Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What determines true value of a blog?

What determines the
true value of a blog?

Not what you might think, or have been led to think by arrogant pop bloggers.

Before I explain, let's look at how Vaspers the Grate, a low traffic, but somewhat respected and authoritative business blog, ranks in TTLB The Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem. Okay?

The Truth Laid Bear tracks and ranks blogs by traffic, but I was unable to discover much more information about their system. Oh well...

Just scroll down my right sidebar until you see my ranking, there, under the link to Carrie's The Wrath of Grapes/Omnamaste blog. See? It says, when I last checked, "Crawly Amphibian".

Not bad for a specialty business blog.

Here is a copy and pasted list of their ranking system categories.

(I just noticed how "ranking by links" and "ranking by traffic" are both mentioned, and are not the same. Which is it? Now I'm confused as to what this TTLB ranking is all about. Maybe a reader can enlighten me.)


Ranking By Links

Higher Beings

Mortal Humans

Playful Primates

Large Mammals

Marauding Marsupials

Adorable Rodents

Flappy Birds

Slithering Reptiles

Crawly Amphibians

Flippery Fish

Slimy Molluscs

Lowly Insects

Crunchy Crustaceans

Wiggly Worms

Multicellular Microorganisms

Insignificant Microbes


True Value of a Blog:

* NOT number of comments

* NOT number of other blogs linking to it in blogrolls

* NOT number of other blog posts linking to it

* NOT number of hits from unique visitors

* NOT the MSM news coverage of the blog

* NOT frequency of posts

* NOT amount of words per post

* NOT how pretty or ugly the design is

* NOT how brazenly it uses the F word, or other vulgarisms

* NOT how many nude photos it contains

* NOT how antagonistic it is to everyone and everything

* NOT how many conferences and conventions the blogger attends and smugly posts about

* NOT how much clinking (clique linking) it engages in

* NOT how many blogs are listed in its blogroll

* NOT how many links to reputable or popular blogs it contains in posts

* NOT how many comments are praising it and kissing its butt


(1) How relevant, accurate, and unique its content is

(2) How engaging it is in writing style (funny, smart, scholarly, whatever is appropriate for topic and audience)

(3) How up-to-date its content is

(4) How much original thinking is presented, instead of just a sentence or two, with links to other posts at other blogs...unless the blog is a legit "link log" like Robot Wisdom or Instapundit

(5) How quickly, kindly, and thoroughly the blogger respondes to comments by readers

(6) How usable the design, navigation, and functions are

(7) How credible the blog is (indicated by presence of About/Profile/Bio, Contact, testimonials--like I display in my right sidebar, etc.)

(8) How much satisfaction YOU get from expressing your writing skills, personality, expertise, art, photos, opinions, ideas, sense of humor, problems, questions, etc.

Concluding Statements

The TTLB "ecosystem", and other fun ranking systems, are amusing.

I saw a blog that displayed "Insignificant Microbe" in TTLB Ecosystem, and I just laughed. I didn't think any less of the blog. How popular, how much traffic a blog gets, has absolutely nothing to do with how relevant and credible it is.

I also want to state this: some of my favorite blogs have little traffic, and almost NO comments. I feel a little sad when I see "0 comments" at nearly every post, and I try to think of something intelligent and On Topic to post as a comment at a few posts.

One way to increase reader loyalty, and your own winsomeness, is to engage in a little self-parody once in a while. If you can poke fun at yourself, it makes people feel more comfortable and more receptive to you.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the [Crawly Amphibian] Grate



Disgruntled Car Salesman said...

Content, content, content....

I really don't give a flip what some guy thinks about me sitting behind his computer desk 1498 miles away. Go ahead and categorize me, but start a new one for me...

Disgruntled-opinionated slandering salamander



steven edward streight said...

I think lists like this, with their whimsical, context-consistent categories, are playful diversions.

I'm amused by it, so I display, in my sidebar, my TTLB ranking, which is higher than I would have assumed it might be.

I haven't checked my BlogShares stats, or my BlogPatrol stats, in quite a while.

I am really apathetic about stats and rankings.

For example, the only music CDs I buy and listen to are by extremely obscure, "unpopular" bands and artists. I wouldn't be caught dead with any popular music in my house, with a few exceptions.

I do have some Bob Dylan, New Order, Stereolab, and Squarepusher, which some might consider slightly popular and known. That's about it.

Tonight I bought a music CD by the band Wonder in Blue: "rain and other things".

Anybody ever heard of it?

I didn't think so.

So popular, high traffic, best selling are terms that turn me off and drive to the underground, the unappreciated works of genius, the innovative oddities and fresh, adventuresome risk-takers, musical entrepreneurs and revolutionists.

Like Champion Birdwatchers, Poor Old Lu, Joy Electric, Caroliner, Pearls Before Swine, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Taj Mahal, August Moons, Joshua Banner, Incredible String Band, Jan Krist, Allen Levi, Tim Buckley, Colporteur, Pavement, Foil.

Bands like that.

Popularity is for losers.

Disgruntled Car Salesman said...

Groove Armada, electronic jazz/funk/rap. Awesome.

steven edward streight said...

I've hrd of em but nvr hrd em.

Wonder in Blue reminds me of experimental electro techno pop stylists Underworld or Orbital.