March 04, 2002

The Warblog of J. Alfred Prufrock

It occurred to me today that web logging is a form of multi-level marketing, for some people. The currency is hits, the organizational structure is linking. [...] The grand prize is to get "A-listers" to link to you; then you get a percentage of the huge traffic their sites get. To do this, you suck up. You create a permanent list of links to A-listers on your own page and hope they notice the refers — and by so doing you become part of their downline, increasing their power. They might reward you with a link in return, usually transient. — Den Beste
Let us blog then, you and me,
When the Blogspot is running fast and free
Like a comet shooting `cross the sky;
Let us blog, towards certain well-examined URL’s,
The banner ad unfurls,
The caustic digs at less-than-sharp writers,
Punches are thrown as by heavyweight fighters,
Links that lead to endless arguments
And caterwauling laments
But here we raise an overwhelming question…
How to appear in refer logs?
Let us link to A-list blogs.

In the blogs the pundits squawk and squall
Bleating at Chomsky and Ted Rall

The lengthy posts that get typed into the Post & Publish,
The brilliant posts that disappear into the Post & Publish,
Poured my soul onto the whiteness of the page,
Refreshed again the page and saw it post
Made sure typos did not appear to mar its brilliance,
Returned to my Inbox, scanned the unread,
And seeing that there was no new reader mail,
Signed off from the server, and went to bed.

And indeed there will be hits
For the brilliant posts that dance on down the screen
Disappearing into the Post & Publish;
There will be hits, there will be hits
For the posts I write will certainly be seen;
There will be hits from Google and Lycos
Their searches for porn and Britney Spears
Mentioned in passing and then adios;
Hits for you and hits for me,
But the hits are but a hundred accidental,
Google matches just coincidental,
Before they find a site other than me.

In the blogs the pundits squawk and squall
Bleating at Chomsky and Ted Rall

No! I am not Prince Andrew, nor was meant to be;
Am an amusing read, one that will do
To find some nugget, start a thread or two.
Dash off an e-mail with studied nonchalance,
Deferential, hoping for acknowledgement:
"My thanks to Ken Goldstein, who sent this along…"
His trusted advisor, this blessed event;
And there, at last, it seems that I belong!
But no – there’s no response.

I must post…I must post…
I shall link to bloggers that get linked to most

Shall I write a scathing essay? Do I dare to make a stink?
I shall make my page quite shocking, with my fonts fluorescent pink.
I have seen the A-list linking, link to link.

I do not think that they will link to me.

I have seen them writing onward down the scroll
Thirty posts daily makes a breathless tale
Plus columns and interviews and e-mail,
I have waited for this moment in the sun
On web-sites read and stored in my cache
Then InstaPundit links me! And I crash.

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