Well Its been some time that I have written a post under the category of general, or rather non-technical. After reading my friend kasun’s blog, I happened discover an interesting post of a fellow Sri Lankan blogger, which made me write this. Few days back I wrote the news about SLBlogs, and yeah this post is also about SLBlogs, or rather about a criticism that SLBlogs received recently.
Before I start saying anything, i must say that this post brings no offense on the fellow blogger who made the criticism.
Sir William Arthur once said “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you.”
So yeah Criticisms are good, they may not make the critique your favorite, but you will remember an encouraging criticism.
I am not naive to say that SLBlogs is a perfect Blog syndicator, or that it is THE Sri Lankan Blog-o-spere. SlBlogs is 1 month old child. Which can and will improve with age… yet again, I find some unrealistic or let me put it this way, “I cannot 100% agree with mind blogger with his 5 points on SLBlog not being THE Sri Lankan Blog-o-spere”. So I will just point out how I see these five points. Then again it’s how i see 🙂
1. Blog syndication networks work no more without specific niches.
I do agree with Mindblogger up to a certain extent. Its true SLBlogs still has 16 Blogs syndicated, it lacks content. I do read Kottu to find some news and ideas. But well SLBlogs is one month old. still the bloggers of Sri Lanka doesn’t know about it, and surely if The MindBlogger have syndicated his own blog to SLblogs.org and wrote this criticism I will not see the hypocrisy behind this 1st point.
As we all know a Blog syndication site work its way, from the help of its contributors, and when that Syndicator says it’s for Sri Lankan bloggers. The Sri Lankan blogging community has to help it. The owner of the Site will do his part. Yet as the Bloggers in Sri Lanka, we also should do our part. So how I see about Mind Bloggers 1st point is That SLBlogs is not 100% responsible in its Contributor count.
2. Doesn’t know open link-baiting could ban a blog.
This is one interesting point!! The MindBlogger have directly Mentioned that SLBlogs.org doesn’t know anything about open link-baiting. Actually till I read the Mind bloggers comment under this point, I didn’t have a clear idea about this topic, not that am saying The MindBlogger have a clear definition of what is Open Link baiting is…. I knew that John Chow and the BMW -German website has been banned and ranked 0 from Google due to some illegal ways of search engine optimization.
Yet even in Google’s terms, Google doesn’t explain how it will be illegal to build links, or make your page ranks grow…. So yeah!! After some reading and surfing over the net what I finally found is that link building or baiting is not at all illegal. Am not saying that Google is wrong in banning John Chow or BMW. What am saying is there are healthier ways of link building. If you are really interested in reading about this topic. I found a nice article in the Smashing Magazine.
So if I come back to what I was telling… What SLBlogs have mentioned in its Competition page (Which the sentence is no longer there) is as I can remember “OF CAUSE you can also add a link to SLBlogs” There is no direct sentence saying that you will get a Domain if you link back to SLBlogs. What it clearly said is..if you really want you can put a link to SLBlogs. This is not at all similar with the John Chow situation.
John Chow directly asked from his readers to make a link to his blog when those readers use certain key words (“make money online”) when they write posts in their blogs. For the people who do this John Chow gave a link back. Yes this is an extreme of link building. Its like you reserve a keyword over the internet for your own blog.
So What I see in Mind Bloggers second point is that he doesn’t know what is link building is. (Well I didn’t know it before too 🙂 ) If SLBlogs attempt of building links is illegal it will be closer to illegalness if someone uses an Internet Marketing Link Exchange Directory. But what am saying is using that kind of a directory is also not illegal or its rather in the Gray Zone. (There are no direct definitions of the limits in this matter). So as I see SLBlogs should not remove the line which said about this. (Well Its all SLBlogs decision.)
3. “7 things Why a slBlogger needs a RSS reader!” – now, that’s a bit cliche.
“Cliché” if I am correct with this very word and about the SLBlogs article. I should actually ask why is it so… even the MindBlogger say do not ask. My view for this point is, This is another Blog Post. Yeah it is done by the owner of SLBlogs. I am not saying the topic of this article is very suitable or colorful. Yet the content of this article is not “Cliche”, at least not to me. Yes this post contains some nice phrases about me… and one might say am writing this to defend myself. Then again this is my Blog, and this is My thought. This reminds me of only one thing, several days ago, i downloaded some of the linux.conf.au 2008 talks. In the talk, “Fixing Web”, look at the first minute of his talk and you’ll see why..
So what am saying is Something being Cliché is so personal. Some great programmer can say my whole Blog is Cliché. I write what was new to me.. What I found..There can be people who know all what I write daily… But yet.. There can also be people who don’t.. So a blog Post will never be Cliché.
So in this case there can be plenty of readers who don’t know about a RSS reader. Being honest I started using Google reader after I started Blogging. Thanks to Sandaruwan. So yeah why do you need a RSS reader….? SLBlogs says WHY….
4. Open display of subscriber count?
Yes on this point I do agree with Mind Blogger. But yeah as usual its only because the display of the feedburner. I do agree that SLBlogs should remove this, from its Display.
But I would like to put out the main reason as I think why it is only 3. SLBlogs is not in my Google reader too. In fact I do have a question why is it 3. It should be 0. Why I say this is. SLBlogs is a Blog syndicator. Why do you want a blog syndicator in your RSS reader? I don’t want to read all the posts which are pasted on SLBlogs. I have only few and some important blogs in my RSS reader.
What am saying is the Subscriber count in a syndication Site Does not show its regular readers. So it will never be 50 to show. With a syndicator what you do is, you visit the site time to time, do a quick sniffing around the posts, then if you feel like it’s good, click on the link, go to the individual blog and read it.. Then subscribe to the blog if you want..
So anyhow. I also believe SLBlogs should remove the feedburner display. Because it says nothing about SLBlogs.
5. Take a look around.
As i see The Mind Blogger in his 5th point have said that the Sri Lankan Blogging community will be offended by SLBlogs motto.
slblogs.org “the” Sri Lankan blog syndication network
well this is partially true. Yet there is always another point of view. Someone can be so narrow minded and think that this phrase is an offence to all the great bloggers in Sri Lanka. Yet all Companies, societies, products..or ideas do have their own mottos. SLBlogs as it seems has a clear goal of being THE Sri Lankan blog syndication network. SO they are using this phrase as their own motto. Which is not closed to any great Sri Lankan blogger.. It openly invites all the Sri Lankan Bloggers to Join Its community.
A simple example is… while I was walking outside today… An Italian restaurant said
Have the Experience of Nectar in Heaven.”
I know it’s funny. But well there are very few English billboards in Germany. Anyway my whole point is. Each of these people including SLBlogs need to gain attention from the community. So they use their own mottoes. So if some blogger will get offended by this kind of a motto. What kind of a blogging community do we have?
So I guess I have written the lengthiest post in my blogging life… yet again. This is just my opinion. And SLBlogs have to be happy because criticisms always make you popular. And as Mind Blogger said his 200+ loyal subscribers will surely make some traffic on SLBlogs.
Finally I should say. SLBlogs is doing a good job. There are things to be learnt. Things to be changed, and things to be improved and criticized, I hope the admin of SLBlogs will do these changes in order to make it a more mature network.
And before wrapping up I must again mention this does not make any offense to anyone. This is my point of view. Open for debate… !!
2 thoughts on “Blog Syndication, Open link-baiting and SLBlogs.org”
Hey Nuwan I just got a Google alert,
Okidoky so, with the first haahoo about slBlogs by nadz I knew this wave has to be handled carefully.
I appreciate all the advices presented. First I made a comment at Nadz site also..
After Nadz post and so many who commented with it I did want to put more effort to slBlogs.
So I have made fundemental changes to slBlogs and my time schedule.
1. I have allocated 1 hour Admin time everyday to slBlogs.org so I can make more work on it. Means I can now accept requests more regularly.
2. FeedWordpress Plugin was fully customized to accept Blogs and all posts category wise. Now we will accept new blogs from this monday. (But some bugs still exist)
* As nadz asked now we can give category wise RSS
(still on development)
* RSS counter can be removed
3. Advance Excerpt is used to trim the posts and 50 posts for the home page.
4. I have no idea of changing the contests.
But I will take advice and consider changes to contest requirements. Basically I just wanted to spread the word. Thats all. So we all get benefited. Now we basically get 150 Visits per day.
** 3 more contests will begin on 15th of feb 2008
5. Finally about the word “Sri Lankan Blogospher” issue.. Hmmm..
Friends simply this is a marketing tactic. We all know that!. Some brandable concept should be there.This is in order to get closer to the niche.
But it will take sometime. I develop this at my free time. This is for all our bloggers. All the Bloggers will be benefited from this.
If we can get one extra visitor from slBlogs to our friendly bloggers thats what we need ! Like kottu and achcharu brings us somany visitors why not more..
I feel its a win! win! stuation for slBloggers !
More than any of them I’m proud to say I met some awesome slBloggers like nadz , mithila and you.
This community are all friends. !
By da way nuwan Nadz post didn’t bring more than 6 Visits. Ok.. Controversy won’t always bring traffic I guess…!
Thanks for the kind mention. I would like to clear out the smoke fore some facts here as well. Appreciate the concern.
1. hypocrisy – undefined.
While I appreciate you for taking my point to a whole new level, I don’t see why or how the word “hypocrisy” comes to being. I have only addressed the issue of ‘not’ having specific Feeds for Specific niches, which Niro is working on; which you have clearly not addressed to.
2. Link baiting
Before the “Historic PageRank Rumble”, I used to have a 7. I’m guessing you know what the rumble is. If you can get any SEO professional (qualified, of course) to tell me that I gained so much of a rank by not knowing the meaning of “Link baiting”, I will shut down my blog. Period. Just for the record, I had been doing SEO since I was 12 years old.
3. Personal point of view
Of course! That is my personal point of view. And that is my personal blog if you haven’t noticed. If you want to see how I write for not-so-personal blogs, well here’s my other business management blog. Calling that post cliche was my own personal perspective. And since I say it is, I never said it’s wrong – but cliche. I choose my words carefully. As they can be my last.
So agreed? I didn’t say the low subscriber count was “darn, it’s so low!”. Rather, I talked about the subscriber display – “darn, they should not put it there”.
5. Marketing – indeed!
I agree with most of the things that you point. And criticizing Niro for that phrase was my personal idea. It’s a marketing strategy, and as a capitalist, I know that there’s nothing I can do about it.
As for the Niro’s comment before, I should say I expected a lot worse form him:) But really appreciate how he took it. And if I pushed slblogs.org to be better, through my criticism, then I can say I achieved my secondary objective. And as you may have figured it out, the first – always – was traffic. No Niro, I’m not talking about your traffic. But rather mine:) It gave me a considerable traffic spike, and still does. The reason for the 6 clicks might be the fact that I didn’t have more than 2-3 Sri Lankans subscribed to my blog before this whole issue.
And finally, Nuwan, honestly, I don’t have a 200+ subscriber base. I used to, before I ruined it.
Appreciate your feedback a lot Nuwan. And despite everything I said, I do appreciate what Niro is trying to do, and doing. Again, thanks for the mention.