The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
February 20, 2008

Confessions of a Greedy Green Blogger

I have a few things to get off my chest tonight. My dad, of course, would disagree and say I don’t have much in that department to lose. He’s inappropriate that way sometimes. But hey, if Vanessa can write about getting naked with her parents… Oh, dear. I think I’m getting punchy at 2am.

Okay, start again. I do have a confession to make. I have developed Greedy Blogger Syndrome. How do you know if you have GBS? Here are the tell-tale signs:

    1. You check Google Analytics, or your analysis tool of choice, 100 times a day to see how many visitors have clicked on your site. When the number goes up, you get happy for 5 seconds. Then, you check it again.

 

  • You check your Technorati rating 300 times a day to see if there’ve been any changes within the last 5 minutes. When your rating goes up, you get happy for 5 seconds. If your rating goes down, you get unhappy for 5 minutes until you check it again.

 

 

  • You check for new comments on your blog several hundred times per day. When someone writes a nice comment, you get happy for 5 seconds. Then you check and see if anyone else has written something.

 

 

  • You worry about being “scooped” by other bloggers who learn new information before you do. (Darn you, Life Less Plastic, for figuring out you can wash dishes with bar soap before I did!)

 

 

  • All this checking and worrying and fretting for a few seconds of fake plastic happiness each day inevitably leads to nightly performance anxiety and procrastination and “just one more game of Freecell and then I’ll start on my post.”

 

 

  • And finally, the worst symptom of all is guilt and self-recrimination for having symptoms 1 – 5 in the first place.

 

If these symptoms sound like you, you could be suffering from Greedy Blogger Syndrome. But don’t worry. Help is available! The first step is to stop beating yourself up about being freakin’ human. Most of us have learned to be acquisitive in one way or another. Those of us trying to lighten our environmental impact might not crave material possessions or wealth, but we can certainly be greedy in other ways, can’t we?

In fact, No Impact Man wrote an excellent post back in August on this very subject: The Unhappy Numbers Game. He too was obsessed with his Technorati rating. At the time I read the post, I was so new to blogging, I had no idea what a Technorati rating even was. Now I know. And I’ve become as obsessed with my little 150 ranking as he was about hitting his 1500. It’s all relative. And no matter how many visitors, comments, or Technorati points we get, there’s never a magic point when it’s enough. That’s the sad fact about this disease as well as the good news about the cure.

Because once you realize what a waste of time all this is, and that you’re only doing it because you’re human and that it doesn’t make you a bad person, you can finally relax and spread some of the love around the blogosphere. Because that’s all those numbers really represent, right? Love and approval. So, tonight I’m going to tell you about some bloggers that I think ought to be mentioned:

1) First of all, I updated my blogrolls on the left sidebar and tried to include all the blogs I read on a daily basis as well as those that I read whenever I have the time. They are all worthy. I don’t add blogs to my list that I don’t actually read myself. The thing about adding blog links to our sites is that it helps increase the Technorati rating for those blogs too. So it’s one of the first treatments for Greedy Blogger Syndrome. If I’ve missed anyone whose blog I read, I apologize. E-mail me if you’d like to be added.

2) Melanie Rimmer at Bean Sprouts (whose blog is now on my blogroll) is one of the most generous bloggers in town. In February, she threw out her Start A Blog Challenge, encouraging more folks to begin their own blogs. A few days later, she linked to her readers’ new blogs, and then last week explained how to publicize your blog and get links. Melanie is a Generous Blogger, and she has wicked cool hair, too.

3) Another Generous Blogger is Siel from Green LA Girl. She writes alot of “linky posts” and shares info about bloggers and others who are out here greening up the place.

4) Crunchy Chicken is encouraging all of us to share with young women of Africa in her new Goods4Girls project. If you haven’t read about it yet, Goods4Girls has been created to provide new, reusable menstrual pads to young women in areas of Africa where these products are needed most. “Providing reusable supplies not only provides a more environmentally friendly alternative for these young women (in areas of adequate water supply for washing), it reduces their dependence on outside aid organizations to continue providing for their monthly needs.” Please visit the site. And in addition to contributing, please consider adding a Goods4Girls badge to your blog to encourage others to join the campaign.

Crunchy Chicken is also generous with other bloggers. See how she generously amplified my… um… anatomy in her latest blog post, Fake Plastique Fish.

5) Elsa Wenzel does double-duty as associate editor for CNet and also as a blogger at The Greener Side. On Feb 7, she included several of us trash collectors in an article called Ecobloggers bring the landfill home. So why didn’t I mention this article when it first came out? There were several reasons, but one was that I was a Greedy Blogger and a little miffed that my bit appeared on the second page. Later, when I got over my own ego, I realized how awesome it is that CNet has someone like Elsa working there and reporting on environmental concerns and how great it was for any of us to have been mentioned at all. I was thrilled to find out a few weeks later that this same Elsa would be the host of this week’s Carnival of the Green on her own blog.

I have other blogs to write about, but it’s very late so this will have to be a two-parter. Tomorrow, I’ll post my weekly recipe and Friday I’ll link to a guy who is busting bag monsters, a woman who is greening events (and who wrote about our trip to the Jepson Prairie compost facility), an ear-catching story from a local radio station, and more.

In the meantime, I’m going to be compassionate towards the Greedy Blogger in me who is trying to show me that I’m as guilty of overconsumption as those who I might criticize, and that the Bible story about pulling the beam out of your own eye (which seems like it would hurt hella bad) is not just for Sunday School kids anymore.

17 comments
Anna
Anna

Thank Beth for adding me to your blogroll as well. I am a big fan of yours! I share your pain since the other day I was spending time looking at my stats software to notice that the software was not adding up the numbers right. I became obsessed over why the numbers weren't right. I even went as far to call the stats company who told me my host had to write a support ticket for me to talk to them about the problem. Then I tried to use my lawyer persuasive tactics to convince them to talk to me without my host's support ticket. I got shut down.All that time, I could have been out enjoying the sunshine....Annawww.green-talk.com

Sam
Sam

This is the first time I'm checking out your site, Beth, so be happy! A new reader!Seriously, the internet is addictive. I put my wireless internet on a vacation timer. Now there are parts of the day with no internet access -- which means I have to write, read, or do something else! :-)

Alexah
Alexah

My name is Alexah and I am a greedy blogger. {"Hi, Alexah"}Like Beth I check my visits every few minutes hoping that someone out there is reading it... Yes, (sniff) I'm afraid that I am just fearful that the world has ceased to exist and no one has bothered to notify me... the world has abandoned me (sniff, sniff) the lack of traffic is obvious proof of this. ;-) Now, who is Technorati and why don't they love me, too?

Lynn
Lynn

Beth, this post cracked me up. On the one hand, I recognized myself in it...(although you've got the greedies a bit worse than me) and on the other hand, I was a bit surprised...I thought you were more altruistic than this....Lynnhttp://www.organicmania.com

SootsandArya
SootsandArya

Hu carez about Technowhateva ratinz when u have luv of kittehs?Ur technocatty rating very hi!

N. & J.
N. & J.

Glad that J. and I are not alone in our statistics obsession. Since we are new to the Blog World were excited the day we hit 60 views and promptly depressed we the next day it plummeted in the 30s. Hopefully once we get some more "blog cred" we can find our way on to some blogrolls. I read your blog everyday and you were my inspiration for taking the plunge and getting a safety razor (by the way our homemade shaving cream works great with it. If you've got the interest and time you can find the recipe on our blog)http://badhuman.wordpress.com

Crunchy Chicken
Crunchy Chicken

Jiminy crickets, Bernadette, I feel a bumper sticker coming on: WWFPFD?We need to get Thistle working on it.

Bernadette
Bernadette

I understand your obsession. We write because we must, and because we want others to share our madness.Thanks for all you do. You inspire me. I, too, was livid when your HP monitor died. You've affected my life in such tiny and huge ways--today, I chose not to buy a cranberry-orange scone at the cafe in my office buidling because it was tucked inside a plastic bag. What would FPF do??? Instead, I walked down the street to a local, worker-owned cafe and happily purchased a tasty pastry that they handed me with no packaging at all.Thanks for tips, inspiration, and shared failures/challenges.Bernadette (Portland, OR)

Luna
Luna

Not to feed into your syndrome, but Beth, I love you and read FPF daily - single most helpful blog ever in terms of impacting my daily life, thank you thank you. (My fridge has Straus milk, no more plastic yogurt containers, and I now buy in bulk with my clothy bags whenever possible.) Anywho, I'll give you another holler when I get going on the blog I've been contemplating...it'll have helpful tips for folks living on other side of the Bay (Burlingame-ish). Rock on with your bad self! - Allison

CindyW
CindyW

You are too funny!!! First, thanks so much for adding us to your blogroll. I've always been a big fan of Fake Plastic Fish.With regard to constant stats checking: I'd like to thank the close primary as my lifesaver from over-reading G-analytics. I found myself spend a good chunk of the day & night reading about the candidates (almost everything they say), the stuff put out by media talking heads (though I don't trust them), the letters written by readers who are vehemently pro or anti a particular candidate. Sigh. Now the question is: we are still 10 months away from the general election. What can save me from OBSESSING with the election?! Maybe I have to go back to G-analytics...

Rejin L
Rejin L

Beth, I am totally honored to be added to your blogroll, and to know that you read UB from time to time. And with all the work you do, how could you not keep an eye on whether people are paying attention? When I feel like that tree falling in the forest ("Is anyone out there?") it can be a little discouraging.I can't wait for your film to come to the East Coast, by the way. (I knew all you West Coast folks were movie people.)

Crunchy Chicken
Crunchy Chicken

What are you talking about? I'm not being generous... I've seen pictures of you and you totally look like Angelina Jolie with short hair.

Gray Matters
Gray Matters

I just found your blog and thoroughly enjoyed your post. I look forward to reading more and checking in often. Thank you.

arduous
arduous

Oh, no Beth!!! I never knew about Technorati ratings! Now I have something else to obsess over. ;)

Low Impact Home
Low Impact Home

I try to only check my google analytics and digg once a day, but depending on how slow the day is going I might sneek a peek two or three times a day. My weak point is checking for comments, I must do it more then once an hour! I'm not sure why I am so obsessed with comments, I probably only get one or two a day, but I love to hear what other people think of what I have to say.Thanks for adding me to you blogroll, I'm glad to know that you are reading me as much as I am reading you!

Gruppie Girl
Gruppie Girl

Here is a comment to fuel your addiction. ;)I now rarely check my "stalker software", it was driving me crazy always checking to see where my readers were from (I'm not big in the Utah area) and how long they were staying (5 or so minutes). I feel for you!