I’ve been collecting data here at the AGC blog. I’ll admit to being a very curious individual. I like knowing how things work, figuring out the who-why-whens. So having a WP blog means I check my data a little obsessively.
At any rate, of my most popular posts since I started, by and large the majority of views come from a handful of posts I’ve made about steampunk fashion. In fact, the gross majority of searches have been for that same keyword phrase “steampunk fashion”. Sure, there are a few folks that trickle in looking for steampunk novels, short stories, and the like. But more and more the trend is moving toward fashion, and not fiction.
Not that I’m solely a steampunk genre writer (if there even is a thing). But I think this data points toward an interesting issue facing those interested in steampunk. There is an ever growing interest in steampunk fashion, culture, and society, moreso than any other aspect. For something that was born out of literature, this is slightly disconcerting.
I’ve always said steampunk fashion is inspiring to me, and it is and continues to be. What bothers me is a move in the direction toward the sheerly cosmetic aspects of steampunk and away from the tenets of the literature and philosophy that makes it so endearing to us. From what I can tell, people surf here to read about fashion, read it, and leave. Not that I don’t get comments, but the data points to LOTS more surfers/browsers than commentators, lingerers, and readers.
Now that Steampunk is on MTV, etc., you’ve got to wonder what’ll happen eventually. I imagine that as the popularity of steampunk fashion and style grows, the interest in literature may not be something relegated to the subculture, and rather something absorbed by the mainstream.
Some neat links from recent conversations:
- Neil Gaiman Talks Steampunk
- All Aboard the Steampunk Train @ MTV
- Five thoughts on the popularity of steampunk by Stephen H. Segal