10 Reminders for Bloggers Climbing the Rankings

Scott over at Dangerously Irrelevant has blogged about the Technorati rankings of top edubloggers.

(Talk about shockers, listed on this unofficial list is a blogger who lives on the backside of no-where — ME! As we say down here, “Now isn't that a hoot!” )

This is his list:

So many of these bloggers are my inspiration. (Actually, a few were left out – Stephen Downes, an early encourager of mine is ranked 2,784; SpunkyHomeSchool is 2,963.) However, I hope folks (myself included) don't get too caught up in this numbers game.

I just hope that all edubloggers (and bloggers in general) will remember a couple of things:

#1 Quality not quantity –

Are you contributing to meaningful conversation?

Time is valuable. In the early days of my blogging, I read a post that said that the only way to have a widely read blog is to post frequently. I didn't agree with that AT ALL!

At that point, I made a resolution to only post when I have something to say! Somedays I have a lot of things to share and other days, I don't.

If you don't have anything to say, then DON'T SAY ANYTHING! Life is too short to waste it blogging about nothing and reading blogs about nothing.

Eventually, people will figure it out and not waste their time reading your blog.

#2 Go for stock not shock

You can be heard and people will take stock in what you say without you having to resort to shocking tactics.

I was quite offended with a fellow edublogger used profanity when talking about my 11 strategies for online parental supervision. (I won't link to him, lest that encourage him.)

In a world gone astray, I do not find it necessary to color my language with weak words. And that, in my opinion, is profanity! Weak words for those who have just gotten out of first grade. As for adults, we must learn to discuss and disagree without stomping our virtual foot and dropping on the floor in a tantrum for attention.

One tantrum may get you attention, but like most spoiled brats, if you do it enough, others will just tune you out!

#3 Have a mission.

Blog because it makes
you better and you make make the world better. Discuss topics where you can make a difference. Don't just scatter chaff to the wind, but take a pistol and aim it at a target. Focus on your calling. Mindless surfing will rob you of online purpose and measurable results.

I think this is why so many people quit blogging. They have a passion but they try to be everything to everybody. Have a belief system and stand for something.

I am on a mission!. I honestly believe that every beautiful, precious child in this world deserves to be well educated. I could care less about the real and artificial lines we draw between ourselves, every educator I know wants to do a good job and wants to reach children.

The blogosphere is a great opportunity to work together and learn from one another! I want my classroom to benefit! I want to help others! I LOVE TEACHING!

#4 Stay real.

Blogging cannot supplant your personal relationships in “real life.” Although we make friends and embark on adventures via the blogosphere, we still must relate to others.

#5 Keep perspective.

If you think you're important, try dipping your hand in a bucket of water and pulling it out. When we're gone we leave the same mark in the popularity index as your hand did in the water!

Those who get an overblown sense of importance become inneffective in their daily lives. Do not put your hope in vain things.

I've never been popular (well, maybe a little in college), but then again, women who like academic things often aren't put at the top of the guy date wish list, are they? I cannot value myself by my Technorati ranking or comments or anything else but by whether I am accomplishing the purpose I am here for and serving the One I believe in with all my heart.

It is kind of like valuing yourself by what students think of you! Any good teacher knows that they are often unpopular today. Ten years a go every little girl wanted to be Brittney Spears, now they think of her as a joke!
You should blog because it is what you believe in. It should not be dependent upon whether people like you, disagree with you, agree with you, or think you're great! If you scrutinize these things too much you become like inneffective politicians who make decisions based on the latest poll. Keep it in perspective and know that those who make a difference attract enemies and friends.

#6 Everyone has a place.

Each person has influence within their sphere. You may have four readers (I had 3 for at least 2 months!) and you make a difference to THEM! There is a place for each person on the blogosphere. Never talk down to newcomers. I started blogging last December! Some people treated me like an idiot my first month or two, but there is a right and wrong way to do things.

I believe in treating each person with dignity and respect. If people flame out, it is not often at me, but they had a bad day. I've only had one web encounter where kindness and professionalism just didn't work. (I handled it by blocking everything that person sent my e-mail! Viola! You've been erased!)

#7 Be willing to change
The only people who like change are babies in dirty diapers, and they yell the whole time!

The willingness to change is a decision. If I have a post, and commenters make valid points, I add to my post. If I see things a different way, I change my mind. I NEVER change it because of pressure, but change it because there is a reason and I've pondered and usually prayed about it.

No one on this planet is right all of the time. Likewise, no one is wrong all of the time either. Even an uneducated hothead can have a point sometimes!

#8 Help others.

If you like a blogger, the first thing you should do is link to them and then ping technorati. If you don't know how to “ping,” just go to http://www.technorati.com/ping/ and type in the URL of your blog. (If you're a serious blogger, you should set up an account and claim your blog, but that is another post.)

#9 Don't help the harmful
There is an inverse to point #8. If you do not like someone or agree with them and you link to them, you help them! However, if you cite them as a source, ethically you MUST link to them.

Just remember, that some people say stupid things just to get a lot of links. One of the fastest ways to climb is to spark controversy. Is there any wonder that the political blogs are at the top?

If I find something morally offensive, unless it is in the mainstream media and I can truly do something to help the situation, I stay away from linking to it. Some will disagree with me, but why I am I going to help someone who is doing terrible things?

#10 Think before you Blog

Once you've blogged and posted, it is done. If it is controversial, I usually sit on it for a little while. You can hurt people and put them on the wrong track. If your readers see you as the expert, and you state something that is not true, you've just done harm.

If you are a teacher and you are blogging, expect your students and parents to read your blog! Don't turn your blog into a gossip session or administration bashing forum. Just because they don't read today, doesn't mean they won't tomorrow! Speak well of others. See the best in others.

Do not impune bad motives to others when you do not know them. YOU DO NOT KNOW THEM! As we say down here, “You catch flies with honey not vinegar!”

I've found that those who see the best in others receive the best out of others but the disgruntled never find happiness.

Let's get an edublogger in the top 100.
I'd love to see an edublogger in the top 100! Since Will is the highest, if each person reading this who has a blog links to him in this way, perhaps there is a chance. (Weblogg-ed ) There is a real street cred that comes from getting in the top 100.

If we want education heard, this is a way to do it. So, pick your favorite blogs, link to them, and start pinging!

Have I left anything out?

Blogged by: Vicki A Davis

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Anonymous October 5, 2006 - 12:05 am


Pinging just tells Technorati that a site has been updated and you should come and check the new updates, rather than saying “I think this site is cool”…

Scott McLeod October 5, 2006 - 12:16 am

Hi Vicki,

Thanks for connecting to my Modern day Cassandras? post. As always, it’s nice when folks do that.

That said, I would like to emphasize that the main point of that post was not the Technorati rankings but rather the idea that we all should be giving educators resources to make the changes we blog about wanting to see. Judging by the comments that I’ve received, I think that got lost in the rankings shuffle.

The reason I put the rankings in there in the first place was not to focus on quality v. quantity but rather to emphasize the issue of scope of reach. If we want to make change, the greater reach we have the better. It’s one thing to link to Will just to improve his Technorati ranking. It’s another for all of us to get as many readers as we can because we think we can help with important needs. The more people are reading and discussing, the better situated we are as we work to make changes occur. If all we’re doing is talking with each other, it’s sort of pointless. David Warlick blogged recently that he was uncomfortable calling himself a thought leader. I would encourage him, and others, to proudly wear that hat and to use that power for good. Whether David’s comfortable labeling himself or not, the bottom line is that others label him as such so he might as well do great things with that.

I believe the best way to provide value is to a) keep blogging as usual but b) create extra or added value to entice those who otherwise would not find and/or keep reading us. That’s the point I was hoping to make with the Modern day Cassandras? post.

Sorry I left off a few of your favorite blogs. There’s so many good ones! Now if we could only get the bulk of K-12 educators to realize that…

MrsC October 5, 2006 - 3:40 am

Vicki, you are such an inspiration for bloggers, teachers, women in technology, and writers in general. I enjoy working with my student’s blogs. I began a professional blog this summer and have neglected it since I got so busy with school and my other blogs. This inspires me to update. It also reminds me not to do so out of guilt but because I have a point to make. It is very exciting, but not surprising (I think I have linked to you more than others), that you are number three. Great job and keep up the inspiration!

Vicki A. Davis October 5, 2006 - 12:40 am

Anonymous –
No, in fact, you are mistaken. If you look at the rankings, technorati ranks bloggers by how many links they have and how many blogs link to them. So, although you are not saying “this is cool” or “this is not cool,” any and all links count towards the technorati rankings. Since there are some that follow the rankings closely, it does in fact “help” those you are linking to. So, if you link to a person and if you ping technorati, then in effect you have “voted” for that person.

So, although you are right that pinging in itself doesn’t “do” anything. Pinging when you link to a site registers a “vote” of sorts to boost those sites you link to in the rankings!

I hope that clarifies things!

Karyn Romeis October 5, 2006 - 8:06 am

Spot on, as ever Vicki. And remember: online no-one is “the backside of no-where”.

For myself, I only use Technorati to discover who has linked to my posts and what they’ve said – following the conversation. And that conversation has remained fairly constant for the past several months. I’m cool with that.

You have zoomed up the ratings because what you say resonates with people. You write about what you know and you keep it real. Reading new theories and following debates is great, but when the rubber hits the road, people need things that are going to work in the real world.

For teachers who are new to all this, you provide a safe haven, and answers to all the “stupid questions” they’re too afraid to ask, for fear of being “treated like an idiot”.

You go girl!

teacher dude October 7, 2006 - 6:53 pm

The wonderful and sometimes scary thing about blogging is that nothing you write ever disappears, no matter how flippantly it was written. I guess a post, like a pet is for life.

I noticed that some of the things I’ve mentioned about teaching ESL are now on the first page of common Google searches.

I can’t think of a better incentive to make sure that what we write is both well-written and relevant.

Now if we can get our students to understand this point then I think we can happily say goodbye to bad syntax and spelling since no one wants to be considered stupid in front of their peers.

Web Teacher October 12, 2006 - 12:41 am

Thanks for publishing this article. Gave me a good set of new blogs to check out and some good things to think about.

arvind s grover October 12, 2006 - 4:27 am

yeah, definitely don’t get caught up in the numbers, or you will never blog. ahem, i am 73,973, hooray!

Andrew Pass Educational Services, LLC October 16, 2006 - 1:43 am

Vicki, Another great post. I really enjoy reading what you have to say, particularly your prescriptions on how to develop the highest quality blogs. I watch Technocratti religiously, but I also check how my stuff does on Google. When I first began blogging Christian Logan told me to develop my own voice. I’ve always loved developing creative lesson plans so I think I’ve done that on my blog. I have a good time with it. In some sense that’s my motto – if you’re not having a good time why do it? (Certainly there are some things you should do regardless.)

Andrew Pass

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