Sunday, February 03, 2008

Roll up AND THAT'S AN INVITATION, roll up for the mystery tour

The lovely and talented Jon Swift, along with the effervescent and witty skippy invited me to participate in Blogroll Amnesty Day. B.A.D? What the heck is it? Well, for those that don't know, I'll let Jon explain:
The idea that links are the capital of the blogosphere seems so obvious that you would think an economist like Atrios of Eschaton would have realized it long ago. And as he is a progressive who has accumulated quite a bit of link wealth, you might also think he would be in favor of redistributing some of that wealth instead of just letting it trickle down. So when he announced last year that he was declaring February 3 Blogroll Amnesty Day, and other bloggers followed suit, I assumed he meant that he was opening his blogroll up to the masses. I sent him a polite email pointing out that his blog was on my blogroll and I would really appreciate it if he would add my blog to his. I never heard back from him.

When February 3 rolled around, many bloggers discovered to their horror that instead of adding new blogs to his blogroll he was throwing many off, including some bloggers who were his longtime friends. Blogroll Amnesty Day, it turned out, was a very Orwellian concept. Instead of granting amnesty to others he was granting amnesty to himself not to feel bad for hurting others feelings. Though Atrios has stubbornly refused to acknowledge that he made a mistake, some bloggers who initially joined him, backtracked. Markos of the Daily Kos instituted a second blogroll that consisted of random links from diarists.

I have nothing agains Atrios. Why, I can even remember when he used to return my emails, although usually when he would use Yes lyrics as the titles for his posts
and I would comment on that. And while I've discussed the power of blogrolling with other bloggers who tut-tut and assure me it means nothing, that links never come from other blog's blogrolls, well, it's usually multi-thousand hits-per-day folks who say that. In other words, it may not help your traffic, but it sure will help mine.

When I started this blog on 9/11/04, I really had no idea where it was going, and it took a long while before I really felt like I had found my own voice and style. And yes, that includes the goofy way I use song lyrics for the titles of every piece. Interestingly, other big-time bloggers have followed suit (paging Dr. Alterman?), but I take no credit. Nope, none at all.

I can remember when I finally got on a big-time blogger's blogroll, not the exact date, but I remember who it was: Lambert, the ringmaster at CorrenteWire added me. (He would later invite me to have front-page privileges over there!).

The next to add me was Tom at TBogg, lately folded into the FireDogLake experience. (I was also already on FDL's blogroll from earlier when the traffic over there was a mere fraction of what it has become. Way to go, Jane!)

The next to add me was someone I have gotten to know pretty well, and will call a real friend of ours: skippy! We've partied together, discussed damn near everything, and he's even revealed his secret real name to me. In fact, here's a picture of him and mrs. skippy. As the Miller Lite commercial used to say: "I love you, man!"

So here's my chance to say thanks to folks like skippy, and Jon, who have helped with my traffic, and to give a helping hand to some other fine blogs:

12th Harmonic: Australian, with a great perspective on the world. Oh, and Jon Fox is an audio guy like me.

Peromyscus: Mostly music, and sci-fi, and great writing.

Fallen Monk: A gentleman, who blogs about politics. And food!

Busted Knuckles: A great guy with a unique voice. And he likes music!

Bear: Totally unlike any other blog, and great graphics. And he writes fiction too.

So here are 5 really good blogs that deserve reading. And they're already on my blogroll. Hey, big-time bloggers, are they on yours?