Log spam, a new trend?
January 26, 2000 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Log spam, a new trend? Within the last hour I received two requests from loggers to visit their web site. The first one sent a regular and kind e-mail message, actually addressed to me. No problem with that. But the second one seemed to be a mass mailing, correct me if I'm wrong. I hope this doesn't become a habit among loggers who claim they have 'trouble breaking into the 'blogger community'.
posted by prolific (11 comments total)
You mean, there is a 'blogger community'? ;)

Tell all these people that, frankly, there isn't much community to be a part of, IMHO. It goes against the blog ethic to have a difficult-to-enter clique. A blog is personal. It's your diary, not the clothes you wear to school or something that people can approve or not approve. So who cares?

And I've had enough with being profound for today. :)
posted by tdecius at 1:53 PM on January 26, 2000

This site isn't cool enough for those spams (thank god), but I do get quite a few requests to get on the floating menu. I think that's all these blog-spammers want: to get a link, or a positive comment of some sort, from more popular weblogs. It's a waste of time for everyone involved though, the interesting blogs will always bubble up from obscurity. New bloggers just need to have some patience and build an audience on their own.
posted by mathowie at 2:04 PM on January 26, 2000

Not that I'd want to make excuses for those who spam people they don't know to announce their new site, but I can at least sympathize with the enthusiasm. I'm only into this weblogging schtick three months and I'm still amazed by some aspects of it, even though my log's readership isn't all that big. ("Wow! I'm getting X amount of readers a day now? Wow. Look at all the referrers! Jinkies. Far out. That's so neat. Wow.") That's kind of the allure of the web; it's giving a large chunk of the world the ability to publish anything they want. (Insert highly idealistic rave re: the web and its capacity to bring people together here. You know, the one you've all heard umpteen times before.) Sometimes enthusiasm overrides your patience (and your better judgment), and suddenly you're doing something rude or intrusive, like emailing twentyeleven people whose sites you admire with "come see it!" without taking the time to address each author personally.

As for the floating menu thinger, Matt, um. Hmm. Without going back to check, I'd imagine it's a design consideration not to add to it, as it's gotten almost as long as it can before it would float off the bottom of the screen in the smaller resolutions. Plus, it's kind of a personal touch to a site you've made specifically to share with others. Out of curiosity, what do people who're asking offer in return if they get on the list?
posted by jason at 3:42 PM on January 26, 2000

so far, a couple people that have asked to be put on the list have put me on their sidebar surflist too, so I guess that's the reward. As long as a weblog is interesting, people will like it, read it, and link to it. I want to move the floating link thing into everyone's own control, so this will be moot someday soon.
posted by mathowie at 3:54 PM on January 26, 2000

Getting a good word from 'more popular' weblogs help a great deal. While I know it's not a popularity contest, and I'll be continuing to put things on riothero.com that EXPRESS ME, good impressions from these sites might help spread your "expression". For instance, someone having trouble getting hits (lets say, like me) are concerned , not that people don't like his site, but that they can't find it. Another thing about the "blogger community". It's not like it's HARD to get into... it just takes reconition. 'if you have a
weblog, you are part of the weblogging community.' And if you just put a site up, no one will find it unless you talk to people who do the same sort of things you do. This also creates friends, and encourages them to continue working. I know I love it when a friend complimeants me on my site. So "kissing butt" to sites like prolific.org helps everyone. And that's all I really meant.
posted by riothero at 4:02 PM on January 26, 2000

1. I appear to have been the first protoblogger (en fran├žais, protobloggeur) to have gotten into trouble for mailing multiple existing blogs asking their owners to read my site and add a link *if they wished*. (Details.)

2. Building a blog audience is well nigh impossible *unless* your blog is tightly linked to Web design and offers impressive technical capabilities. I am regularly assailed for my nearly-text-only page; like the unpopular kids at school who aren't good at academics *or* sports, I sometimes get the feeling that, since I don't run super-whoopee Javascript and CGI on my site and do not discuss UI in every second paragraph, I am discounted. Further, for reasons discussed over at A List Apart, I don't own my own domain, let alone a cute, clever URL like Genehack or Devhead or, God help us, Lemonyellow.

3. In my opinion, blogging is an exercise of crying in the wilderness. (Ambiguity intentional.) I was told recently that my site increased the hits at a site I referred to by five. I wrote back that I was not aware I had that many readers.
posted by joeclark at 11:44 AM on January 27, 2000

flutterby is proof that popularity is *not* based on "web design" or "impressive technical capabilities". it's based on content. plain and simple. dan is certainly not a unique case either.
posted by brig at 2:32 PM on January 27, 2000

Since I was "the second one" (a.k.a. Type B a.k.a Door No. 2 a.k.a the poster child for what NOT to do), I thought I'd drop a note and apologize/explain my case.

Indeed, my e-mail was a mass mailing, which I sent out to about twenty or so weblogs. Yes, I could have and definitely should have taken the time to write more personal missives. I didn't really think what I was doing was spam, necessarily (to my mind, spam usually involves insurance, vacations, or XXX hardcore), but since I was the sender and not the recipient I guess my definition of spam is pretty moot.

My intention was to drop a line to several of the weblogs I really enjoyed and invite them to drop by. Since I get the impression that most 'bloggers enjoy exploring the web for new links, I didn't really think there was much harm to my letter. If people dug the site, good. If they dug the site enough to link to it, that's even better. If they thought the design and/or content was cruddy and amateurish, they could spend a few tenths of a second of their lives deleting the e-mail and then forget about it.

Obviously, and in the interest of full disclosure, I was also motivated by the sheer desire to drive up the hits. (Looking at a stagnant counter can be pretty bleak, as I'm sure all of you know.) But, above all else, I really just wanted to say "Hi!"

Once again, my apologies to all concerned. Oh yeah, and don't forget to come by the website ;) I have no problem with negative reinforcement.
posted by kevincmurphy at 5:37 PM on January 27, 2000

Well, I didn't quite say that "popularity is... based on Web design or impressive technical capabilities." I said that the really successful blogs concern Web design and display impressive technical capabilities.
posted by joeclark at 9:01 PM on January 27, 2000

I have to disagree that "Building a blog audience is well nigh impossible *unless* your blog is tightly linked to Web design and offers impressive technical capabilities."

I'm quite pleased with my traffic (which keeps growing) and while I occasionally post the design-related comment, in general my site does neither of those things.

Neither have many of the more widely-read and most respected weblogs: jjg's infosift, cardhouse, lake effect, and robot wisdom to name four off the top of my head.

Content. It's about content (of all varieties) , pure and simple.

posted by rebeccablood at 10:16 PM on January 27, 2000

have to agree with RB, librarian.net has nothing to do with
design and lacks all tech snazz, but the librarians flock to it in droves.
it's all about niche, in my opinion.

the design-y ones are the ones that tend to attract the other
bigbloggers, thus giving the appearance of the weblog community,
when they're actually just a buncha people that share design
tastes and tips. not scaring people off with your design is
important, but no one reads weblogs for their looks.
posted by jessamyn at 11:47 AM on January 28, 2000 [2 favorites]

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