A small study in promotion

As I mentioned earlier, this week I posted an feature-length entry to Slackerwood: Kevin Smith broke my (red carpet) cherry. I was very proud of this entry, and I wanted to promote it as much as I could. Slackerwood doesn’t have a lot of traffic yet, so it would be easy to promote the Kevin Smith entry in several different ways, then use the stats to see which ways were most effective.
Here’s how I promoted the entry:

  • Posted to local portals Austin Bloggers and Austin Stories.
  • Posted a link in an online forum I read and post to regularly.
  • Posted a link to the ThreeWay Action portal.
  • Posted entries at Digg and Netscape, two sites where readers can vote on the entries they like.
  • Posted a link to a John Scalzi thread dedicated to people “pimping their links”
  • Posted a link here on Celluloid Eyes.
  • Sent a notify list email message with the link.

I checked my stats on Saturday morning to see the results. Here are the hit counts from the referrer logs:

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RSS feed changed and other site news

If you subscribe to my RSS feed with Bloglines or another reader, this is important news. I changed my RSS feed. Here’s the new feed:
If you’re using Bloglines, you should resubscribe and select the above feed. The old feed is still around but it’s going away soon. (And if you’re not using Bloglines or an RSS reader, let me just say that I can’t recommend it enough — it’s much better than using the notify list.)
The new feed will give you the entire entry, not just an excerpt. I like reading entries directly from Bloglines, so I figure I should offer the kind of RSS feed that I myself prefer. Also, the Beau was helping me with some other site changes and asked if I wanted it changed.
You might notice some other improvements to the site. You can now view archives by category, using the pull-down menu in the left sidebar. I linked to the Theatrical Reviews category in the right sidebar, so you (and I) can find those easily. And if you want to read the movie reviews I’ve posted to Cinematical, I’ve added a page where I’m tracking those, which is also linked in the right sidebar. I hope these changes help … let me know if you encounter any problems.
And many, many thanks to the Beau, who spent a lot of time this morning cleaning up messes on this site and improving things.

Welcome to Slackerwood

I’d like to introduce my latest Web site: Slackerwood, which is focused on Austin film news and features. The site has been up and running for a month or so, but I wanted to wait to hype it until I had a nice juicy feature story to promote. And I do:
Kevin Smith broke my (red carpet) cherry
I hope to post regular features like the above to Slackerwood, as well as information on upcoming Austin screenings and interesting local movie news. At some point, I hope the site will have additional writers, because I can’t catch every single special screening in town. Ideally, I’d like to post news items to Slackerwood daily, but I haven’t quite reached that point yet.
Celluloid Eyes isn’t going away. The Austin-related film entries will be posted to Slackerwood, but I’ll still post general film reviews and features here.
I came up with the idea for Slackerwood earlier this year when I realized that it was difficult to find information about Austin film events and screenings in a single place. Since then, the Statesman has started their Austin Movie Blog, which includes a lot of useful information, especially Austin release dates for independent films. I also decided that I didn’t have time to track and post a database of every single local film event and screening … yes, Austin really does have that many. I think that selecting a few to highlight, and posting features about the Austin film scene, will work well for Slackerwood.
Anyway, go visit Slackerwood if you haven’t already. Feel free to post comments, link to the site anywhere and everywhere, and spread the word. I’m excited about the future of Slackerwood.

Clerks II (2006)

Clerks II: 2006, dir. Kevin Smith. Seen at Galaxy Highland (press screening).
I’ve been waiting for years to see someone rework a Thirties screwball comedy film in contemporary terms. Friends and I have argued about whether it is even possible: whether the old-fashioned screwball comedy is dead and buried, a product of its time. So it was a complete surprise to encounter a movie with a plot lifted straight from His Girl Friday or Bringing Up Baby in the most unlikely place … Clerks II, Kevin Smith’s sequel to his 1994 first feature.
I never in my life thought I would be referring to one of Kevin Smith’s as reminiscent of Howard Hawks … although Hawks never included expressions like “cock-stain”. But then I never imagined myself sitting in a theater at the end of Clerks II thinking, “Oh, my God. He just remade The Front Page, but with fast food instead of journalism,” and subsequently picking up my jaw from the floor at the very idea.
I heard Smith speak about this film earlier in the year. He claimed that he wanted to make a movie that Clerks fans would enjoy, and to hell with everyone else. (I am sure Smith said something cruder than “to hell” but you get the idea. If my mom ever met him she would stuff three bars of soap in his mouth within five minutes.) I have no strong feelings about Clerks — I didn’t understand all the hype, and found some of it annoying (the film’s attitude towards females), although there were parts that I liked very much (the hockey game). I liked Chasing Amy and Dogma much better. Clerks II seems to be much closer in spirit and tone to Chasing Amy.

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An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

An Inconvenient Truth: 2006, dir. Davis Guggenheim. Seen on June 30 (Alamo South Lamar).
An Inconvenient Truth reminded me in many ways of Spalding Gray’s one-man film Swimming to Cambodia. The premise sounds totally non-cinematic, but that somehow works: a guy talks to us for nearly two hours. Gray told us entertaining stories, while Al Gore shows us statistics and gives us scientific proof about the effects of global warming.
I read Susie Bright’s review of An Inconvenient Truth, which dismissed the global-warming information in the film as being too obvious — that everyone knows this stuff. She felt the film was meant as Presidential propaganda for Gore. I’ve heard a couple of other people with similar opinions about Gore and the film.
I would disagree on this point. Of course many of us already know that global warming is a problem that we need to solve, that we need to stop ignoring in the hopes that it will go away. But for me, seeing the statistics, the photos of diminishing ice caps, the dire forecasts, right there on a nice big screen did make a difference.

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