Saturday, January 01, 2005

housekeeping notes

1. I've removed the daily schedule from my sidebar. Ever since I started this damn job, I haven't been able to get back into that disciplined rhythm.

2. I've finally slapped up my blogrolling policy on the sidebar. Although I'm only a small fry in the blogosphere, I will, on occasion, get emails asking for linkage. That's probably the quickest way not to get linkage, because the emailer comes off as a beggar. This blog has never been about link-whoring, which dooms me to only a small share of the potential hit traffic. I'm more interested in doing what I want than on marketing myself aggressively. This applies even to my online store which, if I were to market it right, I should be shoving in your face every day.

If you're looking for over 1000 unique visits a day (and I'm lucky to get 200), you need to follow the Seven Commandments:

1. Have a specific focus, and make that focus politics. Sure, you can branch out and write about other things, but I wouldn't advise straying too far from the template.
2. Keep a consistent tone.
3. Be a link whore. Have a loooooooooong blogroll, with at least 95% mutual linkage.
4. Allow comments. People get jazzed about seeing themselves instantly published. It's true for bloggers; it's truer for commenters. (Be prepared to deal with assholes and spam, though.)
5. Update often-- at least once a day.
6. Do the whole trackback/RSS feed/XML whatsits. Linkage, linkage, linkage, and updates.
7. Don't worry about writing well. Good writing apparently isn't important for getting lots of traffic. Take Frank J's IMAO, a blog I love, but which features some of the most painful typos and grammatical errors. Steven Den Beste didn't allow poor punctuation skills to stop him, either (and his USS Clueless was another blog I liked). The blogosphere isn't exactly a meritocracy; it operates according to the same fuzzy principles guiding most human interaction. "It's not what you know, but whom you know" is very much in force here.

Of the above commandments, I'm probably most faithful to #5. I've got an RSS feed (#6 above), but I have no idea what it does. And while I sometimes follow #7 by accident, I try to clean up my prose later.

Which blogs don't link back to the Big Ho? you ask. Here they are:

It Makes a Difference to the Sheep
Empty Bottle
FatMan Seoul
NK Zone
Free North Korea
Flying Chair
Ryan's Lair (new version)

Needless to say, I'm not blogrolled by any of the major players on my sidebar:

Andrew Sullivan
Steven Den Beste (blog now defunct)
Merde in France

My point is that this is fine with me. I don't expect to be liked by everybody, nor do I feel any obligation to cater to other people's tastes. Asymmetry is the natural condition of the universe (nothing is in permanent equipoise), and I wouldn't have it any other way.


No comments: