I knew it would happen. I wasn't reading or linking to blogs for about 69 days. The startling thing is I'm not freaked about it.
(At all. It's harder to get me flummoxed - even though it feels awkward to be this cool and collected. Something subtle happened over there. Anyway...)
I was hovering around 2000 when I left to Asia. I sheepishly check the stats today:
Technorati Rank: 2,545 (970 links from 423 sites)
Ouch!! "The ones that matter most, of course, have gobs of readers--with enough eyeballs to attract investors and advertisers," says the Chicago Tribune (authoratively of course) in their early obituary for blogging.
Hmmm. The ones that matter most.
"Don't let any Technorati feature -- and I'm not referring to a specific feature as I can't keep up with them -- define your authority or popularity or pecking order," says Rex Hammock in the wisest post I've read recently. (That would be in the last two days.)
Read all of it. It reminds me of how hard it is to erase mass media mentality from our minds. I remember reading the January 21 issue of The Economist story moaning "don't write off big media just yet". Among the proof: "Yahoo! has a media unit, but so far it hasn't produced any hits." (The media unit is mainly blogs if I recall.)
Hits? (You mean the fat head before the long tail?)
Ironically, this is the same The Economist issue that reports on findings that show how grassroots broad-based "people power" is the way most despotic governments are toppled.
Rex's explanation of a blog's value is particularly useful and gets us out of mass-market mass-audience publication mode:
A couple of weeks ago, someone who owns a firm that manages phone systems for small businesses told me that he didn't want to start a weblog because he didn't want to "compete" with the 30 million blogs "out there," -- that the level of "discourse" on 30 million couldn't be that high.
I then said to him, "I could apply the same logic and come to the conclusion that I shouldn't have a business telephone. That reasoning would lead me to forego having a telephone because I'm competing with 300 million other "telephoners" and the level of discourse of all those phone conversations can't be that high."
And my number one favorite sentence:
Blog because there are two or three people who actually matter in your life or work, or who share your passion for a particular topic.
p.s. Rex says: "When you set up a weblog, don't think of it as launching a "publication" or any other "mass media" and don't measure success in terms of "size of audience." Good, my next blog has an even smaller 'audience' size potential than this one.