A couple years ago, when I was looking for some concise way to define Social Software, one of the definitions I used was “stuff worth spamming”, on the theory that any open group channel worth its salt would attract that form of system gaming.
Behold Blog Explosion, the first blog spam co-operative. With Blog Explosion, you can now sign up to generate worthless traffic to other weblogs, in return for their generating worthless traffic to you:
The concept is very simple. You read other blog sites and they in return visit your blog. Blogexplosion is the internet’s first blog exchange where thousands of bloggers visit each other’s blogs in order to receive tons of blog traffic. Imagine how many other people out there could be adding your blog to their blogroller and how many people would be reading your blog every day with this sort of attention. It’s free to use!
And NJ.com offers more proof, as if any were needed, that fantasizing about weblogs has become a broad cultural obsession, as the article Take the inside track to the insider’s club, demonstrates:
Injecting yourself into the inside ranks of any subculture, from coin collecting to Java software programming, was once an arduous, seemingly impossible task, requiring years of experience, flights to far-off conventions, and lots of schmoozing with insiders.
No more. Now anyone can assume the position of insider — one of those in-the-know types who is up on the latest news, is acquainted with all the major players, and is viewed as a personage of some esteem within a discreet arena. From e-mail to Weblogs, the online world opens up avenues to cozy up to experts, make a mark in your avocation or profession, and be viewed, in your own right, as someone who matters.
It ends with the exhortation ” And the ultimate act of insiderdom? Create a Weblog. Do it, devote your life to it, and you will soon be a star.”
I can’t tell whether to feel happy or sad that I’ve sat through this movie so many times that I can mouth the words, but seeing the idea of web rings and that old “Now you can have direct access to world leaders — through e-mail!” meme run through the “Now with new Blogs!” treatment does suggest we’ve entered the phase where first-mover advantages are being sold to Nth movers, where N is large. Next stop, exposes airing the disappointment of people who started a blog and worked on it all week and still didn’t become famous.
Just like the web before it, the people selling ‘it’s the easy path to a big audience’ are not the inventors of the pattern but the people who understood how things worked when the crowd was small, and begin selling those virtues to the people whose very entrance into the system pushes it out of communal equilibrium.