Related link: http://fjzone.org/soup
Much like there were at a time more homepages on free hosting services than seeds in a supermarket-grade tomato, there are gazillions of blogs out there today. In fact, starting a personal space on the Internet has never been so simple, thanks to many companies providing free blog hosting. Simply fill in a couple forms and you are all set, ready to type away in a straightforward interface — even if you still think Ogg Vorbis has something to do with French Cuisine.
This however raises a pressing question. How does one go about getting a blog known? At the golden age of home pages, a couple search engines, usually sponsored by our national phone companies, were all the services whose attention we needed to grab — and a friendly mail was all it took. These were the days being on Voilà was all that mattered.
The increasing number of search engines, their introducing paid inclusion plans, the explosion of sites, SPAM pages and the like has magnificently blurred that picture to the extent that it is almost impossible to know where one should start. In fact, in many cases, the best advice you can give to a new webmaster is to wait until Google picks the site up, which can take up to three months, provided your site is properly formatted.
Blogs are supposedly at the center of a social exchange sphere and provide a myriad of linking and referencing tools, from pings to trackbacks to comments. The question however is how do we get the system started?
A few days ago, I have started my own little blog, The Purple Soup and was directly confronted to these questions. Now, the Zone is more of a personal space and, therefore, “audience building”, in all the marketing sense of the term is far from being my goal. However, it gave me a good chance to experience these things hands on and to play along. The Purple Soup being all RSS-based, it also raised some interesting challenges in terms of it being picked up by search engines.
So far, what holds true in life seems to hold true in the online world: the best and most rewarding way to build a circle of friends is not through advertising or self-promotion but word of mouth, establishing a trust relationship with one’s readers and staying true to oneself — there are too many computer generated pages out there already!
Blogs are, fundamentally, about social networking and, in that, staying true to their nature seems to me like the best and most effective way to “promote” them in the long run.
Of course, since this very entry is part of a blog, may I ask you for your opinion? Talkbacks are eagerly awaiting you!