Sunday, November 18

Oh shoot, I forgot my own blogiversary.

Earlier this month this blog celebrated its third birthday. I really should sign up for one of those free reminder things.

I had a rather off-putting f2f conversation with another blogger recently. The talk was supposedly about why don't I have my own domain name. I admit that bgalrstate is annoying as hell to find, though if you google "blue gal" you'll find it soon enough. Then we talked about how shitty it is that Blogger doesn't allow threaded comments. After all, that would lead to repeat visits, more hits. Ah, now we get to it, circuitously, cleverly, just as a clever person who wants the secret bomb code and will get it through charm rather than torture...these conversations are never about domain names or comment threads or blogging platform apps...

They're always about how many hits you get. And how to get more.

Full disclosure. I don't know how many hits this blog got last week, or yesterday. I could guess, but basically I check statcounter so I can thank those blogs that are kind enough to link to me. I don't check to see how many of my readers are just passing through, and how many are sitting back with two fingers of Scottish single malt to stay awhile or stay the night. (Actually that all-too-faithful reader probably just left his/her laptop on by accident.)

And yes, yes, yes, I do write for a couple blogs that get more hits than this one. Just a few more hits.

So to the fellow blogger who asked me in total frustration about this blog "Don't you WANT more readers?", my response that I could get readers anytime I wanted meant that I (a) get my popularity jollies at the big blog, (b) take readers at any blog totally for granted, and (c) have a right to because I'm connected to the "A-list" so fuck you if you don't want to read my brilliance. [Yes, there are bloggers who write stuff like (c). It kinda makes me scratch my head, hide under my desk, and despair for this lovely stage upon which we have found ourselves.]

Popularity jollies? Are you kidding me?

The only thing I really want to say in response to those charges, and that's what they are, make no mistake, is that the word "blogger" has become a perjorative in my own home. Blogging, to certain people, is "wasting time" in front of the computer.

And apparently I'm deluding myself in thinking it's about writing and helping in our own humble way to build a real breathing community.

The hell I am.

If you are one of my regular readers, you are not here because I'm any good at "blogging." You are here because you like to read what I write.

You are a miracle. I can't believe you are here. Thank you.

I remember the day I discovered that, all of a sudden, the majority of my readers were people who did NOT know me personally. I was in awe, and I still am.

But it is not about the hits. It's not about whether you're an a-lister or not.



Better and more popular bloggers than I have said so. Folks, the blogger who wrote the words below, Steve Gilliard, died this year. We're still linking him and quoting him and learning. It's not because of his techorati rank, which, make sure you name-drop it at the next Eschaton blogroll cocktail hour, is probably down from the time when he was alive. What kind of traffic strategy should a dead blogger adopt? Maybe he should get a new domain name.

Jesu Christi. Gilliard is sitting in blogger heaven laughing his (barbeque) wings off at the thought, I'm sure.

But he knew. Blogs are never about the hits and the links. They are about the writing:

Why the fuck do you care if Atrios or Kos has you on their blogroll. Does it feel like a pat on the head? A reward?

The ONLY blog you should worry about is YOURS. None of those people matter. It doesn't matter who links to you, only who reads you.

A good blog draws readers, a bad one doesn't. People begging for space are little better than the teens hopping around a Meat Packing district club hoping the bouncer likes them.

If you think a link on one of these sites will help your site grow, you're deluded. Only your work can help you. Cyberbuddying up to Atrios means nothing if you suck. I've never, ever exchanged a link or asked anyone to link to here. Why? Because I felt if people wanted to read this site, they would find their way here. You need to have the same confidence in your work.

It doesn't matter what other people do.


The only thing I could add to that wisdom is that cyberbuddying up to Atrios means nothing if you're the blogosphere's answer to William Shakespeare, either. And it doesn't matter if your blog gets five hits, five hundred hits or five million.

It. Doesn't. Fucking. Matter.

It's time for a pep talk.

One of those pep talks from this blog mama that lets you know that no matter if you've been blogging for three years or three weeks, whether you have big traffic or small, whether you despair of ever, ever getting one more reader, you are in service to art, the Revolution, your own creativity.

And being in service, to art, revolution, and creativity? Those are some damn good things to serve. Serve them on a platter. Serve them up in a gratuitous YouTube, just because you like the song:



Being in service to art, revolution, and creativity requires commitment, passion, and above all, humility.

And it is never a matter of who you know, or who knows you. It is a matter of what you know and how you say it.

And always, always remember, no matter what you do....

29 comments:

  1. Happy blogiversary, Blue Gal! You're not geting older, your getting bloggier.

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  2. 'Blogging, to certain people, is "wasting time" in front of the computer.'

    You too, huh? Unappreciated in our own homes, by Gadfrey.

    ;>)

    Happy blogiversary, BG...And thanks.

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  3. Happy Anniversary Blue Gal! I must share with you that I was looking for photos for an upcoming project, and I ran across a number of blogs that link to you. It was kind of cool to see how far your reach is!

    Now, about your other comments. I do agree that it's the writing that makes a blog. A poorly written blog will probably not attract or hold readers.

    I do, however, have friends who I would consider "professional" bloggers -- they blog as a way to either earn income or supplement their income. Hits translates to advertisers, which translates to revenue. I think this is where being linked by one of the BBB can help -- or being dropped by one of them can hurt!

    Of the millions of blogs out in the blogosphere only a few probably would fall into this arena. For them I think the "big purge" that took place when, a year or so ago, probably did have an impact.

    And even though my little blog wouldn't fall into this group, I found the purging of blog rolls offensive for another reason. The same group who wrote "Crashing the Gate" are now closing THEIR gate behind all the others! This progressive movement isn't big enough as is. Imagine how much stronger we could be if EVERYONE supported fellow bloggers the way YOU always have!

    Maybe at some point in time SOMEONE will run out of real estate on their sidebar, but until then WTF does it hurt to link to someone?


    BAC

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  4. Happy blogiversary. I agree with you that the number of hits you get or whether you are linked to by a bigger blog mean nothing. I have statcounter and I almost never check it, I know my blog is small and I have no interest in buddying up to the bigger blogs, I have never read Atrois or Kos, I know as a blogger I should have at least read them once, but fuck them. I want to read smaller blogs, I want to read blogs where people write about their lives, blogs where it occasionally becomes a parent blog or a pet blog or just a ranting blog. The little blogs are the ones who are going to lead the revolution, I hate to tell people, there are many more of us than there are of the bigger blogs.

    So lead on as a small blogger because as a regular reader of yours and one of the reasons that I started to blog in the first place, I will continue to read you because I do like your writing style and because you rock.

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  5. That's a really good point, BAC. My blogroll is pretty much for small bloggers. When he asked me to write for his front page, Amato and I finally exchanged blogroll links. Neither of us noticed a change in traffic. We probably have the same readers. /sarcasm.

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  6. BG - I remember months ago you wrote a post about small bloggers. I took it to heart. At that time, I was a regular reader of the bigger blogs and hadn't discovered the incredible number of small writers working amongst us.

    Now that I have, I rarely visit the bigger blogs. I will go days without reading even my faves like Think Progress or AlterNet. Since I've burned out on political posts, I've pretty much not needed to go to them for research or inspiration.

    I agree with you that it is the writing that keeps me coming back. I've watched as newer bloggers have evolved and found their style. It's fun, like getting hooked on something that's actually good for me. Mostly.

    And you know at my house we're both blogging now, so the charge "you blog too much" comes only from the kids. And they can stuff it. Or move out.

    Write on, Babe.

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  7. And the sun pours down like honey
    On our lady of the harbour
    And she shows you where to look
    Among the garbage and the flowers
    There are heroes in the seaweed
    There are children in the morning
    They are leaning out for love
    And they will lean that way forever
    While Suzanne holds the mirror
    Stella Maris

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  8. Amen to all of that.

    Mixter

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  9. Anonymous10:10 AM

    Three Years..............It seems like we've know each other for decades.

    Yes, people come to this blog for the writing, but they stay for the Blue Gal.

    Happy Blogiversary and many more to come.

    OG

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  10. happy happy and please? many more!

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  11. Happy blogiversary, BG. Only three years? Your voice has made a difference in a very short period of time.

    And, just so you know, I'm STILL older than you. Ha!

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  12. Humility is no easy exercise for those who have lived their lives feeling under-appreciated and misunderstood.

    But it's essential.

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  13. Happy Blogiversary Blue Gal. Your blog is an inspiration.

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  14. i wrote about this very subject on friday, although not nearly as eloquently as you! but of course you and i are on the same wavelength on this issue. your blog has been an inspiration to me since before i started mine! congrats on the three years.

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  15. Happy Blogiversary! And you keep right on "wasting time" in front of the computer. :)

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  16. Happy, Happy, Happy (three times!)
    Blogiversary!!!!!!

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  17. Happy Blogiversary
    I hope it isn't cursory
    Old enough to leave the nursery
    And walk down memory lane...

    ++++

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  18. Happy Bloggy Day to you
    My blog pal of Blue
    You such a smart Mommy
    And a beautiful one, too.

    (Hey, it's late in the day and the laundry isn't finished yet.)

    Many happy returns, BG, and thanks for all you do. And I will hazard a guess that all you do is a veritable shitload, which here in the south trumps a boatload and even a pantsload. (Or did I get that backasswards? As I said, it's getting late...)

    XXXXX
    Deborah

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  19. (You're, not you...arrrrgh.)

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  20. Happy Blog-o-versary Blue Gal

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  21. I thought I left a comment before - and it was a bit rambly. Maybe karma took care of that and all I shall say here is...

    Happy Blogversary
    and
    Thanks for all you do for this community!

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  22. Happy Blogiversary!

    I love that "A-List" badge, too!

    Apart from providing for one's self and one's family, and making the world a slightly better place, why bother with anything if it isn't enjoyable or fulfilling on some level?

    The beauty of writing is that you don't need anyone's permission.

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  23. Happy happy
    Good times
    Three more years!

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  24. happy anniversary....
    may your future years be bush-free

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  25. ...and many mooooooore. (Not Mandy Moore)

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  26. Happy blogiversary, Blue Gal. I hope I get to say this many more times.

    By the way, those words you quoted of Steve's were intended as a smack-down of this modest blogger, who has not been smacked down by anyone better since.

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  27. Anonymous4:07 PM

    Happy blogiversary. Many, many happy returns.

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  28. Happy Blogiversary, Blue Gal. And great, great writing on why hits should not be the motivation for blogging.

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  29. happy blogiversary, bluegal! you are a great blogger and an inspiriation to all the non-big-box blogs everywhere.

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