22 January 2006
Prescriptions from on high
Steven Streight, the Blogger Occasionally Known As Vaspers The Grate, has offered up what he calls "slapdash suggestions for improving the Blogosphere 2006" in the hopes of propelling this weird little entity a little farther into its inevitable evolution.
Streight, to his credit, identifies his particular biases right up front:
I am assuming that blog pioneers, innovators, consultants, and authors truly wish to see the blogosphere refined, dignified, and blossoming into new and beneficial forms. Not "anything goes" mutation blogoids that violate user expectations and frustrate the typical reader, but real progress in blog functionality, efficiency, connectivity, syndicated delivery, and interactivity.
"Beneficial," of course, is in the eye of the recipient, and I'm not sure how "typical" my readers are. I'd love to know, though, what Streight considers to be mutant.
This section struck me at an odd angle:
Every blogroll is a new hub in the blogosphere within the web of the internet. Your blogroll acts as a transitory portal for your blog readers, a gateway to recommended blogs and web sites you feel might benefit them in some way.
Blogrolls are an indication of your blog's credibility. One way to assess, evaluate, or judge a blog that is unfamiliar to you is to check the blogroll, who is in it, and who is excluded.
Unless Einstein or Euclid or someone changed the math on me while I wasn't looking, I assume that anyone who isn't on the blogroll is excluded pretty much by definition.
I do admit that when I encounter an unfamiliar blog, I examine its blogroll, although I do try to avoid making too many conclusions based upon what I find therein. (Nothing surprises me more than finding myself on it.) And God forbid anyone should try to determine anything from my blogroll. Kottke used to stick his blogroll under the heading NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL, which I keep forgetting to rip off.
And herein lies wisdom:
Keep a handy list of titles, blogger names, and URLs of new blogs you want to add to your blogroll. Don't worry if these blogs reciprocate by blogrolling you, because nearly none of them will.
At any given moment, I have four or five under consideration.
On the question of comments, Streight says:
Respond swiftly, politely, and completely to every comment, as much as possible. Some comments need no reply. Most do. Don't leave your commenters hanging, wondering if you even care or pay any attention to other people's opinions and insights.
I think I've done acceptably well in this regard, although as everyone knows by now, I don't actually care about other people's opinions and insights. :)
And this makes sense:
Don't underestimate the power of lurkers. One may suddenly jump out of the shadows and post an astonishing comment, then you never hear from them again.
Well, there was one yesterday I hope I never hear from again. (Don't go looking for it; it's been deleted.)
There's a lot more in Streight's suggestions, though I suspect that the blogger most likely to follow up on all his ideas is the blogger who values, more than anything else, being recognized by Dave Winer.
(With thanks to Doc Searls, whom you should not hold responsible for any of this.)Posted at 10:45 AM to Blogorrhea