Weird grumblings?

Michelle Malkin writes:

In response to some weird grumblings that a reader alerted me to, I note for the record that I took Sitemeter off my site about three weeks ago because it was publishing traffic numbers phonier than Enron’s. I think it wiped out about a week’s worth of visits for some reason. I e-mailed Sitemeter for help and they never wrote me back. So I took it off the blog.

Ms Malkin seems to be under the vague impression that I begrudge her her links or her readership. That’s obviously not the case, as if I had the desire to be a media whore and maximize my exposure by running back and forth between CNN and Fox I would have long ago moved to NYC or Los Angeles instead of living in what the Original Cyberpunk describes as my cave in the snow-covered Andes.

As all the regulars know, I don’t take the SiteMeter statistics seriously. Some of you were even openly disappointed when I explained that the number of people visiting here had to be rather lower than reported as SiteMeter tends to overcount hits. But, since that’s what the Truth Laid Bear uses for the TLB Ecosphere, that’s what we use here. If everyone overcounts using the same method, it may be useful for comparative purposes, after all.

The point was not to slam Ms Malkin – although her apparent inability to grasp the point is amusing – but instead to highlight the human tendency to butter up those we regard as our superiors in some way. (Wonkette, another relatively new and much-linked blog would have served as well, I simply happened to have more data on Ms Malkin thanks to her WND connection.) Many people who link to me are readers and regulars here, and I’m pleased to link to them in return. However, it’s clear from visiting some other blogs that link here and subsequently request addition to the blogroll that they are only interested in what is rather distastefully known as “link-love” in order to widen their own exposure.

Is there anything wrong with that? No more than there is anything wrong with butt-kissing in general. I despise it, some people, on the other hand, clearly crave it. Your mileage may vary. To me, the purpose of a blogroll is not to demonstrate how well-connected one is, but to offer new and perhaps unexpected alternatives wherein people may find something of interest. For example, I frequently visit Yahoo! Finance, but you’ll never see it on my Faves. I want people to visit Mogambo and Charles Stross, I want visitors to know where the regulars’ blogs can be found. But I see no point whatsoever in trying to present an inflated image of me or my blog.

The truth is what it is.