Confessions of an "Instalanche"-ee
I'd been following blogs for a couple of years before I started my own. I think I started reading blogs after seeing a short newsmagazine blurb on Glenn Reynolds, the "Instapundit". I checked out the site, and liked what I saw. Eventually, I started visiting some of the sites on Instapundit's blogroll, and found more that I liked; especially USS Clueless, the amazing effort of Steven Den Beste, and the work of Bill at INDC Journal. Finally, I decided that someone might be interested in what I might have to say, so I resolved to start a blog of my own.
First, I had to come up with a topic. One dark, cold, wet area of the blogosphere that looked like it wasn't completely crowded, and that I knew something about, was "submarines", so I chose that. I looked at some of the bigger bloggers "Advice to Bloggers" entries, like this one, this one, and even this one. All the while, I was dreaming that someday, somehow, my efforts would come to the attention of "The Blog-father", and I'd get an visit from Instapundit.
Needless to say, my efforts weren't too successful. "Submarines" is a fairly narrow field of interest, and for some reason, no one outside of the submarine community paid much attention to what I wrote. Still, I held on to the dream. Even after I started getting a lot more traffic in January (and even a non-submariner to link to me... Thanks, Ninme!) I couldn't get the time of day from the "big boys" of the blogosphere. Why weren't they interested in submarines? (Answer: Submarine minutiae, as fascinating as it is to submariners, isn't really of great import in the great bloggy scheme of things. Still, we have cool actors playing us in movies, so that counts for something.)
Then, last week, blogfame came knocking on my door. These reprehensible, foul, evil asshats from Topeka came to Idaho to protest at the funeral of Cpl. Carrie French, an Idaho National Guardsman killed in Iraq. I went to the funeral, got some pictures, and posted my report.
Suddenly, my visit numbers started going up.
"'Twas the day after Sunday, and all through my site,
Not a visitor was active, not getting a bite;
My posts had been writ with the greatest of care,
In the hopes that some comments would fill up dead air;
"My referrers log empty, most bloggers would scoff,
My visions of blogofame seemed quite far off;
No trolls came to visit, leaving posts in ALL CAPS,
So I settled my head for a sorrowful nap;
"But now my Sitemeter spun faster and faster,
I clicked "referred by", thinking 'who's the spam blaster';
When what to my bloodshot, wet eyes should be seen,
but "instapundit.com" that was filling the screen;
"Much faster than spambots the linkers they came,
I shouted and yelled as I called out their names:
'Oh Billy, oh Steven, oh Cut On the Bias,
Daimnation, Yay Chrenkoff, Atlas Shrugs, and the Argghhh!!! guys,
From the depths of all blogdom and blogrolls so small,
Now link away, link away, link away all!'"
Well, my "Instalanche" is now over; my link from Professor Reynolds has moved off his front page. Those of you who aren't bloggers might not understand some of the emotions a blogger goes through when he gets a visit from the biggest, bestest blog on the planet; especially when the post that gets linked has nothing to do with the main topic of your blog. Here are some of the thoughts I had this week:
"Sure, Instapundit visits, but what about Michelle Malkin? She never links, she never E-mails..."
"This is really screwing with my Sitemeter graphs. I mean, with the few hundred visits a day I was getting, you can't even see them now with the 12,000 hits skewing the y-axis."
"Dammit, why doesn't Instapundit show up on my TTLB Ecosystem report?"
"At the rate my link is going down Instapundit's page, it'll be gone before my Blogshares listing gets reindexed. Why doesn't Glenn go on vacation?"
"Well, I planned to have a nice post for my 50,000th visitor, but I figured I had a week; now, I blew through 50 and 60K in one day."
"If the Great Blog War ever re-ignites, I'm definitely on Instapundit's side. Take that, Frnak J., and your 'Alliance of Free Blogs', too!"
(The above is writ somewhat ironical; I hope I'm not really that shallow...)
Anyway, thanks to everyone who linked to help spread the word of the vicious hate that is represented by Fred Phelps and his ilk, and to honor the bravery of Cpl. Carrie French. And if you're reading this because you found my blog via one of the fine blogs who linked me within the last week: Welcome -- I'm glad you're here.