I think its that time of the week. Its time for “what bloggers dont talk about”.
And although some bloggers do address this every blue moon, bloggers often dont post much about their traffic or their popularity.
But lets face it, whether they want they want to admit it, all bloggers care about their traffic/popularity. I have no doubt there are a good handful of bloggers that solely “write for themselves” , but I think even they secretly wish someone, anyone,out there is reading.
Some bloggers compare the blogosphere to high school. And yes, in many respects it is a lot like high school. But the “popular” girls in high school never talked much about their popularity. Same goes for bloggers. The “popular” bloggers rarely post about how much people love them, how they are getting offered book deals left and right, and how many comments they’ve racked up. Its just not classy.
But like high school, I think blog popularity is a rather unfair machine. Some people are naturally attracted to blogs that are popular. Everyone else seems to read it, so there is added pressure to read it. They get so many comments, surely if they leave a comment, maybe that popular blogger will some day grace their own blog comment section with their few words of wisdom (but this seldom happens).
When I was in high school I asked myself why the “smart” kids were unpopular. I ask the same question about blogs that to me seem lack luster and yet seem to gain so much buzz and popularity.
But here’s some cold hard truths about blogs and popularity:
Young blogs are unpopular. It kind of sucks, but when one starts a blog, few people are interested in reading it because:
A) Most blog readers have a zillion blogs they read daily and having to add another one to the pack is a tall order
B) Young blogger are just that. Young, still experimenting with their writing and photography skills which usually doens’t instantly attract a large audience. And they don’t have much of a following because of their youth.
They are shiny. Its kind of like J.Lo. Shes not the greatest actress, or singer, or designer…but everyone knows her, shes successful, and “shiny”. Blogs that have a lot of traffic and readers are usually designed nicely and in an organized way. Or they are filled with food or photography porn. Personally, I don’t get swooned by shiny object and hence I’m not swooned by popular “shiny” blogs. But there is no shame in reading them and oogling their food porn.
They’ve “networked” although many of these high-traffic bloggers might not actually comment on other blogs themselves (because that would make them “blog civilians”), once upon a time when their blog was young, I bet their were out there commenting their heart out on every blog they could. They used “facbook” and “twitter” to pimp out their blog and submitted recipes to Foodgawker or Tastespotting. They probably had humble beginnings like the rest of us and did a hell of a lot of work to get their name out there.
So…….. what I think of my own blog’s popularity???
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like having readers or comments. I’m not so much after “popularity” but more about connect and reaching people. I’d like people to hear what I have to say, and I love some of the connections I’ve made through my blog. So I’m more hungry for connection as opposed to “traffic” I guess. But I don’t bend over backwards to get blog publicity. I think I’d need to quit my jobs (yes, I collect jobs) and dedicate a lot of time if I wanted to make my blog “shiny”. But in all honesty, I think my blog is shinier than it was when it was born! My pictures are prettier (dont even bother looking at my old food pics…you may gag), I think I’ve found my writing voice, I’m more mature, and I’m working on making the blog more organized and useful. “Popular” blogs usually dont attract me all that much, and the few that do read, I usually never comment on because they have over 200 other people saying “yum” and they really dont need another. And I know its unfair, but young blogs usually don’t grasp my attention either. I know, its mean, but its like I wrote above. I dont have much time to blog read with my job collection so having another blog to follow kind of stresses me out. I might read it now and then, but again, young blogs need some time to age before they start getting good, its kind of like wine. Don’t take it personally, its just that life gets in the way of blog reading sometimes. As it should.
Wow, I’ve written a lot! Ok so how do you feel about “traffic” and “popularity”? Do you read high traffic blogs? What do you like about them? If you have a blog, how do you feel about your own popularity? If you are a reader (a non-blogger) please weigh in on this too! I like to hear from you
Ok, so enough about traffic! who cares, right?
I know most parts of the country have been hard hit by the snowpocalypse. Although I empathize, in all honesty, I’m a true LA native and I just don’t speak snow. However, I do know how to make a mighty delicious chicken and “star” soup. Campbells? Whats that?
For the “stars”:
- 2 cups AP flour (or for a gluten free version, use 1cup potato starch and 2 cup tapioca flour)
- 2 eggs
- 4-6 poached chicken tenders (you can also use beans if your vegetarian or rotisserie chicken if your too lazy to poach. Dont worry, I won’t tell)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbs canola oil or olive oil
For the soup:
- 1 tbs butter and/or olive oil (“and” in my case)
- 2-3 medium leeks (most of the green stuff trimmed)
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- 4 cups chicken/veggie broth or 2 bouillon cubs
- 1 cup water (if you are rich, you can use a fancy “fuji” or “evian” water)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
First, take care of your leeks! Leeks are filled with dirty usually, but its so simple to clean it! Cut the leeks into the about 1/2 inch pieces and simply dump them in a bowl of cold water. Let them swim in there for about 20 min. The sand and dirt should sink to the bottom! Prep the rest of your veggies. I made little fancy carrot stars to go with the noodles but this isn’t easy and I spent two weeks just on carving vegetables in culinary school. Don’t feel like a dunce if you cant do that!
Now is a good time to get started on those noodles! In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. Make a well/hole in the flour, like the center of a volcano and crack the eggs into the hole (very similar to the pierogi dough from yesterday). Now use your hands to mash the eggs and flour together making a coarse and crumbly mixture. Add the water. Mix again until you have a nice, stiff dough. I like to knead the dough a few minutes to get it nice and smooth. You may need to dust it with a little flour to keep it from sticking to your hands. When you are satisfied with your ball of noodle dough cover it with plastic wrap rest for about 20 minutes in the fridge.
While they are hanging out in the fridge, you can start working on the soup. Now, you can sautee the leeks in the butter and oil. Just sautee them until they are soft and then add the garlic cloves, carrots, and celery. With a wooden spoon sautee them for about a min in the butter and then proceed to add the chicken/veggie stock, bay leaf, and water. Let it simmer and fetch your noodles that are hanging out in your fridge.
After the dough has rested, lay it on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin (or my personal favorite, a wine bottle!) roll the dough out thinner than pie crust. Fancy shmancy noodles are made from rolling the dough out until it is almost see-through, but I am not that dedicated. Here, you can make real noodles by using a knife or pizza cutter or do what I did and cut out stars or any other cool cookie cutter shapes you’ve got laying around.
To cook the noodles, drop them in the boiling broth of the soup. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the noodles are tender enough for eating.