Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Blake Rhodes (and Want to Make *You* a Blogstar!

Sunday afternoon, I'm sitting here in my pink chemise with the black and pink lace trim and my stiletto heeled maribou slippers reading the NYTimes, having my third cup of coffee, and checking my email (all at the same time), when I see an email from "Blake Rhodes"...

I have no clue who Blake Rhodes is, but it the email doesn't look like spam, so I open it...


I found your blog while using our blog search engine. Check out our site and let us know what you think. We already have you indexed.

Blake Rhodes

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the blogosphere, the CEO of IceRocket walks into mine.

Now, I'd been poking around that search engine for a couple of days, searching the URL for my main blog with IceRocket's blog search feature, just testing it to see how many links IceRocket would reveal. I'm most curious to see if an IceRocket search will show the same type of information a contained in a Technorati search.

So far, it looks like IceRocket's yielding more post-links, but not as many blogroll permalinks. Searching my main blog, Moon River's blogroll keeps showing up every couple of days, but I think that has more to do with the way MSN blogs post and update. I notice, too, that LiveJournal entries that link to me are popping up. I usually don't cross-link to the LJ people who read me. I respect their space. Yet I like knowing who over there's linking to my blogs. I don't freak when I get a cluster of hits from lj.

Not bad.

I notice, too, that the default search on IceRocket is the blogsearch rather than the websearch. I'm impressed...a bit.

Monday morning, I open that email again. I do a quick search thru Google (yeah, I should've used IceRocket--don't worry) and find out a few things about him. Enough to want to know a few more things....

So I send a short email asking some basic questions about IceRocket...and Blake writes back:

We had some ideas on ways we felt we could improve search. We started as just a regular search engine, about X-mas time we launched our blog search product which is now our default search option.
I think we would like to bring search to the blogosphere and also to those folks that are not actively involved in blogging. We want non-bloggers to be able to come to our blog search and see what the blogosphere is saying about their businesses, favorite movies, restaurants, etc.

Smart boy! He's thinking about how blogs might be used by non-bloggers. Considering that I get at least 40-50% of my daily hits from non-bloggers, who often stay and read awhile, even when the blog entry has nothing to do with a search criteria like "sex with your mother-in-law."

I'm also very surprised that Blake's willing to email. More often than not, whatever level the CEO happens to be, he/she seems to engender a bit of ego that often gives the "talk to the hand" signal to anyone who's not at least a B-lister or previously multi-published freelancer (or I get 86'd by the spamguard because of my email addy).

So I ask Blake if he (being IceRocket) is looking to open things up in the world of blogging so that those of us who are ubiquitous in the Tail get better recognition...

Absolutely! I love reading the A-list stuff like WeblogsInc, anything they do is awesome. That being said, I equally enjoy reading the small LiveJournal stuff that nobody else reads. I think there are tons of great blogs out there that nobody knows about and you can find them by using IceRocket.

Gotcha! I've done some searching so I know y'all are backed by
Mark Cuban and that Mark's in with Jason Calacanis and all that stuff...but I like the little bit about the "tons of great blogs out there." He knows the neighborhood and thinks like a blogger!

We hope to help anyone that wants to attain a higher profile in the blogosphere do so. People should come to us when looking for blogs about the things they enjoy reading about.

..but I'm still curious about the whole indexing thing. How the heck did he index me?

We have crawlers that go out and find blogs that we index. Smaller bloggers that are looking to get an audience can find that through IceRocket. People come to us to search for blogs about the topics they like, if you are a blogger and you are blogging about some of these things, you can benefit from this.

Yeah...y'all probably noticed that I'd been using your search criteria to stroke my little ole ego and wondered who the heck was so curious about a little ole fleablog...still, he's proving to me he's not just some guy looking to cash in on bloggers and blogging.

I decide to test IceRocket's search capabilities a bit more, and use it to search one of the women I interviewed for my Women and Blogging article. Alison Teal was a '60's political rabble rouser (she'd laugh at that one) who blogged while on the campaign trail with Kerry and during the DNC. Because of her relationship with the DNC, she was one of the few actual credentialled bloggers. Hot Flashes from the Campaign Trail was the result. Google and Yahoo searches really didn't give me much except a moldy old NYTimes blurb. So, I tried IceRocket's websearch (rather than blogsearch) and it yielded a ton of web-based articles on Alison's blog. The blogsearch, though, isn't all that helpful--but I think that has more to do with the fact that Hot Flashes was more a topic/situation blog, with a clear beginning and ending.

The emphasis in the blogosphere though is the immediacy of information. We can save our blogs forever, but the blogosphere really isn't like a library where people go to look up stuff...not yet anyway. Right now what matters is the topical, the current, the up-to-the minute. Who's got the scoop. Who's saying what about whatever. This is what people mine the blogosphere for right now. This is what matters to bloggers and blog readers.

What Jeff Jarvis or Dooce said three years ago really doesn't mean squat today.

What I really, really want to know from Blake, though, is if he's looking to take on Technorati. So, balls and all, I ask....and get this answer:

Hell yeah we are going to give Technorati some competition!

Making a list by links only is something I have NO interest in doing. To me it means nothing. Just because someone has a ton of links does not mean they are the #1 blog out there by any means. I want to recognize both large and small bloggers. If someone started a blog today, they would have zero chance of ever making a list based on links, to me, that does not seem fair.

We might be working on a list, but it won't have to do w/links :)

WOW! He really, really *does* think about bloggers! He's got a clue! He's not just stroking his own ego with his Little Engine That Could! He gets it! He gets that all those permalinks added up over the years creates a stack of links that blocks anyone who's just coming into blogging (other than celebrities) from rising out of the doldrums of The Tail. He knows we're not all just compulsive journallers doing this thing for a handful of our friends. He gets that some of us might be providing great content but can't be found because there are all these blogs-which-came-before.

Often I feel like apologizing because I haven't been blogging since the Days of Yore, and haven't accumulated thousands of links over all those years... but hey! I'm a damned good writer and I'm pretty freakin' funny at times and I want people to find me and read me!

and, dammit! this 23 year-old kid in Texas is getting the message that Dave Sifry can't seem to tune into--that the Blogosphere is a world of the immediate, that ancient links don't tell anyone a thing about who's popular, who's got the best conversation or who's got the best information right at this minute, and that Yahoo Messenger!, even though widely linked, really isn't a blog...

I've gone back to IceRocket since Blake's and my email exchange, and checked out a few more of its features...there are interesting little linking options, and ways of finding blogs that are buzzing about certain topics. It has a tags option, but it's kind of tough to figure out the code for the tags (esp. if you're tech inept like me). There are some bugs to the baby, but, with enough bucks to float the project, IceRocket should be able to enlist some bright techgeeks to tweak the algorithms a bit and refine the search criteria. I like the emphasis on post-links, and possibly a feature to sort post-links from permalinks could be configured at some point. There might even be a way to track the comments sections of blogs--but that's down the road a bit, I'm sure.

It's been nice getting to know Blake and IceRocket (keep in touch sweetie..I'm only an email away ;-) ). Take some time and get to know them too...I think you'll be very surprised...

If you're dying to know more tech-oriented stuff about IceRocket use it for a blogsearch--you'll find great articles by all manner of bloggers...

tags: , , , , ,,

Monday, August 29, 2005

So, you think you're so special because you keep hoping a woman dressed as a policeman would rough you up a bit?? Read When is a Fetish Not a Fetish at my other blog and get a clue....

tags:, ,

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Fleablogger is a term yours truly has coined to distinguish those of us in the tail from the Technorati 100 and the Feedster 500, and any other A-list that might be out there. We are small, sometimes annoying, incredibly smart, amazingly articulate, and will drive you nuts when we have the time to do it. We probably won't rise to the top because linking systems are skewed to those who have been blogging for a long time or are celebreties who have cashed in on their names. We are none of those, but we are what keeps the blogosphere rolling along. We are created every second of the day and may age out of the blogoshpere when we get sick of the hoo-ha or just find other things to do. The Blogosphere is our Flea Circus as much as msm is a Media Circus.

Get used to us. We're here to stay.

tags: , , , , ,
The Jersey Exile mentions yours truly in his post Just Guys With Blogs, in which he mentions the amazing insincerity of Daily Kos who seems to think he's just a regular old blogger like the rest of us...

when will people like Markos Moulitsas stop treating us fleabloggers like we're town fools? does he honestly think we're that gullible?? him? a regular blogger??? oh, puh-leeze!!

I don't know whether to laugh, cry or throw up over that one.

Jersey also points out Jarvis' change of heart these days....yet, like Jersey, I'm not sure that trying to change the conversation re blog ranking to one of the value of trust over content is going to change all that much in the blogosphere. There's a bit more to it than that.

I think I'm going to have to start reading some of these big-time bloggers--not because I trust their content is so great, but because they're just so massively insincere--kind of like the popular girls they couldn't date in high school....

tags:, , ,

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Over the next couple of days I will be working on an article for my Alumni Quarterly on women in blogging.

So, if I don't post, it's not that I've died, or that I'm giving up on blogging, or anything like that.

It's that I've got a piece of writing to complete that might actually yield a bit of cash. And also might do more than that for me. I hope.

If the anxiety attacks don't kill me first.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Who Values Conversation?

This morning, I read Mary Hodder's discussion on conversations in the blogosphere at Napsterization, where I left a comment regarding some of the attitudes aflot out there regarding conversation. My sense is that the attitudes towards conversation in the blogosphere will shape whether or not a metric might be developed to measure conversation. If conversation is not valued, and if blogging continues to be viewed as merely as an exercise in information dissemination, then there will be little interest in sorting conversation from information. Conglomoblogs and aggregators, which rarely stimulate conversation, will still be considered the "top blogs."

Mary makes a distinct point about bloggers who comment as well as post--and intimates that sometimes the comments are as interesting as the initial blog post. Take a look at the fabulous conversations here and here at Mac Stone's great blog Stones in the Field. In her posts, Mac posited great suppositions, and the conversations that grew around them end up conveying information within converstion. Significant conversation and information dissemination are not mutually exclusive but can oftentimes be inclusive of one another.

I feel sorry for the little brains out there that can't understand that conversation and information can be combined--and that the conversation may be as significant as the information it contains. Since it's these little brains who rabidly link to all those link-sucking, comment-lacking infoblogs and rarely link to any of the wonderful little cocktail parties going on in the blogosphere, I wonder whether the changes in metrics that Mary suggests will help boost the importance of conversation in the blogosphere.

Perhaps we need to just make the conversations alot louder thru the shameless arts of self and mutual promotion. I'm all over that one!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

a conversation about conversation

Great post this morning at Buzzmachine, where Jarvis actually thinks a bit about the value of conversation in the blogosphere. I have left a small essay over there because I sometimes think, and speak, in essay form....that's just me.

There's not much conversation on this particular blog. If you want to see my little barroom in the blogosphere, go here

This blog was set up because personal conversation is often too intimate for male readers and for female readers, theoretical conversation on my regular blog is a distranction. Really intersting the way the male and female minds work...but this, too, is why Jarvis' post is important. Here is a man who is valuing the conversation rather than the content or the information gathering aspect of blogging.

amazing. not sure what to think of it, of what kind of conversation he values, but he's def. stimulating more conversation about the value of conversation in the blogosphere.

tags:, , ,

Monday, August 22, 2005

Rethinking "Blogging"

I came across this little tidbit in the NYTimes today: "For Niche Film Audience, Studios are Appealing by Blog", where Joel Topcik explains how Focus, "the art-house unit of Universal Pictures" recently purcased ads for its new Ralph Finnes star-vehilce "The Constant Garder" on Wonkette.

Talk about new media reflecting old media. No wonder new media is turning into old media. Where there's money to be made, the old models work.

With this little bit of news, it's beginning to look like blogs are going the way of true art films--most "art" films are not just distributed under the ageis of large production companies, but actually receive money from large production units such as Universal, Disney, Paramount, etc. Miramax was bought some years back by (I think) Disney, and the quality of their films has been sliding downhill...because we all know everything Disney is NOT everything art film.

But what does this mean for blogging? Well, I'm getting the sense that blogging isn't what it used to be, nor what it should be. Blogging is a populist medium. It should not be co-opted by ads. Sure, lots of us who love to blog would also love to make money from it--but I think we've got to grow up and realize that if we want to make money from blogs, we're going to have to become part of a conglomorate, like Gawker, and then we'll get those big ads.

Is this, then, who we bloggers really are?

I don't think so. Blogging is about community--about sharing, chatting, exchanging ideas in ways that can't be in the msm, by people who don't want their opinions influenced by the drives of msm.

Then again, maybe I'm being a total polyanna on all this, and maybe bloggers should sell-out to the big ads and all of us should be sitting around with our fingers crossed, hoping Mr. Denton will discover us, or hoping that our corporations discover our bad-mouth blogs so we can get the juicy book deal.

Frankly, though, we should have careers in other places, and should be using our blogs for personal expression--for things we can't say because we want to say them, not with the motivation that we're going to get something for it. If we want a monitary kickback for blogging, we should do it for an organization or a business to further the goals of that business, and have them pay us a fee for "content management." A film company taking out ads on Wonkette is the exact same thing as a company running an ad in an alternative newspaper--it is old media pretending to be edgy, like the old guy who goes out and dyes his hair, gets botox, and buys a 'vette. It's not blogging any more than a series of two-line scatalogical blog entries with links constitute an essay.

And all this is going to do is, eventually, shut the door on new voices in blogging. What's new could, unfortunately, become old very, very fast.

tags: , , ,

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Also check out Sour Duck's post Culture Isn't Dying.

, , , ,

Bullshit in the Feedster 500

So, yesterday I found the new Feedster 500...which just proves more of the same old same old crap about the blogosphere:

1. blogs by celebreties rank high.

2. mediablogs powered by groups of little bloggers rank high

3. a number of the "blogs" aren't really blogs at all but massive link lists (like Milk and Cookies)

4. group blogs are linked high.

5. Some "blogs" aren't even blogs! (McSweeny's anyone???)

What is most disturbing about this is the number of blogs listed that never, ever link to anyone else, yet are widely linked.

What kind of bullshit is that?!?!

That was part of my biggest argument about Arianna Huffington starting a "blog." Her attempt was a transparent use of a new media to continue the spread of her own bloated ego throughout the internet by co-opting a medium of the people. On top of that, people are so freaking stupid as to link to her thinking that it shows they are "in the know."

Frankly, that just shows that one is interested in maintaining a power structure that blogging was meant to undermine.

In the spirit of my post the other day: Stop linking to media bigwigs who won't even give you the time of day in a link post! Their blogs are out there enough in the MSM--they really don't another endorsement from us fleas...and, frankly, it just makes us look like rubes.

, , , ,

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Community Building and Linking

Aside from my DSL getting knocked out a bit tonight by the most dreaful and wicked thunderstorms in New England this summer, I'd like y'all to go over to this post on Love and Hope and Sex and Dreams about linking and building community. Mary Hodder left a comment (to which I'm about to address), and also wrote this post at Napsterization which expounds a bit more on linking (which I also have to go in and read more thoroughly--as I'm sure I'll have something to say about it).

I also have a wicked huge load of email backed up from Thursday that I have to get to....that's what happens when I decide to get out and do some old-fashioned, face to face networking as I am trying to take the "free" out of freelance....

, , , ,

Friday, August 12, 2005

slept late and am off to a workshop on writing a business plan and manage cash flow. how bourgeois of me! will post more later...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

All Blogs are not created equal...and aren't searched equally either...Idyllopus has some interesting observations on this little phenomenon.

tags: , ,,
After finding out from Jay Rosen that a comment I left on his site didn't make it thru because his spamblocker blocks Blogspot urls, I figured out a small part of the problem in the blogosphere that keeps the tail long--spam and fake blogs. Sifry addresses this problem of spam and fake blogs in this State of the Blogosphere post.

This is another "human factor" of blogging--there will always be lowbrow opportunists who will find ways to try to beat the system and make some bucks. Sifry explains AND has examples. Sadly, many of the examples are Blogspot blogs.

I wonder if there's a way that Blogger can address the problem of so many Blogspot blogs ending up as spam and fake blogs. It bothers me that a great free service like this, and the people who use it, end up de-valued by A-listers and Others not in the tail because of spams and fakes.

Do I have the nerve to write to the Powers that Be at Blogger??? you never know.

NOTE: if you click on one of the fake blogs that Sifry's got on his page, you may get dinged by some adware that will try to download itself. Another big problem with spam and fake blogs.

, , ,

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Blogher on TV

hey! look at this cool video of Blogher from KRON-TV! (thanks Halley for the link!)

Tags: , , , ,

Linking and Stats: Why Should We Care?

Terry asked me this really great question:

Here's an oddball question for you; what do we hope to accomplish by getting linked lots of places? Even the top blogs don't make that much money on advertising. We all want more traffic, but why do we want it? Do we see it as a measure of respect? Or is it a matter of wanting to be liked? Or maybe for politically oriented blogs, it's about changing the world one reader at a time?

And here's what I said:

Well, if we think of blogs as "new media" that will, over the course of the long haul, make old media obsolete, getting women's voices out there is very important. Most of the men who dominate the blogosphere right now are old media, tech, or p.r. people. Men tend to link to other men on a relavance criteria (if it's relavent to my blog, I'll link to it--not that I really like it or read it), which often leaves women's voices out. (That is, unless you're in the same industries as the guys, and maybe you'll get linked)

Women blog differently and link differently than men do. They will link to what they like, or to a voice that they can relate to, rather than to whether or not the content correlates exactly with what they are blogging about.

If you see blogging as culture-changing, and as media, then it makes a difference in this way: If women aren't represented among top bloggers becasue the male bloggers deem us not relavent to what they are doing, then blogging ends up becoming another bastion of Eventually-Dead White Guys--alot like the English Lit canon.

This, however, isn't the 15th or 16th centuries, and women have made progress in msm...they need now to have a presence in new media.

Further, this has a long range effect on the busness aspects of blogging. If men are perceived to be the best bloggers, then women who try to break into blogging as a business veture will be viewed as not as credible. This is something I am looking at very carefully, as I am in the earliest phases of developing a business-based blogging venture. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what blogs can do for business (as in the case of Stonyfield Farms), but as blog-savvy young people begin to arrive in the job market, and eventually rise in business, blogging will become an intergal part of the way businesses do business.

Leaving women out of that could be economically and professionaly catastrophic for women. We would never rise past the pink collar ghetto, and would end up being modern-day stenographers, inputting content rather than creating our own.

So, being noticed is imporant. And because we are a networking world, part of being noticed is being liked enough to network and get the link. That women have different blogging styles than men does not mean that we are not relavent in the blogosphere. It means that male standards of judging links by relavancy to the content of their own blogs should not be the *sole* critera of why someone links to another blog. By not being linked, women risk losing position in new media and new business.

It's not just about a popularity contest, it's about the future of media and of business.

Just a few thoughts...

tags: , ,, ,
Just gotta love a man who knows when the stats have been juggled and isn't about to let Nick Denton get away with it. Jason Calacanis has the smarts to show where they could be monkeyed with, and the chutzpah to call out the monkeys-- here and here.

gad! I just love the tenacity!

And I don't think this has anything to do wtih Denton's snarky transparancey comment on 3/9. It's been bleeding obvious for a long time that Denton is trying to build an empire with Gawker (much in a similar way to Rupert Murdock--on sex, sex, sex) and wants to do whatever he can to build it...which includes commissioning a report that presents some wonky stats skewed in his favor. Whether Calacanis deletes negative comments or not, as Denton claims--well, in the grander scheme of empire-building, that's not any more egregious than using the hottie factor to the nth degree to get your way.

Jarvis tends to whine about how new media isn't supposed to be like old media--but Denton's little figure juggling seems to be an indication that the playing field's just moved from one venue to another...

, , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sour Duck has been higlighting some of the points of contention that occurred at Blogher..her breakdown of the Breakdowns is pretty spot on...

Tags: , , , ,

war on terror in an age of anxiety

Liz Ditz left a great comment a few links down, in response to my post about Jay Rosen's use of the "T" word...

I agree with you about Rosen's comments. What I heard was a lot of the commenters wanting to have their anxiety lessened--to be reassured that there was no real risk of

*bad people coming to take their children away
*unwanted attention.

Some of the anxiety I heard was about disclosing too much -- how can you use this tool (blogging) without betraying others' confidence? That to me is a reasonable question.

Another anxiety was about loss of control over one's public image.

Another sort of question seemed to have the subtext, "What mistakes have you made that you can share with us?" -- mostly about too much disclosure, or unwanted repercussions.

I mean, if you ask Dooce, who was fired for her blog, that's a reasonable question!

Maybe the title of the noon talk is in part at fault "Flame, Blame and Shame" -- catchy, but presupposes shame, after all.

I wish that part of the conf. had been, well, more didactic. For example, I have a rule that I do not allow the 7 words on my blog, so if someone uses those words, I edit the comment. I also edit--restate-- comments that are potentially actionable (libel and slander). Amy Geren ( has a good taxonomy of "vermin" -- people who have bad internet manners. It would have been more helpful, I think, to have someone talk about how to manage your own reactions to this type of behavior.

In short, I didn't hear "terror" -- I heard anxiety, appropriate anxiety, seeking some reasonable reassurance.

Liz hits the nail right on the head: anxiety would have been the appropriate word..."terror" was too strong and, in our particular politically charged climate, was def. inappropriate. I think Jay and I actually share a love hyperbole...

Thanks Liz :-) Hopefully we'll get the chance to meet at another gathering!

(in a strange way, I'm beginning to think I should move out to California)

Tags: , , , ,


Monday, August 08, 2005

In a much more tech-geeky kinda way Danah Boyd comes to a similar conclusion that I did on the problem with the linkistocracy...

tags: , ,, ,

subverting the linkistocracy--or, do they really like me?

I've been poking around the blogosphere again...into some of the more obscure nooks and crannies, into the place where the bigtime (or even middle-time) bloggers don't go, chatting with those who are also chattering along with me in the Long Tail. And I've discovered some interesting things. This is all anecdotal, and please note there are exceptions to this anecdotal finding--I know a bunch and some of you probably do too but unless someone would like to fund the research, this little supposition applies to a good portion:

Many bloggers will link to friends. And to A-listers. Few will post links to those they do not know or have not met at one time or another, even if the poster is in their geographic region and/or has similar blog content. There is not a huge care as to whether or not they are widely linked--then again, to many they do not even know that blogs can be used for business, or that blogs often contain and convey information about the tech world, or that blogs are considered to be a form of journalism. Most aren't even into tech, would never consider themselves tech people--many don't think much about the world of journalism either or that by publishing a blog that they are part of it. Often they link to A-listers because they are the first ones who come up in RSS. They have been around for a long time, and non A-listers feel a need to link to them, as if linking to an A-list blog will make them look as if they are in-the-know of what's hot in the blogosophere. Even if there's no reciprocal link. Many times, too, these bloggers really aren't interested in building communities outside of their pre-established friendships. The blog exists to communicate to their friends or just to get word out to their own insular little community.

Some bloggers might even like your blog, but updating the blogroll is often time-consuming...even trying to figure out blogrolling software is time consuming. All of this inhibits linking...

So much for Jeff Jarvis' theories on blogging being a meritocracy and the best blogs rising to the top. It really is like the biosphere--you get more if you literally know more people beyond your own little screen or if you are already very established.

And to get to know people, you meet them. With bloggers, that can be a tough thing to do. Leaving comments sometimes works...and sometimes doesn't. Email is also hit or miss. Alot depends on the personalities of individual bloggers or their email spam-blockers--neither of which being completely deducible from their blogs.

I'm also going to do a little more testing on this to see if I can be proved wrong.

tags: , ,, ,

Saturday, August 06, 2005

And the link discussion goes on....

I found myself linked over at The Jersey Exile (although I wish he'd used my retort instead) which further continues the conversation with Jeff Jarvis on linking.....

What Jarvis keeps missing is what many of us in the Blogosphere have come to discover, and what Elisa Camahort so succinctly says (if I migh paraphrase): the blog world really isn't all that much different than the outside world. It is NOT a meritocracy as so many want to believe. To swallow the myth of meritocracy is to admit to a certain level of naievete about the way things work in the world.

Given the signal-to-noise ratio in the Technorati tail is pretty high, where there are a large percentage not only of abandoned blogs but spamblogs as well, it may be up to some of us who believe in ourselves to go on marketing campaigns that follow the particular etiquette of the blogosphere. Blogosphere ettiquette, though, can sometimes resemble the stilted conversations of 17th century Mannerist comedies, resulting in a serious pain-in-the ass quotient when it comes to trying to figure out the right etiquette for approaching a particular blogger we might want to be linked to.

On Jersey Exile's comments, Jarvis suggests approaching blogs who are similar to our own. But, sometimes that can be a subjective call. I have found that some male bloggers can often be very harshly judgemental of female bloggers, and even when there are similarities of style, the female blogger will not get the requested link.

Although I have my own empirical proof that Jarvis' suggestion isn't the only way to link...many of my links on my other blog's blogroll are quite different from my own blog--some in style and some in content. Many I've discovered by doing Technorati searches. They've never approached me to link to them. When I find them, I will always cross link, and often email them to let them know. I think this is not just necessary but also human and polite. (It also corresponds to Jersey Exile's idea of blogrolls being like libraries--I'm paraphrasing here too, but it works--my blogroll is my library of cool people)

So, there seem to be two distinct philosophies on linking--link to what is relavent to your blog's subject matter, or link to blogs that you enjoy. But, in either case, the question remains: how does one rise out of the tail if one doesn't get a boost up?

Jarvis would argue that the boost doesn't matter, but, frankly, if you are using a blog for more than just bloviating to hear yourself bloviate, the boost matteras. The boost I received on my main blog from a link from Halley Suitt made a difference in the way I view myself within the blogosophere. I have a very unique personal voice, and one that I have strongly believed in for quite some time, but wasn't sure how to get the attention of an A-lister. Emailing didn't work, so I opened my big mouth at Blogher. Halley's link has helped open my blog up to new readers--many who may never have been able to find me in the noise-happy Technorati tail. By that, I may accumulate new links, or just new lurkers, but, either way, my voice is being heard.

And, frankly, even Jarvis' drubbing and my spat with Jay Rosen boosted my readership here--on a tiny blog that was developed at the behest of the editor in chief of

So, let me boil this down: the Blogosphere is not a meritocracy. there is far too high a signal-to-noise ratio for it to be a meritocracy. Not to mention that the virutal world of the blogosphere, when looked at objectively, really isn't all that much different than the outside world. Links to A-listers blogs make a difference for those of us in the Technorati tail who truly want to have our voices heard. And how we get those links might be quite similar to the way in which we make networking connections in the outside world--by relavence to other bloggers' content, but also by charming the pants off them.

They don't call it "social software" for nothing!

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, August 05, 2005

Jay Rosen found my comment!! Wow! I wasn't douched for being a big mouth after all! and he left a comment, which I responded in length to here at Pressthink.

tags: , ,, ,
More nonsense over at Buzzmachine about the state of the Blogosphere..I'm over in the comments, again. Read them, and you'll see that a bunch of the people commenting seem to be simply wanting to hear themselves comment. None are pointing to the larger issue that those at the top rarely come into the Technorati tail! I keep saying this over, and over, and over! If msm wants to understand the people aspect of blogging, it has to get off its pedistal fer crissakes!

or is it that they really *do* want to keep the upper hand...

Anne Coulter Outed!

It's about freakin' time that some folks had the time to trace down the sources of some of Coulter's inflammatory rhetoric (thanks Walt Nett)....apparently, Coulter cribbed from sources 20 years old for a 6/29 column--and them some.

Well, what do we expect when the eternally short and youthful collective memories of pop culture can't remember that "These Boots" was originally, and much more sexily, recorded by Nancy Sinatra?? of course a narccistic opportunist would eventually exploit that little weakness.

I'd like to thank blogger The Rude Pundit and alternative newsy The Raw Story for making my day.

, ,,

I'm Not Link-Whoring, I'm Just Networking, Baby....

While Jason Calacanis' idea of creating more lists looks at first like it will just make blogging life more complicated, perhaps what it will do is bring attention to those of us in the Technorati tail.

It's true that alot of the A-listers have been blogging for a long time, and have rightfully earned their place...but if the A-list dominates, how the heck do the rest of us get noticed?? RSS and other feeds are like giant casting-calls and one just hopes that she can dazzle enough people to get those freakin' links. There was lots of talk about link whoring at Blogher, but, you know, good linkwhoring is actually NETWORKING

Hel-lo people! If you believe in your content, link-whore away! Saying that networking to get links is link-whoring is working-class thinking meant to keep people--especially women--in their place and NOT asking for links. Being from a working-class background, I know how that "w" word works to keep women in their proper place. And how women use it against each other to keep each other down.

So call me a link-whore. I don't care. I've been called a heckofalot worse!

In other news: Bob Novak thows a hissy fit and makes Jim Carvell look like the handsomest bully in town... (maybe that's what Mary Matalin loves about him)

tags: , ,, ,,

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A New Title Changes The Game Just a Bit

Spap-Oop was a slowly evolving started out as a meta-blog...but that didn't work out so well. Actually, it was too much work.

So, as it evolved, the name became less appropriate.

I've re-christened this little baby Snarkaholic because, frankly, when my b.s. meter goes off, I really get off blasting the offending party. I'm an equal opportuinity blaster--from the King to the fellow pion--nobody's sacred.

And the Blogosphere is so similar to the Wide Open Spaces of the Wild helps for a girl to be able to shoot straight ;-)

On the other hand when I find something nice, I'll say something nice. If I allowed things to be in a constant state of deterioration, I'd be river silt in less than a week.

speaking of deterioration, if you haven't already, I'd go over to Jay Rosen's blog and follow the comments on Blogher...there's a serious debate going on between himself and Mobile Jones--a lady who not only knows her tech and but can also turn a mean retort.

tags: , ,, ,
Blogging thru the Ages is one of the most daft articles I have read to date about blogging....of course, written by a non-blogger...

I would like to challenge Jennifer Huget to do the math when it comes to older bloggetrs--she might realize that many, along with the truly great Roni Barrett of Time Goes By, were movers and shakers in a time when most of us who now blog were either wiping our noses on our sleeves or not even a twinkle in our father's eyes.
There are a great series of posts about creating new A-lists at Businessweek's Blogspotting column.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of the various blog search engines creating their own A-lists. While Jeff Jarvis would like to see a death to lists completely (not a bad idea at all), the human impulse to list and cantegorize--to find the animals that are a bit more equal than others--might be better served by creating so many lists that everyone can claim a position as an A-lister.

Although the desire to be A-listed might have something to do with networking and professional profile moreso than it does with just communicating with others and to determining who's the best communicator. Networking is important. To deny that it isn't is a bit old-fashioned.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

there have been some additional comments to Jay Rosen's post on Blogher....curiously, an additional post that I made was not added....oh, well...guess that happens sometimes when you shoot your mouth off...

To follow-up another shoot-first-justify-later post: after being drubbed a bit on Jeff Jarvis' blog, and the quick email we exchanged, I get that while I might disagree with Jeff, the disagreement was welcomed.

I think I kind of like Jeff..besides, disagreement is good....without it, is there really any citizen journalism?

Jay Rosen Inappropriately Uses the "T" Word

Terror in the Blogosphere?

Jay Rosen seems to think so...or at least that was his impression of what some of us were projecting when we were asking cogent, curious questions at Blogher.

I'm kind of sorry I didn't get the chance to go up to Jay after the conference and give him an earful. I was sitting next to Debi Jones of Mobile Jones when the comments about "terror" came out of Jay's mouth. She, myself, and many at are table were stunned that someone would come away with that impression, and thought it something of a cheap shot way of tying Blogher in with the terrorist bombings in Great Britain.

Even after I've read Jay's post on what he meant when he said what he said, it still doesn't wash. Not with me. Jay knocked us down a peg by using the "T" word. It was a low blow, a kind of passive-aggressive way of putting the women in their place by telling them they sounded like a bunch of frightened Little Red Riding Hoods.

I'm disappointed and angered by this. Jay should have listened more keenly and without judgement.

I do not understand how women asking questions about how to do this or that, or whether or not they are infringing on someone's copyright, or whether it is wise to post pics or speak about certain topics, constitutes experssions of terror. That's the kind of attitude I would expect from male bloggers and is probably why those questions never came up in other male-dominated blog conferences.

And why Jay's use of the "T" word felt something like a betrayal.

It would have been interesting for him to sit in at the Birds of a Feather session on Identity blogging. Then again, perhaps he would have taken some of those comments as the comments of a "terrorized" group...but they were hardly that. Many of us were discussing how we feel about putting ourselves out there--that it is wise and judicious to disguise the names of people in our lives not just to shield them from stalkers, but to protect them from possible ramifications in the workplace or in other aspects of their, and our, lives. That it might be wise to not post pics of one's children--or at least be discreet about revealing where one lives if one wants to do so.

In the BOF session, I metioned that I do not blog in gory detail about my personal relationships--considering some of those gory details might involve BDSM (I did, however, mention the "D" word and got much kudos for my guts for that). I know a particular young author, male and submissive, who does talk about many gories and uses those as fodder for his fiction. He, however, is far better placed--academically and professionally--than I am. I mentioned that I consciously choose not to expose myself in that way because I know that if I were to do so, it would be perceived as in bad taste.

Being able to take the heat for exposing oneself was also a big part of our conversation, and our abilities to take the heat were subjective. Someone mentioned that I should blog more freely about my escapades because males can get away with more. Yet I am very aware that I do not have the clout to withstand any heat that might come my way for being so frank. I live in a conservative area. I could, conceivably, suffer some professional fallout from it.

But I am, emphatically, not "terrorized" into blogging silence. I don't believe that being aware of consequences for certain actions is tatamount to being terrorized. It's just the way things are, and I, personally, at this point in time, do not have the professional nor economic clout to be the iconoclastic proof of a lack of terrorism in the blogosphere.

Who knows...maybe when I finally get that plum position, and a steady income, and an employer who doesn't think it's a big deal what I blog about, I just might blog about it. Then again, maybe I'll still enjoy the mental exercise engendered by the subtlely turned phrase and the challenge of euphemism.

But asking questions, being respectful of other people's space on our blogs, and being discreet when necessary, certainly does not amount to being terrorized. It's the all-or-nothing mentality engendered in Jay Rosen's use of the "T" word that could have serious consequences for all bloggers, not just women, somewhere down the line.

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I wonder if Jeff Jarvis is mad at me for what I said about A-listers being like Wizards behind the's the post at Buzzmachine for you to figure out for yourself.

I find it kind of funny that people think the Blogosphere is free of any sort of classism. Only the people who are entrenched in the mertiocracy think there's no, when it comes to arguing with Jeff, it could very well be a losing battle.

But it's a fun one if I say so myself :-)

tags: , ,,
my friend Bronwen just sent me this link from BBC News on a stat of one blog being created every second

yikes! A Blogalance!

Wait while I get my hard-hat!

sometimes it's fun to be the pesant throwing tomatoes

There's some seriously funny snarkiness going on at Buzzmachine in a conversation on the importance of the A-list in blogging. I'm a serious part of that conversation, and I'm finding it a hoot.

Even though one particular poster, who ref'd me extensively, was rude enough to not post that it was me he ref'd....

It's always important to ref who you're speaking about unless you're directly under the post you're ref'ing. or at least that's the way I see it. There's enough incivility on the web without being even more rude to boot.

tags: , ,,
Supporters Mount Final Push to save CBGB's...this made me think of the number of stores I saw closed in Northampton last night. I was surprised to see The Army Barracks closed for good.

The town is changing, that's for sure.

Monday, August 01, 2005

my other blog is linked over at Blogger's Blog, a neat little aggregator site. y'all might want to go over to the main page after you read the post I linked to--it's a really cool site.

The Mother of All Blog Conferences

I just flew in from Blogher and boy! are my arms tired! (rimshot from offstage)

But, seriously, this was an incredible event. I can't begin to say how incredible it was and what it felt like to meet so many wonderful women (many of which will be listed on my other blog.) Halley Suitt sums it up beautifully--a bunch of women got together and did not get into a pissing contest. Nobody tried to one-up one another and there was a wonderful amount of sharing going on. We asked one another questions about blogs, blogging, etc., and we got answers from one another without pertension!

We hashed around all sorts of stuff--about the A-list, about how to make our voices stronger, about how we communicate with one another.

BTW, right now I'm in the middle of some interesting posts on Buzzmachine where I point out the fact that when an A-Lister says the A-List doesn't count, it's like a moviestar saying he hates being a movie star!

yes, I feel my shoes geting a little wet from Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Douglas and I'm about to grab both of them by the short hairs and stop the flow. Fer cryin' out loud guys! Stop being the Wizard beind the Curtain and just admit what you're about--creating an old boy's network that excludes anyone who doesn't blog in the exact manner that you deem relavent.

Oh, my other blog is now listed on Halley's Comment, and my photo was taken by JD!

you can also do a search for on Technorati and see how many other blogs are liking to it. Amazing!

tagged here:

I am, at this moment, watching a life cast on CSpan2 from the 27th Annual National Conservative Student Conference on blogging, and I'm finding it annoying--partly because CSpan was NOT at Blogher, and partly because this conservative group is painting the picture that blogging is all about poltics.

I am horrified by what I am hearing. They do not understand blogging at all--do not understand the wider scope of blogging. And they keep bringing up the "My faith in Jesus Christ" thing.

Like those of us who consider ourselves liberal (or, in my case, centrist) don't have any faith. That is seriously insulting

Putting such a narrow limitation on blogging will only end up clogging the blogosphere with blogs that will eventually be abandoned--and that will, more than likely, have a horrible writing style.