Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blogs and Commercial Competetion

This was something that occurred when I first struck out on my own in blogdom, and this post over at Elliot's brought that thought back to me:

Hell hath no fury like a bunch of misguided MilwaukeeMoms

By making posts that lead back to her site, she apparently ran afoul of a prohibition against promoting your business on MilwaukeeMoms‘ discussion groups.

Now, is not a business. (She did have some affiliate links on her site, but she immediately removed them to try to be in compliance with MilwaukeeMom’s rules.) But that didn’t save her from a righteous tongue-lashing from sanctimonious moms pissed that she had the nerve to link to her blog from their sacred site.
It was just a passing thought at the time, but what if I (my z-list self) was looked at as competition? With all the advertising on blogs these days, is it in someone's self-interest not to link to someone else? After all, no ad dollars are generated by directing readers away from your site now, are they?

I know the whole blog thing is about inter-dependence. We bounce links and stories around and generate traffic for each other. That's how it began, that's how it's supposed to work.

Has it changed? At least in some circles (see above), it has. It's the curse of popularity, of becoming mainstream. Once something becomes popular, there's a group of people who only want to make money off of it. I like to think the won't impact the blogosphere as we know it, but I'm not sure.

This tells me "they don't get it":
What I find most amusing, is they did their ranting against her supposed self-promotion on pages filled with banner ads for J.C. Penny, Ford cars, and USA Baby
How do they plan on generating revenue without other blogs directing traffic their way? More to the point, how do they plan on getting blogs to send any traffic their way if they don't return the favor?

I understand you shouldn't spam someone's site with links, it's bad form. But if it's on-topic and can add to the discussion, I see no harm in it. Of course, I'm not above e-mailing certain bloggers with links to stuff I write. I believe the term is link-whoring. Correct me if I'm wrong, and please provide any pointers that will help me do it better. =)

Anyway, it's just a thought I wanted to throw out there. Personally, I'm not in it to make money, although I have had offers. Thanks, Doubletapper, if and when I decide to "go commercial" your guys will get first look. Then again, I've yet to make the Cover of the Rolling Stone.

Hey, it worked for Dr. Hook....


elliot said...

It's a fine line. I think you have to look at intent. If someone is just posting a link to post a link, that's problematic. But if they're contributing to the conversation, it's legitimate.

The truth is we all got our readerships by commenting on other people's blogs or having posts linked to by other bloggers.

I only know about you because you commented once at From Where I Sit...and I'm glad you did. Your blog has become one of my favorite reads.

Rustmeister said...

Thank ya, sir.

Sebastian said...

Nothing wrong with link whoring. My advice to bloggers is to send something when you think you have something that's good, or that the other blogger would be interested in. I can get annoyed if bloggers send every single post they do, but I prefer that to never getting anything. Link whoring makes it easier for me to have content, without having to go dig for it.

Rustmeister said...

That's what I try to do. That, and anything I figure to be "hot", like an ammo recall or something similar.