Back in the early days of the Internet (2002), I was a law student with a weblog. I remember looking many times a day at my SiteMeter statistics page, hoping someone would have discovered my blog, linked to it, and sent dozens of new readers my way. A book I just read last week insists that the Internet is not a meritocracy, and there are far too many manipulative marketers at work in the background for actually-worthwhile content to rise to the top. (I don’t think this argument is entirely true, but most of the book was pretty compelling, and worth checking out if you’re interested in why some things go viral and how you can manipulate the system to give your content a better shot.)
I believe the Internet is still very much a meritocracy, even if individual bloggers have largely been replaced by corporate entities and the hope for quality has largely been replaced by the expectation of quantity. But I think it is certainly true that it is harder to get discovered by readers now than it was ten years ago, and harder to build a loyal audience.
This is a long introduction to what could become a continuing series if people with blogs recognize that this is the first time in Internet history that anyone has invited them to share the link to their site… but is now one lonely post. I happened to click on a link in the bio of someone who recently started following me on Twitter. He and a friend, both college students, have a relatively new baseball blog. One of them is a pitcher who had Tommy John surgery last year. He writes a bit about his experience here.
My (unsolicited!) blog advice is that he should write more about his experiences, because I’m not sure there’s a lot being written by college pitchers about the reality of life as an aspiring major leaguer, especially as they fight through injury. I have to imagine that having surgery — even successful surgery — and being out of competition for a year makes the major leagues seem even further away, and makes the tiny odds get even tinier… and if someone could write that struggle well, if someone could capture the emotional piece of what must feel like a terribly long year trying to fight to get back to becoming a pitcher, I think that could make for something highly worth reading.
The lesson of this post: if you follow me on Twitter, I will probably read your blog, and might even post about it.
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