I 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:
- 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.
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.