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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

'Sweeps Week' Reader Drive

As some of you may or not be aware, treppenwitz has somehow managed to sneak advance into the final round of the JIB (Jewish and Israeli Blog) Awards in both of the categories for which it was slated.

The final round of voting began yesterday and will continue until February 2nd.  You can vote once every three days.

The categories in which this site was graciously nominated are:

Best Life in Israel Blog

and

Best Post by a Jewish or Israeli Blogger (for the post 'Daddy Syndrome').

[Update:  The Jerusalem Post linked to the wrong post for one of the finalists for 'Best Post' and it wasn't noticed until the voting was well underway.  The Post decided that the only fair thing to do was to reset the counter and begin voting again.  I'm told that voting will be extended in this category to allow everyone the opportunity to cast their votes.]

OK, honesty time... I feel a little dirty for campaigning so shamelessly for votes.   But it's really hard not to when so many people are running 'ALL JIBS ALL THE TIME' type campaigns on their sites. 

At least on TV the networks put up their best stuff during 'sweeps week'.  Wouldn't it be nice if we bloggers and journalers did the same during the JIBs instead of taking a week-long campaigning break from the very thing that earned us readers in the first place? 

Unfortunately, as in politics, if the other guy is out flogging the voters one would have to be a bit of a 'frier'* to not go out and do at least a little of the same.

But just so we're clear, many of the other writers in the two categories for which treppenwitz was nominated have been around a long time and have worked hard at making their sites something to be proud of.  They have forged their own unique relationships with their daily readers (many of whom are also treppenwitz readers), and I wouldn't mind a bit to see them win.

What would be a shame is if we finished this JIB season without boosting the readership of the blogs that are most deserving of exposure. 

Dave of Israellycool and the Jerusalem Post have done a fantastic job of putting together and promoting the JIBS (and fielding insane criticism in the process).  What they can't do is encourage people to change their surfing habits.

That's where you come in.

Let's face it... we are all creatures of habit.  Every day we sit down with our coffee (or beverage of choice) and check the same news sites... giggle over the same comic strips... and read the same blogs.  Once in a blue moon we might check out a new site if someone we read and trust gives it a rave review... but for the most part we rarely deviate from this daily pattern.

What I'd like to suggest is that everyone select one or two of their favorite reads from their daily circuit around the Internet and forward the link to one or two well-chosen people who might enjoy those sites.  Some of the sites in my blogroll were introduced to me in exactly that manner (thanks Tess!).  It doesn't have to be treppenwitz (although obviously that would be nice)... just so long as you think the site(s) and the reader(s) would be a good fit for each other.   

This isn't as simple as it sounds. 

Granted, it's not quite as complex as trying to fix up your Star Wars-obsessed high school buddy who still lives in his mom's basement at 41... but there are still obvious compatibility (and credibility) issues to be considered when recommending reading material to friends. 

For instance, I wouldn't try sending a a dyed-in-the-wool carnivore to the PETA site for enlightenment. Nor would I suggest referring a devout Christian Deacon to a website devoted to exploring the edgier side of the BDSM scene in Eastern Europe. 

We're looking to gently expand horizons here people, not prompt calls to the EMTs!

Anyway, that's my suggestion.  A reader drive.  Plain and simple.

If you want to vote for treppenwitz (or anyone else) in the JIBS, the links are there (above) for your convenience.  But if you want to turn a couple of friends on to the blogs/journals that give you pleasure on a daily basis... that would be a few minutes of your morning well spent.

So what are you waiting for?  Go pick out a couple of nuggets from your favorites/bookmarks list... why should you be the only one getting a moon-tan from the blue light of the computer monitor?

* frier = sucker

219_21

Posted by David Bogner on January 25, 2006 | Permalink

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First time I ever willingly went into the frier category.....

The "forward favorite reads" day is a great idea! I will be sending a link to Treppenwitz to two unsuspecting victims who have no clue how addicted to this blog they are going to become...

Posted by: mcaryeh | Jan 25, 2006 11:35:00 AM

Two points, the first of which David is far too nice to mention:

1. In the "Best Life in Israel" category, Treppenwitz is in a close-run race with a blog that is overtly campaigning with full-fledged abandon. However, that blog isn't even close to as well-written or sensitive as Treppenwitz. Nuff said ... you all know where to click.

2. David, could you share the link to that blog about "the edgier side of the BDSM scene in Eastern Europe" again? I lost the secret email you sent to us "Treppenwitz Premium" subscribers.

Thanks!

Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | Jan 25, 2006 11:38:21 AM

hey... what's this "Treppenwitz Premium" subscribers business that Andy references????
Jeesh... and I voted for him, my own brother... I'm just saying...

Posted by: val | Jan 25, 2006 2:01:50 PM

Whoa. I hope your kids don't read this post. Just, ahem, sounds inappropriate. Still, funny as anything overall. Keep it up.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Jan 25, 2006 2:25:17 PM

Well, the site isn't letting me vote again in the Best Post category - si don't even get to give myself my one, measly vote. :(
The truth is, though, I totally hear what you're saying about the crazy campaigning going on. I actually received a mass email forwarded to me from one of about 100 people on the email list. The relative of someone who is in a category with me sent out an email to everyone they even remotely knew, asking the recipients to vote for their family member - and asked them in turn to send the letter to as many friends as possible, a la chain letter. I'm so anonymous, I really can't ask anyone to vote for me. Ah, whatever.

Posted by: orthomom | Jan 25, 2006 3:04:54 PM

Mcaryeh... You are too kind. I'm sure you know at least one or two other worthy reads...

Andy... Now, now... Be nice. I wouldn't want anyone to parse my site for spelling, grammar and syntax problems! And don't even get me started on punctuation... or overuse of elipses. As to that other matter, ahem, contact me offline. :-)

Val... Oh that? That's nothing... he's just kidding, really. heheheh ;-)

tnspr569... No, my kids don't read this site. Are you kidding me? :-)

Orthomom... At first I'd decided I wasn't going to waste a journal entry on the JIBs because I had other stuff I wanted to write about... so I sent a short email to people I knew were already readers of my blog (meaning friends, immediate family or people who had recently commented) and reminded them that the voting had started. Then when I saw all the politicking going on I sort of threw in the towel and posted what you see here today. Then, the snafu happened with one of the links and they reset the counter so I had to post an update telling people to try to go back and vote. I just feel like I need a shower! [shudder] How do politicians live with themselves?

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jan 25, 2006 3:46:39 PM

The thing that really bothers me about all of this politiciking is exactly what Orthomom just referred to.

I don't want to win or think that any blog should win because they managed to convince Uncle Moishe the computer illiterate and his 37 children to vote.

I have no problems saying that I would like to win, who wouldn't.

But if it happens I would prefer that it was because the people who read me like my blog enough to vote for me.

Asking nonreaders to vote just irks me, but hey that is just me.

I still like the JIBs and think that they are useful.

Posted by: Jack | Jan 25, 2006 4:00:24 PM

Your blog is so much better than [deleted - Ed.] blog so rest assured, I voted for you in the Life in Israel category (and at this point haven't voted in the best post category because I don't care about it that much). I def want you to win it

Posted by: purposefully anon | Jan 25, 2006 4:43:40 PM

I have found some great blogs through the JIBs last year and hope to find some new ones this year, as well. I know what you mean, I also hate politics. I can't toot my own horn if you paid me.

Posted by: Essie | Jan 25, 2006 5:13:34 PM

just voted. You perhaps know you are leading at the moment with 30%. Did you say one can vote more then once? if so, I of course will do so.

Posted by: savta yaffa | Jan 26, 2006 12:59:17 AM

always remember..better a fryer than a Capon.....

Posted by: Shmiel | Jan 26, 2006 1:57:40 AM

We WANT to vote for you -- and we appreciate the reminders and the links!

Posted by: Drew | Jan 26, 2006 4:20:02 AM

Hmm, for some reason I can't vote in that category. Evil, evil computer people!

Ahem, I find that there's nothing wrong with moderate campaigning - it's a good way of exposing oneself to the public. (Wait, that sounds SO wrong!) But, I'm surprised people go as far as sending out email list. I mean, this is just an online contest. It's not like anyone's winning money or anything! LOL, people need to relax and take it easy!

Posted by: Irina | Jan 26, 2006 4:29:47 AM

Just curious, how many blogs would you say you read a day? Do you ever comment on other people's blogs? I can't remember seeing you do that.

Posted by: Ayelet | Jan 26, 2006 5:35:26 AM

Jack... I couldn't agree more. What good is winning a JIB if the day after the voting is over a blogger is sitting there with 16 readers, no comments and 2 inbound pity links? The point of the JIBs is to increase everyone's readership while actually recognising those that are really the most widely read in their category.

Purposefully Anon... First of all, I need to ask that nobody directly bash any other blog (or commenter, for that matter) in my comments section. 'Better' is a meaningless term in the blogosphere. There are extremely popular blogs out there that I honestly don't understand the attraction... but I don't have to! It only matters that they are popular to their readers. Treppenwitz started out as a private site to save me from having to send out chatty e-mails and digital pics to my friends and relatives back in the US. That it attracted a small following is flattering, but has nothing to do with the fact that there are millions of people out there who would probably look at it and say "Why would anyone read that crap?". You can wonder out loud (as Jack has) at the point of a relatively lightly-read blog campaigning for votes among people who obviously don't regularly read the blog... but that has nothing to do with the quality of the blog itself. The difference between a little-known blog and a 'boutique journal' is all in the eye of the beholder.

Essie... That is what the JIBs are all about. If you have a moment you should drop Aussie Dave a note to thank him for all his hard work on creating and promoting the JIBs. I'm sure all the criticism and aggravation he's endured would be forgotten in a minute if he got a couple of emails like that.

Savta Yaffa... You can vote once every three days. Yes people, I know there are ways around that, but please don't shame me by letting me find out that any treppenwitz readers stooped to this! Not winning would be fine. Winning and then finding out that many of the votes were fraudulent would be devastating!

Shmiel... Funny you should mention that (see today's post)

Drew... I still feel like someone who has to go door to door asking for handouts. I'm serious when I say that this whoring for votes is the most demeaning thing imaginable.

Irina... I'm glad you pointed out the obvious. ;-) Good point.

Ayelet... I try to get to all the blogs in my blogroll at least once every couple of days. This isn't as hard as it might seem since many of them don't update their site's daily. As to commenting, I have to admit to being one of the great lurkers. I will occasionally leave a comment if treppenwitz is mentioned or if the topic is one about which I feel very strongly. But for the most part I find that the I have a finite amount of time on the computer and I'd rather spend it responding to commenters here. I know that probably sounds a bit hypocritical.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jan 26, 2006 9:26:06 AM

"The point of the JIBs is to increase everyone's readership while actually recognising those that are really the most widely read in their category."

I think if the latter part of your sentence were stated outright on the JIBs page, I would have less of a problem with these awards (does widest readership equal best, though...?).

Well, that and a ban on vote whoring - which includes everything from asking those who never read one's blog to vote for them to keeping a sticky post at the top of one's blog to ubiquitous admonitions to "vote for me! I want to win!".

I think you and ChayyeiSarah and a few others have taken the high road by reminding your readers about the JIBs without hitting them over the head with it. Kol HaKavod for that...

The intent behind these awards - to expose the blogs to wider audiences - is a good one and I appreciate the effort IsraellyCool has put forth to make them happen, but there are some serious flaws in the system which kind of turn the whole thing into a farce, increased exposure notwithstanding.

Posted by: mcaryeh | Jan 26, 2006 11:21:02 PM

I'm just going to stick my head into this discussion regarding the "sticky" note:

I put that up there to direct people who may have come to my site from the JIB page towards my funny posts (since I'm nominated for humor). Otherwise they'd see a bunch of depressing posts about my dad and not think it's too funny.

The truth is that I like the idea of getting new readers via the JIBs, but I suspect that many of the people voting are coming either through one of these marketing campaigns, or are being directed from a mega blog, and I seriously doubt they are checking out the competition. Just voting directly for their friends.

Posted by: psychotoddler | Jan 27, 2006 8:25:52 PM

Yeah, I voted for PT, Fudge, you, and Kerckhoff's, because you are who I read. (I actually didn't read you until I read your Best Post.) But I don't have the energy to always figure out what day is three days from when I last voted. I appreciate PT's sticky note, because whenever I go visit, it reminds me of the JIBs, and gives me the link very conveniently in case I want to go there. Much better than repeated posts bugging me to vote for the author. I read them the first time! :oP

Posted by: Kiwi the Geek | Jan 29, 2006 7:52:39 AM

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