Thursday, January 06, 2005

Cut The Red Wire... While You Still Can

Okay, unless you've been living in a cave for the last few weeks (apologies to all my cave-dwelling readers), you've become painfully aware of the current phenomenon called BlogExplosion.

While I'm not really one for blog promotion (especially since it's been difficult lately to make time for writing), I must humbly admit that I signed up for "the experience". I'll tell you, I'm a bit of a skeptic, so I didn't really expect much from it... Anybody else still using BlogSnob with the faint hope of getting a hit from it? No? I guess I'm the only sucker left! Anyway, like I was saying, I didn't expect much.

Boy was I surprised!

The all-knowing "They" claim that using BlogExplosion could bring hundreds, even thousands, of people to your site every month. Well, I got 100 hits on my very first day! Unbelievable! Of course, not a single person left a comment, viewed my profile, or even checked out the archives, but I'm not going to take that personally... I suspect they were all blog surfing from work and couldn't risk getting caught laughing out loud. What would the other cubicle jockeys think, after all?

As I'm sure you know, these hits didn't come without a price, though. I had to do a fair amount of blog surfing myself in order to earn "credits", numbers that determine how many times my little blog will be shown to some unsuspecting, lucky person. I had to let random blogs pop onto my screen and wait at least 30 seconds before requesting the next one. Over and over and over and over again. And again. Blog after blog. Racking up the points and waiting with baited breath for the elusive "Mystery Credits" (really just a consolation prize for having too much time on your hands). Still, it was actually a pretty educational experience, in the end. I learned a lot about bloggers and their lives. I learned that I am by no means the most boring person on the Internet!

Have you seen some of these blogs? Granted, the owners have invested the time (or, in some cases, money) to create a flashy banner, a kick-ass title graphic, and an eye-catching color theme, something I have never been able to get around to myself. So, as each page pops up, you are teased with the unspoken promise of greatness. But what do you get?

Drivel.

I'm sorry, but it is what it is. Hey, I'm not saying what I do is any better, but I'd like to hope it is! I mean, I have completely mundane, boring, uninspired thoughts all day long too... I just don't feel the need to share them. Do you really care what I had for lunch? Or what I'm having for supper? If you do, email me, I'm happy to share... but not on my blog. Nor do I feel the need to preach, indoctrinate, or otherwise brainwash complete strangers into following my own particular brand of narrow-minded religion or politics. The election is over, folks, and there are plenty of churches in the real world. Why not step outside and visit one sometime? Or try cracking open that Bible Grandma gave you for your tenth birthday before you start expounding upon the deeper meanings of Leviticus.

Breathe, Cuppojoe, breathe... Go to your Happy Place...

Now, don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great blogs to read out there. But the thing is, you're not likely to find them by random... You're going to find them because everybody else is talking about them. Chances are, most of you have already been to Jay's Party or Does This Mean I'm a Grown Up? (hi, Catt!), right? In fact, I'm willing to bet that you've been more than once. They're good, plain and simple. And I've never stumbled across either one as I viewed thousands of pages through SnoreExplosion... er... BlogExplosion.

On the flipside, if you really want to promote your own blog, here's my advice: Read other people's blogs and post comments. Interact with others in a positive way, make a few friends, and leave your URL in your signature. I know for a fact that is how I established my modest "reader base". Stop thinking of your blog as an essay that no one will read and as more of a "conversation in type". Bring you readers into your world, instead of just telling them about it.

Sheesh! It gets tiring standing on this soapbox! I better get down before I hurt myself...
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