One thing that really bothers me is when people assign motives to other people. And I need to be careful here that I don't do the same.
Here at this little blog, we occasionally do the "Open TrackBack Parties" as so other blogs. I wrote a little about it the other day in this post.
I didn't mention the first time I realized I was writing posts about other people's posts. But here's where I discovered what I was doing.
So, I didn't intentionally start listing other people as a way of getting links back. And it never developed into a way of getting links back.
I found that people responded postively to the listings. Which surprised me.
Then I found that people responded postively to getting linked. Which surprised me. (Well, one didn't like my listing him, but he's a hate-filled left, so there.)
And when I skipped a listing, people responded with things like "Where's Breakfast?" Which surprised me.
Now, unless I'm reading something wrong, bad motives have been assigned to what I've been doing. Which has surprised me.
Here's what NZ Bear emailed to Glenn Reynolds:
the blogosphere is a community, and the more the community as a whole shuns stunts such as "open trackback parties" that exist for no reason other than to exchange link counts, the less I'll have to worry about figuring out the latest algorithmic way to filter such exploits out. I can handle the obvious out-for-profit spam blogs --- it's the "real" bloggers who like to skirt the grey areas that I need the community's help to dissuade from bad behaviour.
Perhaps I'm unclear on what he's saying. When he says "'open trackback parties' that exist for no reason other than to exchange link counts" does he mean:
- That's what all Open TrackBack parties are? Nothing more than to exchange links? And that's what wrong with them all?
- That's what some Open TrackBack parties are and those are the one that are bad? But those that serve another purpose are okay? Or all are bad because some are bad?
I think he meant the former. And that's where I need to be careful. I don't want to assign the wrong meaning to what he said.
But if he said that all Open TrackBack parties exist for "exchange link counts" then he's sadly mistaken.
I can't speak for other bloggers. But Beth (MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy) has often said that she was "too lazy" to write something and just threw an "Open TrackBacks" post together. And bloggers will do that. Frank J. (IMAO) once threw out a "make up your own headlines" kind of post and it was the genesis for the Headline News feature on this little blog. So, asking the readers to supply content isn't new. Or bad.
But I'm reading what NZ Bear wrote as assigning bad motives. And if I'm reading him right, I take exception.
You want to do some research? Go check my "Articles of Interest" posts and see how many I link to don't accept TrackBacks. I'm curious, because I haven't done the research. But I do know that there is usually one, often two, and sometimes five links to posts that don't accept TrackBacks. So, I'm not getting a link back. And I could easily skip those if that's what I was after. It's not.
So, if NZ Bear didn't mean that all Open TrackBack posts "exist for no reason other than to exchange link counts" then I think a clarification is in order.
Or, if it's clear to all but me, then I owe him an apology.
But, if he meant what he said, he needs to understand that not everyone has bad motives. And he owes several blogs an apology.