When you have a blog as distinguished and brilliant as mine, with a list of celebrity contacts as long as a big long stick, you get used to weird emails.
My favourite so far was a journalist from an unnamed paper (I mean I'm not naming it, not that it doesn't have a name, that doesn't make sense, people would get confused in the newsagents), who wanted an interview about the blog and kindly took an extra line to tell me how much they had enjoyed my BBC sitcom 'The Green Room'. More mistakes than words there (I liked the 'my' though).
Anyway, I had this email:
My name is Eric Roach and I am an editor at Pluck.com in Austin, Texas. Pluck has just launched a project which involves a news wire service and syndication network for blogs called BlogBurst. The site is live and we're recruiting bloggers on an invite-only basis to join the system. At its core, BlogBurst is a news service bringing quality blogs onto highly-trafficked, high-brand mainstream publisher sites like the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle and San Antonio-Express News.
I believe your blog is great, and would like to invite you to join our network. Below is an invitation, and I would be happy to answer any questions/address any concerns you may have.
Let me know what you think.
Which is lovely, obviously, but confused me. Who actually benefits from this? Do I want more readers from the Washington Post? Not specifically, no offence to the people of Washington (although actually a large percentage of the white ones would currently appear to be a shower of absolute bastards). Do I want more readers at all? Not particularly. I don't have any adverts on my blog and don't plan to, so there's no financial benefit. I don't have a stat counter on my blog, as it doesn't really affect me how many people read this, although I will admit to checking the number of profile views every now and then, just for fun.
In the end I ran it past my attorney and web-specialist, who said: "OK, basically they want to sell your content to the newspapers. You get nothing but the pleasure of seeing your blog content on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website. Meanwhile, BlogBurst gets paid money by the SF Chronicle for providing it with stuff people want to read, i.e. your blog. And the SF Chronicle makes money by putting ads around it. Ooh, it’s like TOTAL EXPLOITATION. Tell them to fuck off."
Thanks attorney. Sorry Eric.
UPDATE: on an unrelated topic...
AND ALSO: See your website as a graph. Don't know what it means, but it's pretty. More info here.