It's very hard to tell how you’re doing in the blogosphere. I am, by nature, competitive, so I am always looking for ways to measure success. To this end, I’ve been using Technorati, the grand ranker of all blogs.

So let me just take a moment to say that I made it into the top 100,000 in just four months of blogging. When I told this to my husband, who wonders why I spend so much time on this blog when I am not getting paid, he said, “You’re in the top hundred thousand? Is that good or bad?” I had to remind him that it’s 100,000 out of more than 50 million.

Meanwhile, I was interviewing Robert Wright today, and he mentioned a new way to think about blogging success. He said the letters he receives from his audience are just as intelligent as the letters he received when he was editor of the (magazine-to-the-intelligentsia) New Republic.

I like that way to measure success because I get such good comments on my blog.

This also seems like a good time to mention that the reason going to work is easier than staying home with kids is that at work, we get structured praise for meeting defined goals. At home, no matter how great a parent you might be, you get screaming kids who break rules. There is no standard way to measure success as a parent, which can be very frustrating.

But everyone needs official recognition for their work and you don’t get it as a parent. In this respect, blogging for no revenue has unfortunate parallels to the worst parts of parenting.

So thank goodness for Technorati. Now I’m aiming for the top 50,000.