Welcome to 2011! I hope everyone had a happy and safe New Year’s celebration.
Whether you’re just tuning in, or you’ve been here for a while, I think it’s worth pointing out the three things that make my blog different from every other in the firearms/self defense field.
First, I long ago made the commitment to writing a large percentage of original content. That is, things that I wrote myself, as opposed to taking from others. My goal was (and still is) to provide information to my readers that they may not find anywhere else. Many bloggers simply link to other’s work, perhaps adding a few comments of their own along the way. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes that commentary is insightful and adds to the enjoyment of the material. It’s just not what I want to provide to my readers.
I want my readers to come away informed. Sometimes I’m forced to resort to linking to other’s original work, namely because I don’t have time to write lots of original content each week, but my goal is to have at least half of what you read be mine alone. I think over the past few years I’ve done a little better than that.
Second, I’m not attempting to monetize this blog. Monetization is the act of leveraging ones readers to generate income, and it’s the big thing these days. There have been books, DVDs, websites, podcasts, and – yes! – blogs devoted to earning big money by blogging. Supposedly the way one does this is to write lots of short posts linking to other’s work (bringing us back to that whole original content thing), which in turn attracts readers to the blog – the end game being to derive ad revenue from their visits.
That’s just not ‘me’. You’ll notice that there aren’t any Google ads, pop-ups, or resource-hogging Flash animations here. That’s because I’m not trying to fund this blog; it rides for free on the website to which it’s attached. The website carries the expense, leaving me free to deliver original, informative content in a way that doesn’t try to extract money from my readers. Someone who just wants to read my scribblings can do so in peace and without ever venturing into the rest of my site.
Finally, I don’t “hit whore”. Hit whoring is the practice of writing something about a currently popular topic that raises the passions of the reader and virtually dares him/her to visit and respond. Entries sprinkled with phrases and keywords calculated to appeal to search engines also come under this classification. This is a very popular technique to use when monetizing a blog: one simply links to someone else’s content, adds a few lines of emotional appeal to one side or the other, formats it in such a way as to mimic the likely terms someone might Google, and presto – the hits are a’comin!
For instance: this year you’re going to see a lot of hit whoring related to the centennial celebration of a certain autoloading pistol invented by a certain gun designer who lived in a certain western state known for having a large population of a certain religious group. If I were hit whoring, I’d mention all of those proper names (and the gun’s nomenclature, and its caliber, and the certain self defense teacher from a certain other western state who retired as a commissioned officer from a certain well-regarded branch of the military to open a certain training facility whose symbol was a certain black bird and who was famous for popularizing this gun during the ’70s and ’80s.)
Once I’d mentioned that gun, and it’s designer, and it’s caliber, and everything else a reader might Google, I’d make it hit bait by writing such things as this certain gun being “the best EVAHH!!!!!”, and this certain designer “the best EVAHH!” and the caliber with which it was most identified as being “the best EVAHH!!!!” This would be carefully crafted to appeal to the myopic, die-hard fans of the gun/designer/caliber, and impressionable youth who can’t spell.
I could also engage in reverse hit whoring. That’s where I do the same kind of name-dropping, but instead of fawning praise I write things like this certain gun being an inefficient, unreliable example of design-by-committee (the gun’s manufacturer and end user having significant input into the design) or how the gun’s inventor was a hack with limited talent (after all, the guy couldn’t even design a revolver.) That is, if I wanted to engage in such nonsense.
You’ll kindly notice that I’ve not mentioned anything or anyone specifically, and because I was careful not to use any common search terms or proper names in any of the preceding no one is going to find this original post by Googling. That means I’m not a hit whore, which means I can’t monetize my blog, which accounts for the fact that I’m not rich!
So much for virtue.
-=[ Grant ]=-
- Posted by Grant Cunningham
- On January 3, 2011