Friday, November 13, 2009

The New "Next Blog" Link - What Now?

Long ago, I observed that getting readers for your blog started with publishing posts. Thanks to the "Next Blog" link in the navbar, as you published posts, you'd get readers who randomly surfed to your blog. As you got more readers from random access, some readers would become return readers, which would encourage you to publish more. Which would bring you more readers. And so on.

That was a great strategy on Bloggers part, for a Blogosphere with
  • Relatively few blogs.
  • No spammers.


Unfortunately, the spammers of the Internet figured that was the perfect way to get readers to their splogs, too. And BlogSpot splog farms were born.

This week, we have The New "Next Blog" link. For any blog with any given subject matter, a reader hitting "Next Blog" gets another blog in the same language, and with the same subject matter.

As noted by several readers of this blog, there's one thing missing now.

"Next Blog" now makes no attempt to look for blogs with recent posts. Any blog, whether published 5 minutes ago or 5 years ago, is eligible by language and by subject matter.

Along with removing incentive for spammers to publish thousands of splogs / day, this removes incentive for us to publish. A blog published 5 years ago will continue to receive random visitors, as long as there are other blogs like it.

This makes "Next Blog" uniformly random. The more blogs that there are like yours, the lesser the chance that any one of you (your blog, or a competitor's blog) will be chosen by the link, when anybody surfs a competitor's blog. Balancing that out, though, the more blogs that there are like yours, the greater the chance that there are people surfing blogs like yours, which increases your chance that your blog will be chosen by somebody hitting "Next Blog".

I'm not a mathemetician, but instinctively I suspect that this gives each blog in the Blogosphere an equal chance, with each other blog in the Blogosphere, of receiving a "Next Blog" inclick, at any time.

That being the case, how do we get readers for our blogs? We'll explore that question, in my Next Post, The New "Next Blog" Link - What Next?.

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3 comments:

XIRUS said...

the Next Blog link is currently a waste of time.

i clicked the Next Blog link at the top of your page and it took me to a blog with nothing but podcast interviews with people who blog about the meaning of money and personal finances. that blog hadn't been updated since May 2007.

i clicked on the Next Blog link at the top of that blog and it took me to a blog by a person who was giving out random thoughts because of their job. that was last updated June 2005.

i say you cannot get any more RANDOM than those examples. i think the Next Link will be a great option once it is correctly tuned for what Blogger is trying to accomplish.

BBB said...

It's not working good for me either. My blog is about photography/art and is in English. I'm taken to blogs on entirely different subjects and all of them are in Spanish.

Just Kim said...

Thus far, I have enjoyed using Next Blog, whereas before I felt it was a waste of time. It doesn't bother me if the blog has been updated or not. Is it possible if someone who has comment notification, they might be willing to revive an old blog seeing there is interest??

I've never used Next blog as an incentive, I do it for the sheer enjoyment, if I gain readers, that's merely the icing. :)