Quite some time ago I came across a very interesting statement in the most unlikely of places, in a “tips and tricks” piece sensationally titled 10 Rare But Simple Blog Tricks that Make You Look Like a Genius, where the author writes:
“It seems as though there are a dozen really powerful bloggers who control the Internet. This group decides who becomes famous and who does not. They set the standard for what a well-designed blog should look like. They write the best copy and win the most subscribers. And everyone knows it.”
I find this passage just as fascinating today as I did months ago when I came across it. And while my knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss it as ludicrous, a bit of reflection changed my mind.
When I set out to design this website, I went through a great number of iterations. I looked to all sorts of places for inspiration, including many of the popular blogs I follow. This was before I had decided to begin publishing this blog; I was creating a site purely as an exercise — something to do in my spare time. Then, once I finally decided to take this blog from a WordPress site I updated occasionally to something I put significant effort in to, I spent a significant amount of time deliberating as to what I would write about. In this case I also looked to many of the popular blogs I follow for inspiration, though less so than when designing the site’s look and feel.
Fast-forward six months to today and I post every original article I write to Hacker News; occasionally, I send one of a few popular bloggers a link to these pieces in the hopes that one day Jim Dalrymple will like one of my articles well enough to link it, or Dan and Haddie might find something I write cool enough to merit mentioning on The Frequency. Sensationalist-title-writing-blogger, 2; me, 0. Might as well give him that last point as well: arguing that it’s not Shawn Blanc and Ben Brooks that write the best copy and win the most subscribers would be ridiculous. And everyone knows it.