23 February 2006

Network and Networth

So I see that there's this Big Soccer network out there. Which is cool and all, and I'm debating whether to sign The DCenters up for it. I confess to some ambivalence on the matter though. I mean, other than as a link exchange to generate traffic and giving BS posters a chance to rate sites. Which, don't get me wrong, is useful. And there are some of my favorite sites up there. But I guess I'm a little queasy for miscallaneous reasons:

  1. I don't like to feel like a mooch
  2. I've always felt like this was an oasis from the constant chatter of BS. Wouldn't this be, in effect, endorsing the idea that there is BigSoccer, the amorphous entity that can, in effect, represent the entire Internet Soccer Population?
I don't know. I don't even know if those are all the reasons that I'm feeling strange about it.

I don't object to networks in general. I love what Oscar has done at Soccerblogs, which is an honest way of him providing a service, and if he grabs a few bucks from some google ads, so much the better. I like that he asked before adding me to their list, and I like that he only does a partial RSS feed, instead of publishing whole articles. There's a guy I know who's thinking of doing something similar for DC Sports Blogs in general, and I'm down with that as well, so what the hell is my problem? No idea.

Speaking of the entire linking situation, I got an email from this site requesting a link exchange. Now, I have a few rules about me setting up links in the lovely blogroll over there on the right. First, I have to be generally interested in your content. Second, I don't want to feel like your content is an excuse for commerce. If I feel like you write posts just to get people to look at your ads, or to use your propreitary service, you don't get a link. That's the rule. I don't know where this site is going to fall. It seems pretty ad driven, what with two whole columns. And my interest in betting on soccer is pretty academic. I should also confess that I don't like the "you link to me and I'll link to you" approach. There are several sites that I link to that don't send anything back here, but that doesn't matter because I'm not linking to them out of vanity, but because they interest me.

On the other hand, this guy does seem like he's trying to provide an interesting viewpoint. So I dunno. And yes, I realize that this entire post so far is way too pretentious in the long run. I'm hardly the Alpha and Omega of Soccer Blog sites. But I'm funny like that. I dig prentension. And its two siblings: arrogance and self-importance. We're a happy family.


At 23 February, 2006 17:16, Blogger Nystul said...

lol. Guess it is a bad request from me then.

I do agree on some points you made, so it is all good.

At 23 February, 2006 17:25, Blogger D said...

Thanks for not being offended. As I said, I think you are trying to offer an interesting viewpoint. I just don't want people to click on a link here and feel like they have to buy something. It also makes me feel used.

Your site fell into the grey area. The sites that I haven't linked to were much worse (I think there was one that was all about nutritional supplements the guy was trying to get people to buy) Anyways, thanks for being a good sport about it. That helps. It really does.

At 23 February, 2006 17:34, Blogger Nystul said...

Hey d, that's a pretty quick reply!

Actually I am not even abit offended by your post, it is your decision and I do respect it and whatever your reasons are. Heh, so is it the "pretentious","arogance",or "self-importance" part at work?

Oh yah, at least i am "linked" to your blog in not a such good manner right now.

At 23 February, 2006 18:01, Anonymous the belly said...

It's funny that you bring this up, because I just noticed those BigSoccer network links recently too.

I've had a link to BS on my site since day one, but like you I set always thought of my place as a kind of backwater - a refuge, for me most of all, from BS. I don't know about joining the network either. Like you I have reservations.

As for links, I know what you mean about the commercially driven sites - I just was contacted about this place. I wasn't very impressed when I turned off my ad-blocker.

Bottom line: When I put a link on my site it's because I want the link there for my own convenience.

At 23 February, 2006 21:32, Anonymous Oscar said...

Its informative to hear how you decide what to link to. I use pretty similar criteria on my oft-ignored (by me) blogroll on my own blog. It's also something I thought about a lot for soccerblogs.net

Now, everyone and their mom want to exchange links with everyone because the common wisdom is that this helps your google pagerank, which is very important to get listed highly in google. People will click your link when they search in google, driving tons of traffic to your site where they can click on google ads. If you have enough traffic and click thrus, then you might conceivably make enough money to buy your local club and go chelsea on it. The ads are mostly an experiment and I'm just as likely to remove them as I am to keep them. I've made enough money on ads to buy a can of soda, so you can see how lucrative that is.

On the aggregator, I decided to be less concerned with quality of the sites. Partially because I don't want to exclue anyone just because I don't like their design/content/adspam. But I also figure that the quality blogs will rise to the top (how I can measure and determien that is still to be decided).

At 23 February, 2006 22:01, Blogger D said...

Belly: It's actually interesting... I've had one or two hits to this post from a BigSoccer thread that I can't read. Which is interesting. I hope I didn't piss them off. I think another part of the reason I don't plunge into the network is that I want to earn my links. If someone links here, I want to feel like it's because I wrote something that earned their attention, and not because I filled out a form.

Oscar: I wish you'd post more at Record as I am. I dig you man. I tried to leave a comment on the USvGUA thread, but I guess it didn't go through (nothing important, more a "nice to have met you finally" kind of thing).

All: And the linking thing is strange. I still have a link to In Limbo because I enjoyed that guys writing, even though he hasn't updated since November. Ditto with Fool's Prerogative (though that may or may not be back). These interesting voices. I think nystul is doing something quite interesting in following his POTD posts, mainly because I'm kinda curious if he can come out ahead.

And Nystul, it really is the ads. They're everywhere. If you had fewer ads, it would have been a thing where I'd have been happy to take a flyer. But dude...

At 23 February, 2006 22:32, Anonymous the belly said...

I sent you something at your dcenters address. Don't know if you check that regularly ...

At 24 February, 2006 01:26, Anonymous Oscar said...

D: I'll try to post more often (I'm guessing you mean soccer stuff?). I'm really more of a tech geek than a writer, so its a little harder to motivate myself to write anything in depth like you do.

Comments should be working again. I overhauled my code behind both my blog and soccerblogs and accidentally killed a lot of functionality. Namely comments and trackbacks on my blog. I should have known something was wrong when I didn't have any spam.

Nystul: the amount of ads you have on your site is a bit much, and kind of not obviously marked as an ad. Gives the impression that the real point of the site is getting people to click on ads.

At 24 February, 2006 04:15, Blogger Nystul said...

Hey guys, thanks for the suggestion made about my site. Actualy when i take another look at it after d's remark earlier, i DID felt that the right column skyscaper does makes it too clutter and had removed it.

Oscar: I am still pretty new to this adsense thing, and am just putting in what I read online down into my site. Currently, on the main page, there's only the left skyscraper left. In the item page, the ad above the fold and after the article is supposed to be a standard format for article pages, thats why they are there. Lastly, the blending of the colours is something that google suggested doing too.

Oh yah, the money from the adsense is actually a couple of cents each day at most; 80% of my visitors are returning visitors each day, and the ad-blindness level for them is pretty high imho.

At 24 February, 2006 09:13, Blogger Crew Fan said...

The blogs I link to are the ones that I like and read on a regular basis. If they like my blog enough to link back to me, great. If not, well, that's not why I started blogging anyways. I started my site, so that I could have an outlet to write and air my views about MLS. If people actually read it regularly, great, but it was months (or maybe a year - can't remember) before I actually knew that I had readers. I personally don't like ads, which is why I have chosen to not have any on my site.

At 24 February, 2006 20:33, Blogger Bill-DC said...

I really like the content here and you do a teriffic job. That's why I linked up. Keep it up!

At 02 March, 2006 02:47, Blogger scaryice said...

I signed up, but I'm not gonna post the image on my site. It's all pointless really.


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