An Interview with a Blogging Bloke
Recently a fellow blogger (who I will call Blogger X) asked me some very tough questions about where I stand on certain issues. Although he assured me that he wasn’t attacking me personally, he did make known his notions of where he perceives I’m at.
Admittedly I felt a little uncomfortable because I was genuinely surprised with how he sees the Bloke. I guess in some respects it was a wake up call for me and so I thought it would be a good idea if I posted it just in case some of my readers still don’t know where the Bloke stands.
So here is our exchange (in some cases I may have elaborated on my original statement):
(Blogger X) Bloke, you seem to dislike:
1.) A List bloggers.
My Answer: I totally reject the concept of a class system. I thought we became enlightened and left that sort of nonsense back in the medieval ages.
I see myself as somewhat of a maverick in the world of blogging. I’ve never been the type to brown nose my way to the top and a blogger’s position on Technorati means nothing to me.
Either I make it on my own merit or I don’t. If I make it, then I guess that’s great. But if I don’t make it, then so what? If I’m not blogging for my own enjoyment then it’s just not worth it to me.
The fact is a-lists were created as a means to drown out the rest of the blogosphere so that only a few can make most of the money. It is an ego trip for a few geeks and pundits who were neglected and abused in high school. This is their idea of payback.
Sucking up to someone (or a blogger) just to move up the chain is absolutely abhorrent to my very being. It’s the same reason why I rejected long ago trying to climb the corporate ladder. For to do so would be the same as my buying into the system and imply that a-listers are somehow better than me because Technorati’s algorithm says so. Nonsense!
I am the opposite of so-called a-listers like Guy Kawasaki whose primary contribution to the blogosphere has been to regurgitate old books, and whose sole reason for blogging is to suck up for high ranking links and make it to the top of Technorati (so he can sell more books).
Side note: I don’t mean to pick on just Guy but I have read many posts of his where he has flagrantly admitted to this. At least I have to respect his honesty even if I happen to disagree with him.
It’s the same reason why so many bloggers are trying to get published in the print world, because they know that it gives the perception of instant credibility. And yet they are the first in line to criticize mainstream media. How lame can you get.
A-listers who want to be on top of the heap and milk it for everything they can get have to expect a little criticism along with the adulation. Not unlike celebs, if you are in the public eye you have to be prepared to take a hit once in a while, and it is your responsibility to set an example for the rest of us commoners.
So if the a-listers screw up they can be sure to receive a spanking from the Bloke now and again. I know for a fact this a reason why I have been shunned by many of the a-listers, but if that is the price I have to pay for being true to my ethics then so be it.
I like success as much as anyone else but I also have to look myself in the mirror, and my own self respect is far more important to me than what the world perceives as success.
So my answer is — a-lists… who the hell needs it (rhetorical question).
2.) Bloggers making a lot of money.
My Answer: I have nothing against making money and I like it as much as anyone else. I am just against the use of sleazy methods while making it. There are lots of ways to make money online, but if you are going to be a sleaze about it then don’t be surprised if you find the Bloke in your face.
3.) Bloggers (like me) who use extra pages and tools to drive traffic.
My Answer: I have nothing against using tech tools to improve traffic. What on earth gave you that impression? The only thing that I caution against is the overuse of technology where it negatively impacts a blog’s performance or appearance.
There is also a fine line in employing certain tactics (such as link baiting) that I think some may have crossed the line. Just as there are some SEO methods that are delving into grey areas which are best left alone. SEO is a perfectly respectable field so long as it is applied ethically, and the same goes for any technology or method to improve one’s blog traffic.
4.) Bloggers who Scratch each others backs.
My Answer: I have nothing against bloggers helping each other. I help bloggers at InstaBLOKE all the time. That is what this blog is all about and what is wonderful about the blogosphere in general. It is about the collaboration of ideas, talents and experiences from which we can all benefit.
But unfortunately there are always a few out there whose only intent is to exploit technology for their own selfishness, and I will take every opportunity that presents itself to expose those characters for what they really are.
*The bottom line is, for me fairness and ethics in the blogosphere is everything and all else is secondary. If you want to reap from the blogosphere then you should give back to it as well. Otherwise you are just another self-serving parasite.
(Blogger X) That is what I sense when I read your blog, I have had others read your blog and basically get the same message, I am just trying to see if I am missing something.
My Answer: Thanks for bringing this to my attention X. Am I redeemed or did I completely miss the mark?
So what do you think? Am I being too harsh on the “parasites” ? The Bloke is listening…
Filed under: blog bloke, instabloke, blog, weblog, blogging, seo