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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Spider Man and Blogging
Webslinger or Weblogger?: metaphilm details the surprising similarities between Spider Man 2 and bloggers:
It’s tough being a famous weblogger. Every time something happens, you feel obliged to post an entry. In fact, people expect it. At first it’s exciting, but it soon becomes overwhelming (and you’re not even getting paid for it). The next thing you know, you’re not performing at work, going out on dates, or getting on with your life. And to your surprise, you’ve become a target of criticism. All you’ve ever done is try to use your weblogging abilities to help humankind from the forces of corporate, political, and aesthetic evil. And what does humankind do? They turn on you. They take you for granted. They spam your commenting system.

... Eventually you realize that you have a choice to make. Either continue the demanding life of a weblogger or call it quits. You conclude, “I want a life of my own. I’m weblogging no more.”
A short and interesting read, and it actually does make a little sense. A blogger always wants to be read, but how many people really want a huge readership? Personally, I would like more traffic, but not to the point where I get hundreds of comments per entry. At that point I'd probably stop allowing comments, and if you look around at some of the most popular blogs, you'll notice they don't have comments or trackbacks enabled and sometimes even emailing them can be a challenge. There is a good reason popular bloggers like Glenn Reynolds don't have these things enabled - as the Commisar puts it, "Too much bardak."

The Commisar also seems to have a good handle on how build traffic for your blog. His basic theory is that if you're running a small to medium blog, you should focus on getting attention from similar blogs. You don't need to send links out to big bloggers hoping they'll link you, because even if they do, you get a giant spike of visits, and then things return right back to normal. However, if you build up a friendship with lots of other smaller blogs, you'll get more consistent traffic. You do this sort of thing by making thoughtful comments on their blogs, or linking to them, or maybe exchanging some emails. Personally, I always have a hard time doing that because I'm lazy and don't want to read a lot of other blogs and spend time posting insightful comments. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my own blog, and yet to a great extent, the "comrades" I have developed in the blogosphere have come, to a great extent, from that very source. But I digress.

In the end, while I could stand a little more traffic, I'm just happy when an entry gets a modest amount of comments or a link from some other blog. I don't think I'll be getting famous any time soon, but still, too much traffic would seem a burden. The important thing is that I like what I'm doing here, and I do. And I'm certainly thankful for those who do take the time to read and comment here, because I don't know that I would continue without them. It is a matter of balance, I guess...
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This post is part of the Kaedrin Weblog. It's been categorized under Weblogs and was originally published in August 2004.

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