Friday, May 22, 2009

Competitive Blogging

Today is now tomorrow and my bedtime occurred last night. Two hours ago, I sat down to simply check my email before bed. Now, though I am in bed, this article is taking form…

You start a blog so that you can write about some stuff and maybe people will see it or not, but you enjoy the process and it’s just for fun when you have some extra time to kill, and then next thing you know, you are awake in the early am hours of the morning writing an article because Blog X just gained ten more followers and now you have to catch up.

Some symptoms of unhealthy competitive blogging:
• Rejecting social invitations because you have to do a bunch of research for your next piece.
• Pressuring your friends to read your blog so you can get that extra visit.
• Spending hours each week checking your analytics, trying to calculate how accurate the program is, and comparing your numbers to some random average figures you obtained from some random website.
• Feeling inadequate because Blog X has more comments and anger at having your work being ignored.
• Comparing your style of blogging to other sites.
• Comparing yourself to other bloggers. Feelings of resentment and inadequacy because you find their style/input/knowledge/background is more validated than your own and if you had their name/title/education, more people would read your blog as well.
• Calculating the number of posts per week to maximise visits.
• Skipping or missing meals.
• Showing up late for work, calling in sick, using company time to research and write (under the justification that it is somehow related to your work or you deserve more time for yourself anyway).
• Wondering if you will ever catch up to your peers; Giving up, hopelessness.

Is this normal? Probably. Is this healthy? Probably not. The important thing to take into account with this subject or with any obsessive or compulsive behaviour, is how much it is dictating what happens in your day and much anxiety it causes. Being able to take a step back to remind yourself of why you began your blog can help refocus your energy toward your work as work and not your work as competition. The blogoshpere is a big, scary world (they don’t call them trolls because they’re friendly…). But communities and friends are built and support networks are formed. And someone is always reading.

Here are some blogs I found which have also entered into the discourse of competitive blogging:

* The Deon Chronicles has a friendly, competitive blog post.

* flexknowlogy talks about the healthy side of competitive blogging.

* Krentz Quick & Castle Blog talks about comparisons to other bloggers. And bloggers helping each other out.

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