Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Poets, bloggers, and reading to an empty room

Blog Explosion's initial enthusiasts are now complaining. They resent the flurries of 30-second visitors clicking through to earn points (compelling other BE-ers to look at their pages). But it seems everybody is clicking through as soon the mesmerising GO button appears! Or perhaps they're circling back to mash that button while cleaning house, watching tv, or working on their own blogs. What a lot of pointless clicking is going on.

Blog Explosion click-maniacs are this era's newbie poets. From the inside, misunderstood and wrongfully neglected; from the outside, under-talented, inexperienced and/or self-centered. There are no entry requirements, any more than for poets. Since before the days of velvet breeches, with a piece of paper and a pencil anybody's in the game. (Low start-up costs.)

Novice poets complain about lack of appreciation/readership. It's their own fault in at least two ways. (1) Their poetry is usually lousy; (2) instead of supporting themselves as a community, they immediately yearn to be big fish in a very small pond.

Experienced poets support each other - they belong to creative writing circles and meet and encourage and hear and critique together. One reward is, their poetry improves, and another is, when they write there are at least a few people listening. Nouveau poets focus on themselves. They go to poetry readings only to read their own poetry. Then they leave unless the canny organizers of the events forbid it. I witnessed this myself when a poet I was dating (I know, I know) asked me to go to a reading. As the evening progressed, more and more people snuck out until the last poet (sadly, my date) declaimed to an almost empty room.

Editors of poetry journals and literary magazines regularly complain that they receive submissions from far more people than subscribe to their periodicals. They point out there are far more people writing poetry than reading it.

OK, more people would read more poetry if poetry were, in general, less drekky. The same goes for blogs. But new bloggers should be less self-focused. Experienced bloggers understand that they need each other, for encouragement, for ideas, for readers. Sure, it can get recursive (a different problem). But it's less lonely.

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At 11:10 AM, Blogger Jexebel said...

I agree completely. The best traffic generator is simply quality content.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Prochein Amy said...

With Blog Explosion, I found some great sites, but there was just to much. I had to stop because my blog roll can only get so big and I only have so much time to read. I think it is a good place to get into that group of poets, as a base. Then you work from there.

I have noticed that Bloggers have little cliques, but you don't have to limit yourself to just one. What a wonderful thing!!!

At 12:14 PM, Blogger John Q. Public esq. said...

I side with both comments
its sad at times to talk about something more ppl write than read...


JQP esq.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Ted Demopoulos said...

More people writing poetry than read it! That's funny : - but sad.
I'm not sure on blogexplosion yet - I'm using it both to drive traffic and to see what others are doing with blogs. Hey, I might get some good ideas. Or read some interesting stuff.

I do think BE needs to allow segmenting blogs soon. For example, I'm simply not interested in knitting blogs, and my mother is not interested in the stuff I write (i.e. my journalistic output) except that of course she is my mother!


At 11:16 PM, Blogger WordsRock said...

I consider BlogExplosion rather like a scavenger hunt. Every so often I'll find a prize, or a prize will find me.

The rest of the time? I'll enjoy being alone in a crowd.

Nice blog. Thanks for sharing. :)


At 7:36 AM, Blogger cw said...

So here I am, surfing through BlogExplosion while enjoying my morning cup of coffee before the weekday ritual of forcing myself to get to work, when I happen upon this small piece of the great big "blogosphere"(Does anyone else cringe at all these new terms related to our websites?).

I have become a recent participant in the BlogExplosion/BlogClicker/Blogazoo craze, and I will admit, I too have found myself waiting for that tiny countdown to finish so I can press on in my endless addiction. However, being an artist, not necessarily a writer by heart (computerIT geek by brain), I have a similar training as you reference in this article. I was taught in school to give each piece a fair and objective review. No, I do not wish to read about knitting blogs, for I do not knit, or dieting blogs, because I have the fastest metabolism this side of the Mississippi, but I still try. As long as the user's website grabs my attention in some way, I try to read at least one or two of their stories to give it the attention it deserves.

If these new writers and poets can learn anything, I think they can learn not only to write to attract the readers to stick around on their site for more than the countdown, but also learn some basic rules of artistic composition. Make the site pleasing to the eye, not an advertising and gadget laden site that makes our eye burn to tears and has us fumbling for the 'Go' image.

Consider yourself 'Blogmarked'

At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lspend lots of time crujising the net in order to post some 20 to 35 links per day (4 days per week) at I do post "babes" too--this helps traffic and in most instances the focus is upon beauty etc rather than porn. The result? Readers of my site can pick and choose among the variety that is out there: science, art, lit, funny stuff, museums, etc

Yes. There is lots of bad stuff out "there," but isn't this the case with films, books, real estate, relatives, jobs, resorts, doctors and on and on: moral: be selective and know what you like and not what you are told you should like.


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