Three Pipe Problem has a salutary post about the real motivations behind top lists and “best of” blogs services. I get a lot of e.mails from these people asking me to put badges on the site, supposedly to draw more interested people to Art History Today. Yet, as TPP points out…
“The services exist purely to attract traffic to their site and generate enrolment to online courses, for which they would receive a referral bonus. This may be financial, or an exchange for other information, such as names or contact details of referrers, or simply a swap of lists garnered by their ongoing researches into what sites are becoming popular in a particular field.”
I have often wondered about the motivations behind these services, so it’s helpful to hear from TPP who is much more technically/ web enlightened than me. Let me state that I am not interested in the commercial aspects of the web save when I buy something off Amazon UK, or similar sites. I certainly don’t want to advertise somebody else’s services, so I’ve deleted the badges of these organisations from my site as they haven’t been transparent about their intentions. I’m completely against attempts to monetize the blogosphere, which I see as a space of information and learning, not a virtual free trade zone. This site is for an audience interested in art history, not for commercial advertisers seeking to attract revenue. Thanks for putting me on top lists, but no thanks. Blogs like AHT, TPP and others earn their rankings through good research and stimulating posts.
On a more productive note, I’m pleased to flag up the birth of another blog, Art History News. AHN is run by Bendor Grosvenor of Philip Mould in London. If you have discoveries, want to write about an exhibition, or have research you want to bring to a wider audience, then contact Bendor- details on his site. This looks a great resource, exactly the kind of thing that audiences should be attracted to.
Finally, speaking of alterations to the blog, I’ve cut down the number of posts on the home page so that the blog loads quicker. This suggestion was made by Gerry Bell who runs Currentartpics. He’s asked me to link to his site which I’m happy to do. Support his site by visiting it!