The inspiration for this post came to me last week, and my thoughts crystallized upon reading Jonathan McCalmont’s admission that blogging “plays in to my fondness for objectively quantified measures of success.” For that’s very much what I wanted to talk about: How I get distracted from my vision for File770.com by the urge to compete for quantifiable success in the blogosphere: more hits, higher authority rankings, longer comment chains, and the rest.
What became of my plan to conquer the Technorati universe anyway? Google Analytics’ daily count of my unique visitors, humble as it may be, is double what it was six months ago. Yet after an early takeoff my Technorati Authority — the number of blogs that have linked to me in the last six months – now has shriveled from 24 to 19.
Somebody is saying, “What the hell does that gibberish mean?” Brother, I was right with you a year ago. Now I know what it means. And other bloggers feel my pain. I’m sure my old pal Crotchety does, although his definition of winning requires having lots of revenue-generating traffic.
There are newcomers to blogging who hear that Whatever has 30,000 regular readers and say “I’ll have one of those.” Not me. My ambitions are far more modest. I analyzed the
That didn’t happen automatically, so I helped things along with a few judicious editorial decisions. Like mentioning Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, posting about Star Trek, and dropping giant squid references where Cheryl Morgan might find them. The one thing I wouldn’t do was write about affixing pork products to felines. I could keep my self-esteem as long as I drew the line at that. (Besides, Crotchety tried that and it didn’t work.)(Also I exaggerate – all the Star Trek stuff is here because it genuinely interests me.)
Posting quanities of mildly amusing dross in a wishful desire to have internet robots show me a bigger number is probably innocent, unless it makes any of you who follow the blog wonder why you’re still reading. I enjoy getting the links some of you send me and will keep posting the ones I like. But McCalmont’s post has warned me that the competitive urge should not become a distraction from doing the writing I value most, analyzing what’s happening in sf fandom, and throwing a spotlight on the good work done by fan writers, artists and editors.