Now that I’m finally reading the actual recaps of the BlogHer conference panels I missed, I’m having the best time pretending I actually know a damn thing about technology. Ooh, add an RSS feed icon thingie! Ooh, monetize your blog! Ooh, insert secret James Bond-esque codes in invisible ink to increase your technorati rank!
It’s all pretty funny considering I am a woman who has yet to activate her year-old, office-issued Blackberry and who, like Karen Rani, thought html was pronounced “hatemail” until like five minutes ago.
See look – I just linked to someone. As I’ve learned, that’s a good thing. Without linking to like a hundred people a day apparently, I’m in serious danger of losing my blog license.
If I can be honest, I think I was happier not knowing any of these wacky blog secrets like reading level scores. I liked those early days when I dropped a BlogLines button and a Top Sites button in my sidebar not because I knew what they meant, but because they looked so authentically techy and made me feel like I could pass myself off as a geniune blogger. And that Bust button: Preeeeetty. I knew I wanted one of those right away.
It was purely an aesthetic decision.
For the past six months, I’ve been content never thinking once about what time of day to post, or how often to post, or how short or long it should be, and certainly not that you’re “supposed to” drop some sort of keywords into a headline to optimize search engine traffic and get very important people to read you and link to you and make you famous–at least among those who read Technorati. Which is to say, not your parents, but very likely your babysitter’s boyfriend.
It’s not that I do any of these things. In fact I don’t. It’s just that I’m conscious of them now which makes me squirmy.
I mean, can’t I just write? Link when I feel like it? Make the headlines 29 words long? Is my lack of interest in The Way Things Are Done I messing things up entirely, like Frasier’s dad insisting on keeping his old comfy, battered La-Z-Boy in an Eames-heavy postmodern pad? Am I just a blogging neophyte who will Get It one day?
I’m trying to understand these uncomfortable pangs I feel reading about actively pursuing readers with the help of gadgety thingies and fancy bloggy know-how. Maybe I’m aspiring to be one of those cool kids who’s all, yeah, I just blog for me, ya know? And if anyone happens to read, well whatev. I’m FAR too busy being self-confident to think about it. Also, I have a pedicure appointment. Ciao.
But I’m not one of those kids. I’ve admitted here before that readership and dialogue and feedback all inspire me to continue writing. I’m not good at writing just for me, as much as I wish I were. And I don’t think I’m alone here. Also, I don’t think that finding an audience is a bad thing–and certainly not one that should make me feel quite so dirty as I’m feeling when I read about how to achieve that very thing.
All of which makes me feel caught between a very uncomfortable rock and an extremely icky hard place.
Maybe I’m just insanely behind the times, as with my iTunes playlist and my fear of instant messaging.
(If I may digress for a moment, it’s turning out to be a not very good idea to have Don’t Stop Believin’ as my ringtone. I’ll be waiting on line at CVS, starting to hum along to the familiar Journey tune that I think is streaming in through the speakers before I realize, shoot, that’s no piped-in music–that’s my phone! By which point I’ve already missed the call and annoyed my fellow shoppers.)
Maybe I should just catch up with the 21st century and accept the fact that this is a medium with its own rules, and I can’t treat it like a newspaper column with backlighting. Maybe I need to say goodbye to the battered recliner, no matter how comfortable it is.
Or maybe what I’ll do is go back to my early blogging mindset, and treat all the thingies as, simply, accessories.
You know how I like the accessories.