Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ethical Blogging

A blog about perfume hits it big on Technorati... story below!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Michelle Malkin, Xiaxue, Wendy Cheng, blogging, web2.0

Blogging is not a contest - but why do I always feel like somebody is keeping score. - Blogger Pilar

Because there are certain people who are not really blogging: they think they're in a 'popularity contest.' I think it started with MySpace. The race to add "friends" and more "friends" has spread to bloggers who crave links, hits and "recognition." They think that by chalking up hits they're becoming popular. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

Technorati is a wonderful tool and I am one of the first bloggers who signed on when the service initially became available. But Technorati has had it's fair share of imperfections: times when tagged posts were overlooked, times when the world's most popular blog (Xu Jinglei's) wasn't counted by Technorati even though the Chinese blogger was averaging 300,000 hits PER DAY (and that went on for months). Then there were those who manipulated Technorati by topic, like when Tammy NYP and her sex tape were making the rounds on the Net. Then there was the time T'rati added MySpace "blogs" in their count --- I still say most of them are not really blogs--- and now people are using T'rati's "Favoutites" count to manipulate the stats!

I came across Marzie after joining MyBlogLog. She's a nice girl, who managed to blowout Technorati. She's made plenty of cyber-friends, myself included. She's racked up hits and links and been favourited... but, for what? Does anyone really care about what she writes? She's made friends, and that's good. She's highly ranked in Technorati, bit so-whattie? July 10-16 there wasn't a single new post on her blog: her most recent post is all about Technorati: In My Technorati Train Rideshe offers a software download "Technorati Cheat." What is the point? Is she a blogger or a link-hog? I have no quarrel with Marzie but I do have a quarrel with a blog devoid of what a blog should contain. Marzie, I luv ya but you should be on MySpace, not blogspot! Here's what another blogger, Bobby Revell, said about her:
Before I get into it, My friend Marzie is now a Technorati 10k blogger!
How did she get there? With a little help and a heaping load of friendliness!

Congratulations Marzie! Going from 7,000 on June 10th to 10,000 today. One month of viral linking, schmoozing and being herself got her where others cannot. I am so Happy for her The nicest person on the Internet.

MY QUESTION: Marzie,now that you're "there," what are you going to do, what CAN you do, to KEEP READERS INTERESTED- KEEP 'EM COMING BACK??? "...if you talk to many of today’s bloggers, they’ll complain that the game seems fixed. They’ve targeted one of the more lucrative niches: gossip or politics or gadgets (or sex, of course) yet they cannot reach anywhere close to the size of the existing big blogs. It’s as if there were an A-list of a few extremely lucky, well-trafficked blogs then hordes of people stuck on the B-list or C-list, also-rans who can’t figure out why their audiences stay so comparatively puny no matter how hard they work..." Lucky you, you also-ran! You can read the entire New York Magazine article [just click HERE!]

So, Marzie's blog has skyrocketed. But what's next? Remember, it's a blog, not a popularity contest. For now, that Technorati download will probably keep the traffic coming. (Until T'rati gets wise and takes measures to prevent this kind of soamming) ... But here's the thing: (and this is what us B-list and C-list bloggers see all the time)after averaging out, her daily traffic report will read something like "25 returning visitors; 500 new visitors." The trick is to entice readers to come back to your blog regularly: DAILY if possible. While it's great to have 600 hits a day, it's meaningless when 580 are "new" everyday, looking for software or attracted to a particular topic. Wham,bam, thank-you ma'am! They'll never be back. Never get to know you. I was visiting Marzie almost every day, from July 10 through 16, leaving messages in her tagboard "Marzie, howzabout posting something new?"

My old Capital Region People blog still gets 250 hits a day, and I haven't posted anything meaningful on it in over a year! I'm not linking to it because I don't WANT more hits on it. Out of over 1,000 posts I wrote there are but a handful whose subject matter continues to attract new readers everyday! They're all new, none ever come back... It's crazy!

I had a similar experience with another blog... I finally had to go in and delete the entire blog, as I couldn't believe that the beat up old blog continued attracting hundreds of readers a month!

The chart at left represents a website that is NOT a true blog!
Blogger Paxton posted about a comment made on another blog being turned into a post by someone else. In answer to Paxton's Ethical Blogging , Scio, Scio commented: Firstly we have to remember that the Internet is a public space. Any thoughts or ideas we put onto it which are not exclusively copyrighted are subject to commentary. While it is troublesome to have one's ideas critiqued...sometimes mercilessly...there is very little we can do about it once we've launched them into the ether. This is the understood risk of the Internet.

A strong, informative post Ethical Blogging 101 tackles everything REAL bloggers should be concerned about! Here's a batch more:

Ethical blogging and the problem of anonymous bloggers

Blogsvertise and ethical blogging

Healthcare Bloggers Code of Ethics

The Ethical Blogging "Buzz"

Long before Michelle Malkin turned her website into a blog, I was a regular visitor. IMHO MM's established site helped popularize and build her blog faster than an extreme home makeover!

Stephen Ornes writes in DISCOVER Magazine: The blogosphere is the most explosive social network you’ll never see. Recent studies suggest that nearly 60 million blogs exist online, and about 175,000 more crop up daily (that’s about 2 every second). Even though the vast majority of blogs are either abandoned or isolated, many bloggers like to link to other Web sites. These links allow analysts to track trends in blogs and identify the most popular topics of data exchange. Social media expert Matthew Hurst recently collected link data for six weeks and produced this plot of the most active and interconnected parts of the blogosphere.
"Just as most people who start a novel never finish, most blogs are abandoned in less than a year, and many don’t make it past a few posts..." - Eric Berlin

The article includes a "Map" along with an article that cites popular sites DailyKos and Boingboing, while dismissing LiveJournal as a " blogging island is just barely in touch with the rest of the blogworld." The brightest light on the DISCOVER Blogosphere globe belongs to syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin. Michelle references this in her blog.

Now, here's what DISCOVER's Map article DOESN'T tell you:

"...In the blogosphere, the biggest audiences - and the advertising revenue they bring - go to a small, elite few. Most bloggers toil in total obscurity..." "...In scientific terms, this pattern is called "homeostasis" - the tendency of networked systems to become self-reinforcing. It’s the same thing you see in economies: the rich-get-richer problem..." - (New York Magazine: Blogs to Riches: The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom)

"The system that was supposed to democratize media has instead become a sort of J.V. for the much-derided but secretly envied Main Stream Media [MSM]. The top bloggers have become, in some cases the pets, and in some cases the tormentors of, the writers in the front rank." - (Frank Giovinazzi: Blogosphere 2.0 -- The Means to Game the System that Nobody will Use)

We always hear about blogs that have "a lot of traffic." How much is a lot? Would you rather have 25 or 100 or 400 readers who check your blog everyday, or would you rather have 80,000 people click in on a daily basis? It think it's the QUALITY not the quantity: those faithful readers who show up every day and READ what you've posted.

I checked on two of my favorite bloggers, and you may be surprised at what I've found:

XiaXue (Wendy Cheng) continues to enjoy high numbers of incoming hits... she's up above 100,000 most of the time. Like any blogger worth his/her salt, she had a surge one day in late December 2006. As you can see, her blog has recently attracted thousands more after she posted about the worst bloggers in Sinagpore.

Michelle Malkin is a bright star in the blog Cosomos: in the past she has exceeded the MILLION hit-a-day mark. For the first quarter of 2007, she and Xiaxue were in roughly the same virtual territory. You can see a big spike during April... keep in mind, this "A-List" blogger's blog started out as a Conservative columnist's webpage that had already built a substantial readership BEFORE it became a blog!

Okay: what secret do Wendy and Michelle share? LINKS! They have been LINKED to or simply MENTIONED in other blogs! I'm talkin' REAL BLOGS with REAL CONTEN, and the links were EARNED i.e., these are not "link to me and I'll link to you scenarios." XX and MM will NOT bother linking to YOU! . XiaXue was catapulted into high-traffic territory when Blogger made her a "featured blogger." Michelle Malkin's columns and books were widely read before she turned her website into a blog... and everything she writes is food for thought and material for other keyboards. So their blogs had it "made" right out of the starting gate!

Wendy and Michelle share something else: Television. Michelle has appeared on many FOX News programs while Wendy has served as co-host on Asia's popular "Girls Out Loud" series.

A make-up artist works his magic on Wendy Cheng, who blogs as Xiaxue (Falling Snow). Wendy's pop-star looks, eye-candy site design and outspoken attitude landed her a stint as spokesmodel for LocalBrand T-Shirts (Singapore). Wendy's blog is a curious mix of teen innocence, Singaporean savvy and truckstop banter! Oh, and she's SEXY too!

It's no big secret that SEX SELLS. A large chunk of internet business (successful internet business) deals in pornography. In researching the internet prior to launching the Capital Region People blog, I found certain blogs attracted more attention than others. The Newsblog or Political Blog is tops in the USA, closely followed by the Personal-Diary form, popularized by Stephanie Klein. Personal/Sexual and Game blogs rule the roost across much of Asia, most notably China where Mu Zimei, Furong JieJie and others have made their mark on Net history, and Singapore too, with Xiaxue and SarongPartyGirl.

The validation that SEX SELLS came for me the morning of August 2nd, 2005. I'm usually up early. I was checking traffic stats for CRP around 5am and noticed something wasn't quite right. An enormous "spike". What was it? Over 3-thousand hits? WHY? Was this a mistake? With a comfortable number of incoming links and an average of 400 unique hits a day, how could I not want more? CRP may not be the most popular blog around but I nurtured it into something bigger than I'd ever expected it to be. But not THIS big?!??!

Depending on the counter/tracking service, CRP got between 18,000 to 23,000 hits on that date. It wasn't blog-readers (blogders). It was websurfers Googling Sandra "Beth Geisel," the CBA teacher who had sex with young teen students. Because I had the foresight (a total accident) to post "The Doctor and The Teacher" on July 30th and "Media Circus" on July 31st, I was blessed with more visitors to CRP than I could ever have imagined!

I figured out what happened: sometime between the 31stof July and the 2nd of August, the search-engine "spiders" had visited the CRP blog and sucked up the terms "Sandra Geisel" and "Beth Geisel." Bingo! I couldn't have begged, borrowed or stole more hits! Top ranking on Google, Yahoo and FoxNews search engines! Incredible!

Social Feedback is important to bloggers, as well. An awful lot of bloggers pay an awful lot of attention to Technorati. Some won't blog on a particular topic unless it is in the "Technorati Top 10." Unless you want to artificially inflate traffic by posting about "Brrreeeport," this is a mistake! I've often blogged on a particular topic without any recognition or appreciable increase in traffic, then a few months later, a newspaper or magazine will print an article on that very topic and WHAM! Suddenly, new readers appear via search engines... hopefully, one or two will come back to visit again. Building a base readership takes time and patience!

Here is another reason to make Technorati tags a part of every blog post. According to Dave Sifry in his State of the Blogoshere Part II, Technorati has added a new Explore feature...This new explore tool includes postings from A-listers, such as Steve Rubel in the PR space, but it also includes bloggers that Sifry names "the magic middle" (also see Rubel’s post about this), formerly known as the B-list. In other words, these are blogs that have from 20 to 1,000 sites that link to them. [more from Communication Overtones]

A moment in Blog History: Blogger SCOBLE created the top searched phrase on technorati today. Brrreeeport beat Cheney, the Olympics, etc. Via his made-up word (brrreeeport) he’s seeing how fast links propogate through different search engines.

More NY Magazine links:
• Linkology: How the 50 Most Popular Blogs Are Related
• The Early Years: A Timeline of How Blogging All Began
• Five Cool Blogs to Check Out Now
• Meet the Bloggers
• The Long Tail Theory: Why B-list Blogs Can Make It, Too

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Show Comments: OR


  1. Hi Dave

    I've seen you on My Blog Log and I've seen Marzie. I agree. She's sweet but there's nothing on her blog that's even interesting. I don't care how much Bobby Revel loves women and I certainly don't care about my ranking on Technorati. I have about 30 readers who visit my blog every day. Those are MY people who want to read what I have to say! That's what blogging is really all about!

  2. Dave I just visited Marzie and it looks like she uploaded several posts to make it look like she's blogging sincerely. I know better. I'm a BlogLogger too and I wondered why a blog with no posts for days would be racking up higher and higher on technroati.
    I downlaoded her softwares.


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