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From Where the Sun Now Stands, I Will Blog-whore No More, Forever

For those unfamiliar with the term, "blog-whoring" is when you post an entry to your blog that will, in your dispassionate opinion, quite likely change the course of human history if only enough other people get a chance to read it. For humanity's sake, you feel compelled to communicate with other blog-owners -- usually those with much larger readerships than your own -- to try to convey to them the urgent necessity of placing a link in their blog to the item you've just written. I mean, come on. What we are talking about here is the survival of the human race.

Okay, that's one way of describing blog-whoring. Another one might be: peddling your blog's ass all over town.

Yes, I've blog-whored myself. I always tell myself I won't do it anymore, but then... well, I mean, after all... when you have written something that will cause humanity to throw off its chains, or banish darkness from its heart, or, you know, stop using so many plastic shopping bags, what are you supposed to do? Abandon your obligations to your fellow man?

Still, when I do it, I feel dirty afterward and always regret doing it. Partly this is because I am naturally demure and retiring, as you all well know, and partly this is because, so far, the entries I had assumed would change the course of human history turned out to be somewhat less than staggering in their insights or -- a thousand times worse -- the jokes weren't as funny as I thought they were.

So! Never again!

If you own a blog and I seductively wave one of my entries in your general direction, kindly avert your eyes. I don't want to do it. It's a disease, not a moral failing. Nevertheless, I know it is my responsibility to overcome it, not yours. All I ask is a little compassion. And, you know, maybe you could permanently block my email address.


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But Mike, if your blog wouldn't have been linked on other blogs, I'd have never found it!

And if you are thinking some of your blog entries could change the world one person at a time, well, it's true: I have found several of them to be that affecting. And I've shared them with my son. So that's a whole new generation you're a'changin'.

Don't stop blog-whoring. Just blog-whore selectively. ;)

Well, you are very kind to say so and I really appreciate it. However, I would bet that you found my blog because somebody linked to it on the basis of something they found without help from me. That is, they already read my blog, and they saw and liked something I'd written, and so they linked to it.

Which I love, of course. Every blogger does. What I hate is this feeling that I slagged above... this urge to Get The Word Out, Urgently. I've grown to really hate that impulse in myself, and I think ultimately it damages my writing. I think I should just do with my blog what I do with my blog and be very grateful that there is a group of people who read it consistently -- I know who you are. Well, actually I don't in all cases. The logs reveal the existence of some regular readers, but I don't in all cases know who they are in particular. I obviously know the identity of those who post comments, and I read and appreciate every comment I get from them, but there are some readers I know only by way of their IP addresses repeatedly showing up. I'm glad when a new one shows up. I'm sad when others stop showing up in the logs.

But actual blog-whoring... it's never really added very many new readers to my blog, and as a habit I really do think it damages me. So even though I was mostly goofing above, I really am going to try to stop doing it altogether.

Don't be too hard on yourself here. You're a very low level blog-whore at worst (no offense intended, of course; quite the opposite, in fact). Real over-the-top blog-whoring occurs on social bookmarking sites like digg.com where users submit stories with news-you-can-use like "Linux Is Better Than Windows" or "Microsoft Invents Flying Car. Bill Gates Reveals He's the Alien Lovechild of Ming the Merciless and Judy Garland." The published link references the author's blog on which he has a link to the real news article on cnn.com or weeklyworldnews.com or whatever.

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