There will always be people who don’t like you or something you’re doing. After all, you can’t please everyone all the time. And because I am me – emotional, headstrong, attached, fucked up – I tend to hear frequently “Don’t take things so personally”. I can try but ultimately I fail at that often.
Recently on Twitter Kit O’Connell shared his find of a WordPress plugin called Broken Link Checker and he mentioned that having a lot of broken links looks bad to Google. I paused for one moment when he mentioned that most of the links he was removing belonged to e[lust] and pleasurists but I quickly realized he was correct – there is absolutely no reason or need to continue to link to a blog that is gone or a post that is gone. It is gone! Logic prevails. And so I installed the plugin on both sites. When going through the broken links on e[lust] I would check things out if it came from a site that I knew was still up and running. A couple people have chosen to delete some old posts for various reasons; if they had moved the post I would have updated the link. I found some people who had deleted all their old stuff and with the deleted e[lust] submissions they also deleted the e[lust] digests. I’m sure that these people are not the only ones who have deleted old digests but they’re the ones I was alerted to for alternate reasons. One person continues his site and so I asked him why he removed the old editions from his site – yes, I took some offense to his action and his response. He said that he didn’t like e[lust] or any “aggregator” since Sugasm. I wrinkled my brow in confusion. Then he said (I am paraphrasing here or creating complete sentences) that they are repetitive and muck up blogs and feeds and are self promotional as opposed to curated, reviewed or filtered content.
Again I am confused but realize he can have his opinion and my words will never change his opinion – nor will his further explanation of his opinion change the fact that I think he is quite wrong. So I do not respond. I am offended in part because he said unkind things about the project I work the hardest on that benefits more of you than it ever will me and also in part because I chose to make guideline changes so that it was anything BUT an “aggregation” site and actually yes the content IS reviewed and filtered. By its very definition e[lust] is not an aggregation site. I summed up this change in the recent post on e[lust] about the upcoming changes for the new year:
I hope that my change this past year in what type of post/site is included in the digest has helped you all feel even better about participating and sharing the digest with your readers – unlike Sugasm I strive to include only real, genuine content from genuine bloggers as opposed to content from aggregation sites or highly commercialized “blogs”. While you may not see what goes on behind the scenes I do end up turning away a submission because it does not fit in with the new rules. I don’t want to promote those sort of sites anymore than you do. What I want, what I think we all want, is respectable method of putting our best foots forward and gaining new readers to our blogs while also finding new friends and promoting each other.
Newer bloggers are not familiar with Sugasm. The few veterans left that will read this surely remember. I don’t know about you but there were often times sites/posts that I did not want to be linking to. One could get around this because Sugasm only required participants to publish the Top 3 & Editors Picks on their blogs. And many people did just that, myself included. Did that mean a lot less cross-promotion of fellow bloggers who did not land in the Top 3? Yes, unfortunately. But it also allowed me to not publish those links I didn’t always want to promote. The ones to sites that actually were by definition an aggregation site; commercial sites filled to the brim with ads and pop-ups; posts that contained no real content, just links to services or items that they were selling. It was most definitely self-promotion at its “finest”. A number of the sites were high-traffic commercial sites and I still to this day get referral hits from them….perhaps that is the reason he preferred Sugasm; not for snobbery but greed? Sure we all could get more traffic if I allowed those sites to participate but I learned something back when I used to get included in Fleshbot: there is relevant traffic and there is useless traffic. Relevant traffic from other bloggers means you are getting someone to your site who is already interested in your type of site. The high traffic numbers from the commercial porn-type sites are people looking for fap material, who will never comment or participate or likely become a regular reader of your words. While I modeled much of e[lust] after Sugasm, I also changed a lot. Those changes were my effort to regulate via rules. Occasionally something fishy would still get in and so I took the bad guy role and now filter the content, disallowing submissions from sites that might at first look ok but contain sex-negative writing or are barely-disguised SEO blogs. The only thing that I don’t do is filter by talent. Are there some submissions that are…..well, not going to win any awards? Yes. But at the least it is all bloggers…..just like those who make derisive comments about e[lust]. But there are always going to be self-centered people in this for themselves once they find a way to start making some money off of their site and I feel offended not just personally but on behalf of everyone who does participate. Taking it personally on behalf of everyone is why I am so hard on the people who don’t re-publish – they’re not just hurting me, they are hurting everyone who participated who published the edition and are linking to them but they won’t do the same. It is why I go so far as to remove people from editions when they eventually refuse to publish.
The jerks and pompous douchebags are far outnumbered by the great folks of the community who participate in and help with e[lust]. And as I said in my post at e[lust] I welcome suggestions for change. The schedule change was inspired by a suggestion from Molly Rene about basing the schedule around a date, something more steady and concrete. Thank you Molly, you might just have saved e[lust].
I hope that the changes I’ve made are all for the better. And for those of you who participate faithfully in Wanton Wednesday, Sinful Sunday or HNT – if you ever see a photo that should be highlighted by e[lust], let the blogger know that I’m now taking self-submissions for consideration. It doesn’t mean that there will be a publishing of all the photos I am linked to….it means that I will cull the submissions to find something really great. I don’t want my own lack of time to prevent this feature/aspect of e[lust] that I liked.