Not too long ago, I wrote post about memes. Somebody had “tagged” me, and I wondered what that was all about (here). So I looked at their instructions. Oh, just a new-fangled chain-letter, but they are calling it a meme. What is a meme? So I looked up the term meme.
As usual, one idea keeps leading to another.
Why We Blog
Each blogger blogs for his or her own reasons. Some of us are lost in our own little worlds. We write for the satisfaction of expressing our thoughts with some degree of clarity. Others of us want to be read, to have recognition. Still others have a cause.
Since a diary would suffice to put our thoughts down on “paper”, I suspect most bloggers, particularly political bloggers, want to be read. I know I do. So I make a modest effort to see which posts are being read. One way I do that is by checking the ratings on blognetnews.com (BNN).
Unfortunately, the more I check BNN’s blog ratings, the more mystified I have become. What am I suppose to make of BNN’s ratings? That is, if I want to be read, how can I tell what am I doing wrong?
BNN compartmentalizes its ratings into various categories:
- Hot Comments
- Most linked
- Most clicked
- Most active
- Highest rated
- Highest influence
How BNN rates blogs in the first four categories is self-evident, but how BNN rates blogs in the other categories is not. In fact, I believe BNN keeps its scoring procedures secret. Thus when I found my blog at near the top of the list for Highest rated blogs, I did not know what to make of it — based on what? How can I have one of the Highest rated blogs and still not be in the list of the top twenty with the Highest influence?
The Quality of an Idea
What are political blogs about? Current events and ideas? Do we discuss current events and evaluate these events with respect to the principles we live by? Are we concerned about the moral underpinnings of our society — our religious beliefs? I like to think so.
That is why, when the topic of memes came up, I found myself curious. What is a meme? Does the concept of ideas spreading as a disease have any validity? Perhaps.
Ideas can acquired as entertainment or they can understood only after a considerable amount of work. Entertainment and gossip spreads easily — like a virus. The more complex and difficult ideas found in science, mathematics, and theology can only be conquered with laborious effort. Except perhaps for a passion for learning, most valuable knowledge is not acquired by contact. Instead, the recipient must make a conscious and deliberate decision. To understand the most valuable ideas, we must make a sustained and dedicated effort.
What kind of knowledge does my blog impart? Is it viral entertainment and gossip or the type that requires work. Is this blog occasionally one of the “Highest rated” because someone thinks well of the content? I suppose so, but I guess it also gives them a headache when they read it, and that is why I have don’t have a High influence rating. 😦
Nonetheless, there is a positive side. Because Citizen Tom is amongst the Highest rated blogs and nobody reads it, that should qualify it for a government subsidy — kind of like PBS.
Request for BNN
When I last checked, only one of the top five Highest rated blogs was in the list of the top twenty with the Highest influence. It was number 20. Would you all please explain how this works?
UPDATE: Apparently because I criticized their blog ratings, BNN has decided to undermine Citizen Tom’s credibility. Several of the top five Highest rated blogs, including Citizen Tom, TwoConservatives, and From On High, are now listed in the ranks of those blogs with the Highest Influence. Nonetheless, the Highest rated blog, former Governor Jim Gilmore’s Virginia Patriot, still has no influence. 😉