This is the English version of an older Romanian article : Cred ca pe alocuri se exagereaza.
I was talking with Razvan somewhat ago on messenger and I was saying that I want first of all for my readers to know my opinion about something, and not that I should always come up with something new. The context was the fact that I had written nothing new on the article with Bin Laden, but simply stated my opinion. I don't know if something new was needed, I didn't really understand that part. He told me : don't call them readers then! I had this article in my mind for a long time, and now is the time to partake it with you.
What do you think is the difference between a reader and a crazy for traffic ? because here I lockjaw a little. I have people who read my blog daily, without habing a site/blog from which to gain the attention of other visitors. I therefore consider them the true readers, but those with a blog who come either daily like the readers or now and again and leave a comment, after which if they see I don't return the favour -- what are they ?
Readerseekers ? -- of traffic ? -- wanting comments ?
It's somewhat hard to understand, all this. I know the fact that in the blogosphere anal licking and favours exchange is on the trend, but I don't agree with it. Every man that comments me, I want to know that he does it with arguments and has what to do it on. I read my whole blogroll constantly, I don't hesitate to end up on other blogs, and where I feel my opinion must be stated I state it. You can give me 1000 comments, the blog isn't dofollow, so it's for naught, and if I find nothing interesting on your blog, sorry mate, but you'll have to work more on subjects.
What about you, what opinion do you have and what methods do you use moderating comments ?
The kid there depicted, Anghel Adriani be his name, quoted above in integrum lest you suspect me of manipulation through omission, wrote an article where he sets out his opinions and ideas about matters.
This isn't bad in itself, but it seems to me they might be overdoing it in places wrt subjective positioning. To speak plainly : Anghel Adrian's opinions do not interest, in the direct vein, absolutely anybody. His ideas interest even less, provided we can thus abuse the possessive towards the ideas, calling the poor darlings "his". They certainly aren't. The average youth can't possibly have "his own" ideas just as the average bus rider can't have "his own" house : there's too many youths and too many bus riders in this world compared to relatively few ideas. To not even go into the relative difficulty of producing such a thing, which in turn vastly overwhelms their wispy powers.
To make another step and use the possessive to discuss readers is entirely absurd. Qntra has, maybe, some readers of its own. Trilema has, maybe, some readers of its own. Anghel Adrian has no such thing. He might have some parents and other relatives who also read him. They aren't his readers who are also his parents, they're his parents who are also reading him. He has some friends and acquaintances who also read his blog. They're not his readers who happen to be his acquaintances, but on the contrary : they're his social circle that happens to also read his blog. If they stop reading it tomorrow, they'll be exactly the same thing.ii
Obviously everyone went nutso with that Seth Godin guru guy and it's all about "one's tribe". Still, there can't be more tribal chieftains than the total population, there can't exist 100 "tribes" in a fishing village of 50 souls. The bulk of people online will be someone else's readers. And sure, they'll all have their own blog, read chiefly by friends and family, perhaps now and again read by someone else's readers. When lightning strikes, like it struck for instance today.
It's a good idea to keep a blog, as an exercise in self improvement. Similarily, it is a good idea to run each day, it keeps the blood going and it adds from what I understand about ten years to the active life of the individual (and not to life in general, I can't imagine who'd care to have years added at the end, the idea is to add between twenty and thirty). But from here to imagining that on the margins of the dusty country road or suburban alley you see mounted police, security forces and anti-riot barriers straining to contain an immense public is a long way. Quite a very long way. About as long as to take you from sanity to psychosis, it'd seem to me.
It's a good idea to keep a blog precisely because it's a good idea to confront, honestly, flatly, your own intellectual platitude, your own lack of flair and intuition, your own fundamental inability of producing text worth reading. Because this honest confrontation is the very first step on the very, very lengthy way towards writing a bit of text that even vaguely may be worth reading. Which is barely the very first step on the very, very lengthy way towards having some readers.
So far, whatever opinions Anghel Adrian may have about Bin Laden interest no one. They couldn't. Does he know Bin Laden in some particular manner, that'd put him above the other eleventy billion bloggers who also have a blog and an imagination and therefore can "imagine" "realities" ? Does he know the USians particularly, does he have specific insight into the moment ? What's to recommend him to write on this topic any better than I could program a script to write about anything ?
With the answer to the questions above may follow the second step. Good luck!
UPDATE, May 10 : Because in the digestion of this article by the revolutionary youthiii there's a lot of bile secreted wrt matters discussed in the article on New bloggers and old bloggers (the Spring 2011 installment) while at the same time the same revolutionary youth (very intelligent, of course, and very capable in principle to contribute invaluable gems to the public discourse in Romanian) nevertheless don't also display the capacity of finding on their own power an article from three weeks ago, I guess it can't hurt if I were to give them... let's say the blackberry straight in the mouth.iv Mazel tov.———
- There seems to be some new marketing-ish thing started last September at the same address. The archive is gone, however. [↩]
- Which should explain rather plainly, for the ear tuned in, why the "socializing" nonsense doesn't "bring traffic" : it will expand your social circle, if you need it. If you already have enough friends it's a waste of your time. [↩]
- Yes, this is derogatory in Romanian. Not everyone was born yesterday, you see. [↩]
- Yes this is very derogatory in the original. [↩]