Thursday, December 25, 2008

Petit Papa Noel

Spending the day at my mom's, listening to all the old albums that we do every year as we open presents and make Christmas dinner, I was suddenly reminded of a French carol that I've always loved, ever since I was a child: Petit Papa Noel, as sung by the West German 70's supergroup Boney M (who are best known here in North America for their singles Rasputin and Rivers of Babylon).

I've spent much of my holiday completely preoccupied with it, thinking about how awesome it would be if Alizée recorded a version of her own...which then quickly spun off into my imagining what other cuts might appear on a hypothetical Christmas album. Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes? Check. Mon Beau Sapin? Check. Alizée covering Madonna's cover of Eartha Kitt's Santa Baby? Oh, yes please.

Is it too early to tell Santa what I want for next Christmas? And does anybody have an email for someone at Jive/Epic? Because I think I may be onto something here...

OK, just so you don't go away thinking this post was completely bereft of any actual Alizée content, here's an awesome Christmas video by Matrix5060. Watch it quick, though, because who knows how long it'll be up before he takes it down forever?

I hope you all had a wonderful day with your families, and that everybody got what they wanted this year and more, regardless of what holiday you happened to be celebrating. Best wishes to you all in the year to come.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

'Twas the Drop Before Christmas...

Should anybody be concerned that I’ve completely given up on Op Drop in the midst of all this navel-gazing about how well the blog is (or isn’t) working, never fear: I’ve just spent most of the afternoon and evening turning the Toronto Eaton Centre into a virtual minefield of Alizée DVDs. (But y'know, the good kind...where accidentally encountering one leads one to the delightful discovery of a beautiful and talented chanteuse, and not to one being blown to smithereens.)

Though the wall-to-wall crowds of holiday shoppers made it difficult to carry off in the stealthy manner to which I’ve become accustomed, the response seemed quite promising. None of the discs I dropped today appeared to stick around for very long, with several of them actually being picked up within seconds of my having dropped them. It’s nice to think I may have just given several dozen strangers the gift of a new favorite song artist this Christmas!

(Incidentally, if you happen to be one of those several dozen strangers, and you’re dropping by to see what this whole Op Drop thing is all about, welcome! Please feel free to have a look around, check out some links to learn more about Op Drop and Alizée. And don’t forget to say hi in the comments or the ShoutBox!)

I have another smallish drop planned for Wednesday, in which I plan to scatter discs behind me like a trail of breadcrumbs (albeit sexy French ones), as I make my way back to my mom’s place for Christmas Eve. And then potentially another on New Year’s Eve a week later, depending on where I wind up this year.

And then it’ll be time for Op Drop to settle down for a long winter’s nap—or a least a short one—as I finally set aside some downtime to retool the blog into whatever it’s going to become, incorporate some improvements into the disque itself (which I’ve put off for months now), and possibly embark on another Alizée-related project that I’ve been considering for awhile.

So no worries, folks. The end of Op Drop isn’t on the horizon just yet. If anything, it’s just getting started. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dear Texans...

Yet another oddly appropriate image created by Ruroshen from the Alizée
forums. I fear I am going to have to start paying him royalties, soon.

In my continuing quest to understand just what the heck is going on with the Op Drop blog, and how I can best take advantage of it with an eye towards promoting Alizée, I took a quick look tonight at what Google Analytics had to say about the blog's traffic since last Saturday.

Of the visitors I've had since then, nearly a full third of you are coming from Texas. Visitors from the Lone Star state outnumber visitors from all of Europe by nearly four to one. And while it still boggles my mind that I actually get visitors from Europe, I still find this awfully curious. Is there a secret underground Alizée fan movement happening in Texas that I should be aware of? Because if you guys need some support in running an Op Drop or two down there, I am so here for you!

Seriously though...if one of you kind Texan folks could write me and clue me in, I'd be awfully obliged. Because it's a Scooby-Doo mystery to me right now as to what's bringing you all here.

Californians, I'm looking at you, too.

On a somewhat related note, want to hear my favorite Google search string through which someone has stumbled onto Op Drop so far?

"Does Alizée have any sisters?"

Whoever it was spent quite a bit of time on the blog, too. Hilarious. I hope they found what they were looking for!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Op Drop: A New Hope

This is a very dry post. Here is a cool picture of Alizée to help get you
through it. (Courtesy of Ruroshen from the Alizée America forums.)

It’s been almost a month since I last posted here, and I should probably explain why. While it’s partially due to real life just getting in the way—November and December are just about the busiest time of year in my line of work—it’s mainly because I wanted to test a theory I had.

The theory is that Operation: Disque Drop isn’t working…or at least, isn’t working as intended. And it’s pretty well been proven correct.

See, thanks to Google Analytics, I’ve been tracking the blog’s visitor stats for a little less than two months. In that time, I’ve done two major Op Drops—the one I split between York University and the Toronto Eaton Centre, and another along and around the route of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, my single largest one-day drop to date—as well as a few minor ones here and there, mainly at other malls and holiday events around the city. And while the blog’s traffic is fairly steady, getting anywhere from five to twenty visitors a day, regardless of whether I post or not…the problem is that very precious few of them are actually from Toronto.

In fact, over the past month, of the 246 people who visited, only 12 came from Canada…and of those, not even half are from the Greater Toronto Area. And most of those are showing up during a lull between drops.

So where are the majority of the blog’s visitors coming from? The United States, oddly enough. Most of my views by far are coming from Texas, Florida, Minnesota and California, with a few visitors here and there from Illinois, New York and New Jersey. I also see a decent amount of traffic from Germany, Poland and France (but not from Corsica, sadly), and a bit from Belgium, Spain and Mexico. Even folks from Uganda and Tunisia have stumbled across Op Drop!

Now, while I’ve deliberately chosen to run Op Drops at locations around the city that could be considered tourist attractions, it’s a pretty good bet that not all of these people were vacationing in Toronto last month, found a disc and followed it here. Most of them appear to have either found it via Google, or followed a link from aw’s Alizée blog or the YouTube video I posted back in September. (Almost a full third of you, though, are coming to the site directly from your bookmarks, or typing the URL into the browser, which surprises me.)

All this suggests to me four things:
1) The people that are finding Op Drop disques aren’t visiting the blog.
2) The people that are visiting the blog aren’t doing it because they found a disque.
3) Dropping disques or not appears to have no impact on the number of visitors.
4) …but, oddly, whether I post or not doesn’t appear to have an impact, either.
This is a bit of a Scooby-Doo mystery to me, and to be honest, I’m not sure what to do with it. I am pretty sure that the focus of the blog is going to change somewhat, though…and, in fact, may stop being a blog altogether.

More to come as I think this through. Stay tuned.