ColinMcEnroe

"the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time..." -- Kerouac

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Running the table

1. Let's start simple. If you believe Technorati, this is the most popular, by far, of the truly personal blogs. What are some things we can say about the structure and nature of dooce?

Fave text: These feelings of inadequacy were compounded by the fact that I started a new drug last week that for two days made me feel like a normal human being, so normal in fact that I thought something must have been wrong. Part of me feels like I’m not allowed to feel normal, and I called Jon in the middle of the day to say, “YOU PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THIS? IS THIS EVEN LEGAL?”

2. I have considerably less to say about the two gadget/gizmo sites although I think it's interesting that thing one is part of the Gawker media network, whereas thing two is part of a different blog media network. And I confess I don't quite grasp the nature of these networks yet. But they are somewhat rivalrous. You may have more than I to say about these sites.

3. We could spend the whole class trying to figure out jungle gym of Daily Kos, and we will dwell there for a while in our second class and come back to it, no doubt, several other times. But some of the "About Us" material seems significant, especially this:

THE DAILY KOS LINK POLICY
Link policy. As you can no doubt tell, I am extremely stingy on links.

As a marketing tactic, that's not very smart -- link exchanges are a great way to promote one's site. It's also not the best way to be a good blogosphere citizen -- I should be helping promote new up-and-coming blogs and playing nice with the established ones as well.

However, everything I do on this site I do for the benefit of my readers. I've always thought that a short blogroll was of more use to visitors than an endless list of random names, and for better or worse, that's the rule by which I now live.

While I have set the number of links on my blogroll in stone, its contents are constantly evolving. I generally include sites I visit at least several times a week, a list that changes over time. So I often add and delete sites accordingly. So how does a site get listed? Be noticed. Make a stir. Don't regurgitate the contents of a news story, but provide perspective or additional insight. Be clever, funny, original. Get away from the default templates. Get away from Blogspot. Create your own identity. Your own domain. Have attitude. Be self-confident. Participate in the comment boards at dKos or MyDD or Atrios or any number of other sites (a great way to demonstrate your writing acumen). Participate in group weblogs like Stand Down or the Political State Report. Don't be obnoxious or feel entitled to a link. Given my site's readership, have a heavy focus on elections and the political process. And while I appreciate any traffic you send my way, I don't care whether you link to me or not. Or how much traffic you send. Like I said already, I don't use my blogroll as a marketing tool.

And finally, realize that my refusal to add your site to my list isn't a rejection in any way. We desperately need to catch the Right in the Blogger Wars, and I am proud of each and every person who has the guts and initiative to start his or her own weblog. The progressive movement of the future will be built, in large part, on this digital foundation.

AND ANOTHER THING:
The FAQs give you a pretty good sense of the degree to which Kos has tried to create a mini-blogosphere within a blog, with rules and principles.
EXAMPLE
First and foremost, and I don't think this can be reiterated enough, a 1 or 2 line entry does NOT a diary make. And another thing - only TWO diary entries per day!
Got a poll or other link you'd like people to see? Use the open threads, that's what they're for.
Got a "breaking story" but got no details but you're going to burst if you don't mention it within the next 30 seconds? Use the open threads, or wait until you have more details to chronical for a proper diary entry. Alternatively, you could could stop in the IRC channel (#dailykos on efnet) and bounce ideas off folks there.
Some "soft rules"about writing diary entries...
Before writing a new diary entry, check out the "Recommended Diaries" on the main page. If it's a major issue (most recently Jeff Gannon, Ohio Election Fraud, or Dean as DNC chair), chances are there's an existing thread there that you can tack your new info on.
Use the search function to see if what you're about to write has already been posted.
Once you've written your diary, scroll through the most recent 4-5 pages or so of diary entries to see if someone's posted the same thing in the interim. It's amazing how many diary entries that are almost identical get posted within about 15 minutes of each other. If a similar diary exists, don't post yours. If you have some added info that they've omitted, add it as a comment to theirs. Lately, there's been an average of 25+ pages of diary entries in a 12 hour period - that's over 300 entries! One could honestly argue that at least 25% (often more) of them are 100% redundant.

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