The Unknown Man

Posted By on March 9, 2011

Bloggers very naturally like to attract as many  visitors as possible. Especially for those whose primary motivations involve making money (which I’m not criticizing, so long as some ethics are in place) will use some pretty smooth moves to attract sheer volume.  As by now most surfers are aware, websites take tiny kickbacks on commercial referrals, so just clicking on a link to such a site will earn the referring site a tiny but (perhaps) incrementally significant amount of $ (well, actually, micro-cents).

But quality also matters — especially if, like me, you are in the business not of making money but of raising consciousness and transforming lives.

One  thing I really admire about Wikipedia, for example, is how the organization has resisted introducing advertising on its pages. Those at Wiki’s helm  understand that to do so would be to jeopardize forever, if not to destroy in one fell swoop, Wikipedia’s reputation for neutrality.

Of course, Wikipedia is not always — authorship question a case in point — authentically neutral, but most of the time given the constraints of human nature and the institutional pressures (bureaucratic influence, in particular) of various special interest groups, it does a pretty good job of things.

Everyone once in a while you have a blogger’s red letter day, and today is such a day. Behind the scenes of one’s own blog, one can sometimes see something that is invisible to the general reader but that can still be celebrated in one’s own mind.

Sometimes one new reader can be as important as a million others. Yes, that’s elitist. Call me a populist elitist.

I hope the general reader will forgive my coyness:  As Edward de Vere says to Willow in A Question of Will (the book that seems to have started the current academic trend towards titles that play on the polyvocality of  the word “Will”), some things should not be advertised.

Instead permit me to follow the Elizabethan custom of practicing my limited bilingualism: “si vales,” Sir, “gaudeo. ego valeo recte.”


About the author

Roger Stritmatter is a native liberal humorist who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Contrary to rumor, he does not live on North Avenue. He does, however, work on North Avenue. A pacifist by inclination, one of his heroes is John Brown. But he thinks that Fredrick Douglass, another of his heroes, made the right decision. Stritmatter's primary areas of interest include the nature of paradigm shifts, the history of ideas, forensic literary studies, MS studies, renaissance literature, and the history of the Shakespearean question, the latter a field in which he has published extensively.


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