MCC Housekeeping Notes: The “Mentions” and “About” Pages

Randall A. Golden, Midlife Crisis Crossover

The previous outdated photo from my “About” page, taken at Starbase Indy 2011.

In this time of uncertainty and depression and aimless meandering around the house, sometimes it’s a good idea to pause, take a hard look at our surroundings, and change things up a bit, especially those things that haven’t been reevaluated in years. It’s not much of an overhaul, but with MCC’s forthcoming eighth anniversary, some mild effort seemed in order.

I’ve spent this evening tinkering with the reference pages linked at the top of every MCC entry. The mandatory “About” page, a common stop for fleeting passersby, has been half-rewritten with new material that clarifies the basics of MCC a little better, in a way that hopefully makes more sense to non-geeks while alienating anyone who works in online marketing. I’ve replaced the photo with a much better one from 2018 that longtime readers may recognize. Please don’t roll your eyes at me for sharing it again. It’s a treasured keepsake and we’re determined to get our money’s worth out of it.

I’ve created a new “Mentions” page that lists other, larger sites that have shared past entries to much larger audiences, with my utmost appreciation and incredulity. Comics news sites, creators, and historic SF fanzines are among those who nodded in our direction like Farmer Hoggett in Babe.

The old “100 Bullet Points” page has been deleted because no one had clicked on it in years. A link to the original entry has been preserved for historical safekeeping, but its value as a feature attraction has plunged to near-zilch.

Enjoy! Comments and questions welcome as always, even though I don’t always come out and say it because I thought it was implied by virtue of having a comments section.

Midlife Crisis Crossover #0: the One-Man Dramatis Personae

Welcome! Turn Back!

Welcome! Turn back! Welcome back! Hie thee hence! Join us! Shoo! Whichever!

Welcome to entry #733 here at Midlife Crisis Crossover! If this were a mainstream comic book, I would’ve already stopped and relaunched a new site with a new #1 at least thirty-seven times by now. Fortunately, I have no marketing department giving me marching orders. Unfortunately, I have no marketing department spreading word of me to the four corners of the planet. The compromise is so aggravating.

If you’re just joining us or recently discovered the site, you may be a bit disoriented, even after reading the “About” page I wrote two years ago and have amended a few times since then. That version contains the “in-story” reasoning behind the site name without confessing that it was contrived using the Wheel of Fortune “Before and After” method. I’m sure it sounds like rubbish if you’re not a comics fan who knows what a “Crisis Crossover” was. The bottom-line truth is I needed a name that no other writer, blogger, or sensible creative type would want. That’s one objective met, then.

In the days of yore, comics writers followed a helpful rule of thumb: “Every issue is someone’s first.” New readers appreciate accessibility. Most sites use the “About” Page to catch visitors up to speed and don’t look back. (I offered baseline advice on this one time.) While mine does its job to a certain extent, it doesn’t summarize every version of me that readers have seen in these pages. Sometimes each me can act as though they exist on a different Earth apart from my other selves. Sometimes those worlds drift apart. Sometimes the me of two worlds vibrates in harmony as one. Sometimes worlds collide.

Right this way for the Unofficial Handbook of the Midlife Crisis Crossover Universe!…

The Official MCC “Not About” Page

Randall A. Golden, Midlife Crisis Crosssover

Shirt probably from Kohl’s; shorts probably from Wal-Mart. Wristwatch definitely from Wal-Mart. Most expensive item: ticket to visit Manhattan’s Top of the Rock. (2011 file photo.)

Consider this another hearty greeting to the continuing influx of new subscribers, real or otherwise, to this humble blog of mercurial intent. If you have no idea what we’re doing here on MCC, feel free to check out the official “About” page for a vague explanation festooned with a smattering of concrete details. Would-be MCC historians unaware of this site’s early days can check out the original, full-length version before I was overcome with a rare rewriting impulse and vaporized several hundred words.

For those who find both versions no help whatsoever, the following is a new companion piece to clarify the broad MCC mission statement by confirming some of my areas of weakness, insufficiency, disinterest, and/or mild anitpathy. It’s my hope that outlining the opposite of me should help manage expectations for future passersby who might be tempted to tap the “Follow” button with misguided hopes for the future of our reader/writer relationship.

For those tentative visitors, please be aware Midlife Crisis Crossover is 99.99% guaranteed to be not about:

* Fashion. No one wants wardrobe tips from a guy who flinches at a thirty-dollar price tag on a shirt. Occasionally I’ll feel a twinge of jealousy at those men who have the clothing budget to wear suave, name-brand outfits from classy outfitters whose newest offerings are featured in men’s-magazine pictorials before they reach upscale store racks. Even if I reconfigured my mindset and funneled all my comics/movie funding into a new monthly allowance for fabulous clothing, the best-looking items are never manufactured in my size anyway. The best you could possibly see from me here is a column called “New T-Shirt of the Month”. (For the record: my most recent acquisition was a Hawkguy T-shirt. See what I mean? And it’s even worse if I have to explain a joke.)

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Welcome, New Bloggers! Your Default “About” Page is Showing.

Far be it from me to convince myself that 350+ consecutive daily MCC entries and fourteen years of Internet participation experience (dating to the era when Usenet was ebbing but not dying, and “social media” wasn’t a labeled thing) are sufficient credentials to hoist myself upon an ornate pedestal and begin dispensing wisdom from above to fellow WordPress users about The Correct Way to Do Blogging. For reasons that would require a separate entry altogether, I don’t even like dispensing constructive criticism to other online writers, let alone have the ego to declare myself in the sensei business. One glance at MCC’s minimal visual design should provide evidence enough that I have a multitude of lessons yet to learn for myself.

Regardless, longtime bloggers can agree on a few of the most basic of basics. Today’s message is about one of those super-basic basics.

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