Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pimp your Blog II: Entrecard, Blogcatalog, and mybloglog

Sorry kids, there's no picture in today's post. I've just been playing with three blog pimping services Entrecard, Blogcatalog, and MyBloglog.

Entrecard is a widgetified version of the old Link Exchange that they used to have in the 90's. You provide a graphic and they use it to build you this widget which you paste into your site. Then people visit your site and they "drop their card" on your widget. You get credits for this. You can "drop your card" on other people's widgets too. And you can "sell" the space on your widget to somebody else and get credits that way. Blogcatalog is a social network that's focused on blogging. They have forums, friends, shoutboxes, etc. Oh yes and LOTS AND LOTS of widgets. MyBloglog and blogcatalog are very similar. They also allow you to list your id's on other well known social networks such as Digg.

Entrecard and blogcatalog generate a lot of action--people wanting to pimp their "friends" list or buy "advertising" on your blog. You could spend all day keeping up with this. You could spend so much time pimping your blog that you don't have time to write in it. So you take a step back and get back to writing in your blog. Which, of course, is distracting you from your day job in the first place.

Can anyone say "saturation?" The majority of the blogs out there are not that great, even with brilliant professional layouts, they still need to have to have something worthwhile to say, and have the skill to say it succinctly. I don't trust the great unwashed to pick the best writing at all, especially on the web--Epinions, (started in 1999) with it's crazy web of trust and hat and stamping system saw to it that gushy repetitive prose was ranked highly, while clear, terse and to-the-point writing was penalized.

I am not going to devote a lot of effort to the communities. I don't really think there are that many people out of the 6 BILLION on the planet who really care about a quirky and eclectic blend of tech musings and entertainment. However, I will make some effort in the next few weeks with Blogcatalog to winnow the blogs to ones I really like, such as TwoWriteHands, a series intensely personal vignettes from a young lady who writes well, those that offer solid info and not just rehashed twaddle, and those that don't promise to make you rich or make you thin or buff or give you the biggest willie in your class if you'll only do whatever helps the blogger, be it buy this or that product, or add him/her to your friends or whatever. That's ME.

As for the other 99.9999999%, it seems that extremely crass blogs are wildly popular. Crass blogs are interesting for their one-time shock value, but for me they get old really fast. However, I have learned that whatever I hate, most people tend to like, and whatever I like, most people can't wrap their heads around. The popularity of crass blogs supports my theory that most of homo sapiens are pretty degenerate. There is great contention for the most nasty, the most depraved, and so forth. Of course really crude, funny, or disgusting pictures help too. I suppose that one way to get rich is to pander to the human animal's baser nature.

I hate to be a spoilsport but only a very very few people are gonna get rich off their blogs. It's the same old hope springs eternal. Before blogs, every little three-chord wonder on the guitar had hopes of being the next Van Halen. Now you don't even have to practice a guitar or deal with a band -- just spew forth and they will come. Hear that faint popping noise? That's the sound of bursting bubbles. REALITY CHECK: There just isn't enough money floating around for everyone who posts up a crude picture and tells their friends about it to automatically end up with princely incomes. Sorry, but there JUST ISN'T. Think about it.

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