Ordinarily, I wouldn’t write off-the-cuff about my feelings. I learned my lesson about that very thing 9 months ago after writing a soul-baring entry only to watch as a blogging “friend” twisted it to fit her agenda by trying to disparage me, ultimately for having surpassed her in some meanlingless ranking system. But, now that she’s a distant memory (and, I might add, karma’s a bitch, woman), I’m feeling less self-conscious in my writing.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve been doing a lot more original content lately.
But maybe what you didn’t notice is what I call “Schizoblogophrenia,” which I define as the difference between what people say they want from a blog and what they reward. In the blogosphere, “reward” is synonymous with link. You like, then link. That’s the name of the game, sweets.
Or, at least, that’s a fair assumption. For instance: when I was running the fun but time-intensive Letter of the Day, I was consistently in the Top 50 of the Blogosphere Ecosystem. I chalked that up to the give-and-take of good blogging. I was an extra-blogger, doling out daily linkage to blogs I enjoy but, most of all, bloggers who had recently linked me. On top of that, my more frivolous stuff – things you’ll find under the “Time Killing Bites”, “Odd Bites” and “Sex Bites” categories – generated hits. Because I read a huge number of news feeds daily (last count: 349), because I found funny, humorous, odd or mindless things other bloggers might not otherwise have discovered, because I didn’t make you click through to read the stuff but posted the bulk of the entry here in a blockquote, it generated links.
One day, about 6 months ago, I ran a poll which asked: “Why do you read Electric Venom?” The options boiled down to: (1) for the original content; (2) to find things I might not see elsewhere; (3) because I think Kate is Glenn Reynolds in drag. The results: 92% were here for the original stuff. The rest was fairly equally divided. (Sorry, Glenn.)
Well, here we are. I’ve been doing original stuff. Not just any stuff, mind you. Good stuff, like blog entries that go back to my roots as a warblogger. Heavy political analysis, too. I know it’s good. Not that I want to sound immodest, but I know the effort I’ve put into researching it, and I usually know when I’m “on my game” in terms of writing. Lately, I’ve been on it. Lately, I’ve also watched EV descend from the Top 50 to the mid-60s. And I’ve smirked.
Why? Because I know better than to trust polls. I know that bloggers say they want original content, but that’s not what they link. Not if you’re not in the Top 20 (and then, not because you necessarily think it’s brilliant, but because you want the Big Dogs to notice you).
Schizoblogophrenia. It’s amusing.
As for me, I’m likely to continue this original stuff because it’s nice feeling free to speak my mind again. I happen to think that with my peculiar background of being a woman with dual undergraduate degrees in journalism and PoliSci (presidential campaign management being my particular area of study), along with a career background encompassing communications, government work and a successful law practice, I have a good reason to focus on warblogging and poliblogging like I do. I love being one of the female bloggers opening doors for other women to break into these areas (although Michele drove a bulldozer through those doors long before I was a blip on anyone’s screen and Meryl will get her panties in a wad if I don’t point out that she did, too.). Still, I was – for a while, at least – frightened away from pursuing the areas I love by bloggers who felt I wasn’t “really” blogging if I wasn’t pouring my guts out onto their screens on a daily basis. Confession-blogging, in other words.
So here it is – the newsflash – apparently that’s not what you want.
Think I’m grandstanding? Fine. Prove me wrong. Go out and find a blogger writing original content on a regular basis and link things they’ve written. (And, please, check out each of those words. You just might find some awesome new blogs if you do.) If what you truly want is original work, then recognize it.
Otherwise, you’re just schizoblogophreniacs and, as they say, the first step in recovery is admitting it.