I already posted some comments on this but I thought I should expand on it and be clear. Forgive me for speaking for the rest of you and please correct me if I am wrong. The reason we participate in Open Trackbacks is to drive readers to our sites. Yes we do this because we love it but we also want folks to read our fantastic, insightful, and unique opinions. At least we like to think they are. We are not doing it to game the system. Are you?
And it works! If your topic is interesting, if your headline grabs the readers attention they will click the link and start reading. That is the whole idea behind Open Ttrackbacks. No one is forced to click on your link and no one is forced to follow a link back to the Open Trackback provider.
I certainly, and again speaking for others we are very appreciative to fellow bloggers who provide Open Trackbacks either weekly or in some cases daily. The Political Teen who alone has sent hundreds of readers my way has been a godsend for my fledgling blog. Others like Don Surber and Basil who do daily Open Trackbacks, and the entire Open Trackback Alliance who alternate days between them are providing a fantastic service to bloggers and readers alike. They match folks who have something interesting to say with folks who want something interesting to read it. If they get rewarded by driving readership to their own blogs they deserve it.
Now before disagreeing with La Shawn I want to say I do not believe she meant any offense to Open Trackbackers and her post was meant to be strictly constructive. I know from personal experience and she has posted numerous times that she believes in helping new bloggers. So please understand my following comments are also meant to be constructive.
La Shawn said in this Post yesterday:
You bloggers may not believe in the “build it, and they will come” idea, but it is true.
We agree completely. If you post insightful and interesting stuff people will read it, however they need to find it first. Open trackbacks allow people to find you.
Bloggers using Open Trackback posts, particularly every week, are, in a sense, trying to game the system. Instead of creating something interesting for people to trackback to, they invite bloggers to trackback to the post just for the sake of link building.
Now again I am a newb and maybe someone can explain it to me if I am wrong, I think Open Trackbacks are hard work for the folks who put them up, and I rarely if ever see anyone who only has an Open Trackback and nothing else to read. It sure is hard work for those of us who are out there linking and tracking back to all the Open Trackback providers. There are so many you have to pick and choose which readers you think will be interested in your post. If you have a real job like me you can't just search and link all day. Ask Don Surber how much time it takes for all the Trackbacks he puts up.
If you want to build a solid readership of loyal readers and linkers who come back again and again, whether they love or hate you, you’ve got to put in the work and be patient and persistent. I know it’s hard. I know you want recognition and links. But you’ve got to earn it.
I think they are earning it and at the same time giving back to little guys like me. The people who are the most active Open Ttrackbackers are also prolific posters. Again The Political Teen posts several topics every day with lots of video clips of daily news programs. I find that unique interesting, and valuable. Don Surber posts 3 - 5 topics a day and it’s not milk toast stuff. Honestly I do not know how the guy does it.
In fact, if Open Trackback bloggers don’t like the Bear’s upcoming policy change, why don’t you create a new ranking system? Don’t complain. Create. Get it?
We agree on this one completely. Its TTLB’s system and he can do with it as he sees fit. Once again I really don’t care if I am a flappy bird or a large mammal or an insignificant microbe as long as folks can find my blog.
So who does care about their ranking? Big bloggers who don’t think little bloggers should be ranked above them?
If you are a big blogger by definition you have lots of readers so why do you care?
Especially if it’s “all about the love of the blog” What I do see are people thanking the Open Trackbackers for providing a very valuable service which many of them do not need to do. The Open Trackback Alliance did exactly as you are suggesting La Shawn, they created something on their own to build readership and I know you are a firm believer in promoting our blogs. The Homespun bloggers are doing the same thing, and there are lots of other examples of this.
Really what is the difference between what the Open Trackbackers do and what Instapundit does (and I love Instapundit)?
Other than the Open Trackbackers are not editors or judges of what is interesting. The reader is. In my humble opinion that is a good thing.
So in that spirit, if you have comments about this subject on your blog by all means trackback. And if you have something else interesting to say on any other topic by all means track back. Just be sure to leave a link in your post back to this post. Oh and if you leave a trackback I will add it to the mainpage. ( I figured that part out).
Kathy at Is it Just Me, agrees with me (say that 3 times real fast) that the whole thing is kinda comical. as per her comments on this thread:
"I am laughing with you UA."
Open Trackbacks today: Don Surber, Basil's Blog, Oblogatory Anecdotes, Bloggin' Outloud, Is It Just me?, Right Wing Nation,
As you can imagine lots of other bloggers are talking about this: Myopic Zeal, Aarons CC, Iowavoice, Stop The ACLU, The Politburo Diktat, The Tar Pit, Adam's Blog, Decision08, The Floriday Masochist, Jo's Cafe, and Basil's Blog, are among them.
Myopic Zeal linked with: N.Z. Bear: Party Pooper (But in a Good Way)
Excerpt: Despite the fact that it’s snowing like crazy here, N.Z. Bear, the mastermind of the TTLB Ecosystem, is certainly not hibernating.
Don Surber linked with: Opponents Didn't Care If He Had WMD
Excerpt: The WMD argument is tiresome and dishonest. Opposition to the liberation of Iraq in 2002 had nothing to do with WMD. Consider the arguments in the debate over the war resolution the war on Oct. 10, 2002. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., opposed the war b...
Adam's blog linked with: Understanding Open Trackbacks
Excerpt: I said I'd had my last word on this Open Trackbacks then, but then Lashawn Barber said something and I had to respond. First of all she says:
People, people, people! Don’t get it twisted. Use common sense. The Bear is not excluding trackbacks a...
Third World County linked with: Riffing Off Dumbledore/Open Post
Excerpt: [UPDATE: See The Real Ugly American's take on Open Trackbacks. Good post. Meat on those bones, bubba.]...
Weblog: third world county
Random Yak linked with: Link Logic in the New (Eco)system
Excerpt: Tip of the horns (because Yaks look stupid in hats) to the many bloggers - including Samantha Burns and ****NOTE**** You really have to read this one. it is funny.
Robinik.net linked with: Week-end Open Trackback
Excerpt: Welcome to my week-end open trackback post. Feel are free to publicize your posts on my Blog. Enjoy your Life!
The Truckin Blog linked with: Saturday Morning Trackback
Excerpt: Good Morning. I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving. I spent most of yesterday doing the decorating thing. You know, hanging from the gutters stringing Christmas lights. Had only intended to put up a few lights but it kind of turned into a com..