Before I start, I must make it clear that this is not about NaBloPoMo itself, but rather it’s my feelings about it, yours may be completely different, and that’s a good thing.
"Why did I even sign up?" That’s a good question and it deserves an answer. Last year when I I was a relative newcomer (I had been blogging for about 6 months), it seemed like a big deal, but being fairly newish, I was too shy sign up. I did however post every day for the month, but it felt like even though I put on the uniform and turned up for every game, I simply wasn’t part of the team. So this year when Melissa joined up, I got all swept up in the excitement and signed up too.
But signing up in itself was a real pain in the arse! And it almost caused me to rethink my decision, "Do I really need another fucking account, on another fucking social networking site, that I’ll never be able to delete?" Hell I can’t even count the number of damn accounts I already have but never use, and can’t delete. And who the fuck is Ning anyway?
However I forged ahead and signed up, set up my page, and waited for the the big day to arrive. And arrive it did, with a flurry of mediocrity! I think that MaBloMe’s major contribution to the blogosphere was to lower the overall quality of posts by a factor of 3. By this I mean that there are a lot of clever, witty and insightful bloggers out there who post around every three of four days, and their posts are well worth reading. However, given the onus of posting everyday, there was a sharp spike in the number of "I’ve got nothing to say" posts, which means that when you apply the law of averages, we move from 100% of posts being good to around 35% (the rest being filler posts to comply with the post a day requirement), resulting in a lowering of the average quality of posts from very good to not so good (I hesitate you use the term poor). While it’s OK to say "I’ve got nothing" every now and then (hell I’ve done it myself), saying it every couple of days is not.
Which brings me to BloMe’s second contribution to the blogoshpere; the flooding of feedreaders with posts that would have been better left unwritten. It’s already a struggle to keep up with genuine posts, it was painful having to wade through mountains of "I’m only writing this because I joined PaBloMa and I have to post every day" posts. Now I’m not saying that all my posts are winners, in fact far from it, I think I have a strike rate of about one if four being a decent post (but at least this is a constant on my blog, not a spike for a month)
Then there were the groups. What the hell was that all about!? People joined groups just to be in them, for example, Robin created a Fun Monday group that had thirty-seven members, fourteen of which had never posted a Fun Monday post, but better yet, didn’t post in any of the four that were held during NoMoPo! But hey, I even joined a group myself, something about dog lovers, it had over 40 members and despite my visiting some and leaving comments, I didn’t see one of them on my blog. And as for the friends list, mine was just a duplication of my sidebar links anyway.
So why am I so gripey about it? Well the answer is fairly simple; I post Monday through Saturday anyway, so the extra four posts shouldn’t have been a hassle, yet the mere fact that I had to post everyday (and believe me, I’m OCD about commitments) made me feel like all of the posts for Nov were an imposition, particularly since I had to go to the Coast three times in quick succession during Nov. That coupled with the sheer weight of unreadable posts in Bloglines, sucked the fun right out of blogging for virtually the whole month of November.
Given that I don’t advertise, and that I already have the best, most intelligent bunch of commenters on the net anyway, I wasn’t looking to increase my traffic, which as it happens, was just as well. Out of interest I checked my stats and found that for the month of November my traffic had actually dropped by 20% compared to the previous three months. I put this down to the huge number of extra posts people were having to deal with.
I’m not saying NaBloPoMo was a bad thing (but I have deleted my profile and the link on my sidebar, but I still can’t delete the account itself). I’m sure a lot of people got a lot out of it (and good luck to them), I’m just saying it didn’t work for me. And no, I won’t be doing it next year, in fact I’ll be holding a NaBloPoMoBo (that’s a National Blog Posting Month Boycott) and will not be reading posts written by participants while it’s on. It’s not sour grapes, it’s just too much work.
Wow! See how many words I can write when I don’t have to?
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