Very few people go through life hoping no one will notice them. This is especially true if you have been bitten by the blogging bug and spent the last few month, weeks or even days churning out post after post of clever repartee. But in order to build the fan base you secretly crave, you have to let blog surfers know where you’re at and why you are worthy of their undying devotion.
Currently there are over 30 million blogs on the internet and thousands more being created each week. Assuming ownership of one blog per person, that’s a minimum of 30 million people slinging around their personal opinions on all that exists under the sun. This is a good thing. The free exchange of thoughts and ideas is what prevents the world from becoming a stagnant pool of dictatorship with the appropriate green scum floating on top.
However, to steal a line from the movie Spiderman, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. Blogging has become a way for the voice of the people to be heard. We must be careful, though, not to abuse our power through thoughtless acts that hurt the credibility of bloggers and blogging. One place that continues to be our Achilles heel is when good posts go bad.
Welcome to tonight’s edition of Who Wants to Be a Problogger. I am your host, Daria Black. No doubt you’ve heard the success stories of Darren Rowse, Dooce and Jason Kottke who have all managed to carve out a decent living via their mad bloggin’ skillz. I see you sitting there with dollar signs in your eyes just dying to know the secret to their success. Well I can sum it up for you in just one word and I won’t even force you to read to the end of article before I bare all.
Okay, so that’s two words but if you are continuing to read this article rather than immediately clicking exit button, that means having to work hard doesn’t scare you and you have just won the first round of Who Wants to Be a Problogger. Give yourself one point and let’s move on to round two.
My very first blogging website, Blogilepsy, first started out as a free blog on Blogger. I was so excited to get the project started, that I posted quite a bit of stuff within a few days. On Tuesday, March 7 I received an unpleasant surprise when I logged into my account. Blogger had frozen my blog on the suspicion that I had setup a Splog.
A Splog is a blog created expressly to propagate spam. We’ve all seem them. They are 99.9% Adsense and .1% reprinted content. It’s purely coincidental if you get any useful information out of them. Blogger had me verify that the blog had been setup and was being operated by an actual human being. Then I had to wait about a day for another human being to look at the blog and verify that it was not full of spam before they released it back into my control.
Imagine that you go to a presentation after which the lecturer asks for feedback. The person next to you frantically waves their hand in a maniacal effort to get the presenter’s attention. Excited at the prospect of a meaningful discussion the lecturer calls on them.
“You rock,” they say. They hand out their business card and then leave the room never to be seen again.
A version of this happens all too often on blogs much to the consternation of the owner. Bloggers begin blogging for a variety of reasons and when someone takes the time to comment, it makes us feel as though what we are doing is worthwhile which, in turn, inspires us to continue.
A Poememe is the internet version of the game telephone. The name is a compound of the words poetry and meme and was inspired by a scene from the movie The Princess Bride. The object is to write the first few lines of a poem and then send it out into the webernet to be completed.
There are two types of Poememes. Complete and Perpetual. The Complete Poememe is where you send the poem to another blogger (or bloggers) to finish. You then post all of the results so all of the participants can see each others’ creativity.
About two millennia and three centuries ago, Rome was battling hard against its foes to reestablish itself. Emperor Claudius II was also battling internally to get men to enlist into the army. After much thought, he came to the conclusion that men did not want to enlist into the army because they did not want to leave their wives and girlfriends. The logical solution to that problem was to put a ban on marriage.
Believing the law to be barbaric, Saint Valentine, a catholic priest, refused to follow the new law and secretly continued to join lovers in holy matrimony. But no good deed goes unpunished and eventually he was found out. Enraged, Claudius sentenced him to death. While languishing in jail Saint Valentine made friends with the jailer’s daughter. On the day of his execution he sent her a note, thought to be the very first valentine, thanking her for her friendship and signing it, ‘Your dear Valentine’.
Beautiful story isn’t it? Too bad 99% of isn’t true. But that’s the thing with legends. They usually start out as a true story but through time and human nature, they are blown grossly out of proportion.