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April 24, 2003
Look at Me! I'm Blogging!

Doc Nebula, who has no permalinks, so you'll have to find the ATTENTION DEFICIT SYNDROME entry for yourself, is complaining about the lack of feedback to his brand-new blog.

Once you get down around paragraph 15, it's a discussion of how much attention people want as opposed to how much they get and he's interesting on the subject.

His post started a train of thought in my head, but I'm not directly responding to what he had to say, okay? I'm not. His entry just reminded me some thoughts I had on the whole "popularity" and "feedback" and "traffic" thing.

This is a constant mystery to me.

I mean, here I am, I've been blogging for months and months, I get a vanishingly small number of comments and about the same number of e-mails, and yet it never occurred to me that I should be annoyed by that, okay? I didn't even know it was a popularity contest until I ran across a few oblique references by bloggers to how much traffic they got and overheard a conversation or two about "high points" of blogging being those days when your hit count spikes around some one entry or a fight in your comments section.

I didn't really expect anyone to care about my amateur opinions on anything and the fact that a few people do seem to be interested in enough to stop by and read from time to time is flattering. It's not that I'm indifferent to having an audience, it's just that I don't expect one. A reader is a gift.

(I beat this horse to death in another forum for years, but I'm taking it on again here.) A. Reader. Is. A. Gift.

The fact that you have an opinion and a keyboard doesn't entitle you to readers. A. Reader. Is. A. Gift.

Those moments when our personal concerns, rants, thoughts, and ideas evoke a response from someone are serendipity. With over a million blogs up and running out there, anyone is lucky to get more than two readers a week, okay? There are a lot of opinions being floated and there are only so many readers and only so many hours in a day. Any blog that any group of people, no matter how small, makes a point of reading regularly, is a screaming success.

More broadly, I guess this part is sort of in response to Doc Nebula's post, because my point is that he's quite right. For most of us, a "good" or "bad" day is defined by our interactions with other people. By getting not only attention, but the right attention from the right people. On-line or in person.

Whether it's amateur poetry, political blogs, on-line personal journals, fiction, patterns for crocheting, stories of our childhoods, or whatever it is, people put this stuff out there and then they sit back and sulk because the world didn't stop revolving in amazement and appreciation.

What I think of as people demanding to be "paid" is Doc Nebula's "give me attention!" His is just a nicer, and more rational, interpretation.*

People want attention, everyone wants to be the center of attention regularly and people who don't get this in their "real" lives are struggling to get it on-line.

At this point, I'd like to thank Doc Nebula for helping me, finally, answer a question that's stumped me for years, that being the preponderance of, "Hey, lookit me and tell me I'm wonderful or I'm leaving mad!" posts, entries, and websites that infest the internet.

(* From this I deduce that I'm one of those people who gets enough attention, which is one of those it's good for me but it sucks to be you things.)

P.S. In retrospect, I doubt this is an appropriate entry for a current events/political forum but whatever. It's my blog and you already bumped my hit count for today by '1' so even if you didn't bother to read the whole entry, I won!

You should have gone to read something that would make you think instead of hanging out here, so it serves you right.

P.P.S. This entry has been severely edited because I realized the original entry was rude.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:13 AM