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Thursday, May 08, 2003  

Blogospherics: Some success and some insights

For the first time Mac-a-ro-nies has polled above 100 in details according to ecosystem data from The Truth Laid Bear. The rise in rankings may not last, so I want to thank all the readers who helped make it possible while it exists.

•Mail. Ninety-something percent of the email I get is polite. Readers send me information that I often use on the blog. Others write in to compliment an entry. However, I do get some hate mail. A woman who has been harassing me likes to put down my blogging skills. She says I can't write and my only talent is that I find good links. (No, it is not Mickey Kaus in drag finding fault with a writer of color.) Her claims are kind of surprising considering I have been a published writer since I was 15 years old and spent much of my career life as a reporter and editor at highly respected newspapers. (Furthermore, she has benefitted from my blogging skills.) Having you all confirm that I may have a knack for blogging keeps me from becoming discouraged when I am insulted by people of her ilk.

•Criteria. The reason ecosystem rankings are ephemeral is the criteria that go into them. Bear counts permanent links on one's blogroll and temporary links to particular entries. It is difficult to know just how many permanent links one has unless the blogger pays a service to keep up, which I haven't done. Temporary links come and go. They can turn on something as simple as whether another blogger sees your entry on a topic he is interested in. The busier the other blogger is, the less time he has to look for entries that interest him on other blogs. There is also a 'cool kids' effect. Higher Beings and Mortal Humans mainly read and respond to each other. As long as I am a small potatoes blogger, I will be lucky to get an occassional link from a big guy. This week's was from the Kevin Drum, the CalPundit.

•Ruses. There are ways to make a blog look like it is doing better than it is. One of them is to permanent link to tiny blogs with little or no traffic. The sample also has a variation on the ruse. That blogger, Ricky West, is linking to his own blog under a different name over and over again. The blogger's ratings go up, but there is little or no actual blogging, i.e., content, involved.

One can also make oneself appear to be a better blogger than one is. The easiest way to achieve that is to invite other people to work on one's blog and then take the credit for the guest or group blogger's work. If the guest blogger is good, the blog owner's ratings go up.

Mac-a-ro-nies has not and will not rely on ruses to achieve success.

3:31 PM