, which went up yesterday morning. Over the 13 years I’ve been writing and editing this blog, I have seen many similar sites spring into life, demonstrate energy and talent, but then suddenly vanish. In some cases, it’s because their administrators died, but in most it is simply because those folks got tired of the constant work involved and moved on to other, perhaps more satisfying projects.

Yesterday, I checked through the hundreds of blogs and assorted Web sites listed in the right-hand column of this page, looking to see whether any had sputtered out since my last such examination. Indeed, a few have disappeared entirely, among them The Navi Review, Tony Black’s Pulp Pusher, Chantelle Aimée Osman’s The Sirens of Suspense, and the once-invaluable British site Tangled Web. Others seem to have gone dormant, including:

Art & Literature
At the Scene of the Crime
Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine
Black Mask
The Bloodstained Bookshelf
British TV Detectives
The Corpse Steps Out
Crime Scene NI
Dave’s Fiction Warehouse
Death by Killing
Detectives Beyond Borders
The Education of a Pulp Writer
Escape and Suspense!
Film Noir of the Week
The Groovy Age of Horror
The House of Crime and Mystery
The Inquisitive Introvert
Kirkus Reviews: Mysteries and Thrillers
Mike Dennis
Mysterious Writers
Noir Journal
Permission to Kill
Somebody Dies
The Thriller Guy
The Thrilling Detective Blog
Tipping My Fedora
Vanished Into Thin Air

Some of these will be moved to The Rap Sheet’s Archive Sites page, because I believe they possess lasting value. (Peter Rozovsky’s Detectives Beyond Borders, for instance, as well as Sergio Angelini’s Tipping My Fedora and my own former Kirkus Reviews column.) Others I’ll keep watch over for a while, just to see if they suddenly get a second wind. (It’s been known to happen!)

One other plan I have in mind: adding a subdivision to the blogroll devoted to crime-fiction podcasts. I’m not a regular podcast listener, but even I know there are many outstanding ones available—and probably more than I recognize. If you have suggestions of podcasts you think should be included, please drop a note about them into the Comments section at the end of this post.


Gabe said...

A few podcasts to consider:
Writer Types
Wrong Place, Write Crime
EQMM and Alfred Hitchcock both have podcasts with fiction from the magazine.

Kate said...

Two podcasts I would recommend are: Shedunnit and The Men Who Explain Miracles (the latter can be accessed via The Invisible Event blog).