November 2, 2011
Behind the Hype– SETs, STDs, and Lurkers.
Blogging is not the easy, jot-down-your-thoughts, hit-the-publish-button, and out-it-bursts-into-the-blogosphere-like-a-newborn-babe, it appears to be. Creating a post can be like creating a baby. At times, it’s so enjoyable and exciting you never want to stop. If you weren’t so tired you’d write another one right away. Occasionally it can be tedious. You close your eyes and push the publish button, glad that the effort to just get it done is behind you.
But blogging is more complicated than creating a baby. There’s much more to it than writing and clicking “publish”. For example, the terms people use in search engines such as Google, have a great impact on a blog. Dave Grohl is a huge part of my blog. The terms “Dave Grohl drums” and “Dave Grohl drumming” chauffeur an amazing amount of people here. In fact, they’re the top two search engine terms (SET’s) that refer people to my blog. “Bunion” is a close second. That my blog is so closely associated with bunions leaves a warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Not everyone is searching for something as mundane as Dave Grohl’s drum kit (although it is enhanced by a vulture), or Brennan Boesch’s girlfriend (I don’t know who she is, people!). There are some very interesting individuals searching for some very colorful things. A few of the more bizarre terms that led to my blog include:
“women who polish their husbands toes”
“stop drop and roll does not work in hell lyrics”
“he waited two years till first sex”
And the winner of the most bizarre search term used to find my blog:
“first time outside crossdressing cool air sound of my heels”
I did my own web and image search on this term just to see what else popped up. I didn’t see my blog listed, but when I searched under images I came across Michelle.
Referrers are another necessity in the blogger’s world. Referrers are other blogs and web sites that link to your blog. A short time after I began blogging, I noticed some strange looking referrers. They became my favorites because they were generating half of my traffic. I was crushed when I found out they were “spam referrers”. They seem to have the same purpose in the blogosphere as the tiny annoying pests that inhabit the real world, such as mosquitoes and lice.
WordPress strongly advises a blogger to report spam referrers so that they can be blocked from using WordPress blogs for their devious purposes. This caused an ethical dilemma for me. Follow the rules and weed out the spammers (I am a rule follower by nature) or keep the spam referrers because it makes my blog look like it’s getting twice the hits it’s actually getting. In the end, I opted for justice for the spam scum, but there are days when my stats are so low I long for a few spam referrers just to perk me up.
At one time I thought the number of comments a blog had was indicative of the amount of traffic that blog got– comments equal blog life. “Poor little unread blog,” I used to think about the blogs with few comments. Then I became the blogger, and I could see the amount of traffic stopping by my blog daily. And that number in no way corresponded to the dismal number of comments I was receiving. I still don’t get many comments, but I have a lot of lurkers. A “lurker” is an affectionate term bloggers use to describe readers that don’t make themselves known by posting comments.
I was a lurker myself for a while. Before I began writing my blog, I read blogs. But I had no desire to leave a comment. Who cared what I had to say? Hadn’t the blogger said it all in the post? Then I read a blog post about Christian Louboutin heels for Barbies, and I felt compelled to comment. I was too nervous to type my comment cold-turkey on-line. It took two days of editing a Word Doc. to perfect my first comment: “Those are the only Louboutin’s I’ll ever be able to afford”. After that, I wrote and edited all my comments before posting them, until I began writing my own blog and realized comments didn’t need to be perfect. Posts did. (In a perfect blogosphere anyway).
There is so much more I could tell you. My battle with the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) monster, and the disappearing blogroll. One of these days, when my muse is AWOL and I’m desperate for a post, I’ll let you in on that hype, too.
PS– In case you’re wondering about the STD’s in my headline, it was an underhanded ploy for some traffic. I may fight spam, but I’m not against a little hype.
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