When a blog becomes big enough, people critize
Duncan Riley> There once was a little blog who aimed to cover blogging news…. or so the story may go. The Blog Herald is coming up on its first anniversary, and aside from being able to run “on this day” scripts in MT, I found with amazement today this post at the Jason Calancis blog criticising The Blog Herald, and myself personally for not mentioning a number of blogs. The price of fame? Am I suffering from Dave Winer syndrome?
But first things first. The Blog Herald aims to be the most comprehensive blogging news site on the web. Whether we achieve this goal is subjective, but none the less it is better to aim high than low.
I personally receive lots of emails from bloggers and blog providers asking for publicity. I am not complaining about this, it’s great in many ways to receive information, feedback and news from fellow bloggers: indeed, if you are reading this, keep them coming. However from time to time I don’t quite get to replying to them all. I usually prioritise based on the interest and sincerity of the content. Emails that say “I’ve linked to you and I want you to link” are usually fairly low down the list. The “friends of the Blog Herald” feature on the page, whilst encouraging reciprocal links, does not mean every blog on the net has a god given right to a link on this page. However ask nicely, and say that you’ve linked because you love the Blog Herald and are a fan etc… and it’s considered far more favourably. Every blog has to start somewhere, and I play my little part in helping promote others, it is personally rewarding and there is no financial benefit from it. Ask me to link to a blog that promotes Paris Hilton porn just because you gave this site a link and you demand it, tough luck.
But back to Jason Calacanis; I received my first email from him on September 24, 2003 telling me he was launching a new B2B blogging company and to ring him if I’m interested. Now to be fair I wouldn’t know Jason from a bar of soap, I’m not in the habit of making overseas calls to someone launching a company who has provided me with no information on it other than a link. Tell me something wonderful and unique, but more importantly of direct relevance to the readers of this site and I’ll publish it.
My next correspondence was February 17, 2004 with an email directing me to a post on his blog which compared his venture weblogs inc to the blogorati. Wasn’t a bad article, but it was essentially a person reflect on where weblogs inc had progressed in three month. For those interested the post is here.. Looked at it, didn’t link to it. The success of his enterprise was interesting but not what I though was particularly relevant at the time to the readers of the Blog Herald.
The next email has a title of “no love for engadget” and a message of “noticed you guys didn’t even mention engadget! are we blacklisted?!”. Well no, they weren’t blacklisted. Engadget is similar to Gizmodo and a blog on (not surprisingly given the title) gadgets. It has gotten some good links about the place and some groovy gadgets. Its interest to a site about blogs? Aside from maybe a blog review not much. I do not write about gadgets, and you the reader do not visit this site to read about gadgets.
The next email 10 February 2004,
“no love for engadget.com, the New York magazine story or the other thousands of links and comments about engadget.com?”
no link to the story, which can I say may have been of interest, as I am always interested in the blogging few who make it in the mainstream press, but again, lots of publicity elsewhere, but a blog on gadgets, not blogs or blogging related news.
And lucky last:
“So, no coverage of Weblogs Inc. since September, no coverage of Engadget.com and now no coverage of BlogMaverick.com. No response to my emails. Odd.”
I was remiss in not responding to Jason, and for this I have apologised. As you may seem from the emails above that there wasn’t a lot to go on.
It was after responding to Jason this evening that I was reading my RSS feeds in Sharpreader and whilst reading the feeds from the grandfather of blogging related news Xian (aka Christian Crumlish) at Radio Free Blogistan that I discovered that Jason had taken his issues public.
It is interesting how to take this: on one hand I am a little upset that a person feels slighted by me, as it was certainly not maliciously intended, but on the other hand it is flattering that somebody feels so strongly about not getting mentioned on this site that they write about it. Perhaps the Blog Herald is finally coming of age, or I am suffering Dave Winer syndrome, were you are either loved, or hated, or even both at the same time.
The Blog Herald is, and remains a fairly unique concept in the blogosphere. Whilst there are a few key others doing a similar thing, namingly Radio Free Blogistan, Blog News for Bloggers, Blogger Jack Reporter, The Blogonian (occasionally, great site, not regular enough), and Weblog Hype to name a few, The Blog Herald has gone for a more Corporate/ Blogs in the news slant than the others, which I feel compliments us more in this group of blogs, rather than directly competes with them.
This site will never cover everything, in particular I have taken to not reporting often on either RSS or American Presidential elections, but I will continue to do my best, along with the support of the many regular readers we now have, and our growing list of contributors.
Perhaps the time has come to open the Blog Herald for further public scrutiny and perhaps create a more group effort. I know Xian at RFB has successfully integrated regular autonomous contributors, and perhaps the site can broaden its horizon by following this lead.
Food for though. Let me know where you’d like The Blog Herald to go, because without you reader this site is nothing but a dot in cyberspace.
And a last note for Mike Sloan from Inknoise, who has contributed to Jasons commentary on me: you never responded to my last email, and I was prepared to write a review on your site. Great site, good product, but please if you feel that I’m not responding to you how about checking your inbox? Try October 2003. Also the reason MT gets lots of coverage on the Blog Herald is because a large number of regular bloggers use it, and quiet simply the Trotts are a great internet success story.
Good on ya mate! Well written.
Duncan: My advice is not to take these things quite so personally. I know that’s easier said than done, but people with a product to promote are going to be enthusiastic, and expect everyone around them to feel the same way. If you don’t, they start seeing negativity where none exists.
Just let it roll off you, and address their concerns where you can.
My blog was born in September of 2003. Soon there after, I realized how challenging the upkeep of a “blog” can be. One of my first links and place to learn via reading was “The Blog Herald”. Everyday I breath-in something and try to apply it. If it was not for your information and great insights (with sites), I would be lost. Keep up what you do. Change is inevitable and a part of growth. …just like The Web and The Blogosphere, it is never ending. This little blogger is grateful for your posts.
Duncan I am very responsive at checking and responding to email. Especially when I know someone might be about to talk about InkNoise. : )
The last email I received from you was on October 11, 2003 at 5:35am. You responding telling me what you would like your InkNoise password to be and I responded at 9:25am stating that your InkNoise account was now set up and ready to try out. This is the last correspondence that I have from you.
On October 23rd, 2003 at 12:54pm I emailed you to see if you had tried out Inknoise, but I didn’t get a response. On December 5th, 2003 at 9:25am I sent you an InkNoise press release about a special we were running, but I did not get a response. After contacting you three times with no response, I figured you were not interested in discussing Inknoise on The Blog Herald and that I would leave you alone.
I am not debating that the Trotts have a great product (they do) and that lots of people use MT, only that you are called the “blog herald” not the “six apart herald.” In some cases I have seen you post Six Apart job announcements over relevant weblog related news.
Duncan, thanks for the props. also, I think posts like this are good. You are externalizing your internal thought processes which to me is what blogging is all about.
I won’t promise to publish all my ideas for free, but I will publish as many as I feel like. That’s my blog philosophy in a nutshell.
As for Six Apart and the Trotts, maybe they make blog news regularly because they both have street cred to burn and both understand how to network and project a pleasing identity into the living web?
I think you’re smart to focus, first of all, and I think your chosen focus is also wise (business blogging). I think my own posts at RFB are going to tend to focus on nanopublishing (where Jason and Nick are currently duking it out), so maybe it would behoove me to cover those enterprises more closely. Then again, the one link I’ve ever gotten from Weblogsinc was an attempt to further stir the shit between me and Dave Winer in which Calacanis either brilliantly or dyslexically (or bothly) spelled the name of my site (in his headline) Radio Free BlogStain.
Just be surfing around in net. I definitely found a very informal place with a lot of good stuff for everybody. I will certainly visit your site again sometime. Really good work.