Friday, June 8, 2012

I Promise to Remain Amateur

In other news, let me say I promise to remain amateur.  Sebastian posts the observation that a lot of commercial gun blogs seem to be starting up.
In what probably ought to be a good sign that guns have gone mainstream, there’s been a pretty epic change in the gun blogosphere in the past year or so, namely the number of commercial blogs, or blogs that have been created solely for the purpose of making money, has exploded. As an indicator for the gun community, this is a positive sign, but I think it’s largely going to make it impossible for the amateur blogging community to grow, and could likely kill it over time. In other words, if you have an established amateur blog, you’ll probably hold on to your audience, but I’m betting starting a gun blog from scratch these days as a hobbyist is likely to be an exercise is failure, if your goal is to get a reasonable number (say 1000 visits a day) of eyeballs. I think this would be the case even if you’re exceptionally good at blogging...
I consider guns to be a main emphasis at this blog (no secret - look in header under the blog name it's right up front!) I see a whole bunch of posts clicking on the tag- four long pages full of them.  But it's not like I do a gun piece every day or every week.  I guess I'm not a typical gun blogger.  To start with, I'm not really opinionated strongly enough.  I've said what I like and works for me, (I've pointed out I really like the Springfield XD series) but I'm not going to try to convince you that your Glock or M&P sucks.  And I'm not going to set myself up as anything other than a student of guns, shooting and the other areas of the hobby.  I consider myself a lifelong learner.  I bow in deference to the encyclopedic knowledge of Tam, Keads, and many others. 

Sebastian points out that the essential difference between professional and amateur blogs is how they manage links:
Commercial blogs have a strong incentive to be self-referencing and not to link heavily, or at all, if they can help it, to outside sources. Every link you provide to another blog hurts your Google Page Rank and helps that blog’s Google Page Rank. There’s also the common wisdom that it’s good practice to keep people on your side, and not give them paths to stop reading your site and start reading someone else’s. So if you’re a commercial blog, you’re really mostly interested in generating original content, and not getting people into the habit of leaving your site to go read what someone else wrote.

In contrast, amateur blogging, which is what gun blogging has been for most of its history, thrives on the conversation that happens across the whole community, which generally means fairly gratuitous linking when it comes to hot topics. In this type of model, it’s easier for upstarts to get noticed, because if they join in the conversation, even if that means antagonizing the right people, they can carve out a place for themselves within the community...
So I promise to remain an amateur blog - if not downright amateurish.  I will link to the rest of the community when I get ideas or content from them for the same reason I put footnotes in journal articles - it's polite to credit where credit is due.  I will comment to add knowledge, if I have any worth adding.  If I know something, I see no reason to keep it to myself. 
And BTW - your gun sucks! 

15 comments:

Keads said...

I will do the same. I do not write my Blog for monetary gain, I do it for me. Have I met real people that I would have not except for the Blog? Yes. That speaks volumes. Far beyond the standard definition of what is a successful Blog.

Oh BTW- you gun sucks!

DaddyBear said...

Very close to my sentiments. I'm doing it as an outlet and because I enjoy it. If I had to do it consistently because I was getting paid, I would probably quit very quickly.

Keads said...

I was kidding about the the Springfield Sir! I am also humbled by your opinion of me. Thank you. I know what I know. Other than that I have many here to help me. You are one. That is why I will remain an amateur Blogger as well.

John Venlet said...

And BTW - your gun sucks!

I'm wondering if there is a blog named "And BTW - your gun sucks!" Seems like it could draw a decent number of clicks.

Reg T said...

Sebastian may have a point, but if this is the former "Snowflakes in Hell" person, the guy is a wanker, an over-arching apologist for the NRA, which he believes can do no wrong. I don't visit his site.

And BTW - my gun is hot, your gun ain't doodly squat.

Graybeard said...

Of course, I knew you were kidding about the XD.

I originally wrote that as "your M&P sucks" because of what's higher up in the text, but I figured I could offend a few more people if I just made it generic.

I thought I remembered a video song about internet gun bloggers by fxhummel1 on YouTube - that dude's funny - to embed instead of the catalog picture, but couldn't find it.

Graybeard said...

I think one of us ought to try that!

Graybeard said...

One and the same Sebastian. But, hey, when it's getting late and you can't find something to write about, you try anything.

Xenocles said...

The joke's on you - I'm an XD fan myself!

Graybeard said...

Another member of the secret society of superior gun owners. Glocks? hah! 19-by-God-11s? Unreliable! Nothing equals the the all-around-wonderfulness of the Croatian Creation.

We really do need a sarcasm font...

Anonymous said...

My income depends on Google traffic. Outbound links to on-topic pages gives you a boost; they want to see a balanced link portfolio.
And BTW - sigh...I know.

LeverAction said...

I think this is the one you're thinking of...

Youtube Gun Star


This one seems pretty appropriate for the subject as well...

The Gun Bias Song

Anonymous said...

My gun does NOT suck! Instead it blows copper jacketed bits of lead out of the muzzle at high velocity ... isn't that what a gun is supposed to do?

Phil B

Graybeard said...

I think that what's really happening is your gun is so cool it causes the universe to suck. And it sucks so bad around the gun, that the universe sucks the lead right out of the barrel!!

Theredneckengineer said...

But.....but....my main carry gun and all-around-favorite is my old XD?
So, by saying your gun is great, but mine sucks, your argument is now a null set.