Thursday, September 01, 2005

What I learned from Blog Day 2005

What Blog Day 2005 Taught Me

[This post is a slightly revised version of my response to Paul Woodhouse's comment in the topic thread of previous "Blog Day 2005" post.

Reader comments are increasingly providing me platforms for subsequent blog posts. Thanks everyone for your valuable and enriching comments at my blogs.]

I observed the "A Listers" reaction to Blog Day 2005, where we were all encourgaged, by an obscure blogger in Israel, to just list 5 good blogs, hopefully from other cultures or industries, to recommend to your own blog readers.

This went over like a lead balloon.

Hugh Macleod even did a little cartoon poking fun of the concept, calling it organized "link whoring". Hugh is known for lambasting and "roasting" via cartoons, and the objects of his comical "scorn" or teasing are rarely offended, it seems.

Of course, I deposited a comment on Hugh's blog, correcting this "link whoring" of Blog Day notion.

My comment explained that...

*clinking (clique linking)

*ghost blogging

* fictional character blogs (in most cases)

*buzz agenting (pretending to be a satisfied customer/user, then posting rave reviews in blogs, forums, etc.)

...are unethical and ineffective "blogstitution", not Blog Day.

Blog Day is a way to help your readers discover new blogs, and to pull us together as a blog realm. The blogosphere has many deadly enemies. Let's all join forces in a united front to defend and protect our beloved Kingdom of Bloggery.

It requires a bit of old fashioned humbleness to stop your own grandiose posting and linking to consider lending a boost to some little blogs, not "below" your exalted position in some silly hierarchy, but below the threshhold of your readers awareness.

How many "A List" bloggers participated? A few. Some with genuine benevolence. Some perhaps grudgingly or perfunctorily.

I sent out a stroke of midnight last call email to about 30 or 40 "top tier" bloggers. I must credit Mike Bergin, of the blog 10,000 Birds, a bird-lookers site, for emailing me and reminding me about this event.

Only a handful "A List" bloggers emailed me back to say thanks for the heads up, and whether or not they'd participate in Blog Day 2005:

Robert Scoble (The Red Couch/Naked Conversations, Scobleizer)

Hugh Macleod (Gaping Void)

Karen Ruby (Karen Ruby)

Carrie Snell (Omnamaste/A Grain of Salt/Wrath of Grapes)

Robert May (Business Pundit)

David Weinberger (Joho the Blog)

Paul Chaney (Radiant Marketing)

John C. Dvorak (Dvorak Uncensored)

Greg Hoffman (Security Awareness for Ma, Pa, and the Corporate Clueless)

Neville Hobson (NevOn)

Paul Woodhouse (Tinbasher)

John Battelle (John Battelle's Search Blog)

...either already knew about it, or scrambled to publish a Blog Day 2005 post on their blog, or emailed me to tell me it was too short notice to do it justice, or promised via email to comply with it as soon as they could.

If you check their blogs, you'll see that many did not do a "5 Recommended, Unexpected Blogs To Consider Exploring" type post on Blog Day 2005, but that means they at least replied to me via email, or displayed a Blog Day 2005 button.

Of course, unexpectedly, at the same time, Hurricane Katrina hit and devastated a huge chunk of the USA, like a nuclear attack.

This horrid disaster sidetracked a lot of bloggers from previous priorities, and rightly so. I just don't quite know what to say yet, so I've not posted anything about this tragedy.


Also, I didn't email every single "A List" blogger, or ally blogger, that I know of, and this was extremely short notice.

So please don't think that anybody not listed above must necessarily be arrogant or uncaring about other blogs. That would be a gross misinterpretation.

Paul Chaney deserves a lot of credit for replying to my email, and not even mentioning the fact that, as I discovered when I visited his blog, he is in the path of the Katrina hurricane, and has been suffering power outages. That is a noble, selfless, altruistic attitude of great merit metaphysically. Way to go Paul.

That little event of my email reminder of the Blog Day 2005 has resulted in a "A List" of my own: bloggers who can see the struggling "underlings" who are their brother and sister bloggers, and try to lend them a hand, a boost, a promo.

Spend more time helping, posting comments at, and advising new bloggers, obscure bloggers, worthy bloggers...

...who write profound, witty, sincere, funny, inspiring posts...

...and consistently, heart-breakingly, sadly get "0 Comments" at their blogs, but keep on, bravely, blogging.

I dearly love those souls. What a great model of perseverance and dedication they are setting. Bravo!

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



Greg Hoffman, Marketing Gorilla said...

On picture day in my senior year of high school, the photographer saw my name and asked if I spelled it with two g's. I was a smart ass thinking he was a dumb ass. I said of course I do, thinking to myself, one at the beginning and one at the end. GREG.
I regret that.
He spelled it GREGG on my Senior picture.
Thanks for the mention though. I appreciate it, Gasper, I mean Vaspers.

steven edward streight said...

Dear Staff: sorry about not spelling your name right. Will fix it now that I know it.

P.S. This word verification thing is screwed up. Often I type the letters in correctly, but the comment is rejected and a new word verification is presented.

Karen said...

Hey Steven,

Thanks for the mention of my blog.

I was away on vacation and didn't receive your email in time to post. As it is, I'm just catching up on my RSS feeds now and have been noticing a few people who did do a Blog Day 2005 post. It's a shame that more people didn't post about this, you wonder if it's perhaps that the originator is not that well known? What if Scoble (or other A-Listers) had suggested a Blog Day? I would expect a heck of a lot more partipation from the blogosphere then. It would also be interesting to note if the orignator of the Blog Day feels about the response he's received.

steven edward streight said...

The blogger is the operator of an Israeli blog portal.

Though I rarely deal with political issues here, I make it known that I support Israel and Israeli bloggers.

So I was quite pleased to participate.

If Blog Day was invented by a Palestinian, North Korean, Iranian, French, Norwegian, Malaysian, Australian, Chinese, Indian, etc., I'd also participate with enthusiasm.

I will go to his blog and report on what he says.

I think I'll also go to the Technorati tracking of blogs related to Blog Day and report on who participated.

Given the equal playing field of the blogosphere, its essential "flatness", it shouldn't really matter if an "A Lister" or an "insignificant microbe" blogger puts forth the idea.

It should still speed through the blogosphere with nearly equal impact.