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July 15, 2004

Blogging Tastes and Popularity « Blogging »

Over at this post asking, "Who is Overrated?", I nominated Michele of A Small Victory and Kate of Venomous Kate. Apparently, I'm the only one who feels this way.

Here's what I said:

Michele at A Small Victory. I've seen nothing there that compels me to go back.

Venomous Kate. In my opinion, she pretty much invented the concept of empty self-promotion. Any "How to get more traffic" primer should start with a study of Ms. Kate and how she really added very little of any substance or value to the blogosphere. Of course, if she's no longer blogging, you can ignore this.

An explanation or two might be in order:
Michele...I don't know why she doesn't do it for me. It's quite possible I caught her on her bad days, or the posts the people link are the ones they like because they know her, and not knowing her, it doesn't impress me. Or maybe the best part about her is her commenters, which is possible. That's kind of true at Jane Galt, too, except that I'd read Megan even if she closed comments....tho I've dropped out of the habit of stopping by her site, so she may not be the same, dunno. All I know is she doesn't make me laugh like Juan Gato did or Ace and Jeff G. do, she doesn't make me think like Dean and Zombyboy and Accidental Deb do. I don't fault anyone who does love her, I just don't. There's nothing there that makes me stay away, either, if that helps.

My beef with Kate, if you are curious, is that my first encounter with her was seeing her get alot of attention and traffic from linking (and apparently flirting with him to get the attention) Acidman. I showed up about the time they got in a small blog-war about her blatant link-whoring techniques, i.e., using him to attract hits. I stopped by, left a few comments, got mixed up in the "Kate's an alcoholic" "No, she's not" kerfuflle, and just stayed away. I began noticing lots of meme's popping up all over the blogosphere, all crediting her...but incidentally, also linking back to her. Again, nothing she wrote seemed that funny, insightful, witty, incisive, or anything. She was just good at getting people to link her site, and everything she did seemed geared toward that. I didn't really appreciate her, but didn't dislike her, either. Until the day she posted a rant saying she abhorred all the puny link-whores who tried to attract hits by using her comments to promote their own links. Remembering her history, her meteoric rise to "the top" by using just those same techniques, I felt a great deal of irritation. Not so much to wish her ill, so I still prayed for her when she was having problems with her lawn washing away from the North Shore, but if a post referenced V. Kate, I ignored it. I much preferred Suburban Blight, who in my perspective seemed to have pioneered the weekly linky-love roundups, told interesting humorous stories, and made me care about her person and life. Like two sides of the same coin, in my opinion.

But that's just my opinion. I'm not trying to insist it is the truth. It's entirely possible that the Kate who got in the link-whore blogfight with Acidman wasn't V. Kate, but that's how I remember it...that was over a year ago, I think.

The point is, it's a big blogosphere. I've already noticed that I have some people I really like, but other people I really like don't like them. The closest thing I saw to an actual clique, nearly an informal alliance, was between Kevin McGehee of blogoSFERICS, Deb of Accidental Jedi, Zombyboy of ResurrectionSong, Jo of Seething, and me, because from my persepective we linked each other more than anyone else, commented on each other's sites more than other places, and were all rather familiar with each other. Jo's stopped blogging; Deb found the love of her life, got married, and moved both in real life and bloglife, Kevin bought a Bronco, I stopped blogging for nearly 4 months and moved a few times and lost all my archives, and Zombyboy....I don't know...he seems to be the only one who hasn't really changed much.

Has anyone else had a blogging experience like that?

Posted by Nathan at 06:18 PM | Comments (18)

Not yet. I'm working on it.

(and you're missing a </i> tag somwhere)

Posted by: Sharp as a Marble at July 15, 2004 06:30 PM

Thanks for the 'splaination.

Posted by: Jane at July 15, 2004 07:17 PM

I think I've formed a group of bloggy friends that all seem a bit interlinked and all -- and yet always welcoming of new bloggers. Although I don't think any one goes in quite the same direction or has quite the same interests, finding some people that you begin to know and that you know will be reading what you write and will probably comment on it is what for me makes blogging an ultimately pleasurable experience. Without that I probably would have quit a long time ago.

Posted by: Jordana at July 15, 2004 09:09 PM

I'm not sure how I would deal with losing all my archives... (and yes, I found your site again! :D)

Posted by: irene at July 16, 2004 05:54 AM

Ah, there you are, Irene...I had lost you, but too much inertia to do something useful like Google for your page.
But you are back on the blogroll.

Posted by: Nathan at July 16, 2004 06:17 AM

I have noticed that you tend to develop cliques, if that's the right word, that gradually morph over time, adding and dropping people as tastes and blogging change. It's something I've long observed and never gotten around to finding the words to post about. You can almost get a leg up as a new blogger if you can charm your way into a clique, and the cliques overlap, so you can be in more than one at a time. For most people, growth is limited by how many of these groups you "fit" with and how many you can maintain yourself as a part of. All of this is unstated and spontaneous for the most part.

Posted by: Jay Solo at July 16, 2004 07:54 AM

Funny, I've always had a problem with V. Kate, who, Dean just loves - btw.

My problem with her was the Acidman business. I told Dean that he was taking her side because she was a girl and I found that even more annoying. It seemed to me that she was exploiting her "girlness". Of course, since I'm a chick it could be that I'm just being catty.

One positive about her is that I think her "letter of the day" rhymes are usually pretty witty.

Posted by: Rosemary the Queen of All Evil at July 16, 2004 08:02 AM

I need a clique!!!!!!!!!!

That's my problem.

Posted by: Rosemary the Queen of All Evil at July 16, 2004 08:05 AM

Rosemary: you're welcome to join my click.....if I actually have one. Just think of it as the 'everyone tolerates Mad Mikey's stuff cause he's a nice guy' click.

Posted by: Mad Mikey at July 16, 2004 08:37 AM

For me, blogging just pretty much bacame "not worth it anymore."

Jo retired. Page went on hiatus. Vicki retired. I "fought" with you. Blah, blah, blah.

Now I read you, Kevin and Page pretty regularly. I post occasionally. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Posted by: Frank Martin at July 16, 2004 09:03 AM

The unchanging Zombyboy.

I somehow, suddenly, feel so pathetic...

Posted by: zombyboy at July 16, 2004 09:31 AM

Wow, Nathan, thanks!

Posted by: irene at July 16, 2004 10:02 AM

Well, Rosemary, you kind of have an instant clique with Dean.
And there is a little cliquish-ness with Ara and Tim the Soldier and Whas-his-name the selfish aesthete (Stephen Malcolm Anderson?). Mutually antagonistic with Ara, I believe. Some of that inherited from Dean, but the selfish aesthete one you've developed on your own.
Zombyboy, I see it as: you're doing it right, so why mess with success?

Posted by: Nathan at July 16, 2004 11:26 AM

Martin, I'd wondered where you went...
I noticed you had a less antagonistic communication with Kevin McGehee going...probably because he's not so vain and prickly about his opinions as I am, but your comment does make me think:
Blogging is a new thing. The "Grand-Daddies and Grand Dames" have been doing it for 3-4 years at the most. My, how it's changed, no? All the little niches keep getting filled up, and it is like a network marketing scheme, in that the people who get in first have the easiest time making it "big".
In the beginning, there was more discussion, and more crossing, but the way the war has developed and the way the debate on the national level has declined, it's split up some cliques, I think. It made blogging not-fun for Jo and you, it seems (sadly). I cannot even go to Tom Burka's site anymore, because what I loved about it was he was helping me take things less seriously, but his commenters were taking his jokes like gospel truth, and I can't take that much earnestness on a site that's supposed to be humor (even if humor with an underlying current of truth, especially if it's a "truth" I disagree is true).
So I do mostly stay among the conservatives these days. I wonder what blogging will be like in 5 years? I plan to keep going...
I wonder what it will be like in 50 years, or if it will go the way of....what's something that everybody used to think was neat but has now faded into obscurity? Well, it may go the way of that.

Posted by: Nathan at July 16, 2004 11:33 AM


You're right. The blogosphere has maybe "broken up" into cliques. Instead of discussion with others, many of us began communicating with those who have the same outlook. It becomes preaching to the choir, you know? And that can get boring.

I remember how Jo got her butt kicked because she was against the war. Like she couldn't even have an opinion. And a lot of butt kicking seemed to come from "friends."

Blogging, in my opinion, will continue to go more and more mainstream. Much of it has. No longer is it "alternative."

Maybe it will go the way of the hula hoop?

Posted by: Frank Martin at July 16, 2004 12:24 PM

Nathan: Good point. I do sort of have a clique with Dean -as to the readers you mention I've always thought of it as more of a mutual despise society - with the exception of the aesthete. He really loves me. :-)

Posted by: Rosemary the Queen of All Evil at July 16, 2004 01:10 PM

Then again, I have no idea if you visited their blogs at all, and that is part of my idea of a clique, as well.
There were a few months when the only blogs I'd hit in a day were Jo's, ZB's, Kevin's, Deb's, Dodd's and Juan's.

Posted by: Nathan at July 16, 2004 01:15 PM

Iw as primarily relieved that mine wasn't on there; then realized that it wasn't because I am not in the monolythic cliques (I recently posted about this in a self-deprecating post). Then I thought how good it would have been to have been listed because, as I learned from the war of words with Kos, there's no such thing as bad publicity. And at the end of the day, civility is always the best night cap.

Posted by: Rae at July 16, 2004 04:46 PM
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