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 Bloggingheads.tv 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.

4 replies
  1. Dave
    Dave says:

    Like many things, your success is better measured in terms of quality than quantity. You are in a limited, self-congratulating community of writers (people who blog) where 99% of it, no matter how “popular” it might be, it little more than, to quote a New Yorker cartoon, “pointless, incessant barking.” The same situation exists in the career counseling arena–lots of inapplicable advice, written by people who, rather than get a real career, found they could simply tell other people what to do.
    But your blog stands out because it is concise and contains substance. Even if I don’t always agree with it, it prompts people to think…which is evidenced by the quality of the comments you receive. If you were #1…and your comments were just things like “right on, dude!” and “your stupid!” I wouldn’t be too proud. But instead, you are building an audience of respect because your content is relevant.

  2. Matthew
    Matthew says:

    I agree with Dave that your blog has relevant content. I am a 35 year old attorney in the process of switching jobs, and I have, consequently, been doing a great deal of thinking on the topics you discuss. I am taking two weeks off between the jobs to do some traveling, gardening, reading, and thinking. This morning, I have spent about an hour and half perusing your blog while drinking coffee and listening to NPR (what a great morning – I should have quit sooner), and a number of your posts have helped me to clarify how I will approach some of the life/work balance issues at my new job. I was not confident enough in my abilities at my last job to set appropriate boundries, and I intend to change that when I start my new position. Thanks for the quality content Penelope.

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