Sunday, August 20, 2006

two rules of blogging

more gatekeeper-y goodness

"There are basically two rules of blogging:

1. Nobody is going to read your blog unless there's something in it for them.

2. Nobody is going to link to your blog unless there's something in it for them.

These two rules apply to us all, A-List and Z-List alike. If you don't like these rules, you're better off finding an ecology whose rules you like better. Life is short.


What I always find most interesting every time this issue pops up is, there's rarely any mention by the gatekeeper-conspiracy-theorists that maybe, just maybe the quality of the content is a factor in all this. Both Nick and Seth, for example, fail to mention this. Am I surprised? Not really. I've seen it all before, many times.

Of course, there's nothing stopping you, or Nick, or Seth from believing that if your blog isn't being read enough for your liking, it has nothing to do with its most excellent musings, and everything to do with some A-List Gatekeeper conspiracy to keep The Little Guy down. But that's not an idea I'd be willing to bet my career on."


rimone said...

IMO, if one's blog isn't read by as many as one might wish, it has nothing to do w/their content. when my mom first commented that maybe i'll get a paying gig from mine, after i quit laughing my ass off at her naivete, i told her 'mom--Shakspear himself could be writing a site but if nobody knows he's there, nobody's gonna read it'

moving right along, i'm one of those contrarians who totally believes in subverting the dominant link hierarchy. apart from those bigtime bloggers i dig (e.g., The Carpetbagger), whenever i find an idea i wanna cite, i search for lesser-known people whose sites i'll link to, rather than link to someone like e.g., atrios (who is vastly over-rated, in my opinion).

nb: i don't bother reading atrios as i did a few years back. i usually find him quoted on other places i /do/ read, though and then i get to 'work' (and i use the word loosely since i enjoy researching), attempting to find another, lesser-known site whose ideas are similar. but that's just me--your mileage may vary.

lukery said...

i do link to the same few bloggers again and again. and they are are usually the majors. that's a good idea to find some less-popular ones - but i crank out so much output every day (and still run out of time) - that i cant really spend the time looking for alternative bloggers.

this particular post was a kinda joint shout-out to ron (who has major a-list concerns) - and also a thumb in my own eye (for your benefit) becuase i dont get any traffic, and i get zero links.

i agree with 'subverting the dominant link hierarchy' too - and also acknowledge that there are tremendous incumbency advantages - oft unjustified. i rarely link to atrios.

mostly i was just making fun of me, after my recent 'shiny round numbers' post where i note that i dont get much traffic, and even most of that is accidental (google) - hence "Nobody is going to read your blog unless there's something in it for them."

Ron Brynaert said...

I don't know so much anymore if gaining success in the blogosphere has more to do with circle-jerking or just telling people what they already know.

But that content argument is shit. If the same bloggers who make that argument also think that Tom Cruise is the world's best actor, Stephen King the best writer, and American Idol acts as our generation's Beatles...then okay...if not...they're hypocrites.


unless i'm a one-in-a-million proof that you can "get a paying gig" from blogging without being supported by the A-list. And other bloggers like Brad Blog and Shakespeare's Sister have also prospered without them.

lukery said...

GV (inadvertently?) makes the point that incumbency is important - when he says that the a-listers were doing this shit years ago when others (incl me) - were dotcom yuppie-types.

the content argument is definitely shite. i think glen is probably the only new a-lister, although fdl are arguably in that category as well.

congrats again on the paying gig. off the top of my head, i cant think of anyone else who has made that specific leap. your work does rock.

Seth Finkelstein said...

"here's rarely any mention ..."

This is simply a false statement. It has been refuted repeatedly, endlessly, with great tedium.

I don't know what more there is to say.