Bomb Blast

I consider the Technorati bomb experiment a success, but there is now a blogger who thinks I am an idiot or perhaps a scumbag for doing this. He left some feedback in the original post on the subject, to which I have responded. He also criticizes the whole thing in his weblog (her? I’m not familiar with the gender of “Taran” so forgive me if I picked wrong.) I can kind of understand the criticism, as the mechanism had a certain cynicism to it. I think Doc might have slightly hurt the cause a little by referring to Clevenger as “my friend”, which makes it sound like I’m just logrolling for some buddy of mine. For the record, that’s not the case. I don’t know the guy at all, this is all about the book. Which also for the record, I think is one of the best crafted and most compelling books I’ve read in a long time. It still haunts me months after I finished it. I wouldn’t do this for just anything. Also for the record, I have dozens of friends and acquaintances who are writers and I’ve never done something like this for any of them and probably never will. I talked up Kelley Eskridge’s Solitaire quite a bit here but I didn’t organize a campaign like this. I actually felt a little guilty about that over the weekend, considering that I don’t know Clevenger but I love Kelley to pieces, and yet I’m doing this for his book and not hers.

The thing I regret now is that Doc is getting heat over this. He was commenting on an interesting phenomenon, mainly me trying to organize these, and also contributed by commenting on it with a link. Now he’s getting static for that. It’s a shame, because I was tickled pink when Doc got involved. He didn’t do anything wrong, and if you want blame to place it is all on me. It was my idea, I organized and executed it. Direct all criticisms here. Of course he commented on it, this is exactly the kind of thing he talks about. He could have not used the Amazon link, but why not join in the festivities. What would really make me happy is if Doc decided to buy the book because of this brouhaha and loves it (99.9% chance of that happening) and then blogs about it again from the perspective of an enthused reader. It’s that whole “super sneezer” viral thing.

I did email Clevenger (again, he’s not my friend just a writer I admire) and tell him I was doing this on his behalf. He said he was quite moved by it, and had noticed his spike in Amazon sales but had no idea why it was happening. I’m now done with the whole thing and will let it naturally fade away, other than answering criticisms and dealing with people who think I’m a scumbag. I’m glad I did it, I’m glad some folks will read the book who never would have heard of it otherwise, and I’m quite convinced they’ll be pushing it on their friends, just like I had it pushed on me by my friends and I push it on mine. It’s not an ordinary book, it is fabulous and terribly underpromoted by the publishers.

Thanks to those who helped, sorry to those who think I’m a dick, peace to all everywhere. Bring the noise.

4 Replies to “Bomb Blast”

  1. I don’t think you’re a scumbag, but when there are mixed perceptions of webloggers out there – some bad – and we openly talk about subverting a system (which, by proxy, subverts Google, which is the biggest issue for some people) we don’t make a good case for ourselves.

    We just have to be careful with what we do. We have to understand that people will look at it and say, “See? Look at that…”.

    I don’t claim to be perfect, and it’s nothing personal. Like I told you in email, I criticize actions – not people. Now, if some people do bad things all the time (RIAA, anyone), I’ll personalize it a bit.

    We’re a new breed of writers and editors rolled into one, and we learn as we go. And sometimes just because we *can* do something doesn’t mean we *should* do something.

    Stay sane.

  2. I personally would ignore Taran’s remarks as being over critical of gaming a system. Blogging is fun and it helps people to air their views. Somehow Taran has decided that the systems that Technorati and Google have put up in order to make money off of our pastime are somehow sacrosanct since they tie into our activities. The whole “we should be above that because bloggers get slammed” junk is a load and a half. Slammed by who? Are we suddenly some persecuted geek minority? Get a life.

    All that vitriol was to say that I had fun helping you get the word out and the way I figure it, Taran is just doing all of this commenting to increase the links to his/her blog in an attempt to get a higher ranking in google. Just because one *can* bitch and moan, doesn’t mean one *should* bitch and moan.

  3. … I love you and Darlene to pieces too. Friendship is not measured by whether or not you give your friends all the goodies all the time, and anyone who keeps that kind of score is not your friend. You go on with your bad techno self, and be not daunted by the slings and arrows.

  4. Well, any topic that makes Kelley leave me comments is a good topic! It’s slightly weird to be expressing our mutual affection so publically, but what the hell. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

    D talked me out of feeling guilty, since this list we were manipulating didn’t even exist when Solitaire came out. What’s amazing to me is that it and Contortionist’s Handbook are probably the two strongest books I’ve read in the last two years and both are first novels. Y’all are coming out of the gate strong (although both of you have been writing for a decade.)

    Jim, I think you are being too hard on Taran. I disagree with his stances but it ain’t personal. I don’t think it’s a traffic builder for him, since he gets way more than me anyway. I summed up what I had to say in another post rather than leaving it in his comments. He is, to be polite, not a careful reader as his posts usually seem to be predicated on misapprehensions that are already addressed in what he responds to. If anything, blogs are about giving the rank and file voices. The fact that one guy and a few accomplices could temporarily alter the sales history of a book we like is a validation of that, not a corruption of it. The alternative is as D suggested – talk about the big books everyone already has, dance to the tune Big Media plays us, do what we are told, behave like well bred trout.

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