2006
05.20

With the overhelming arrival of the Blog Fashion, hundred of netizens from being passive news readers, have become active the publishers and authors. This, as first glance, it’s rather positive: In principle, anyone can post whatever they one inmediately (there are exceptions, like censorship in other countries, but I will write on that topic in a future post). Browsing sites like Sifry’s Alerts, we can see thet blogs are a plague, and it doubles almost every five month. We’re living an age of freedom of speech (well, not everywhere…, but almost) as never seen before. But… ¿Does it really creates more information? ¿Have the people actually so much to tell?

About blogs

Personal Blogs usually tell day by day livings and personal matters of their owners. People usually read them because of the emotional hook these things have, for the voyeurism and the gossiping on the live of others. Emotional hook is like a very powerful drug. TV programs with little or none actual content, but with a strong emotional charm (e.g. Big Brother, Soup Operas, etc) keep people in front of the box. Morbo and emotions thrills people and almost freezes them, keeping them interested in, usually boring, other people lives.

There’re blogs like these programs, which also hook people. Many unknown netizens read others dull lives almost day by day, like watching soup opera. From time to time, some of them through their disgraces to the cyberspace. But, when there’s no news to tell, the simple fact of making a sandwich, describe the new clothes you bought just today, or any other boring fact of the day by day living are published on thousand of blogs everyday.

On the other hand, there are news blogs, or specialized ones focused on one (or a few) topics, usually hobbies or thougs (my blog is one of those). The idea behind them is we published about our hobbies expecting other hobbyist opinion in return. ¿Do you like Bonsais? ¿Are you a ZX Spectrum nostalgic, like I am? ¿Play Role Games? Create up a blog and publish about it, what you think, what you like and what you don’t, and read other’s blogs with the same preferences. Welcome to the blogsphere…

Google and “The Power of Linking

A blog with no readers, unless written for therapeuthics purposes (for ranting?), is useless. Who wants to write and not to be read? When you’ve post several times, and your friends and colleagues have stopped writing comments in your blog, comment silence appears, and a new question arises: Is anybody reading me?. Tools like Google Analytics, or maybe your own hosting ones might be useful for you to have an idea about the amount of people visiting your site.

What could you do to make people read you? How important is your blog?
I’m sure you already suspect the answer: The more poeple refer to your blog, the more it’s commented and, in short, the more popular it becomes, the more important you blog is. In the Internet, popularity and linking comes toguether, and your blog will be not an exception. Google itself, gives more importance to pages linked more by others (it’s well known PageRank algorithm does exactly that: counts how many pages link to your one and gives you an importance number).

And then, the strugle for being linked arises. Perversion begins: Many people pay for it, and there even are companies which manages linking farms (fake pages with lot of links to your site, to increase the PageRank popularity index). Google has already warned it will downgrade those pages, and its related linking farms.

However, thanks to PageRank, other concepts have been perverted too: If your blog gets lots of links, it means Google will take it into consideration (no dubt, mane people has referred to it), but this does not imply it will be more visited. Of course, a very linked blog is more probably to be visited, but there is a moment in which this won’t be necessary. If you’re really interested in a site, you won’t arrive into it from another one, you get directly throught it (e.g. via a bookmark). For example, I usually read two news sites:Slashdot and its homologue Spanish version Barrapunto. If you’re linked by one of them, it’s because you blog really have something interesting to tell. Be ready, because the torrent of visits will probably block your site. It’s the so known Slashdot effect.

If you’ve get through here, then I’m happy for not get you bored. You probably know most of this already if you’ve been into the blogosphere.

But let’s go back to our main topic: Do Slashdot or Barrapunto really need to be linked? No. Not now. Because they’ve achieved the most difficult: They have a big and constant audience, which read them almost daily. They come up when there were almost no news sites. There were no competitors. Today, a huge amount of blogs struggle for popularity, for being known and linked. Because, don’t fool ourselves, we all want to be listened, to be read, if we have a blog…

And why? Excuses (and not answers) made to this question tends to be apparently logical: “Because I could put some advertisement”, “Maybe someone will buy it and I’ll strike it rich”… But beneath those ideas usually hides something less evident: When the desire to be known and popular becomes an obsession, an obsession to drive the masses and to be, in some manner, famous and popular what’s after that is the ego. Always the ego.

And yes, with this post I’ve prepared the ground to my next one…

To be continued… (stay tunned).

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  1. Very interesting.

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  2. Claro está, q nadamos en un mar de blogs. Todo ser q ha topado con una pág. alberga-blogs (blogger,etc), ha sentido la imperiosa necesidad de contar algo; contar algo y q sea leído por otras personas ajenas.
    ¿El contenido? Es algo q solo concierne al autor,
    y amigo Boriel, en un mundo donde mi papelera podría ser una millonaria obra de arte; no corresponde a nadie ‘tachar’ de valiosos los contenidos otros blogeros, reservando ésto para un humilde rincón en un comment crítico.
    Cuando llevas un tiempo en la blogosfera, empiezas a entender q no importan tanto las visitas (A no ser q busques adinerarte por ello).
    Empiezas a entender, q no solo importa escribir historias q la gente quiera leer y comentar, empiezas a preguntare q es lo q realmente TÚ quieres escribir. Por éso a mi parecer, un blog personal, es una ardua tarea q solo conduce a la resignación del desahogo personal (Arte).
    Los lectores?
    Quizás exista quien lo lea por ‘marujeo’,
    quién la haga por ‘compromiso’, o por simple aburrimiento. Aunq preferiría pensar, q cuando alguien lee un blog personal, lo hace porq se identifica con el escritor, por afinidad; y realmente valore la dificultad q conlleva el hablar de NADA y TODO a la vez. Q se valore la dificultad de sentarse frente a un teclado y poder escribir sin un guión al q ajustarse (Como pueda ser en un blog temático), teniendo realmente algo q expresar, y sin reparar en un tópico paradójico: ¿Que quieren leer?

    Todo este comment se contradice y rebate en el momento en el que escriba:

    http://laentrepierna.blogspot.com/
    L a E n t r e p i e r n a

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  3. Pues muy interesante el post, quedo esperando la continuación. La verdad es que no conocía la situación de la influencia de la circulación e importancia de los post hasta que lo comentaste.

    También me interesa mucho lo del ego, aunque hay que entenderlo en su globalidad. Escribir solo tiene sentido en la mayor parte de las ocasiones, como bien dices, si eres consciente de ser leído, (salvo otros casos como también comentas) Es una necesidad de nuestro acto consciente de querer expresar. El problema, es siempre, ese ego mal llevado. Bueno, sé que abordarás este tema a continuación así que esperaré a que continues la entrada.

    He bajado el libro de:
    La blogosfera hispana: pioneros de la cultura digital
    Bajo la dirección de José M. Cerezo

    Entre otras cosas, habla de lo que tú abordas en esta entrada.

    Varios conocidos, como Nacho Escolar, hacen un repaso de los inicios, es muy interesante. Por cierto que no son estos precisamente los que se erigen guardianes de lo divino, veo que los blogstar habitan por otros rincones.

    Saludos cordiales

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