So, as NM noted, wordpress has started sticking links at the bottom of posts. They say that it’s about helping to drive traffic to blogs. But between this and that feature that pops up the tiny previews of the webpage you’re about to go to, it’s enough to make me encourage folks to just retire to the safety of their RSS reader.
I don’t like it. I don’t guess I mind that it gives you related posts of mine, but, to me, links indicate endorsement and when WordPress puts links on the bottom of my content, it looks like I have read those posts and think you should to, and that’s not true.
I’m ready to be persuaded otherwise, if people like it, but I’m giving it a couple days and if I don’t see the charm of it, I’m turning it off.
I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about this thread over at Chris Clarke’s and I do think that there’s something to be said about carefully considering whether turning folks’ attention to someone is always a positive. Is having more eyes really that important if those folks aren’t going to read?
I don’t normally read Feministe, but I’ve been following things over there and trying to think about the implications for how we… for how I do things.
It’s funny (not funny ha ha, but funny weird) that I can articulate to you that I think things are fucked up and I want something different, but that I don’t trust myself to know what that different will look like, that I don’t know that I trust that, in my fucked-up-ness, I can dream big enough for what a better future will look like.
And yet, the other day, I was emailing Mag and I was all “I think what we have to do is…” like I’m going to be the general, or Moses or whatever. I am not the leader.
And more importantly, if I know it is fucked up how I was trained as a white woman to run around trying to smooth things over and coddle everyone and make nice, and if I know my own tendencies to try to appease abusive people in order to soothe them and try to de-escalate explosive situations, I’ve got to stop trying to appease, smooth over, coddle, smooth, and make nice.
I’ve got to be willing to let people’s pain and anger remain unresolved in the way that I’m used to seeing resolution, because how I see resolution is often deeply fucked.
I’m kind of meandering yet again, but my point is that more linking doesn’t, in and of itself mean anything. More hits doesn’t constitute more blessings. Buying into this idea that we should all strive to be popular and read seems to me to not be a small purchase.
I mean, every day I come in here and I see that I have at least fifty more folks who got here looking for “Hermaphrodite porn.” That post is, by far, the most popular post I’ve ever written. Right now, it’s had 8,536 views.
I don’t regret writing that post. Rereading it reminds me of a fun evening with a good friend. I don’t have anything against porn, except, as I said, that no one in the porn I see ever seems to be having any fun. I think porn featuring actual hermaphrodites might be very hot (if they seemed to be having fun) and I think that porn featuring women with dildos glued to their “ovary place” could be hot, too, again, if it seemed like they were enjoying themselves.
But, at this point, with that post being three years old, and with no new comments since it first went up, something about that 8,536 just grates on me a little bit. My second most popular post, the open letter to Jesus’ General, during the incident that led to the demise of NiT as I loved it (yes, Christian, I love you too.), I’m fine with having out there as a representative piece of writing for what I do here.
Love me or hate me, agree or disagree with me, but, from where I’m sitting, I feel like, if you’ve looked at that post, you both have a sense of who I am as a person and a blogger, how I’m bringing a very localized lens to focus on larger issues, and how I situate myself in the world.
You read that Hermaphrodite Porn post, you’re looking for hermaphrodite porn on Google and it brought you here long enough to realize there wasn’t any hermaphrodite porn. What the fuck does that matter to me except to know that all my blog stats are inflated every day by a hundred readers who aren’t actually reading me?
I do not give a shit about those people. They do not count, in my own mind, towards any standard of judging whether my blog is “popular” or “important.”
So, on the one hand, yes, I see the benefit to having an easy way for people to explore other writers who might be writing about this stuff, even if those links aren’t endorsed by the author of the post (especially if everyone understands that they aren’t), but it also seems to me that promising authors more eyes doesn’t really mean much if those eyes don’t lead to thoughtful readers.