Suidoo and Z-List meme – Do I want traffic or do I deserve to have traffic?

I was excited when Seth hosted the Z-List on Squidoo. With Squidoo’s popularity, this would have resulted in a ton of traffic for many good (but not popular) blogs. I think the only problem there was that it was not on the original Squidoo but was offered on the new offering called Plexo. The users were not only able to add to the list but could also vote up or vote down other blogs on the list.

On the personal front, “Life Beyond Code” started off at #12 but within a day or so tanked to #300. I have to admit that I felt sad to see that so many people voted the blog down. Upon further investigation and once I understood that there were people who were gaming the system (unfortunately) there was nothing to feel sad about. Read Seth’s follow-on post about it here:
Seth Godin :: Zlist Update

I have always believed that there are somethings that are not suitable for democratic process. If the system can be “gamed” there are always a small number of people that would want to “game” the system and get some short-term results. And, they will get some “short-term” results.

What is fascinating is that to game the system it requires some effort and thinking. They have to plan, design and act to get some traffic. The key question is do they want traffic or do they deserve to get traffic? If they focus on using the same planning, design and action to make their blog more valuable, they may win in the long-term.

Imagine this scenario – you accidentally click on a link and go to a blog. The blog owner thinks he has a new visitor. On your part, you look at the blog and browse through it for a few seconds and you instantly make a decision whether to visit this blog or not. If the blog was not visit-worthy, you not only get out of the blog, you will also make it a point to not go there again.

My $.02 –

1. Before you want visitors to your blog, ensure that your blog provides the highest return on investment for an interaction (ROII)
2. Wanting more traffic and deserving more traffic are two different things.

If I have to summarize in one paragraph:

Mack Collier (creator of Z-List meme), Seth Godin (creator of Squidoo) and several others who participated in the Z-list meme wanted to do something good – they wanted to send traffic to blogs that deserve traffic. The gamers wanted traffic for the blogs that wanted traffic. I think all of us have learnt a lesson.