Sunday, April 6, 2008

Unfounded



On April 2, I posted ``Crumbs Proffered by Crumbs’’ too see how many comments I could lure in from the outside world -- that is, from people who don’t know me or this blog.

As of today I have three responses, but they are all from people I know. Because I depended heavily upon my intuition going in, I can only cast about in my mind for reasons for the result.

It might have had something to do with the post's dearth of popular search terms. Also, I suspect that it was written in a way that would not attract blog readers.

To haul in comments, I included the key phrases The Boston Globe, the state Division of Unemployment Assistance, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Employment and Training. I supplied generic references to Massachusetts, unemployment insurance and job-training.
The small number of keywords reflects the fact that the post deals with a specialized subject matter. But using a narrow subject was my idea: I figured that if I wrote about the Democratic primaries (keywords: Clinton, Obama. Where have you read them lately?) It would get buried by search-engine results.
Perhaps there wouldn't be so many results under Massachusetts unemployment compensation. My problem is, I didn't check. It turns out that there were a lot. I tried to Google the post. After rifling through about 15 pages of results, I didn't find my blog. Then I gave up.
In an e-mail, my brother David said he agrees with the post, but he had nothing new to add.
``I wish I had something to say besides, `Right on, brother,' and I know it's frustrating not to get replies (most blogs don't get many replies, it seems). I'll chew on it and see what I have to post.''
I told David that there was no hurry.
All this after taking the friends-and-family route. It just so happened that I was switching my Internet service provider from NetZero to Granby Telephone & Telegraph. On April 6, to 31 people in my address book I sent an e-notice of my new address. Then I mentioned that, by the way, I’ve started writing this blog and, in case you’re interested, here’s the URL for this one particular post.
I didn’t want to look like I was cheating, however, so I warned:
``Just don’t make your response sound like you know me. Just joking – of course you can write anything you want.''
Most Googlers (ouch!) searching for collecting unemployment insurance in Massachusetts now might be more interested in information on how to apply for the insurance than reading someone complain about it.
After they start to get their money they’ll bother with some stranger’s opinion.
I did more networking. Natalia Muñoz, the founder and editor of La Prensa del oeste de Massachusetts, was kind enough to agree to put a link to my blog on La Prensa’s site. I tried putting a teaser item on bluemassgroup.com, but the site never did send me a password. I did put a teaser on Red Mass Group, which promptly obliged with a password. I posted teasers on reddit and digg. Nothing to report so far from the two latter efforts. On April 15, I couldn't even find my thing on reddit.
On April 8 I posted Post on Beam which, to my astonishment, got comments from two people I don't know: Suzette Martinez Standring and Ruth Baltopolous. Can I count this one against the assignment instead, Scott?

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