Thursday, September 01, 2005

What Blog Day 2005 taught me

What Blog Day 2005 Taught Me

[This post is a slightly revised version of my response to Paul Woodhouse's comment in the topic thread of previous "Blog Day 2005" post.

Reader comments are increasingly providing me platforms for subsequent blog posts. Thanks everyone for your valuable and enriching comments at my blogs.]

I observed the "A Listers" reaction to Blog Day 2005, where we were all encourgaged, by an obscure blogger in Israel, to just list 5 good blogs, hopefully from other cultures or industries, to recommend to your own blog readers.

This went over like a lead balloon.

Hugh Macleod even did a little cartoon poking fun of the concept, calling it organized "link whoring". Hugh is known for lambasting and "roasting" via cartoons, and the objects of his comical "scorn" or teasing are rarely offended, it seems.

Of course, I deposited a comment on Hugh's blog, correcting this "link whoring" of Blog Day notion.

My comment explained that...

*clinking (clique linking)

*ghost blogging

* fictional character blogs (in most cases)

*buzz agenting (pretending to be a satisfied customer/user, then posting rave reviews in blogs, forums, etc.)

...are unethical and ineffective "blogstitution", not Blog Day.

Blog Day is a way to help your readers discover new blogs, and to pull us together as a blog realm. The blogosphere has many deadly enemies. Let's all join forces in a united front to defend and protect our beloved Kingdom of Bloggery.

It requires a bit of old fashioned humbleness to stop your own grandiose posting and linking to consider lending a boost to some little blogs, not "below" your exalted position in some silly hierarchy, but below the threshhold of your readers awareness.

How many "A List" bloggers participated? A few. Some with genuine benevolence. Some perhaps grudgingly or perfunctorily.

I sent out a stroke of midnight last call email to about 30 or 40 "top tier" bloggers. I must credit Mike Bergin, of the blog 10,000 Birds, a bird-lookers site, for emailing me and reminding me about this event.

Only a handful "A List" bloggers emailed me back to say thanks for the heads up, and whether or not they'd participate in Blog Day 2005:

Robert Scoble (The Red Couch/Naked Conversations, Scobleizer)

Hugh Macleod (Gaping Void)

Karen Ruby (Karen Ruby)

Carrie Snell (Omnamaste/A Grain of Salt/Wrath of Grapes)

Robert May (Business Pundit)

David Weinberger (Joho the Blog)

Paul Chaney (Radiant Marketing)

John C. Dvorak (Dvorak Uncensored)

Greg Hoffman (Security Awareness for Ma, Pa, and the Corporate Clueless)

Neville Hobson (NevOn)

Paul Woodhouse (Tinbasher)

John Battelle (John Battelle's Search Blog)

...either already knew about it, or scrambled to publish a Blog Day 2005 post on their blog, or emailed me to tell me it was too short notice to do it justice, or promised via email to comply with it as soon as they could.

If you check their blogs, you'll see that many did not do a "5 Recommended, Unexpected Blogs To Consider Exploring" type post on Blog Day 2005, but that means they at least replied to me via email, or displayed a Blog Day 2005 button.

Of course, unexpectedly, at the same time, Hurricane Katrina hit and devastated a huge chunk of the USA, like a nuclear attack.

This horrid disaster sidetracked a lot of bloggers from previous priorities, and rightly so. I just don't quite know what to say yet, so I've not posted anything about this tragedy.


Also, I didn't email every single "A List" blogger, or ally blogger, that I know of, and this was extremely short notice.

So please don't think that anybody not listed above must necessarily be arrogant or uncaring about other blogs. That would be a gross misinterpretation.

Paul Chaney deserves a lot of credit for replying to my email, and not even mentioning the fact that, as I discovered when I visited his blog, he is in the path of the Katrina hurricane, and has been suffering power outages. That is a noble, selfless, altruistic attitude of great merit metaphysically. Way to go Paul.

That little event of my email reminder of the Blog Day 2005 has resulted in a "A List" of my own: bloggers who can see the struggling "underlings" who are their brother and sister bloggers, and try to lend them a hand, a boost, a promo.

Spend more time helping, posting comments at, and advising new bloggers, obscure bloggers, worthy bloggers...

...who write profound, witty, sincere, funny, inspiring posts...

...and consistently, heart-breakingly, sadly get "0 Comments" at their blogs, but keep on, bravely, blogging.

I dearly love those souls. What a great model of perseverance and dedication they are setting. Bravo!

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



Paul Woodhouse said...

I must have read blog day wrong and only found it by accident on the day itself.

I thought you had to go and find five blogs that you'd never come across and then recommend them.

It took me ages to find two and then gave up as I found myself caught up in the Katrina debacle.

You could look at it as dubious link-whoring, but only if you didn't do it right.

Maybe I'll take time out to find at least one blog a week from now on from wherever and give it a mention.

I know I don't do that kind of thing nearly enough.

steven edward streight said...

Paul: I also am re-thinking my posting policy.

I want to identify the most influential, reputable, and consistently valuable blogs, then start posting about them, with no wish for reciprocity or appreciation, but just to let readers know about the best of the best, in my personal evaluation.

Readers may find these Cream of the Crop blogs relevant, or not, but at least I want to display my favorites.

Seth Godin has posted about how once a month (I think), we should list 6 or 8 new and valuable blog discoveries, or old bookmarked favorites. Give credit where credit is due, y'know?

I have never posted much about Jakob Nielsen's site, for example. I've hyperlinked text to it, but never did a special focus post on Nielsen.

Nielsen/Net Ratings, Edelman, EvHead, Joho the Blog, Business Pundit, etc. are similar cases: I like them, I consult them, I should visit them more often than I do, and I should let my readers know about them.

Some of my favorite, daily reads are no longer active, or seem to be inactive. Some seem to have, or actually have, stopped.

Whatever happened to these blogs: Dive Into Mark, Blog Count, Don't Blog, Corporate Blogging Info, or What's Your Brand Mantra?

Link whoring?

Like you said, it depends on your motive and the way you do it and what you expect in return (nothing vs. a "favor" of reciprocity, blogrolling, posting, etc.).

carrie said...

thanks for the mention. also thanks for letting me know. i couldn't think of any blog that aren't already on my blogroll

steven edward streight said...

Carrie: you're welcome.

I also had some trouble with this. I wanted to showcase some blogs that I've never really promoted or linked to.

Scott Ginsberg is such a decent chap, a smart innovative marketer, and a good, often comical writer.

John Hagel is an expert on net economy and online community building, having written some authoritative books via Harvard Business School Press.

But I searched my Bookmarks, under "blogs I like" and came up with nothing much that wasn't already on my blogroll.

This means we both need to explore more, when we have the time.

I also realized I need to add several blogs to my blogroll, like Karen Ruby, NevOn, etc.

carrie said...

yes, i wish i had more time.