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Blog Brainstorming Session

Yesterday I went to, over in Arlington, for a sit-down with Jim and Hal. Jim is the boss over there, and Hal is the person who, as I've noted previously, secretly wants to take over my blog. Naturally I was on edge the entire time. They sense, correctly, that I don't know how the blogging tool works. They know I don't actually surf the Web and don't read blogs and get most of my news by looking over people's shoulders on the Metro and evesdropping on street people. The unspoken accusation of the sit-down was: "You're no blogger."

Hal showed some zig-zaggy charts on readership of the blog. There are good weeks and bad weeks. The readership seems to go down precipitously when I decide not to blog. Apparently people won't read a blog unless you post something new. I don't know why they can't re-read the stuff I've already posted. I think it holds up well. If I post new stuff that's not as good as the old stuff, then I'm watering down the quality. That's why I didn't post anything earlier today. I liked the quality level of the existing material and didn't want to gunk it up with something stupid, like this item.

They said that we're doing well in terms of visitors, but not quite as well in terms of page views. I asked what the difference is. The two of them tried very hard to explain that visitors generate page views, and that the visitors number is more important than than the page views number. I really don't understand. Maybe it means that we're getting more readers who just glance at the blog. They view it out of the corner of one eye. They view it askance. The blogging tool should keep a record of Page Glances.

Now here's the big news: We're going to start allowing comments! Also backtracks. Or is it trackbacks? Whatever. We're going to allow interactivity. [Hal, who has godlike powers over the technical side of the blog, says the trackbacks won't start for a few days.] We're taking this blog out of its 1995-level format and giving it more of a 1998 feel. I guess the idea is that a blog shouldn't be merely my solipsistic musings, that it should include reader reaction. I fear that's a slippery slope. Let the rabble weigh in, the next thing you know it's not really my blog, and then Hal swoops in and steals it.

Also they reported that there are allegations on the Web that I refuse to link to other sites, outside the Post, that I've violated some fundamental blogger rule. This is ridiculous. I will link to anybody, anytime, blog or column or web page or whatever. I will link to absolute garbage. I have no standards whatsoever. If you want me to link to your silly blatherings, send your URL!

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 7, 2005; 3:56 PM ET
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