Blogging Politics

Posted By on April 16, 2008

First off, I would like to say that I have moved over to Gmail. And if you’ve commented here recently, you know that. And I have to say that I can be amused ALL DAY with the ads that come up on the side of messages. I’ve now got a complex that I have very sweaty palms, excessive underarm sweat and stubborn belly fat.

But it can be helpful, like recommending free WordPress themes to me, or letting me know there is a WHOLE website dedicated to the chick with the hiccups on this season of The Bachelor. Did you know there was a Team Meeps? Thank you Google-san. For searching into the recesses of my brain to find appropriate ads. Minus all the sweating. That ISN’T a problem.

So speaking of blogging. What? We weren’t talking about blogging? Well, it is late and I’m tired and not able to segue from underarm sweat to blogging. OK? OK then.

People, what is up with some of the crazy politics and insane site traffic whoring that is going on in the blogging world? Now maybe I am naive because I started this site because I do honestly love to write and make people laugh. And yes, I do appreciate that more people read it now than in the beginning when it was my mom and a friend or two. I am an attention-seeking famewhore, so I love for people to find my blog and tell me that I’m SO funny and HOW DID THEY LIVE THEIR LIVES WITHOUT MY DAILY POSTS? You know how they lived it? Sheltered. And bored. And without laughter. That’s how.

But I don’t really go fucking crazy about trying to get traffic. Yes, I comment on my fair share of blogs. But my blog list is big enough that I really only read the blogs that I enjoy. I have no time or patience to find EVERY BLOG EVER CREATED and leave a comment on it. It’s not worth it. And let me tell you, there are A LOT of poorly written blogs out there.

And I do know that to get traffic, you need to comment. Plenty of my blogging friends found me through other sites and vice versa. But I never comment just to comment and be all “nice post!” I try and leave something witty and thought-provoking. Something more along the lines of “that was fucking awesome! ZOMG! Cute photos!” I’m deep. Don’t hate.

Then there is the whole blogroll issue. I bring this up because I read something today where there was some sort of battle about getting added or not and not being on someone’s blogroll or some high school bullshit. And then my new BFF Jodifur, we of the Carly Is A Plant group, or CIAP (see-app) as it is known among its two members (just right now since I just made it up), sent me an email yesterday telling me she added me to her blogroll. And I was all SWEET! And then she mentioned she would have done it sooner had she know I linked to her.

I’m stoked to be on the blogroll of an honest-to-goodness MamaPop Betch. But I don’t comment or link to her because I want to be on her blogroll. I like her blog. So I link because I read. Therefore I think you should too.

I know people look to blogrolls as a place to start for blogs to read. I found a lot of my first blogs that way through Jen’s and Amalah’s blogs. (And now I’m on Jen’s. The head. It explodes.) But I just updated my blogroll when I moved over to the new site. Prior to that it probably hadn’t been updated in a good eight months. It is a pain in the ass! So it wasn’t a good measure of the blogs I read. And I comment and email with people so I figure that it is good enough. Why are people living to be linked on a blogroll? Why does it matter?

So am I just in the minority here? Is all this over-the-top blog attention seeking a little out of control? Is it really worth it to Stumble everything so that you get thousands of readers? Because really, odds are it isn’t really going to affect your stats for more than a day. Because unless you leave them with a great impression and a reason to come back, i.e. good writing, funny stories, great photos, etc., then they’re just going to blow right by it and move on to the next thing.

There are millions of blogs out there. And one person is going to like something different than the next person. So yeah, stats and comments are great, but you can’t reach everyone. Because if we all liked the same things, we’d all be a bunch of robots reading about Dooce and her dogs and all her free shit every day and wanting to shoot ourselves in the face.

Shouldn’t it be more about the writing and the sharing and the community than who gets the most traffic and comments? Because really, wouldn’t your email blow up after comment 250? Now think of THOSE Google ads.

***Editor’s Note***

I’m not judging anyone who may do any of these things. To each his own. It’s a free country and all that. This is just my opinion. And a general wondering on my part.

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


31 Responses to “Blogging Politics”

  1. Jules says:

    This sounds naive, but I mostly thought that people had blogrolls to make it easier on themselves to get to their regular haunts; and since I feed-read whatever I frequent, I only have a very scant few blogs in my blogroll. I didn’t even realize YOU had a blogroll now (nor did I realize that you didn’t have one before!) until I read this post.
    House of Jules

    Jules’s last blog post..Pouring honey from a jar, any car in front of me when I’m in a hurry, the current administration coming to an end

  2. Dingo says:

    I, for one, am grateful for the blogrolls because I have found so many of the blogs on my readers that way (that’s how I found yours!). I don’t have time to do a hit or miss search in feeddemon or something like that. I find a blog I like, I take a look to see who they like. So far it’s been pretty successful.

    As for the blogroll. Whew! When I first started I had no idea it was so political. I added a few when I first started my blog – they were usually ones that I read all the time. Then I found out how not adding someone could piss them off and I became nervous about new additions. Would leaving someone off hurt someone’s feelings? Would I get nasty email? I haven’t updated my blogroll in ages.

    In regards to commenting (geez, are you sorry you asked now, I seem to have an opinion on everything), there are many, many blogs where I still lurk even after several months of reading the blog. Some of that’s due to not having anything to say even though I enjoy the blog and some of it’s due to uneasiness — you know how you see someone every single day for a year but you don’t know their name and it’s reached the point that it’s embarrassing to ask their name? Yeah, like that.

    Dingo’s last blog post..The Great Interview Experiment

  3. Vanessa says:

    I just write to write. Sometimes I end up with word salad and sometimes it all makes sense and people love it. Mostly I just do it for me though, not to make someone else’s blogroll. I’m flattered when other like me enough to link me, but my world doesn’t end if someone doesn’t link me.

  4. witchypoo says:

    I was mentioned in that blogroll thingie, and really, it was a joke. I commented on another site and got linked. The commenters got all up in arms, and railed about arsehats. It was a joke, people.

    witchypoo’s last blog post..Grammie’s Present

  5. witchypoo says:

    Here is a comment I lifted from her where she replied to someone who was indignant about the nerve of the arsehats:

    Meg: It was all in good fun reciprocal arse kicking. And BK – Before Kelley – now I am a Goddess and shit.

    witchypoo’s last blog post..Grammie’s Present

  6. Hank says:

    People who take life too seriously, or have no sense of humor, in real life will be the same on their blog. If someone gets uptight, they’re going to be pissed that they blogrolled you when you didn’t reciprocate.

    As it is, I happen to be a big fan of blogging politeness. If someone leaves you a comment, it’s polite to go visit their blog. I don’t think blogrolling is mandatory. I use my blogroll for a very specific purpose: at the beginning of every day, I go to my site, and I open all my blogrolled links in my browser to read when I get a chance. So I really only add blogs to the blogroll once I like them enough to read them every day.

    And yes, I know I should use an RSS reader for that. But there’s something personal about clicking from my site, and something less personal about clicking from Bloglines. Or am I just making that up in my head?

    Essentially, in my opinion, this is quintisentially your place. You can do with it what you will. Of course, I’ve gotten to this place after blogging under three different monikers over the past 8 years. One somewhat well known, one less so, and now Hank. After that long, I really stopped caring about traffic. At one time, however, I really was a traffic and comment whore.

    And truth be told, I still love comments. Traffic I don’t care so much about. I guess I’ve lived through both sides of this question.

    Hank’s last blog post..Don’t Get It

  7. Raven says:

    I used to be far better about updating my blogroll, but now that I am on google reader, I add new blogs there instead of my blogroll.

    I blog more for a connection than traffic. I want to know that what I have out there has touched someone in some way (that it’s not shite).


    Besides traffic is all bollocks as you and I have discussed.

    Why the hell am I suddenly british? That’s the real mystery.

    Raven’s last blog post..pickled beef’s wwc for this week

  8. slynnro says:

    Yeah, I think about this issue a lot too. I try to comment when I feel like I have something relevant to say and not commenting for the sake of commenting. That said, I do have some people I read that I ALWAYS comment on because we are blog friends like that.

    I also have some people that read and only comment on my blog when I comment on theirs. Okay. I understand people are busy and they don’t have time to comment everywhere they read on every post, but the tit-for-tat makes it feel like they aren’t really commenting because they want to but because they feel obligated. But I also know that in some cases, that is just people who don’t remember to read my blog everyday or don’t have me in their reader or whatever. So I try not to get offended either way.

    I would be a liar if I said I didn’t care about traffic, but that is mostly because I just LOVE to hear feedback (good or bad, honestly) about what I wrote. I’ve met some cool people in my comments section and others, so I definitely feel taking the time to comment is worth the effort. And if someone new leaves me a comment, I ALWAYS click over to their blog. Chances are if they like me, I will like them. Or if they hate me, I will nonetheless find them interesting on some level, ya know?

    slynnro’s last blog post..Another Advisory Against Going to the Gym

  9. moo says:

    ok. ::deep breath, plunging in::

    I am a famous long time lurker. I didn’t feel I had anything relevant to say and felt like a jerk just adding nothing.

    But then! People started commenting on my blog. And I got a little frisson of thrill when someone said SOMETHING about what I said. So I decided to start leaving comments on other blogs I read. And for the most part, I do, even if it’s nothing really significant. Because otherwise, how would you know I was there? I’m not great at it … because some of the blogs I read, as you’ve said, blow chunks. Yet I can’t seem to stop reading them. What is THAT?

    As for the blogroll … I’ve just decided that if someone leaves a comment on my blog, I’ll put them on my blogroll page. Most of those people I do read in my google reader, but not all of them. I like the blogroll as a social network and when I saw my name on my first blogroll … well, I danced around in glee.

    So, to recap: yes, famewhore. It doesn’t bother me if someone doesn’t put me on their blogroll, but if they do, I love it. I love comments. I like seeing that people are reading what I write, but that isn’t WHY I write.

    Wow, that was long. And rambly. Let it not be said that I have nothing to say today.

    moo’s last blog post..oh noes!

  10. -R- says:

    I share your opinions on this.

  11. ali says:

    i find blogrolls kind of a pain in the ass, actually. i use bloglines, and when i come across a site i like, i subscribe to its feed. i NEVER use my blogroll. ever. i barely even know how to find it on my new redesign.

    i love comments, and i’m not ashamed to admit it…but really don’t care (and don’t even know) whose blogrolls i’m on! 🙂

    ali’s last blog post..the mouths of babes…and some hot blogger action

  12. Nic says:

    So I go back and forth on this issue. When I was first trying to get people to read me I was commenting more. I don’t have time to do as much of that. I put people on the blog roll who have commented on my blog. I didn’t want to piss people off. I thought I was being nice to people who were linking and commenting. But… but… I don’t know. I have found myself stressed out about doing the right thing more than once.

    Nic’s last blog post..I hate dress shopping.

  13. Cobwebs says:

    I use Google Reader to wrangle all the blogs I read, and the blogroll on my site to point to other sites that my readers might find relevant.

    Like some of the other commenters have mentioned, I tend to only comment when I actually have something specific to say. I *definitely* don’t expect my comments on others’ blogs to drive up readership on mine, because my blog occupies a niche very different from most of the blogs I comment on. Most people who read mommyblogs aren’t interested in a site devoted to goth crafts and decor, if you can believe it.

    But yeah, I do think that spending all your time trying to drive people to your site must be exhausting.

  14. Raven says:

    Oh, I want to mention that I love other people’s blogrolls because I am still new to the blogosphere (or is it blogiverse?) and I don’t know who I should be reading yet. I am always on the look out for new blogs so I go trolling through people’s blogrolls or sometimes I find new blogs by comments people leave on other people’s blogs.

    Raven’s last blog post..myspace or yours?

  15. Oh, good post! Post of the day post!

    I just … couldn’t … agree … more. I recently updated my blog roll to match my Google Reader list, but my Google Reader list only has blogs on it I ENJOY.

    I will not comment whorishly just so you’ll come visit me. I will comment whorishly because I’m kind of whorish.

    Blogging IS about community, yes, and that community is about interaction and connecting and relating but not for the sake of a traffic bump.

    I sometimes check my stats to see where people are being referred from, but, honestly, not very often. And the number of views just doesn’t mean that much to me. (It’s why I included the site meter info on my site. I don’t want to hide how many people view my site, and I don’t want anyone to think I care if it’s three people a day or 3,000 [side note: it’s never 3,000]. The number DOES NOT MATTER, so I’m open about it. It is what it is.)

    I have made some great friends through all of this. I have been made to think, to feel, to explore, to dig deep, to reflect. I’ve been made to CHANGE MY MIND (and, wow, I was as surprised as anyone). I have, hopefully, touched some people in the process. But it doesn’t matter how many people are listening as long as those that are know I appreciate them.

    (Phew. Long comment.)

    She Likes Purple’s last blog post..Things I Thought After Watching The Bachelor The Other Night

  16. alyndabear says:

    I’m not going to whore myself out in blogland just to get readers, because seriously? I’m so boring lately, I don’t know why people are even sticking around! To be blunt though, I love my blogging friends that I’ve made, and I’d be happy if it never grew from that. Aw smush. Love. Gmail is fab!

    alyndabear’s last blog post..A Haiku Kind of Day.

  17. Ashmystir says:

    I’m with you…

    I only have a blog roll for the blogs I like read. No time to search for them.

    Rock on!

    Ashmystir’s last blog post..Sniff! Is that a new book I smell?

  18. Heather B. says:

    Oh gosh. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately especially since I haven’t been stationary for long enough to read more than two blogs at a time. And even that’s pushing it. And commenting? HA! I’ve still been trying (terribly I might add) to post regularly on my site, then on the two other sites I contribute to. Did I mention that I spend a good amount of time on airplanes?

    It’s hard. Even though I really, really want to comment on everyone’s sites everyday (from these comments alone: Stara, Jennie, Ali) but it is physically impossible to do so. But I read. At odd hours of the day. And I just hope upon hope that people keep reading me and commenting. Though it goes both ways.

    Difficult to say the least. And I’m not about whoring out my site but more about wanting to contribute something thoughtful to the conversation. So yeah, if you find a happy medium, let me know. K?

    Heather B.’s last blog post..The worst

  19. The Muse says:

    There was total blog-drama recently when a former friend of mine (and her hubby) decided to “quit” me by both of them removing links to my site from their blogs… and then she made a blog entry mentioning it in a side-ways way, but never coming out and using my name…….. and this was all over something between my roommate and me (who happened to be her bff).

    Childish and lame, sez I. I haven’t taken either of their sites off and read them occasionally, because, unlike them, I’m not 15 and am still glad to see that they’re okay.

    The Muse’s last blog post..Bleh.

  20. Allison says:

    I have only linked people on my blog because I consider them ‘friends’. I say ‘friends’ because some I’ve never met and may never meet, but we email and/or comment on each others blog semi-regularly.

    The only reason I found your blog was because of Secret Blogger Santa. When I started reading it everyday and commenting I thought that I would like to add you to my links. But I was all weird about it. I was like, ‘Is she going to think I’m a stalker because I’ve linked her blog and I don’t ever know her?’ I’m hesitant to link people because I don’t want to seem like a blog-freak.

    BTW…yay for Gmail. It rocks.

    Allison’s last blog post..411

  21. Scarlet says:

    I am admittedly not as into my blog as I was back when I had an office job and all that time to spare. Now it’s like, “ugh, dial up….pass.” But back in the day when I read a lot of the DC blogs I soooo saw the politics. It’s ridiculous. There were a couple “popular” blogs that seriously sucked (unless maybe you knew them? I dunno. I thought they were lame-o) and got sooo much traffic. Some even got interviewed for the news. I never understood why they were so popular. It’s kinda like D**ce. People will never stop reading that just because they hear it’s popular. I think it’s BORING. YOU, Kristabella, are funny. GOOD JOB! I read your blog because it’s entertaining:)

    Scarlet’s last blog post..Cruise Control

  22. jodifur says:

    ok, i have a lot to say but first, this-

    People, what is up with some of the crazy politics and insane site traffic whoring that is going on in the blogging world?

    I haven’t seen this, elaborate?

    And you are the sweetest person. You, seriously, are a bigger blogger than me. Really. And I have a strict I link to everyone who links to me policy. So, I felt bad that you linked to me and I didn’t know. I’ve been reading you a long time, but was mostly a lurker.

    And third, and final, CIAP, I love it!


    jodifur’s last blog post..Perspective

  23. Ree says:

    I get all excited just because I think it’s cool that people actually read what I have to say. Even if it’s only a “nice post”. So I try to make others feel that way, too.

    But I’ve also gotten to the point where I simply can not read another blog. If I add any more, I have to remove someone….which is really kinda sad. OR I can give up commenting on everyone’s blog. So I’ve been adopting your commenting philosophy. Only comment if I can add something to the conversation.

    But, I have to tell you this. I showed Mr. Hot your picture with your nephew…he said he understands why I like to go out with you. snirk.

    Ree’s last blog post..When in doubt,

  24. christa says:

    the only comment i could literally think to write was:

    i really like this post. [but i do … and its not just a weird come-read-my site comment.]

    i’ll add this: sometimes i think the internet is really weird and cliquey and either ridiculously rah rah rah or very scary and toxic.

    christa’s last blog post..most popular girl at the post office …

  25. Noelle says:

    Oh, word. Big time. I recently changed up my blogroll to include descriptions of the blogs, because I don’t think people are just going around clicking random links anymore. I wanted to keep it to just the blogs I really like, but then there are some people who are regular readers, and I don’t want to diss them because I don’t like their style, because maybe someone else will, you know?

    Also, as far as traffic goes, be careful what you wish for. I was looking for ways to increase my presence because I was happy with some things I wrote, and well, I don’t know if you were reading my blog this week, but it caught the attention of some serious nut-jobs, and 131 comments later, my email didn’t blow up, but my ideas about things changed a lot.

    Noelle’s last blog post..What was going through my head

  26. Katie says:

    Oh my lord, I hear ya. It’s completely exhausting.

    Katie’s last blog post..A Beautiful Day for a Ball Game

  27. Candy says:

    Hmm…well first I feel some sense of responsibility here. I swear to GOD, that post was supposed to be in good fun. It’s just, only the person it was written about and I knew that, based on a series of emails we had shared. I guess I should have been more specific but…meh…

    So here’s my deal. First, I pay almost no attention at all to my blogroll, and I have never looked at yours. Am I on it? If so, cool. If not, you clearly made a mistake and are forgiven. Mine is ghastly in its out-datedness. I don’t remember when I last updated it.

    Pretty much, the people on my blogroll (with the exception of the famous who never write, never call) are people I consider my blog-family. They’re the ones I am pretty sure are going to read each post, and will probably comment. They’re my community.

    I firmly believe you get new readers by commenting, not by being on someone’s blogroll. And I comment a lot. But mostly because I’m a mouthy bitch. I will say, I get that certain frisson from commenting on a brand new blog I’ve found, and then having that person drop by and leave me a comment. And then come back. That’s what it’s all about for me.

    Maybe it’s time to take the blogroll down entirely. It’s rather ridiculous.

    Candy’s last blog post..Help. Again.

  28. EmilyPie says:

    Can I just say Thank You. Thank you for posting this, for reading my mind and just… for agreeing with me! This whole striving to keep up with everyone Else’s blog thing is HARD. I don’t have time. Instead, I try and keep up with the few “close” blog friends I really enjoy, and I comment here or there others that I really like as I stumble across them. That doesn’t mean I’m not reading… I do read, I just don’t always take the time out to comment… unless it is outstanding.

    PS.. OMG.. CUTE pictures. I totally need that camera.


  29. amieable says:

    Okay I actually delurked I felt so strongly about this. I for one am intimidated by all the blogging politics and people who check their stats all the time. It reminds me of popularity contests which I always avoided anyway.

    I read a lot but comment very little because I feel in order for me to comment, I feel like I need to add something to the conversation. That being said, I don’t have many comments on my site (I’ve never checked my stats so I have no idea how many page views) and I think I’m okay with that for now.

    Anyway thanks for bringing up a topic that has been bugging me for a long time. It’s good to know not everyone out there buys into this. It’s too much pressure!

  30. Laurel says:

    I mostly avoid this issue by being WAY too lazy to update my blogroll. Then I feel guilty when I see my blog linked in someone’s sidebar who isn’t in mine–I just haven’t gotten around to it in AGES. (But it is on my to-do list!!)

    Lately, I’ve been trying a lot less hard to keep up with EVERY blog. Some people who I feel like I am “friends” with (AKA: you), I make sure to read every post they write, lest I miss something. Other people, I don’t click through on Google Reader unless I really have something to say. Gots to keep myself sane.

    Laurel’s last blog post..Questions, Part Two: AS Edition

  31. Danielle says:

    The whole blogroll thing annoys me, but that’s only because I’m NOT ON ANYONE’S. 🙂 but once i make it to someone’s, i will be allll about it. No, really-I think it does help to have a blogroll, because you are giving others a chance at being read.