Elwood 5566

Bogland Merit Badges

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Blogging by 노강호 on October 8, 2010

Best Blogs in Korea

Somewhere in cyber-space voting is taking place for the ‘Best Korean Blog.’ No, I am not including a link! Firstly Bathhouse Ballads is one of the nominees and, secondly, I am tempted to delete all references to it. To be honest, I have not been very happy with the boy scout badges that e-rags provide. Just being required to string a sentence together as a qualification for their banner is a little like buying a degree. Having that icon appear on my site somehow smacks of prostitution and now that I’ve been ‘exposed’ by An Idiots Tale, ironically asking people to vote for me, I’m tempted to remove it.

So, in response to a true guru of Korean blogs and writing in general, Mr Wonderful, who resides at An Idiot’s Tale, I fully admit that I arse licked to get that pretty badge which I could subsequently stick in my sidebar. I feel quite ashamed! Like I’ve been caught by mummy having a wank while wearing her knickers. And as shameful as it is, I’ll admit to those who asked, rhetorically, on An Idiot’s Tale’s pages, what you have to do to qualify for that coveted badge.  Simple, I wrote a begging e-mail. No one has to nominate you because you can nominate yourself! And I prostituted myself good, telling them I’d ‘been published’ as opposed to having ‘published myself’ – which was in fact exactly what I was doing at the time. Yes, it felt sleazy but you know what students are like when they want a gold star, it doesn’t really matter to them if they cheated or not, it’s the sticker that counts.

Mr Wonderful at An Idiot's Tale

And why is it a form of prostitution? Because even as I was composing that grovelling letter I was well aware that many of the other ‘nominated’ blogs where shite. Half of them provide the same experience as lifting the lid on an unflushed toilet, one with turds in residence! When people enter and subsequently leave your blog in the same click,  you need to reconsider.

In contrast, I visited several blogs last night via An Idiots Tale, all of them regular commentators on his site and ended up having to tear myself away at 2.am. And guess what? All of them had shitty ‘hit statistics.’ Now, I’m quite proud of my paltry hits even though they tally the same amount in one month, as the big bloggers get in a day, but these guys had really poor figures, in some cases under a thousand. And to compound matters, some blogs were much older than mine.  But their content and style was far superior to many of the blogs nominated for the ‘Best Blogs in Korea,’ mine included and many of the blogs I have read, or not read, in the last year!

Now, I love my blog and I love writing and being a snob, I profess I am a writer not a blogger. There is a difference! And of course, what qualifies me to self-aggrandizement is that I’ve been paid by other people to write and have had a substantial work published. Most first time authors earn less than £4000 for their efforts and after all the revisions, and late nights, the pay back is pitiful. But the one reward is that you’ve been published, preferably by a third-party and that’s a kick in the teeth to petty critics. But there is an irony; I have had more hits to Bathhouse Ballads in six months than my book sold copies in 10 years. It’s only natural that I love my blog, as a creative pursuit, above my published book. A book is dead! You write it and leave it and as much as you wish you could rewrite parts, you can’t. And as I have learnt to my cost, you can’t easily retract what you’ve said. And unless you’re famous and successful you have little or no interaction with your readers. Blogging is quite different and compared to a book, it can be changed, it grows and can respond (via its readers). Compared to a book, a blog is alive which also means it needs nurturing and can die.

So, seeing my blog swirling around in that cesspit, shoulder to shoulder with a substantial, amount of shite, made me feel pretty dirty. The feelings of prostitution, of being soiled were intensified when I noticed that some of the nominated blogs have more followers than they’ve had hits. How do you account for 940 followers when your site has only been visited 800 times?  Even the big bloggers don’t have a such a fan-base despite the fact they can attract over a 1000 hits a day!

I am going to vote for one of the nominated blogs as they’re not all crap! But I don’t particularly want anyone voting for me because winning it would really involve no victory, other than the one erected by An Idiot’s Tale and I’m probably going to zap that merit sticker in my sidebar. My artistic pride tells me to but the prostitute whispers  for me to hang on because it’s all about exposure. The only real reward in blogging, apart from the art of writing itself, are the number of individuals who subscribe to your site and read your work on a regular basis and no amount of self-delusion can increase that figure or alter the worth of your writing.


Creative Commons License© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.





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5 Responses

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  1. Mr. Wonderful said, on October 8, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Why would you want to remove yourself from the contest?

    Don’t overreact to silly shit.

    Let’s have fun with it.

    • Nick said, on October 8, 2010 at 5:41 am

      I fully intend to wait until the party’s over – just in case.

      • Hamish Nelson said, on October 11, 2010 at 1:11 am

        Mr. Wonderful did a great job pimping your blog in fine Mr. Wonderful fashion. Straight to the point, no BS and right in your face…. EXCELLENT 🙂

        These competitions or votes aren’t the be all and end all for sure. Writing is a passion, that’s the main point of it all. I’m surprised though that all the votes aren’t for the Canadian/American blogs though and that brings a smile to my face especially.

  2. Breda said, on October 8, 2010 at 4:30 am


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