Then I signed up with Little Neo, a blog directory/exchange thingy by the owner of NeoWorx - you know, the one with the scrolling list of visitors by country? So that worked for a long time; met people like Moxie, Monsoon and Omni; SG and Ron Allan by exploring another blogger's blogrolls; ended up loading up my blogroll. I ended up nixing NeoWorx though - they were having loads (haha) of problems with their widget - because if it, nothing else on my page was loading. So off it went.
In 2006 I participated in the Lost Blogs grassroots marketing campaign, and have continued to follow many of the people I met during this exercise. I also visited many people who left witty comments on these blogs, and thus my blogroll continued to expand...
Then last year I joined the Entrecard community and boy oh boy did I find a whole bunch of new blogs to read!! Sure, I had a lot of forgettable ones that dropped by that I felt obligated to drop back on, but still, barring those, I have found a whole bunch of new blogs I enjoy reading. For the longest time, blogrolling.com was down so I couldn't add any sites, and now that they are up I don't like their new interface and feel, so I have not added any sites, otherwise I think you'll see a blogroll that's perhaps double what you see now!
Then I joined today.com, figuring I might as well get a little $$ back for blogging, without whoring myself out to PayPerPost, and without being responsible for the ads that would appear on the site. Through that community I have also found many thoroughly enjoyable blogs about a whole variety of topics. Putting on my "expat" hat, I have also fostered ties with many bloggers that would otherwise have been lost in the sea of blogs.
There was also a lot of overlap of EC and today.com, and it was good.
Then came Entrecard's decision to all of a sudden to impose paid ads to run on our widgets. Then came today.com's banning of Entrecard. Then they allowed EC but wouldn't pay for traffic from EC. Then EC's credit-buyback looked like it was going to be skewed towards power droppers, and those who didn't accept those paid ads could forget ever getting $$ back for their credits. Then EC changed its forums and people must apply in order to be allowed into the forums, probably because of a lot of disgruntlement over all these changes. Then back at today.com, almost everyone was demoted from Pay-Per-Post to being paid just for traffic. Thing is, what counts as traffic, and the pay rate, has been unclear for ages. This set a whole bunch of today.com bloggers up in arms, voicing their dissatisfaction in forums and of course on their blogs. Then came the culling of the squeaky wheels, the deletion of offending posts, and what essentially amounts to the firing of said dissatisfied bloggers; unfortunately some who had expressed unhappiness but hadn't decided one way or another were also culled. Thus was born the group of Today Exiles, a vocal community now actively dissuading anyone from joining or advertising with today.com.
... and I'm standing back watching all this happen, and I wonder, is it all worth it?
For Entrecard: nope. I have finally decided. I will be pulling out of EC. All three blogs. I have obligations in terms of 4000 credits of "sponsorship" of blog contests - I will make sure I fulfill these first before I leave. So PinayJade, loutianren, and Lola, keep an eye out for emails about this, k? In the meantime, I advertising like crazy, just to get rid of the bulk of my EC credits, screw the credit buyback program.
For today.com: unlike others, I am not up in arms about the recent happenings. Perhaps it's because I am blessed/cursed with the ability to see both sides to a story, and understand what is happening, and why. Perhaps it's because I'm not as invested in my today.com blogs (yes, plural) as others were - I noticed that many of the disaffected were first-time bloggers, I think that makes a big difference. Don't get me wrong, I'm not siding with one group or the other. But for the moment I will be continuing with today.com... I just may not put as much attention on my blogs there - not being paid per post, I don't see why I should slave over getting one post out every day. Working on traffic, then I just need to make sure I up my knowledge in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) so that my posts turn up on front page of searches. Try "Paht Chee" ... or "Malaysia movies"... (without the quotes, even): I'm already there. Yay!
... I'll be posting a little bit more later about how I plan to divide my time/attention among my blogs. My writing persona has suffered tremendously, her creative outlet overlooked and set aside way too often for way too long. She needs time to herself, and fore herself, too.
My apologies for the long, ranting, and ultimately interesting only to me probably, post. Better posts coming next week.
... oh, and all those blogs in my blogroll? The ones I threatened to add to Google Reader? I am seriously thinking about culling them all, and starting from scratch. Okay perhaps that's too drastic. I'll think of something. But I will be making some changes around here. I will. I will, I will, I will!!
or subscribing via email. Thank you.