Metablogging

Since I’ve started blogging, a very personal experience, I’ve begun pondering the deep questions of life. How much traffic am I getting, how do I get more traffic, how’s the feeds doing… you know those basic life questions. It turns out that there is a significant part of the blogging world devoted to those very same questions and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Others have noticed this same thing.

I am experimenting with MyBlogLog and it’s almost identical twin BlogCatalog. I’m not sure how useful these are as a tool for spreading the word on your blog. This is where I first got a taste of all the tons and tons of blogs in the world who’s purpose is to tell you how to blog successfully. That is, they attempt to become successful by telling you how to become successful. It’s very self helpy (and you can take that however you want to).

There’s all sorts of tricks one uses, contests, link trains, whatever, which tend to work very pyramid schemely. That is, I can start a link extravaganza and say if you link to me I will link to you – however, I’m the main beneficiary – I get tons of links and you get one. You need to be mildly successful though to start this and the guys just starting tend to be the ones participating in these tactics.

I think the now standard example of this is johnchow.com. You can not step one inch into this strange area of the blogiverse without running into a link to his site. He uses every trick in the book, sometimes explaining to you the trick as he’s doing it to keep his site at the top of the search engines. It’s very strange. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about such things.

Layered on top of all these blogs are the pay-for-content sites around. ReviewMe for example – where advertisers can ask to have their products reviewed on your site for which you get paid. It’s interesting since the rules say they can’t request only positive reviews and the post itself must be clearly labeled as a sponsored review. On the one hand, I think it’s interesting – everything is disclosed and above board. If you’re a blogger you’re always looking for stuff to write about, so here’s a steady stream of stuff and you get paid, to boot. On the other hand.. well.. it just seems sleazy.

There’s so much out there devoted to this, so many blogs springing up devoted to writing “successful” blogs, that it’s just very odd, I think. So many of these blogs just tie in with other blogs on the same thing, kind of circularly becoming successful or at least seeming to look successful (I imagine that most of these blogs are not actually making significant money). The content is nearly all rehashed and rephrased way of saying a very few memes. It’s lot of tricks, SEO tips, and bulleted lists.

I mean, I don’t have any problem with it, people can do whatever they want. I just found it an odd neighborhood in the internet – blogging about blogging successfully and trying to become successful through that vector. And it seems to me that sites like MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog which have some potential as interesting social networking sites has fallen prey to this group of bloggers. Who knows, my jury’s still out at least.

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