I've noticed that the availability of statistics in blogging leads almost inexorably to a desire for increased numbers. It's amazing how a ranking instrument such as Truth Laid Bear or Technorati or Site Meter almost automatically turns us into statistics-addicted influence seekers.
Not only are numbers important to bloggers, the more you blog the more you want other bloggers to link to your blog. The result is a self-referential series of quid pro quos wherein we mention other bloggers positively and link to them so that they will in turn mention and link to us.
More often than not, this circularity is accompanied by rather obsequious expressions of praise from smaller blogs to more prominent blogs in the apparent hope that the more prominent blog will link back to the lesser-known blog--a form of vassal-lord relationship in which the vassal renders fealty and honor and the lord in turn grants a place in the penbumbra of his blogging glory. In the end, the outcome is a self-reinforcing system of mutual admiration.Bayly concludes with the following exhortation and reminder:
Finally, I would encourage bloggers who read this to be on guard against the potential for pride and favoritism in their own blogging life. Blogs can be tools for God's Kingdom, but back-scratching and numbers-seeking is never the path to God's pleasure, no matter how many wise, good things we say along the way.
[HT: Pastor Shaun]