Tuesday, July 03, 2007

So You Think Your Blog Is Even Suckier Than This One?

This is one of those posts which some will seen as a complaint, but it really isn't. It's a "be careful what you wish for" post for those who wish they had a "big blog" without really understanding what that involves. I certainly understand that people want to have a bigger audience, but it isn't all ponies and donuts.

I get about 600 emails per day to my blog email address, with very little of it being classic "Viagra and Nigerian scam" spam. I get lots of great info and tips, but I also get lots of other things. People email to complain about haloscan, or for other technical difficulties. People email to request I delete a comment they posted which accidentally revealed unwanted personal information, or to complain about people I should ban or the fact that I did ban people. Dozens of people add me to their generic "forward list," forwarding to me - and dozens of others - everything on the internets they find interesting. I get criticism, with some of it being thoughtful and interesting commentary on stuff I've written, but much of it is of the "what you should do with your blog" flavor. That is, people who insist that their priorities should be my priorities, that their interests should take precedent over my own.

Then there's being added to the press list of practically every campaign in the universe, along with those of every interest group under the sun. Plus the numerous people who request links to their organization or some focus on their issue, and that doesn't even include that fast swelling ranks of "word of mouth" marketers who spend their time trying to get bloggers to promote their latest whatever.

There's also the time spent trying to manage a community, which is actually a rather complex task that takes a lot of time even though it really benefits a relatively small number of readers. I love the comments community, and I'd be bored without it, but the fact is that the vast majority of people who read this site neither read nor participate in it.

None of this is complaint or resentment, it's simply a bit of a warning. Be careful what you wish for.