I want to talk about blogging for a moment. I know it's dangerously "meta" to blog blogging, but I am willing to take the risk that this post will somehow become the Singularity.
I don't really know who, if anyone, reads this site. Maybe a lot of people do, maybe 3 people do. Irrespective of that, I feel like I am a half-decent writer who occasionally has something interesting, useful, or novel to say. I don't have a lot going for me, but at sizeable intervals I say something amusing. We failed graduate students have to take our victories where we can get'em.
I have, on numerous occasions, attempted to get more people to read this thing. The way blogs increase traffic is almost entirely via links from other widely-read blogs. So getting those widely-read blogs to pay any attention is not unlike the remora trying to get an appreciative gesture out of the shark. I usually don't take their snobbish disregard of me too seriously, but after a very recent (and very bad) experience with a "big name" liberal blog, I feel the need to say something (which, as the moral of this story implies, no one will read).
Ever notice how the "BlogRoll" on all the big liberal/progressive/critical blogs seems to be exactly the same? DailyKos links AmericaBlog, AmericaBlog links DailyKos, Crooks and Liars links both referencing each other (inbetween its 5-per-week FireDogLake and MyDD links) and it generally resembles a big orgy of winking. Now, I have nothing against those blogs. I read them all (and the other "usual suspects" on the lib blogroll) regularly. They are indispensible. But to read them would give you the impression that there are all of about 15 blogs on the internets that have anything interesting to say.
Undeterred, I recently sent an email to a big name blog, an admitted piece of shameless self-promotion about a recent entry here that I felt was potentially interesting. While I expect (and receive) no response from those sorts of things, this time I was told that if I wanted a hat tip, I should buy an ad (starting at $500).
OK. So let me get this straight. There's a list of Old Boys' Club blogs that get free traffic-generating links every day, and the rest of us commoners have to pay out the nose for the privilege of getting noticed. Wow. How "progressive."
Several responses are probably coming to mind at this point. I will refute them in order.
I'd like to stress one last time that all of the blogs I have mentioned here by name are favorite reads of mine. I have nothing against them and (where applicable) their success and broad base of regular readers. I don't really think I'm interesting enough to be that successful (or successful at all) but I draw a mental line at being told I should fork over $500 for what people in the Old Boys' Club receive gratis every day.
(And, to bring the "meta" full-circle, suggest Ginandtacos to your favorite big-name blog. Sit back and watch how they ignore your suggestion to read the post about how they ignore your suggestions. Then we really will be at the singularity.)