Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Face Rank

I recently read Extras by Scott Westerfeld. It's an interesting book...a fourth (and final, I think) book in a series, but it's not as linearly related as the first three books (Uglies, Pretties, and Specials). It's a post-apocalyptic book, and even better is about the potential decline of the civilization that had been built up after the decline of our known civilization. Oh, how I love me some Apocolypse.

Anyway, in this book, the society has evolved to have a reputation economy. People earn credits based on two things: doing things that will help society function, and being famous. So, you babysit some kids, and you get credits. Or you do something outrageous to get noticed, boost up your "face rank" and get credits.

It was an interesting idea, in that it oddly reminds me of blogging. At least the "face rank" part. Okay, fine, we don't actually get paid for this. Well, maybe a tiny bit if we put up advertising. But I still get that feeling sometimes of that there's a drive to boost up the face rank, get more readers, more comments.

I don't know, my main reason to start blogging was that I like to write. And even more, I like it to be a two-way get immediate feedback. What works, what resonates with people. It's a little less like shouting into a dark cave this way. I like blogging. But I've never really done anything to seek out readers. Oh sure, I've started reading The Secret is in the Sauce, but that was mostly to find blogs I would otherwise miss. I don't think I've gotten any new readers from there, except in response to comments I've left. Oh, and I leave lots of comments, especially if I have something to say, but also just to say hi since I know how fun it is to get comments. I don't know, I guess I'm not too good at boosting my face rank. But you know what? That's fine with me. I like blogging and I'll keep blogging.

A few things got me thinking about this: obviously, reading Extras is what started this train of thought. But coincidentally, ThreeUnderTwo at Lit & Laundry just posted about Guilt-free Blogging. Kind of along the line I've been thinking, of letting go of the "face rank" aspect of blogging. Except that I never could get really motivated to do the things "right" to build my readership anyway, so I don't have much to let go of. I've been blogging guilt-free, I just didn't know it! But now I know what to watch out for, to make sure I don't get sucked into the darker side. You know, if someone starts leaving me comments that say things like "I find your lack of faith disturbing", or "You don't know the power of the dark side", or "Luke, I am your father". I'm on my toes now.

And now for a totally related thought:

I've said all that, now read it and weep: my face rank is zooming off the charts. I just got my first blog award, from the incomparable Nancy at The Zimmer Zoo. Thank you, Nancy!

BFF Gold Card

BFF Gold Card

Here are the rules:

Rules: You may choose 5 awardees

Choose 4 faithful readers of your blog.

1 should be someone new or someone far away.

So now to choose, which kind of sucks. Because I love all of the blogs I read. Luckily, Nancy already gave this award to some of the blogs I like. So I'm going to give this to people I know in real life. Here goes:

1. Giovanna Diaries: a fun, wonderfully sarcastic, and interesting mom-of-twins, who rarely comments on the fact that I am both a bad driver *and* a bad passenger. And she still keeps carpooling with me...

2. Snickollet: another mom of twins, bold and brave and a good writer to boot.

3. Hannah and Sophie: Watch Us Grow: she's the one who told me about my awesome CSA, for which I'll be eternally grateful. Oh, and she's another mom of twins. Can you tell there's a pretty strong community of twin moms??

4. Two Moms and A Baby: I've know her since our pre-baby days, and is proof that yes, I do know people who don't have twins. A funny woman, who hasn't updated her blog in a few days. Forget about this guilt-free blogging stuff, just get up a new entry. Hee, I'm kidding!

And 5, for someone who is far away, Writer Dad, a friend from college who had the bad taste to move out to California, and even worse, like it. He might just make fun of this award (or ignore it...any of you can feel free to ignore it if you so desire), but I just wanted to point you all his way since he and his wife just had that terrible 1st day of daycare day. Could I pack any more "days" in that phrase? Maybe he'll give me a better re-write of that sentence.


Multiple Madness Mommy said...

you always make me lol! I completely get how addictive this blog thing can be, but I'm trying to remember that its really to help keep my sanity not make it worse:)

Nancy said...

So glad I could help your face rank :D

Threeundertwo said...

Well here I am, when I should be doing dishes, but I'm reading blogs instead - and you mention me! Thanks! The face rank idea is interesting. Sort of like technorati ratings.

Congratulations on your gold card!

What A Card said...

MMM~~yes, it's fun and addicting, but sometimes I feel like I need to step back. But it's mostly fun :)

Nancy~~Thanks again for the boost ;)

2/3 (get it...three under two?)~~I haven't looked into the technorati thing. I fear it would be yet another addictive piece :)

LauraC said...

Luke, I am your father.

(Someone had to do it, right? It may as well be a new reader.)

I am also a guilt-free blogger. No time to take the blog to the next level. Love comments but never going to be popular. Just happy in my little piece of the blogodome.

WriterDad said...

"Maybe he'll give me a better re-write of that sentence."

'Fraid not -- I'm a screenwriter. I don't know nothin' 'bout that grammar stuff. :)

Thanks for the shout-out! And reading this whole "Guilt-Free Blogging" thing came at a great time; I've found myself beginning to obsess over my daily "ratings." Then again, I live in LA -- what else is there to do other than obsess over ratings?