How do I get my blog to show up?
To the majority of my readers who aren't publishers, please excuse the interruption.
Selectivity is important for the four sites I run, namely Techmeme, memeorandum, WeSmirch, and Ballbug. Thousands of items are published to the web each day so the trick is to pick and arrange a slice of them in a manner that's compelling to readers.
Often writers and editors ask me how best to wind up on my sites. For most bloggers this is probably the wrong question, because there are good and even great blogs that don't function well in a news aggregation context. But for some, it's a good question.
My recommendations? First, focus on the content. Break news or write original analysis, and do so clearly and concisely, always careful to provide real value to new and existing readers. And use descriptive titles. Second, enable discovery of your post. If necessary, though emails, links, trackbacks, IMs, etc.
What else? Early on I noticed my system occasionally missed good posts from blogs that link back to my sites. So recently I extended my system to take referrals into account. Now if your blog or news article sends a moderate level of traffic to one of my sites, it will be evaluated for inclusion. Linking certainly doesn't guarantee you'll appear, since all posts are run though the usual tests for newsworthiness. In fact, extra steps to avoid spam are now in effect since faked referrals and splogs are already commonplace. So in summary, sending memeorandum (or Techmeme or...) visitors is another way to "enable discovery of your post".
About Featured Posts: This leads to something new at memeorandum, the political news aggregator. A box in the right column labeled "Featured Posts" will sometimes (not always) appear, showing recent posts and articles from sites that send referrals to memeorandum. It's a way of saying thanks for the link while highlighting recent topical posts. Here's how it appears:
Speaking of gratitude, I ought to say it here: thanks to everybody who links to or mentions these sites. I'm aware of a large number of dedicated readers who never find the opportunity to mention that, particularly in the political blogosphere. So to the many notable exceptions (the superlative exception being Robert Scoble), thanks again.