Every time I promote some of my work, I realize anew that despite the wonderful readership I have – y’all willingly promote this blog even without my asking – there is no chance in hell this blog will ever be popular in the way most blogs are.
I’m not going to make the front page of Digg, nor have 1,000 stumblers thumb me up. There aren’t ever going to be mentions in Arts and Letters Daily or academic blogs as a whole. The only way I’ll make news about blogs is if I do something obscene or infamous, like post the most vulgar thing that could ever be said about a celebrity (*thinks* hmm…).
I’m not saying any of this out of self-pity. I’m very happy right now. But I think I can see in a small way why people do crazy stunts – including getting arrested – to get on TV. Honor after death is pretty meaningless: one is not going to be around to enjoy it, and if one is in the better or worse parts of the afterlife, there will be better things to do or far worse punishments to endure.
So some kind of attention now isn’t just a superficial thing, I think. Especially for those of us who think we have something to share, attention is tough to be “moderate” about, for more attention can mean more opportunities for us and those we wish to aid. Imagine what Paris Hilton could do to better herself if she wanted at this point, and how her worst critics would be in awe if she made such an attempt.
Now there are too many criteria to consider if I want to think through what can make a blog influential, so I want to open the comments to you. What blogs no one has heard of do you think have influenced your thinking? Is there something they can do to reach a wider audience without compromising themselves? Should they try for a wider audience? Furthermore, what lessons do you think this blog can learn from those or other blogs?
I should say I do believe this blog, as small as it is, to be very influential right now. So if you like, feel free to comment on what all these blog statistic numbers mean, if they mean anything. – It would seem influence depends on the quality of people influenced, not quantity. But as noted above, attention generally matters. –