Thursday, October 27, 2005

Reader Reciprocation Experiment

[Update: Yeah, that was getting too complicated. I've dumped the 'extended hat-tip' idea. Much simpler now.]

[Update 2: If you don't like link exchanges, feel free to add yourself to this Frappr map instead.]

Nova Spivack writes:
I am trying a little experiment to see who is reading this blog. Anyone who posts a link in their blog to the permalink of this blog entry will get a reciprocal link back to their blog from within the body of this blog entry... Why am I doing this? I'd like to form a network of reciprocal links with the blogs of my readers. This will help me understand who is reading my blog, and will also enable other readers to discover one anothers' blogs.

Most link exchanges are pretty lame, I think... especially those third-party ones which just get random people to read each others' blogs. (Why even bother? Is boosting visitor stats really something of intrinsic value, independently of whether readers actually enjoy or learn from your site, contribute to interesting discussions, etc.?) So I'm a little suspicious. But this one, being quite non-random, has the potential to be at least slightly less lame than most. For example, now Nova can learn that I read his blog, which he might not have known before. I'd be quite curious to learn of others out there that read my blog. (Lurker Day was fun for just this reason.)

So I'm going to do the same thing here. If you're an (at least) occasional reader of this blog, link directly to this entry, and I'll update it so you receive a link in return. If it's been a couple of days and I still haven't noticed your post, feel free to email me.

Reader list:
- The Uncredible Hallq
[to be updated]


  1. Too too complicated. For me anyway. ;^)

  2. Ideally links ought to link to blogs you find interesting that are somewhat related to your own blog topic. (IMO anyway) So I have a large list of philosophy blogs because when I first got into blogging I had a hard time finding blogs to read. It's occuasional out of date (i.e. has a few dead blogs) and often there are new blogs I don't know about. But I try to keep it updated, along with a few science and religion blogs I frequent. So it's primarily an aid to others and secondarily a kind of bookmark for blogs I regularly read. (All the blogs listed I typically check at least once a week)

    Anyway, like you, the linking for linking sake I just don't quite get.

  3. Yeah, I basically agree with that as a general rule, e.g. for blogrolls. But I read more blogs than make it onto my blogroll, so I'm curious to learn of any readers in a similar relation to this blog.

    Obviously that motivation is gone if I'm already on your blogroll. I suppose one might appeal to Nova's suggestion that it would still "enable other readers to discover one anothers' blogs", but then if you're already on my blogroll too then it does start to seem quite redundant. (Unless other readers ignore the blogroll. Which I suppose I often do when reading other sites. But then they probably won't be that interested in this list either.)

    So I guess that just leaves the somewhat lame motivation of boosting your google rank, etc. Possibly one might rationalize valuing this by suggesting that it'll make it easier for potential readers to fall upon your blog in future. There might be something to that. For the most part though, I think a big part of the motivation here is the standard blogspheric norms of valuing 'hits' and 'links'. (It's the "currency" of the blogosphere, as they say.) As I say, this does seem an awfully lame thing to value. On the other hand, I must admit that I'm not entirely immune to the cheap allure myself.

  4. Well, no, maybe that's too harsh. If you're going to put effort into your blog anyway, it does seem fair enough to want it to become more influential, as extra links etc. can help achieve.

  5. I enjoy reading this blog. I consider myself to be somewhat multi-dimensional, and I enjoy various blogs, but I keep coming back to see what you've done here. I'm not sure how to link exactly as I have only been doing this a few months, but I wanted to say hello and let you know I was here! Thanks!

  6. Thanks Tabitha!

  7. Richard,
    Thought you might want to check this out. It creates a google map of your readers. Less annoying than a link exchange and visually appealing.

  8. Neat idea. I've updated the main post accordingly. (I'll keep up the link list too though, for as Hallq remarks, "the map doesn't give links. I would rather like to see the work of the other bloggers that read this, rather than just where they live.")


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