Silent-ology Turns One Today!

Well my friends, I can hardly believe it but today Silent-ology is celebrating its very first anniversary!!

Virginia Vallee birthday cake mot pic mag '27

I want to extend a big, hearty, sincere THANK YOU to all my readers! Wherever you are and whether you’ve stopped by several times or only once, you have no idea how much it’s appreciated. I’m not kidding or exaggerating one iota about that.

Considering that it took me a silly amount of time to work up the courage to start this blog at all, this anniversary feels pretty darn good! I had known that a silent-related blog would be a commitment if it was going to be done well, and was pretty nervous about it. But then the 100th anniversary of Chaplin’s Making a Living came along, and the opportunity to start writing on that day was too much to pass up. While my obsession with silents is totally Buster Keaton’s fault, Silent-ology just might be Charlie Chaplin’s fault.

So I thought it would be fun to do a little recap of my first year as a blogger. Let’s start with Silent-ology’s Top 5 Most Read Articles So Far:

5. Silent-ology Interviews Susan Buhrman About New “The General” Finds

In 2014 not only a large number of behind the scenes photos but an actual script from The General had been found. Susan was kind enough to give Silent-ology an interview about these awesome finds (I’m still falling over!!).

4. How To Watch A Silent Film (If You’ve Never Seen One)

This one was way too much fun to write (it’s also Silent-ology in a nutshell). It’s very tempting to create a whole article just expanding on #2.

3. Buster Keaton And The Minnesota State Fair

Ah, this one–this one gets a bit more explanation. The moment I saw an unobtrusive autographed photo of Keaton in the Minnesota State Fair’s old museum–showing that he had once performed at the fair I’d grown up with–I had to know more. (If you’re a Keaton fan from Minnesota, you’ll know what I’m talking about–for everyone else, just know that we are really, really into our state fair.) As it turned out there was…well, no info. And the hunt was on. With the generous help of the MN State Fair archives this article was made possible, and I can’t thank them enough. The phrase “special project” doesn’t even begin to cover it. *Wipes away a tear*

2. Some Crazy Flapper Slang (That You’ve Never Heard Before)

Now here’s a story for ya: Last August I was planning to go on a vacation (whee!). I didn’t have any major articles planned but didn’t want to leave the blog hanging. Happily I had a “fun” article I’d been hanging onto and posted it just before flying out of town. A few days later I decided to borrow my friend’s laptop and see how the ol’ blog was doing, and to my amazement “Some Crazy Flapper Slang” had become Silent-ology’s most-read post ever!

That is, until…

1. How Do Silent Films Become “Lost”?

This is it, folks–Silent-ology’s top post so far! *Wipes away another tear* Several historians and film preservationists were kind enough to answer my questions concerning lost films, which was an invaluable help. I knew the topic would be interesting to readers, but I never expected this article to explode into becoming my most-read article ever! Talk about starting 2015 off with a bang!

And now for my least-read articles. Since Silent-ology is still pretty new, many of my first posts are naturally going to have a smaller viewcount, which isn’t that interesting of a list. So maybe we’ll list my 5 Articles That Got Fewer Views Than I’d Hoped:

5. Batman, Superman and Douglas Fairbanks

The superhero genre is probably our modern version of Greek and Roman myths–and it’s due in no small part to Doug’s influence. Not too many people took a look at this one–maybe send it on to the comic book lovers in your life?

4. The Little Tramp Is 100 Today–A Milestone Anniversary

Okay, this was one of my first articles, but I really liked how it turned out. I recently added it to my “Thoughts on Films” list as Kid Auto Races at Venice.

3. Obscure Films: “The Female of the Species”

This might be one of the best Biographs out there, and it doesn’t get talked about much. I hope this article piqued at least a few people’s interest in this overlooked gem, and will continue to do so in the future.

2. Check Those Sources! A Handy Guide

Ah, sources. So incredibly important to fact-finding and fact-checking. So completely essential to understanding history. And so easily tipping over into “most boring-sounding topic since sofa cushions” territory. I tried giving a creative explanation of how sources work in this one–trust me, there’s really nothing boring about it–but just the word “source” apparently isn’t very grabby. I still have faith in it though, and miiight repost it at some point with a revamped title.

1. The Addictive Fun of Reading Old Fan Magazine Letters

This is my favorite article that hardly anyone read, lol. Fan magazine letters are fascinating to me–they’re the real, frank opinions of people who were actually there. It’s beyond fun to read their thoughts on the latest films and rantings about various stars. You never know, some of these letters might’ve been written by your own relatives! I loved researching it so much that it will probably be the first in a series.

Some highlights of 2014: Silent-ology joined several blogathons (eight of them, in fact!) and co-hosted one with Movies Silently. The Buster blogathon is my first foray into hosting an event of my own. It’s been a lot of fun getting to know the other fine bloggers out there in the classic film community, and I’m hoping to meet even more of you in the coming year!

Some plans for 2015: My sadly-neglected biographies section will hopefully get freshened up soon. There’s a good handful of people I’m planning on writing about and a couple theme months are probably going to pop up too. “Silent Horror Month” was a lot of fun and just might be resurrected for next October. I’m starting to get the sinking feeling that the 100th anniversary of The Birth of a Nation will need to be addressed in some detail. And it would be interesting to delve into a few opinion-style pieces at some point.

So far Silent-ology has been fun, rewarding and an excellent excuse to study the silent era in all the depth my lil’ heart desires. Everything on here so far is just the tip of the huge iceberg of topics to write about. Which is an exciting thing, everybody!!

Lorna doone cast ex herald '22

Here’s to hoping for good things in the coming year!

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9 thoughts on “Silent-ology Turns One Today!

  1. Happy birthday! And, indeed, thank you. After similarly umming and ahhing, your Buster Blogathon has given me the nudge to give it a go so, hopefully, I might find I can write nearly as well as you!

    On a more practical note, I’ve been making liberal use of Silent-ology in my ongoing (and thus far moderately successful) campaign to get people to come see Buster Keaton movies with me. In particular, your piece on One Week is just lovely – anyone who could read it then not want to watch the film doesn’t deserve Buster (or Sybil) anyway.

    So, thanks again and looking forward to year 2!

    • It’s a thrill to have my articles be “of service,” especially in the noble quest to spread the fun of Buster’s films! Thank you so much. 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading your article this weekend!

    • It certainly will be memorable. *wink* I own the Griffith Masterworks box set so I’ve watched it a few times (admittedly I usually just watch the first half). March 3rd marks the 100th anniversary of its release, I believe.

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