Monday, August 14, 2006

Is Blogging a Sham?

My blogger hero has posted nothing new for two weeks, in direct opposition to the advice he gave me, namely to blog every day. He also told me that the best way to increase my traffic was to back-link to those who posted on my blog and add them to my own links, afterwards posting a clever message at their site to lure others to my lair—I mean blog. He also showed me how to put up links Someone else turned me on to a stats tracker, which I needed to monitor traffic.

I followed the plan, but now I think blogging is a bit of a pyramid scheme.

Search engines deliver 25% of my traffic; the other 75% is directly from other websites, chiefly blogs from which the blogger visits me to improve her traffic as I visit them to improve mine.

In checking the websites that referred the most traffic to me, I found that traffic, based on daily referrals, most likely consisted of the blogger herself, because the number of referred visits is not too far behind the number of days she's been linked to me.

I conclude that blogging, like poetry, is sustained mainly by its participants, who pass for real traffic while indulging in electronic back-scratching.

Yet in the art and film worlds, doesn't this also obtain?

Perhaps I'm just curmudgeonly because it's late and I shall sleep after this post.

I'd like to hear some bloggers' comments about the pyramid nature of the blogosphere.

At 1.5 kilorats,

Dr. Chaffin


  1. I think you are right... but isn't that the way life is???

  2. All successful people are networking whores, I guess. ;-)

  3. Yes, blogging is a form of networking, and visiting other people's sites is one way of attracting traffic to your own. On the other hand, I only regularly visit sites that I enjoy visiting. And there are some sites which give me virtually no traffic, but I still read at them because I like them.

    But yes, Cynthia is right.

  4. I always felt like poetry readings were much the same. At the readings were the same people who were at the last reading, and most of them were listening politely, waiting for their turn to read, or showing up so that we would show up to their next reading.

    It is what it is, and I don't mind it. I started blogging because I couldn't get out to readings much anymore, and I wanted to share my poetry with others as well as read poetry from others that I liked. I look at commenting on others' blogs like saying hi, acknowledging that I've dropped by, and yes, if something I read really strikes me then I can also comment to tell them that.

    And if someone comments on my blog, I'm go to their blog as a courtesy, a way of exchanging words, having a conversation. And aside from all of that, I also on occasion get to read some good poetry. Sometimes the poetry is not good. Again, much like a poetry reading or open mic event.

    I like to see who's visited, I like getting comments (even the simple ones), I like having a stat counter and all that. For now, it's fun and sustains me. Later on down the road, maybe not. At the moment, though, I appreciate the opportunity.

    And I'm definitely writing more because of it, as well as having encouraged a few friends to write more and start their own blogs. For better or worse.

  5. Here I thought bloggers were optimistic and you three turn out to be realists.

    I feel reality-impaired, jejeunely ignorant, callow, unfledged, tyro--then I always did lead with my head.

    And this I know, having been the editor of Melic for eight years: a lot more people read my poems here than in any of the e-zines I was published in.

  6. I don't really get this. It's swell to have visitors to your blog, but what is the use of it - the traffic? why is a lot of traffic good? to promote your poetry? sorry, i'm a little slow on the uptake in this area.

    on the other hand, are people visiting my blog to increase their own traffic? that's kind of fucked up. am i visiting yours to increase mine? actually, no. i've visited your blog a bunch of times without leaving a comment. am i missing the point by not commenting... um, luring people to my blog?

    my father has a little stopwatch he carries around. he pushes it when he's walking and then stops it when he comes to a halt. it's irritating and neurotic. you're walking down the street in nyc with him and he has to push the button at every corner. he's not really having a conversation with you, he's clocking himself. Ask him why he's doing that and he says he wants to know how much distance he covers a day. this is fucked up in the way blog traffic is fucked up. so what? on march 17 i went 5 miles? on april 7 i had 38 hits?

    and then?

  7. I've never commented on blogs with the intention of luring people to my blog though I like when people visit back. I visit blogs to see who's writing what / making what in terms of crafts and collages and regularly visit those I like. I link to those I like that can fit into the categories on my blog (poetry, crafts, environmental issues). I hope that people use my links to do a bit of exploring in those directions.

    Having difficulty getting a publisher for my poetry collection I can laugh because I get a much larger audience through blogging and performance than I ever would through sales of a 'slim volume' and yet the latter is seen as more respectable. That i have to admit is why i started blogging. I carry on because I enjoy the feedback I get from people.


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