18 June 2010

Going Big Time

Really, it’s only a thinly disguised donation to support my local running club, as if what I already do for the club isn’t enough support. Somehow, though, it’s exciting. It’s like and initial public offer of a sort – not that kind of IPO, but an IPO just the same. This is it, it’s the Big Time. Sort of.

I’m talking about cranking this writing hobby up a notch, raising it from Utter and Complete Obscurity to Pretty Much Total Obscurity. Yes, my peeps, I’ve taken that step and entered the world of marketing. Actively seeking eyeballs. Upping the site visitation. Burning up a few more seconds of my Andy-Warholesque fifteen minutes of fame.

It’s not like I’ve signed a contract to place ads on Google searches or Weather.com, right alongside those sleazy ad sites that still promise to get you a mortgage for nothing despite the Crash of ’08 and subsequent hand-wringing. Even if I wanted to spend that kind of money, I don’t think I want to be a cyber-neighbor of those punks. No, my entry to the world of ad-driven traffic is far more tame; all I’ve done is kicked in a donation to my club’s 10K and made this blog a sponsor of the race. It’s really just one hand feeding the other, since I’m the one driving the sponsorship campaign anyway. OK, so I just upped my numbers a bit in exchange for a tax-deductible contribution to a non-profit, with the hope of gaining maybe three peeps. Fair enough.

But nothing is simple in life. A few bucks buys me a couple square inches on the t-shirt, a spot on the web site, and even less space on the race application. All I’m promoting is a web site, so it had better be clear and readable. And www.thesecondlap.blogspot.com is not short, which means printed on a small spot on cloth, not readable, even when stationary, and these are, after all, running shirts. One hopes they’ll find some time in motion.

Fortunately I’d already bought a domain name when I started this blog. It seemed unfortunate at the time that someone had already snagged “TheSecondLap” (get this – they use it to sell “second laps”, as in lap desks. Yeah, I guess I’m OK with that…) I had to settle for “SecondLap”, which, it turns out, is shorter, anyway. T-shirt material. Score.

Of course I hadn’t actually done anything with the domain name for nearly two years, but with the prospect of www.secondlap.com appearing on our club’s web site and race applications within days, last night turned into one of those frenzied sessions brought on by a typically ludicrous self-imposed deadline for an uber-critical cause. If I sound like I’m attaching just a little bit too much importance to all this, of course I am. If you don’t convince yourself that something is important, it just doesn’t get done. Within a couple hours I created a logo (ooh, check it out, high tech, eh?) and a couple of stub web pages to lead the faithful from www.secondlap.org (yeah, there too) to the real Second Lap, right here.

All this so I could find an excuse to kick fifty bucks over to my club. OK, and to move one step closer to that dream of publishing a real book someday, once I figure out what it will really be about. It might be helpful to have two dozen peeps by then.

So, if you’re here because you saw a web site on the back of a t-shirt, well, first, get a life, and second, read back to some of the interesting articles (unlike this one), and third, post a comment. You’ll make me feel like I’ve gone Big Time. Hey, it’s kinda’ exciting in a way.

Speaking of Big Time Department: A few days ago I happened to hit web page of the Mount Desert Island Marathon, www.mdimarathon.org. You’ll recall that last fall I ran MDI because I love the place, and instantly loved the race as well. And to my great amusement, there was my smiling face staring out of the slide show on the home page. Not once, and not even twice, but three big appearances (to be fair, one is my Fuel-Belted backside, though obviously me), a fourth slightly out of focus background cameo, and, for those of you truly obsessed enough to look for these things, even a fifth slight view of a few body parts among the starting line shot. Yeah, that last one is pretty useless in the fame department, but hey, all of this amidst a slide show of a mere twenty-two photos. Not a bad ratio. Perhaps I need to pay my agent more?

Wander on over and look for me in the double shirt, bright yellow Boston Marathon sleeves sticking out from under the blue, number 796. Or better yet, wander on over just to see the gorgeous scenery of this fabulous “Must Do” race.

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