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.
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