Thursday, January 1, 2015

State of the Blog


Keeping with tradition, I'll start the year out with my annual State of the Blog.  For anyone who cares, this is where I reflect upon the last year as well as the current state of this blog.

First, the stats:

I saw 567 movies in 2014. 111 of them I saw in the theater, excluding film festivals. I saw an additional 143 at the Tribeca, Nantucket, Fantastic Fest, and Philadelphia film festivals. The remaining 313 I watched at home, comprised of new releases that premiered on Video on Demand and those I missed in the theater (187), as well as older titles I either never saw before (51) or movies I was revisiting (75). In total, of the 567 I saw, 390 of them are 2014 releases, and you can see all of those ranked from A+ to F in my Rank of All Films Reviewed in 2014 blog post. Please note that many of the films I saw at film festivals haven't been released theatrically or on VOD yet, so they will carry over into my 2015 list. (It's more complicated than you thought, isn't it?)

I published 249 blog posts on here, where for the first 8 months of the year I wrote up reviews for the vast majority of the new releases I saw.   You probably noticed that for the last four months I stopped writing reviews.  But, of course,  I continue to post my 'In Theaters Now' every Friday to help you make the best selection for your weekend movie.

To date, I've gotten 136,350 page views.  I have no idea if that's 136,350 different people who have accidentally happened upon my blog, or if it's one obsessed fan that has checked in 136,350 times.  But I'd love to get that number up.  So, please tell your friends and family.  I can say that my page views have increased over 20% every year since I began this blog in September of 2010.  In 2014 I got almost 45,000 (an average of 123 per day), which is 27% higher than 2013.  So the trend is good.  But in order to keep this on the rise it is essential that, if you like this blog, you share it with your loved ones who love movies. Have them friend me on Facebook, like my Flieder on Film Facebook page, and/or follow me on Twitter @FliederonFilm so that you get notified whenever I post something new.  I don't do selfies, pictures of my kids or pets (as I don't have any), or of what I'm eating for dinner! I only post movie reviews and the occasional movie related content.  So please tell your friends.

As you all know I haven't been on TV since February.  Do I miss it?  Honestly, not at all.  Life is a hell of a lot easier without having to worry about seeing all the latest releases before they come out, figuring out what is best to say in 3 minutes on live TV, memorizing it, and then waking up before sunrise on Friday mornings to be prepared and camera friendly for my live satellite hit at the FOX 29 Philadelphia station.  And all for no money and no appreciation whatsoever.  Nope, I don't miss it, or virtually anyone I met in the process.

OK it's time for some thank you's.  (If too much graciousness nauseates you, as it often does for me, you may want to skip to the end.)

I want to thank all my friends at Allied-THA who invite me to all the advanced screenings. Not only do they allow me to see movies in advance, with reserved seating, with a guest, and for free, but they're also a pleasure to see every week!   Thank you Jesse, Kate, Michael, Joe, Ann-Marie, Rachel, Dave, Lisa, Matt, Zack, Maura, Tina, Gary, Steve, Julia, Marissa, Ed, Clarissa, and everyone else who greets me and is always so friendly and makes me feel like a VIP when I'm so not.

I also want to thank the Broadcast Film Critics Association for letting me be one of less than 300 members and voters for the Critics Choice Movie Awards! I still can't believe I'm in such an elite group.  You should definitely tune in to the awards show on Thursday January 15th on A&E. (I'll send out reminders as we get close.) Ratings for the award show are very important to the BFCA so please tell your friends to watch (especially if they are Nielsen families!)

I also want to thank all my friends at the Philadelphia Film Society. Sure, I'm a paying member so they have to be nice to me. But they're always a pleasure to see, and they do such a great job of providing free screenings and fun film events for their members year round, fostering a film community in Philadelphia, and putting on the Philadelphia Film Festival. It's one of my favorite events of the year, and if you're a film fan in Philadelphia and not yet a member, you really should be. In fact, you're crazy not to be. As a bonus, they recently restored and renovated the Roxy theater, which I love because it's a great place for film buffs in Philly to gather other than the Ritz theaters. I am even a founding member, so be sure to look for and sit in the Flieder on Film engraved chair when you go! (Just, please take good care of it, as it is my only legacy.) Thank you Andy, Pari, Alyssa, Alex, Mariah, and Rebecca!

Lastly, but certainly not least, I want to thank you. Yes, you and all the people that check out my blog, friend me on Facebook, like my Flieder on Film Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter @FliederonFilm. I spend virtually all of my free time watching films and posting what I think is interesting and unique content. So it's great to be able to share this with so many people, but even better when people tell me they enjoy it. I always appreciate when people are enthusiastic about it, either in person, on my blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter.  In particular, thank you's need go to Jeana, Adam, Celeste, Betsy, Mario, Jen RR, Ken, Chris N, Melanie, Joe, Luke, Justin, Scott, Zach and Maria, Renaye, Trinaty, Jeff, Lynne, Dan S, Erin, Mike S, Don, LeAnn, Paul, Dana, Wendy and Greg, Mike G and Elaine, John C, John M, Lisa, Courtney, and Pat and Kendra for your comments, likes, shares, and enthusiasm!  (I do hope I didn't forget anyone, though I'm sure I probably did!)

As many of you know, but some of you may not, I haven't made any money as a film critic, either on TV or with this blog. Zero. Zip. Bupkis. Nada. I do this in my free time because I love it, but also because hopefully you do too. So if you do enjoy what I provide, all I ask is that you make a real effort to tell your friends. Please forward my website, share my Facebook posts, and retweet my tweets as often as you can.  I spend most of my free time watching and reviewing films, but marketing and self promotion (and clearly web design) are not my strong suit.  Interesting content is really what I try to provide.  And hopefully you like it.

Well that about wraps it up. Enough self promotion, gratitude, and soliciting! (I'm even making myself sick already.)   I hereby declare 2014 dead to me.  It's 2015 and I'm totally ready for a new year of movies.  Though, the question is, to blog or not to blog?   Shall I continue with just posting grades?  Shall I put in the time for writing reviews?   Are there enough people who care?  I don't get a whole lot of feedback, so if you like what I do here and I've never heard from you, then be sure to say hi, either on here, on Facebook, on Twitter, or just email me at bflieder@gmail.com.  The future of this blog depends on you!

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