For the last five years, little has been known about the mysterious figure behind the multi-award nominated blog, ‘James Proclaims’. Apart from the blog posts of course. But what can you really tell about a person from a blog post? Well, possibly quite a lot. Or maybe nothing at all. Have the utterings of the last five years been a heart-felt cry for help from an apparently quite disturbed individual? Or have they been a finely weaved tissue of lies? Today, for the first time, we might be able to find out the truth. Because today James off of ‘James Proclaims’ has finally agreed to be interviewed. By me.
Now, I appreciate there is a slight conflict of interests here given that I am James off of James Proclaims. But I can assure you that this will be the hardest hitting of interviews. I will leave no stone uncovered in my search for the truth. And to create the illusion that this is a conversation between two distinct personalities, I made the badly edited image above of two versions of myself apparently in the same room. I’ll leave it to you to work out which James is which.
James: On behalf of the readers of ‘James Proclaims’ I’d just like to express my thanks to you for finally agreeing to this interview.
James: What about the bots?
James: I’m sorry?
James: The bots. Are they saying thank you too? Because they like a lot of my posts.
James: If it’s important to you then yes. I’d like to thank you on behalf of the bots too. Bit of a weird thing to mention though.
James: Not at all. A lot of the foundation of my success has been my innate ability to give the bots what they want.
James: Actually, on the subject of success, what is it that makes you think that this blog has, in any way, been successful.
James: Just the fact that it’s still here after five years is reason enough. But actually, in spite of all the bots and fake followers, it does appear that some people actually do read it. And that has always been my criteria for success.
James: That’s not exactly true though is it?
James: Not at all, no. Obviously it’s nice that some people read it, but I really would like a lot more people to read it. And ideally I’d like to give up work and live off the proceeds of the blog.
James: That doesn’t seem at all realistic – how much money does the blog currently make?
James: It clearly doesn’t make any money. If anything it costs me money. And I obviously don’t expect it to make any money. But in an ideal world it would. It’s not my fault we don’t live in an ideal world.
James: Some people make money from blogging though…
James: Do they? Really?
James: Yes, you met someone once remember?
James: That’s right, I did. But they wrote a travel blog, and they started years ago, when blogging was still quite new. So it had a commercially-friendly purpose and quite a lot less competition. Plus they supplemented their blog-income by leading disingenuous training courses on how to make money from blogging. So really they made their money from allowing other people to believe that they could make money from blogging. In any case, whether or not it is possible to make money from blogging, no-one in their right mind would pay money for this nonsense. I mean I’m literally interviewing myself at the moment.
James: In some respects it’s a shame you didn’t think about starting a blog when you lived in Paris back in the early noughties, which was, in many ways, both the right time and the right place to start writing a commercially viable blog.
James: Yes that does now seem like a bit of an oversight.
James: Particularly as you were, at the time, writing lots of blog-post style emails home to your friends and family.
James: I feel like you’re rubbing salt into the wounds a bit.
James: So given that you are never going to make any money, why do you persist in blogging?
James: I quite enjoy it.
James: Do you? I only ask because a lot of your recent posts appear to have been quite cynical about this whole blogging malarkey. Almost as if you’re getting a bit fed up with it.
James: No, I really do enjoy it. But at the same time I find it a little bizarre at times. There are some genuinely perplexing elements to blogging, and while I do really like reading the blogs of other people, there are some people, quite a lot of people, who seem to take it all very seriously. And as I take very little seriously, it behooves me to make fun of it all a bit.
James: Is that why you do stupid things like pretending to interview yourself?
James: Essentially yes. I tend to see the blog as a place to practise in the hope that one day I may actually write something of merit. Consequently, regardless of how good or bad something might be, I post pretty much everything that pops into my head. I don’t really expect anyone to read any of it. It’s mostly stuff that amuses me. If it amuses someone else then that’s never a bad thing, and obviously it’s good for my fragile ego when people take the time to ‘like’ and comment on my posts. Even the bots. Especially the bots. Honestly, I’m not really pitching this stuff at algorithms so I really appreciate it when they take the time to ‘like’ my posts.
James: So, is any of this real? Do any of the posts represent the ‘authentic’ James.
James: A lot of what I write is obviously just facetious nonsense, and I rarely intend for much of it to be taken too seriously, but if you were to read all of my posts then you’d probably have a fairly good idea of who I am. If you like my posts then you’d probably like me in real life. And if you don’t like them then why would you bother reading them?
James: So you never read the blogs of people you don’t like then?
James: Not intentionally no. I did once ‘follow’ a blogger who, as it turns out, was bit of a right-wing extremist. I just thought everything he wrote was satire and quite brilliant satire at that. But it slowly dawned on me that it wasn’t satire and that he meant everything he was saying. Which made the posts a lot less enjoyable. But generally I only read the blogs of people who I find entertaining.
James: You’re quite inconsistent with your blogging aren’t you? I know you’re currently posting every day but that hasn’t always been the case.
James: No, I never really intended to post daily, but I find that if I don’t make an effort to update the blog regularly then I have a tendency to disappear for weeks on end. And sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to get going again. So lately I’ve been of the view that it’s good to post daily because while some days it can be hard to think of anything to write, I tend to find blogging more enjoyable when I’m doing it regularly. Plus it’s been quite a good distraction from recent world events.
James: Blogging daily does impact on the overall quality of your posts though doesn’t it?
James: Possibly. I mean this post is clearly evidence of my total lack of filter, but I like to believe that in amongst all of the detritus is the odd little gem.
James: This post is definitely not a gem though.
James: Absolutely not. I can’t imagine why anyone would still be reading at this point.
James: So, what does the future hold for the blog?
James: Do you mean this blog? Or are you speaking about ‘The Blog’ in a more conceptual sense?
James: Interpret it however you like.
James: Well, I think blogging will probably carry on being a thing. Podcasts, Vlogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram haven’t killed it yet, so it’s hard to see what will. As for this blog, I’ll probably keep trying to post every day until life gets in the way. Which it no doubt will fairly soon. There will probably be a lot of haikus. Maybe the odd limerick. I don’t think I’ll do another interview with myself.
James: No, I think we’re both regretting this decision.
James: Although that regret won’t actually stop me from posting this.
James: Well, you did go to all the trouble of making the picture.
At this point we had to cut the interview short because James was boring himself.