May 23, 2008

I Don't Know What You're Talking About [Edited with Clarification]

I have had three---THREE!---emails this week from readers, asking me what I think of sites such as Techsquirrelrati and Skirtaroo and TripOver and Del.i.cacy and Dugg.

Here is what I think: I think I don't know what you're talking about. Are they...for promotion of your blog? That's what it looks like, when I go to them and try to figure out what they're for. They seem to exist solely for promotion and tit-for-tat trading of promotion.

And so here is what I think: I think it depends why you're blogging. Are you blogging as a hobby, or are you blogging as your latest get-rich-quick scheme? Are you a writer, or are you "promoting your brand"? Are you a blogger or a networker? Are you enjoying the act of writing, or are you trading virtual business cards and doing virtual lunch sometime? I'm not saying you can't be/do both, but if you're spending most of your time scrabbling for FAME! and RECOGNITION! and you're trading in comments as if they're currency*, and promoting things that don't deserve to be promoted in the hopes that someone will do the same for you----then it looks like those sites are exactly what you need to do that.

[*Clarification: I don't mean regular commenting, which is when you read a post by a blogger you like, and you feel like leaving a comment so you do. I mean like when bloggers act as if people OWE THEM comments, or MUST comment, or are in any way obligated to comment. Or when people act as if comments are currency: I commented on your blog, so now you have to comment on my blog, and if you DON'T, I'll stop commenting on YOURS. This ends up with people reading blogs they DON'T EVEN ENJOY, just so that they'll get comments in return from people who don't enjoy THEIR blogs. Dumb!]

Um, not that I have an opinion on this. Or that I think there's a right and wrong here, or that you should do what I do just because I say so. Um, clearly. Especially considering I spent all of five minutes on researching what these sites are about. For all I know, they're actually about using blogging to save starving children.

22 comments:

JMC said...

Techsquirrelrati? Interesting name. The only one of those I think I've even heard of is Dugg, and only if that's the one where people can "Digg it" or not.

Swistle said...

JMC- I just messed with the names of the KIND of site I mean, combining or altering their names.

Nowheymama said...

I...didn't know sites like this exist. Of course, I just signed up for Google Reader two weeks ago, so I'm not exactly on the blogging cutting edge.

jonniker said...

HAHAHAHAHA, oh yes. Well. I feel like I've already told you and anyone who will listen how I feel about this, but blogging, for me, is a HOBBY. A HOBBY. I enjoy it, and don't want to become any bigger than I already am. I'd like to coast right down the middle, and that means that I have no use for Technorati, Skirt (Kirtsy? I don't even KNOW) or Delicious.

I do read Digg, though. But not for blogging stuff. Ever. I mean, I like their stories. Am I supposed to be reading it to help grow my brand and take over the blogging world with Jonniker-labeled merchandise?

Also: word verification is CLEEEE. I love that. CLEEEE!

drowninginlaundry said...

No starving kids being helped, I think you hit the nail on the head though - they really seem to have a purpose of self promotion and increasing your readership.

I toyed with these at on e ti me - but seriously who ever wants to read me will, and slowly it is growing on it's own. (Now if I could just get off my caboose and update more)

JMC said...

HA! I am obviously naive and/or stupid when it comes to those, since I actually thought those were real names of sites. Or it could be due to drinking. Who knows? :)

Kristi said...

I blog because really, who wants to hear about your kids' poo and ear infections in real life? Who? Seriously, I wanna know.

the new girl said...

HA HA HAAAA! Techsquirrelrati is the BEST. Any time I've looked at it, it DOES make me a little squirrely.

I like this post a lot. I am a bloghobbyist. I'm even ambivalent about getting ads. But I do like comments and I like having and hearing from people who read.

I've never done the whole comment on a hundred thousand blogs so people will visit you. I really read all the blogs on my blogroll.

shal said...

OK, I don't use/look at the other sites--but I don't think delicious is for promotion (for me at least).
I'm in the education field and I use it to create a place where students/fellow educators know what sites I think are worthwhile on a topic we may be discussing, and it's a good way for me not to have to reinvent the wheel every time I teach something.

Jennifer said...

I've heard of Digg only because a friend told me that I should start using it to promote my blog, but I don't want to promote my blog. I like having my own tiny corner of the internet that is more or less free of foot-fetishizing wackadoos.

I'm definitely a hobbyist and I do it more or less to entertain myself and the handful of real-life friends who stop by every once in a while. I love that a few of the folks I read stop by every now and again, but I'm all about keeping it small, yo.

catnip said...

Techsquirrelrati - that is freaking funny.

I don't use most of those sites much but this post still makes me feel a little weird. I comment all over the place, (and use twitter) but I didn't know that it might look like begging for people to come visit my blog. I comment because I like to, and it makes me feel like I'm part a community. That's not to say I don't love getting comments back on my own blog - but I'd hate to think anyone sees me as just trying to promote it when I comment.

I'm not in any way criticizing the post, it's just making me think.

Swistle said...

Catnip- Oh, yeah---I don't mean regular commenting, like where you read a post by a blogger you like and you feel like leaving a comment so you do. I mean like when bloggers act as if people OWE THEM comments, or MUST comment, or are in any way obligated to comment. Or when people act as if comments are currency: I commented on your blog, so now you have to comment on my blog, and if you DON'T, I'll stop commenting on YOURS. This ends up with people reading blogs they DON'T EVEN ENJOY, just so that they'll get comments in return from people who don't enjoy THEIR blogs. Dumb!

catnip said...

Thank God! I really appreciate your clarification. I was wondering if I would ever comment on anything again! As if I could help myself.

Kristin.... said...

I had no idea what those sites were for. I am happy to be educated. I'm still trying to figure out how to do a strikethru on my blog and get my RSS reader to update. I'll take suggestions! And of course I like to comment on blogs, because then people come visit me and my crazy world. :)

Swistle said...

Kristin- Oh, I can help on the strike-font! I'll try to spell it out without making it DO it!

You do one of these dealies: <

Followed by the word: strike

Followed by one of these dealies: >

Then you write the stuff you want crossed out.

Then you do one of these dealies: <

Followed by one of these dealies: /

Followed by the word: strike

Followed by one of these dealies: >


No spaces in any of that.

Bird said...

I dont' have a clue AT ALL what those sites do. Actually, I just discovered bloglines which I LOVE, but was totally intimidated by due to it's name.

I guess I should add that I am a comment-whore. Comments make me happy, but I don't expect them--I just lurve them. I like leaving them too--especially long-winded ones that may or may not make sense.

Kelley said...

I pink puffy heart you.

Every. Single. Day. I have someone emailing me or COMMENTING IN MY COMMENTS asking me why I haven't commented on their latest post yet. Because they like, commented on mine...

Meh. I admit I do visit and comment on every commentors blog out of courtesy, but sometimes when it gets over 40 or 50 I kinda don't have time ya'know...

And those social networking sites just confuse me, except for Twitter, I loves me some Twitter! But the others make my eyes glaze over and then I get all distracted by the shiny...

Wendi said...

Swistle! I love you! I've been puzzling over those sites for a while now. I just started my own blog about a month ago and when I did, I had the option to add buttons that linked to those sites. So I checked 'em out...and thought, "Well, maybe I'm too tired to figure this out so I'll look at them tomorrow."

I never did figure out exactly what they're for so I didn't add the buttons to my own site. I think my initial impression was that they were for bookmarking sites that interested you, but I prefer using RSS feeds myself!

Just sign me "Clueless". :-)

annenahm said...

Loved it. Dare I stumble this post?

I dare.

(Dare I say you owe me one? No. I don't quite dare.)

:^)

Tessie said...

Man, I have missed SO MANY of your posts, which SUCKS but is also a special little Monday TREAT.

I like this one a lot. I don't mind if OTHERS want to be Semi-Pro Bloggers, but it's not for me either.

Sometimes, I will see some of those sites in my referral stats though. What does that mean? I have been too scared to go check.

el-e-e said...

Excellent opinion! May I adopt it? Thanks.

I don't know how people have time to go see who's tops on T'rati or these other sites, in addition to their own feed reader. I cannot keep up with my ONE list. Who has the TIME??!

mums_hugs said...

I use my blog as my personal journal (for all the world to read, lol), so I am not too concerned about whether people come and visit and comment. I do LOVE Delicious though, but not for the social networking aspect. I love that I can access my favourites on any computer (I think I am up to about 22 blogs now, among other stuff).