Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Written 1/29. Promptness is a virtue

I suspect I need a peer group. At least, some kind of Blog peer group. I still cringe at the word ‘blogosphere’, but this blog really is a wee bit isolated.

Trouble is, every other blog I’ve seen recently is selling something. At the very least, they’re selling themselves, desperate to get pagehits to their sites by any means necessary.

Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing; given my flirtation with AC/Yahoo, I can’t really claim I haven’t done this without being an enormous hypocrite. The sad thing is, you see so many ‘successful’ sites that get thousands of hits a day, and say absolutely nothing. I noticed one site had somehow sent me a few hits my way, and I was curious how. Google Chrome inched its way past the screens of ads, and led me to a blog where there was no sign of the article cited, just 40 or 50 esoteric articles on blog design. I can’t tell if mine was ever mentioned anywhere or just generated randomly with some sort of bot to generate him that tiny bit more traffic. The posts involved appeared to be little more than links to other posts on other blogs, with a thumbnail picture of something vaguely relating to the topic thrown in.

And this site, mind you, had hundred of comments on the posts. On each post. I didn’t even dare read them. How much can you have to say about the importance of graphics in articles?

The point is, this traffic being generated to my blog was never, as far as I can tell, touched by human hand. It was certainly never read by anything sentient due to these clicks, I’m sure.

Am I the only one who finds this a bit depressing? I mean, if we’re going to play silly buggers and write articles and posts that aren’t going to be read, why don’t we just code something up to write articles that no-one will read? Then the two algorithms can just get on with it, and anyone creative involved can go for a drink and relax.

So, this is why I’ve previously been reluctant to join any little blog circles or things of that nature. Discussions on AC’s forums are all about the Search Engine Optimisation of articles, and how to maximise potential hits by parroting key phrases a certain percentage of times throughout your writing. Not only does this seem slightly dishonest, the writing equivalent of trying to lure someone into the back of a van with the promises of puppies, those who do it well turn out articles which are frankly... inelegant. Search engines are supposed to love these (or did; I don’t believe Google relies on SEO any more), but for humans trying to read, it’s a load of tedious, repetitive bollocks.

The short version: I’d love to read your blog, actual real person. I’d love you to read mine. I don’t even care what it’s about, as long as I find it interesting. If you’re such a real person, feel free to subscribe.

If you’ve a blog that’s optimised for maximal hits from Google, I’m probably not interested. If I was interested, I’d have looked you up on Google, wouldn’t I?

If you’re a bot, go play with the other bots. You already outnumber actual people; don’t crowd those of us left who actually write for the hell of it out entirely.

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