Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blog Nirvana

"Hey," one of my readers asks "What's the deal? I read your blog and it's pretty good: clever post, funny post, thoughtful post, post that makes me teary, silly post, quiet musing post, then, Bam! There's suddenly a post like 'Fungal infections mid leg in the modern beetle', or 'My thoughts on mass produced wicker.' What's going on?"

These are called, in blogger's parlance "Stoppers" and there is a very important ethical reason for them. If a person stumbles on the homepage of a long running blog, starts reading, and likes what they see, there is little to stop them from scrolling down through the history of that blog, reading with increased feverish addiction as they go. That one-more-before-sleep compulsion keeps them glued to their chair, staring at a computer, device, or phone, for hours and hours, causing muscle cramps and seizures, urinary tract infections, and a little know or understood condition called Retinal Erosion Festering, which is every bit as bad as it sounds. This is why most ethical bloggers (and many bloggers are ethical) regularly insert into their blogs an occasional post that is full of bizarre information and thick, gelatinous prose. This serves as a break on compulsive reading and allows an obsessed, chain reader, to be reacquainted with the physical world. Reading suddenly about mass produced wicker makes them suddenly realize "Hey, I have to go to the bathroom!" and "Why are these crabs eating my feet?"

Unfortunately, like some safety measures designed to help rare, but severe, situations, there can be an inconvenience involved for the rest of us. The obvious one is that if you are a moderate, temperate reader, of this blog for instance, a "Stopper" post is merely a tedious inconvenience in your well-regulated reading. You rely on entertainment and edification and suddenly you find yourself trapped in quicksand like nonsense. When this happens, like now for example, say to yourself "I may be saving a life!" And that's just it. You may be saving a life indeed.

There is one other important problem with these "Stopper" posts. As they are common bailout locations for people reading blogs, the departure point as people leave blogs, search engines register them as high traffic locations on the internet. This brings these posts much higher in search engine results, causing more people to visit them, resulting in even higher places in search engine results. So when you go out looking for interesting blogs to read you will invariably be linked to non representative, boring, obtuse, and generally awful bits of writing. Sadly you will end up thinking there are not very many good blogs out there, indeed, that good blogs are profoundly rare, little realizing that what you are encountering is more likely an altruistic bluff, probably by some brilliant and fascinating prose stylist, who is throwing their writing on a sword to protect innocent internet surfers. So if you are out on the internet, looking for fascinating blogs of an independent and unique nature, and you encounter some bizarre nonsense like, well, this, for instance, you might want to click on the blog title to go to the home page and try another post. Below what seems to be rank madness may lurk blog nirvana.

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