25 November 2009

...and what a pantheon it is

Someone named Clara at a place called Wikio has contacted me twice within the past couple of weeks to inform me that this blog has attained a ranking of 43rd in the classical music category. I can't figure out if the site offers any way to compare blogs in different categories, but I have to think that 43rd in classical music must be the equivalent of about 10,000th in "Entertainment" or "Politics." If they ever add a "Pan-Stylistic Musico-Philosophical Ramblings" category, I'm sure I'll jump right to the top of that, but I'm not holding my breath.

Though I continue to cling to it as if out of total ignorance, I'm fully aware that my quest to establish an egoless and altruistic blog persona is an overly idealistic proposition if there ever was one. Even so, I could not in good conscience accept the invitation to add a Wikio badge to the sidebar proclaiming my status. I'd much prefer that the reputation of this document be made or unmade by its content. I also think those things are just plain tacky, a tad bit too smug for my taste, and in the case of this particular category and ranking, not necessarily guaranteed to work to your advantage, kind of like advertising the fact that you're the 205,957th coolest person in the Twin Cities.

I suppose this means I'm no longer allowed to lament my small readership, complain about the paucity of comments, or wonder aloud how blogs which seem to me to have no clear identity or focus could be more popular than mine. I could do more to shove this blog in people's faces, but I just don't believe in doing that (and not in music, either). I certainly don't believe in leaving comments on other people's blogs simply to promote my own. That's not only self-serving but downright destructive. Obviously, it's not like I want to hide the blog from people, and I do wonder what the chances are of the random person who goes looking for something just like this actually finding it. You have to have more free time and patience than most anyone has in order to successfully navigate the blogosphere without a compass. In that way, I wonder if the rankings, the blogrolls, and the perfuctory back patting aren't worth something, if not just a little tiny bit. I still don't want the badge, though, and as best I can tell, I won't lose my ranking by turning it down.

It also occurred to me during this time that in a moment of vulnerability, I once tacked a "followers" list onto the sidebar. I'm thankful for the 8 of them, but using them for marketing purposes runs contrary to the M.O. around here, so away it goes. It's not entirely for the same reason that I'm seriously considering abandoning the Postroll as well. I still dig the concept, but I have not invested enough in it for it to work. As such, most of the posts listed were written or originally linked to by the same few bloggers. I envisioned it being a more diverse collection of posts from a wider variety of sources. Those sources, I'm sad to say, have largely failed to materialize, and while I still find time to investigate a few new blogs from time to time, I haven't stumbled on a new "favorite" music blogger for quite some time. If only I could simply hide it without straight up deleting it. I can't seem to figure out if there's a way to do that, which means there probably isn't. That way I could keep open the option of returning to it in the future without merely starting over.

That brings us to one more thing I could do if I really wanted to be a real blogger, and that would be to move to a real platform. The estimable Kris Tiner recently did just that (read his explanation here), with seriously bad ass results. Once again, though, I find myself espousing some lofty conceit of purity, thinking to myself instead that imposing generic templates renders templates moot and allows the document to succeed or fail based on its content rather than its slick packaging. That would work if everyone operated under those restrictions. More likely, though, I'm just shooting myself in the foot.


Anonymous said...

The Tiner wordpress blog is flashy, but as a reader I hate that much flash.

However, I have no opinion about the advantages or disadvantages of Blogger or Wordpress.


Stefan Kac said...

I agree that flashy isn't the best way to go, and many of the Wordpress blogs I read strike me as a bit over the top in that respect. Use, don't abuse, right?

I used to use a very old computer with very old software and a very slow connection, so initially I gravitated towards simplicity mostly because I didn't want people stuck in the same boat to not be able to access my sites. I do think that Kris' montage of his album covers and photos is just plain beautiful, though. I also think that Blogger could be improved quite a bit without imposing flashiness on the user. That probably won't happen, but I'm not going anywhere in either case.

If Shilad happens to be lurking, I'm sure he'd have something to say. You out there dude?