I’ve been getting a lot of hits from mailing lists and fan pages this week. Tanya’s rabid onslaught on Pulp attracted the attention of the band’s news site, and my rather gentler Belle And Seb piece has sparked some gratifyingly interesting comment on their Sinister list. I’m thankful for the commentary, and have come to expect hits for I Hate Music from irritable fans, so why do I feel a little bit uncomfortable? No, not uncomfortable, exposed is a better word.

I think it’s because in traditional print media you’re far less accountable to the readers: in fact there’s almost an assumption in the offline press that anyone sad enough to be a big fan of a particular band is a no-account obsessive whose views can be comfortably discarded. But on the internet, particularly doing an amateur zine, your writings (and e-mail address!) can be in the hands of hardcore fans minutes after publication. And they tend to be a hell of a lot more well-informed on the subject at hand than you are. Which is great – that kind of feedback is hugely valuable. But I think my slight feeling of exposure comes from the gap between this kind of dedicated reader and my (pretty unformed) idea of Freaky Trigger‘s audience. FT is written for (and by) people like me – generalist dilettantes who hover over bands long enough to get something out of them and then hop off looking for further novelties. Whereas readers like this know a band’s work inside out, and so I tend to shudder a bit and feel that they must find my stuff desperately wrong-headed or naive or glib. None of which is meant to suggest that I find the attention and hits unwelcome – very, very far from it. But I always get a little bit more nervous about opening the inbox when I get home in the evening.