Some of my posts have been receiving "rave reviews." That is, some people, writing anonymously, have been leaving little statements like, "creative blog," or "keep up the good work." While I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, and I certainly don't want to seem unappreciative of sincere praise - heck I'd even take an insincere compliment once in a while - I suspect that some of these exclamations of approval are more attempts by their authors to link their commercial websites to my blog than they are actual expressions of praise for a job well done.
I am struggling with this because I don't want to accuse anybody of phony flattery. Also, I'm not so insecure that I can't believe that somebody would actually want to simply compliment my posts. I think they're pretty good or I wouldn't keep posting. But I also know I'm no genius either.
Also, I do not ever resent a sincere poster who comments on my opinions and also links to his or her own blog. Indeed, I do the same on other blogs, myself. When I post comments to Daily Kos or even the Democratic Party's blog, I sign myself as AnonymousIsaWoman and link it back here.
So, when Unlawfl Combatant, The Fool, or Sage, or anybody else with a blog comes here to comment on what I've written, I appreciate it and I'm glad to have them link back to their own blogs. Indeed, I've added them to my list of links. None of us are the big fish in the pond, so if we can help each other out, so much the better.
My blog, however, carries no advertisements, except for the little site counter, which is sponsored by the Mesothelioma Society and so links to their site. I support cancer research in any form, so I'm happy both to provide them with the opportunity to advertise and link. In return, they give me the guest counter. And they provide valuable information on lung cancer and asbestos related lung diseases. Other than that, however, my site is advertisement free for a reason. I'm an amateur.
I also don't resent others who have made a different decision. Folks like Daily Kos, Andrew Sullivan, and other bloggers who do it professionally provide an important service. They are trying to make a living at blogging so they can continue bringing all of us the news and opinions that the major media no longer provide. But to do it, they need to have something to live on. You can't do what they do full time and not get some compensation. I couldn't. Kos, Sullivan, Slate, etc, are my sources just as much as the New York Times, Washington Post, and other major newspapers are. I don't have the resources to go out and investigate stories. I am not that kind of professional reporter. And I have another full time job that I like and want to keep. So, the folks who run the above mentioned blogs do the leg work and generate the investigative stuff that people like me can't or choose not to provide on our blogs. And to do that, they must work at it full time and be compensated for it. This is their day job.
However, I am not particularly happy about people who come to my Comments section to post a quick blurb that is only an excuse for free advertising. Again, I don't want to sound ungrateful about sincere praise. But I don't think that's what this is.
I am much happier when people comment thoughtfully on what exactly they liked, what they agreed with, or even what they disagreed with. I know I'm no genius and not everything I believe or assert is the last word on a subject. I would be happier with a thoughtful discussion pro and con than I am with somebody simply writing in "great little blog..." and then posting their Adware ad.
At this point, I am not sure whether I will remove these posts. I am ambivalent about it. I will monitor the situation. But please, readers, be warned that I don't know the people who are posting, so if you go to their sites and do business with them, you do so at your own risk.