Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Daily Beat reaches 10 years of Kerouac blogging!

My first post on The Daily Beat was 10 years ago today on July 15, 2008. It was a test post, and I didn't start posting in earnest until September when my book, The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions, appeared for sale on Amazon. I started blogging without really knowing what I was getting into, and since that time a lot has happened. For one thing, we have posted 1,453 times, which averages 145 times per year or once every 2.5 days. Not bad for a non-income generating (mostly -- if you don't count book sales spurred by my posts) blog and most of that time I was working full-time (having retired in May 2017). For another, I've interviewed some well-known Beat figures. For example, you can read my interview with Al Hinkle (Big Ed Dunkel from On The Road) here, my interview with Gerald Nicosia here, and my interview with Kerouac paramour Helen Weaver here.

We've done some serial posts over the 10 years. For a time in 2011, we posted about each entry in my book, including a picture of the relevant passage in The Dharma Bums or On The Road (start here and move forward in time). We've also done some recurring posts. For example, a few times we played 6 Degrees of Jack Kerouac (click here for the original).

Which reminds me, if you ever want to search this blog (or any website, for that matter) you only need to type in the address bar the search word and then the word site with a colon and the URL. So if you want to search my blog for instances where I mention the word Richard, it would look like this:

Richard site:

Regular readers know we are in the midst of curating my Kerouac bookshelf, with entry #85 up next. That's a serial that will run over 160 posts total.

We started a series called Beat Hero, but never got very far, having only completed two: Travis Tribble and John Wight. We ruminated on North Pond Hermit Christopher Knight being Beat Hero #3, but scoring an interview with him would be next to impossible. As always, if you think you are  a Beat Hero or know someone who is, let us know. (Note: Don't be fooled by my use of plural pronouns -- this is a one-person operation. Consider it a nod to a favorite Beat movie: The Big Lebowski and the Dude's explaining his use of the "royal we.")

We occasionally post blog stats. Kristen Stewart topless in On The Road continues to be #1 in pageviews (9,170), with Full text of On The Road plus #2 at 7,156 and How to pronounce "Cannes" #3 with 5,730. #4 is The joys and pitfalls of blogging, coming in at 3,045 pageviews. And #5 is A Kerouac favorite word: fellaheen (the latter is an example of me being schooled by readers).

Traffic here is a mystery to me. Posts usually get a few dozen pageviews in the early stages, but every once in a while a routine post will get hundreds right away (given enough time, many get into the thousands). I assume that high early number comes from others linking to my post. Or maybe it's Russian bots. Who knows? While I appreciate pageviews, that's not what it's about: this blog is a labor of love for Jack Kerouac.

I've spoiled some Kerouac myths on The Daily Beat, opined that Jack Kerouac was murdered, reviewed a number of books, reported on road trips to places like Lowell and San Francisco and Big Sur and France and NYC, posted spontaneous prose, linked to Kerouac news and resources, defended Jack's honor, explored the enigmatic number 23, reminded of important dates, written about requesting Jack's FBI files, held a Beat poetry contest, collected pictures of Kerouac license plates, archived a Beat dictionary, reported on visiting the Memory Babe archive in Lowell, posted pictures of Kerouac tattoos (mine and others'), published a post by a guest author (one more is in the works), reported on my efforts to get the USPS to issue a Jack Kerouac stamp, posted guest poetry, and given away a number of free books.

Which brings me to the end of this ramble. Perhaps you are expecting another book give-away, but if so, you are mistaken. That has not gone well in the past couple of tries (winners don't contact me with address details so I can't send them a book). So how are we going to celebrate our 10-year anniversary?

Simple: by posting a blog entry. And here it is. Feel free to tell us congratulations in a comment. Or support our efforts by purchasing a book -- I don't get rich but it's motivational.



Anonymous said...

Awesome accomplishment Rick, and congrats to you. I wonder if people realize the determination and passion that goes into coming up with something... anything really, to say every 2 1/2 days for ten years. It has been my honor to have explored the Beat world with you all these years. To have a friend to read with, to appreciate the work with, and a friend to keep the love of JK and all things Beat alive is one of the most valuable things in my life. We have shared books, poetry, Lowell, New York and many things together over the years. Here's to many more.

Richard Marsh

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Thanks, Richard, and right back at you, my friend.