The Volume Rule
The more readers you have extends the volume of your voice. The louder and more trusted you are the more it extends the reach of your ideals.
Just like Full Metal Alchemist has the rule of equivalent exchange, our blogosphere has a few rules of it's own. This I believe, is one of them. Although it seems obvious, many people don't realize how true this is. It is one of the few things I have learned over the past few months.
Let's take a drastic example shall we?
Dave Shea is loud. Doug Bowman is loud. The ParticleTree crew are loud. As for me? I seem to have all bark and no bite. What determines the volume of their voice is their readers. If Dave posts something, you see it on Populicio.us, same with Doug. Their voices are coveted and trusted enough to be spread like wildfire. My taste of this was when Dave put my "Running With Sprites" article on his dailies, and I immediately saw people linking to my article via Mezzoblue. Let's take this example. Say that my friend Alex and Mr. Bowman were to post about the exact same topic at the exact same time. Wait a few hours and you'd see that Doug would probably have about 5-7 times more comments as Alex would. This is because Doug's commanding voice reaches a wider audience than Alex's whimper.
So if 37signals felt the need to get up and take over the world and add their faded yellow to all things uncool, Jason wouldn't be the only one marching. Signal vs Noise has enough readers and loyal followers that they would be able to convince them that taking over the world is the right thing to do. All those who would oppose would be quickly silenced by the "SvN Drones," or those who would blindly follow, "groupies," per se. As of right now they have over 14,000 readers. If only 10% of them were convinced to follow Jason, that's still 1,400 people. Seriously, it could get scary if Jason would be able to convince more than 25% of his readers to join his cause. However, it wouldn't be out of the question.
No matter what you write about, or how controversial your material is, one thing I've learned is that you're only as loud as your readers want you to be. You have no control over your volume. All your actions to improve SEO, or to get linked are only small parts in a larger mission to raise the reach of your voice. Although this article may get muffled in the sea of noise, in my view, that doesn't change a thing. Sites pass, people talk and 37signals might just take over the world and paint it yellow - but tell me what you would do if your voice was as loud as those above.
Why would it be important to have such a loud voice? Well, for some, they'd feel more popular. For others, it would provide another outlet to voice their opinions on different issues or educate their readers on different topics. For a blogger, it really depends on what message you are trying to convey. For Doug, Molly and Dave, it's to voice their views on the standards world. However, with that comes a loud voice for everything. If Molly all of a sudden started talking about her new set of lingerie, her voice would be pretty loud. If Dave all of a sudden had a baby boy or got a new motorcycle, a lot of people would put in their congratulatory remarks. Your voice is important because it gets your point across. Look at a mute person in real life, they could be a genius, but (unless you gave them a pen and paper) wouldn't be able to get their point across. It's a powerful tool. Remember that Molly and Dave were once as silent as you and I were. Although I don't think I was born when Molly's voice started being heard.
It's my belief that if you work for your blog, it'll work for you and if you're true to your blog, it shall be true to you. There are many people out there with loud voices that don't deserve them. So remember to make your voice credible and let people put their trust in your writing. The people I've mentioned above aren't as loud as they are because of good SEO. I shouldn't have to tell you why.