Thursday, July 28, 2005

Drama, oh

So here I am, once again in BlogExplosion's "Battle of the Blogs," sitting across from an opponent whom I'm pretty sure will beat me like a red-headed stepchild (and not undeservedly so, and maybe I'll even like it).

I like "Battle of the Blogs." As I've mentioned, it's a good "investment" in traffic, if played correctly.

But oh, the drama. Every two or three days, the controversy pops up. Secret cliques conspire to vote for each other. A new blog can't get a fair shake. The fix is in.

I understand. I felt the same way when I went something like 0-for-11 at the beginning. It's frustrating. So you try to come up with explanations. You start wondering why you keep losing to blogs that aren't much, if any better, than your own.

So let me explain: There are no explanations. You're losing because you're losing, and that's just the way it is.

Yeah, there are some voters who have preferred/friend blogs they'll always vote for, no matter what. Maybe they even get together to arrange reciprocity. Who knows?

Yes, some people game the system to maximize their records and the credits they win, both in the challenges they accept and the votes they cast.

Yep, it can become more competitive than maybe it really merits (I am just aching to hit 300 wins before I hit 200 losses).

But guys ... it's a game.

Nobody dies when they lose a "Battle of the Blogs."

There are no stock market crashes, no job losses, no broken marriages because The Shrinking Wop got all Valentine's Day Massacre on your ass, or Blackberry Lou served you up a big portion of Loser Pie, or Jenny decided it would be nice to cast you as Tantalus-of-the-moment.

Why do people vote the way they vote? I tried to analyze it once, but I've given up. Some blogs I like, some I don't. Some I want to see a fresh post from (if you have time for battle, you have time to blog), some I cut some slack (OldGuy is, after all, old and maybe he just didn't feel like cranking out something new today, you know?). Maybe it's two that I really like and I flip a coin. Maybe it's someone I really dislike (and no, I won't say who) and just will never vote for. Maybe it's a new blog and I want to encourage them. Maybe it's a not-quite-new blog whose author seems to have more persistence than talent.

Why do people take the challenges they take? I try to make myself just take the first 10-credit challenge available, or set one up myself, so that I don't fall into the trap of gaming the system and getting all wrapped up in it.

Because drama is okay ... but melodrama gets old, really quick.

Blog. Battle. Have fun. Be nice.

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