December 11, 2003
send links, not money
I’ve watched the blog phenomenom from afar these last three years, but really haven’t staked my claim until now. Yeah, I got a company blog, which even was linked by Ev a few years back. I’ve got a personal blog, which I share with my wife, where I occassional get creative. I even posted my writing in the early days, before the Web had search engines. My Letter to Jack Kerouac had some readers, as did Gravity Notes and The Nine Principles, which have a few pre-Web predictions that are still coming true.
But up till now, I haven’t done the pundit thing. I haven’t made a serious sustained effort to talk about software or web development or geek life. I haven’t committed myself to near constant name dropping or plumbing the depths of the truly strange.
So now, when it’s too late for me to join the blogorati, when my odds are slim at achieving lodestone status, when I’m trapped behind a power law, I’ll resign myself to merely whispering in the wind, hoping for the occasional Google visit, begging others to link to me.
We’re witnessing the beginnings of a new kind of influence. It’s not just about bragging that you’re the first “Joel” or the first “Liz” in Google. This lodestone elite will increase their influence as, more and more, the rest of the world wakes up to personal publishing. Someday, they may even exceed the reach of big marketing budgets, because they will be the media.
Part of me thinks this is cool, part of me hates this all too measurable display of the “rich gets richer” principle. Most of me, though, is purely self-interested. I want readers and I’m willing to grovel:
All hail the well-connected, for you have earned your audience through foresight, diligence, and consistent relevance. May you look fondly down upon our little local clusters and, if it pleases you, throw us a link in this season of giving.
As for myself, should I ever manage to claw my way into the Top 500, I hereby vow to bestow frequent linkage to worthy three-hit wonders, unless of course people start paying me for links, in which case I’ll take Visa and hire some hack to write my blurbs for me, while I find something else to obsess over for free.
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