As I look back on 2017 and prepare the Gerbil Interactive Media Group (Gerbil News Network, Gerbil Sports Network, Gerbil Entertainment!) for an initial public offering, it is appropriate that I give potential investors a candid and unsparing view of our business prospects.
How’re we doing, as the late Ed Koch (1924-2013) might ask?
By the numbers: Readers in seventy-three different countries–and I’m not counting Freedonia! 3,158 followers–a 20% increase in one year! Compare that to The Boston Globe, which wet its pants a few years back when its circulation increased 8.9% in one year. I’ll continue after I finish my yawn.
The top post of 2017? “My Cats–World Class Porn Dogs.” It brought a tear to the eyes of the sick and shut-in around the globe, and a smile to the lips of the lisping babe. A cynic would say the reason was the word “Porn” in the title–but I’m not going to yield to cynicism. Not when my cats–so cute, so guilty–are involved.
Using as a yardstick the 2,700-seat Sydney, Australia Opera House, a Standard Blogging Statistical Metric, I could have filled that sucker four times with readers who come to this site every day looking for breaking news on the growing threat of Komodo dragons, the number of white kittens promoters are required to provide Mariah Carey at each personal appearance, and the slow-but-steady rehabilitation of the reputation of Sonny Tufts.
Sonny, with that beaming smile of his!
I’m quietly proud to say that my homeland ranked #1 in the world as a source of my followers. Go ahead, allow patriotic pride to swell your chest for just a second as you chant with me “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” It ain’t jingoistic if it’s true! To the runner-up, the United Kingdom–with which we’ve had a “special relationship” for so many years–let me just say, better luck next year. And as for #3 Canada–stick to ice hockey, or maybe curling.
You ask about productivity? How about that 67-day streak from September 28th to December 3rd when I didn’t miss a single day of blogging! To put things into perspective, the Major League record for a consecutive hitting streak is still Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio’s 56 games. So where’s my Marilyn Monroe?
“Joe–are all bloggers losers, or just this ‘Gerbil News Network’ guy?”
But a business is more than just cold statistics. I like to think I may–just possibly–have saved a reader or two from a life of degradation and a white neo-soul music career.
I say this because the most common search used to find Gerbil News Network in 2017 was “health benefits of smoking crack in PJ’s.” That’s right–while the lamestream media was looking the other way, I was connecting the dots, Pee-wee Herman style, to warn America’s young girls not to follow the path trod by Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston. You can almost see them in your mind’s eye if you try hard enough, like the classic trailer park slumber party scene in The Legend of Boggy Creek:
VENETA SUE: I think Joe Don Riggs is cute!
NAE ANN: Me too!
TULA MARIE: Are you gonna try out for cheerleader?
VENETA SUE: I don’t know.
NAE ANN: Hey–do you guys want to smoke some crack?
TULA MARIE: Don’t you think we ought to check the internet first?
NAE ANN: Well, okay. (tap tap tap tap tap) Oh . . . my . . . God!
VENETA SUE: Don’t swear, Nae Ann!
NAE ANN: It says here on “Gerbil News Network” that the health benefits of smoking crack in PJ’s have been “questioned.”
TULA MARIE: That’s good enough for me–Gerbil News Network is one of the most trusted blogs in the world!
“No crack for us!”
But any good prospectus must provide a full and fair summary of the potential risks involved so that widows and orphans can’t sue once they’ve sunk their money into a bottomless rathole of self-dealing and financial fraud. There are some troublesome aspects of Gerbil Interactive Media Group’s results to date, but remember: past performance is not an indication of future results!
If you look at the world-wide map of our readers’ locations, you’ll see that we once again failed to crack the Chinese market, a critical shortcoming for any blog that hopes to survive in the coming 21st century media shakeout.
“Mrs. Chapman–she good tipper! You–not so much.”
On this score, I can only plead “nolo contendere,” which is Latin for “No checks accepted.” While I have faithfully patronized Happy Panda restaurant I decline, unlike my former New Yorker wife who is a chronic over-tipper, to leave a gratuity at a take-out restaurant when I pick-up my own order! And so I suffer by comparison, and I’m certain that the Chinese, who are said to be able to steal the floor plan of an automotive plant using nothing more than a Radio Shack Execuheli II Micro Wireless Indoor Helicopter, have taken note.
I mean, there’s no other plausible explanation.