So after Scoble and I wrote about Google Reader stats yesterday, all hell broke loose – all the complainers rallied around the notion that the stats are somehow fixed. In particular, some of the feeds are included in bundles that users can add to the reader, jacking up their stats.
First of all, these blogs and other news sites did something interesting to get included in those bundles. Second, the effect is not nearly as great as everyone seems to think. Gizmodo, for example, is included in the technology bundle on Google Reader, but it has just 30,000 subscribers. Competitor Engadget, by contrast, has 345,000. So where did Engadget get those additional 315,000 subscribers? Perhaps they simply earned them.
It wasn’t that long ago that TechCrunch wasn’t on any list at all. We got big by writing about things we care passionately about and linking early and often to good stuff out there on the web, particularly other blogs. If you find yourself in a rut and turning into one of the complainers, ask yourself if you are writing because you want attention, or because you love to write. The ones with passion tend to last over the long haul. If that isn’t you, maybe start writing about something to actually care about. Complaining about not getting attention, or that the success of others isn’t deserved, suggests you have too much time on your hands. Try creating something instead of just tearing others down.