To those who lament the supposedly undemocratic, even feudal nature of the blogosphere, I have one question: exactly how would you like to see things operate differently?
Did you really think, when you started blogging, that putting a few posts out on the web was going to lead to an audience of millions? Without the help of someone who has influence? There’s more self-delusion there than “innocent fraud”.
If you’ve got an Internet connection, you can post. If you work at it, you can get indexed by the search engines. Is this not more democratic than the old media system of submitting content to a publisher?
You don’t have to live in a shack outside the castle waiting to pander up to an A-lister. And if you’re there, nobody is forcing you to stay.
Sure, links from A-listers drive lots of traffic, but there are other methods that work. 51% of my traffic comes from Google. WordPress.org sends 10% for widgets I’ve written. Technorati provides 6%. Sure, a lot of the search engine rank comes from links from other blogs, but very few of my inbound links come from A-listers, and those are only from comments or trackbacks I left on their blogs. Most links are from bloggers like me who are in the Technorati 2,000 to 200,000 range. Build conversations with those people, and the search engines will notice.
So while you’re certainly welcome to wallow in your disillusionment, that’s not for me. When something disappoints me, I do one of three things:
Change it. Tell me what you’d do differently, and let’s see if we can make it happen. Come up with some constructive ideas, instead of just moaning that Mama didn’t tell you there’d be days like this.
Leave it. Can’t change it? Still don’t like it? Then why are you still hanging around?
Determine the value of N, where (readers > N) => still blogging. Or maybe it’s not the quantity, but the quality. The conversations you have with commenters and trackbackers, however few they may be. Or then again, maybe you’re just blogging to hear yourself talk. If that’s your gig, that’s OK too.
Time to ask yourself, “Why do I blog?” Then evaluate the likelihood of achieving your goals. Then get on it.
And no, you don’t need your feudal lord’s permission.