A long, long time ago in an online paradise known as WordPress, there was a thing called the “DPChallenge.” It appeared on Tuesdays and it was pretty cool. It proffered a slightly more interesting challenge than the Daily Prompt of days of yore. I always enjoyed writing to it.
One day in February 2014 this prompt was posted. It consisted of some pictures and the instructions to write 1000 words, the idea being that a picture is worth at LEAST that.
Out of this prompt the dynamic duo of Lamont and Dude came into being. Lamont and Dude evolved and changed (as we are all wont to do here on WordPress), but their essential nature has not changed, not through the millennia and numerous incarnations in which they’ve roamed — or not roamed, depending — the planet. For those who might not know, Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with four years ago in response to this particular prompt! They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their previous incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.
Lamont and Dude are beloved by a handful of loyal readers, some of whom have suggested I compile their stories into a legit book. I have given some thought to that, but it’s pretty complicated and/or I’m pretty lazy.
So… if you would like, as a retrospective, to read Lamont and Dude’s first adventure, here it is! Dude’s Love Story
The DPChallenge went away and no one even noticed. Well, I noticed because I liked it, but generally once it was gone it was gone. My grandpa compared human life to a finger dipped into a bucket filled with water. It makes a stir (ha ha) when you put it in, but once you take it out again, the water returns to its static point in a matter of seconds. You can argue that some of the water comes out with your finger, but it’s negligible. This, I believe, will be the story with the Daily Prompt which meets its demise today. It’s a mystery to me why the powers of WordPress felt they had to kill something that works, but kill it they will. Yesterday 259 people wrote the prompt and generally it seems to hold steady at around 200 participants. That isn’t a lot, really. Maybe that’s the reason for killing it. Anyway, a lot of people will miss it. I know from my own blog and its readers, many more peope go to the grid for something to read than write the Daily Prompt.
There’s a theory afloat that it’s because WP wants us to have business accounts. The fact is, I have four other blogs on WordPress, five in total including this one, all of which I pay for. I rely on WordPress to host the websites of my books. Many of the books I’ve sold as a business client of WordPress were through connections made via the Daily Prompt. Basically, killing the Daily Prompt is taking away an effective arm of my marketing stragedy. That kind of pisses me off, frankly.
16 thoughts on “Lamont and Dude Look Back, but Not Very Far”
I noticed. One day, it was gone. It was the challenge from which Freshly Pressed was pulled and when it went, so did Freshly Pressed. They reduced the DP to reusing old words until one day, they realized they could generate daily words from anyone’s PC.
I don’t think they expected it to be successful, but ironically, it was. Even though it was a zero-effort challenge, they dumped it too — along with the weekly photo challenge. Leaving … something, but nothing I use or seem likely to work with in the future.
On the other hand, if you were to keep publishing Lamont and Dude? Well — I get your emails every day, so I would read them and enjoy you and them. WP may be going down ye olde tubes, but we aren’t, at least not quite yet!
It remains to be seen what I’m going to do. At the moment, I’m just disgusted. I sold six books this month. That’s a lot. How did people learn about them? The Daily Prompt. So — for no good reason — WP takes away from me a useful marketing platform the income from which I can pay for my websites. This is not cool. I’m having a hissy fit. 🙂
I know. I’ve sold ALL my books in recent the same way. It’s incredibly stupid and exactly the opposite of good marketing.
I’m going to spend this afternoon looking into alternative web hosts for my website. I didn’t realize until this morning that there was any connection between my personal blog (which I pay for) and the ones I built for my books. But yeah, I got it. I’m angry.
Please don’t disappear just because there’s no prompt! Your writing is always interesting, and doesn’t need to be on the same topic as everybody else’s to generate healing for you, and stimulus for the rest of us!
I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m pretty annoyed. My writing isn’t on the same topic as everyone else’s even with the Daily Prompt — but the prompt generates the grid which attracts readers. It really didn’t occur to me until this morning that there was any connection at all between the Daiy Prompt and anything beyond my entertaining myself by writing stuff, but there is. Chances are very good that I will disappear, I don’t know. I know I’m not really myself right now (pain, meds, etc.). If I disappear, it will have nothing to do with my readers and friends on WordPress. But I am looking into alternative websites for my books.
If you do disappear from WP, please let us know where else you land. You’ll be missed here!
I found you, or your dogs, through the Daily Prompt. And then I found your books because of you. It’s you that is the important connection, Martha. It was really important for me to like what I was reading through your blog because it is how I judged that your books would be pretty good. Then hopefully some people saw my book review, and then found your books. Word of mouth is important.
I know it is not perfect, but nothing is. Now, I need to urgently locate my kindle in this mess which is my house, because Amazon have announced that Aussies can’t buy from their US site anymore and I need to make sure that I’ve already downloaded your other books. Sigh. Life wasn’t meant to be easy….
Corporate totalitarianism. I spent part of the day looking for new hosting for my websites. Guess what. They (mostly) lead back to WordPress. Fuck it. 🙂
Well that’s a pain. Oh, the joys of the free market.
I’m over it. 😀
You could always try putting a link to the Goodreads listing for each book in the sidebar of your blog. It doesn’t get people to you, but once they find you, they can then find your books.
Those images once linked to my Amazon page but WP has done something to that. I have to go in and work on that again and figure it out. It’s OK. I’m just going to have to accept that fewer people will find my blog. Maybe some great moment of irony will occur and the next Schneebelis saga (which ends in America which we know is the center of the universe) could become a best seller and in an interview with one of the innumerable media outlets that will interview me I can say, “Oh, the Daily Prompt. Those were the days!” Ha ha ha ha!
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