John Scalzi wrote a scathing piece called How to Irritate and Annoy People in the Name of Blogging in response to a piece he came across on another blog, which talks about how to build traffic off-blog.
Here’s an excerpt from Scalzi’s post but to enjoy the taste and flavour of his writing even more, read the original post:
You’re not commenting on a blog because the article or the other commenters speak to you; you’re commenting on the blog because you hope people will click on your name at the bottom of the comment and visit your own site. You’re not passing on a link to a blogger just because you think it’s germane to that blogger; you’re passing it on because you hope the blogger will throw you a scrap by noting she got it from you, and then putting a link to your blog in the note. You’re not socializing with the blogger because you might actually like the person, you’re doing it because you’re “exploring ways of working together in win-win ways,” as one of our fine advice givers wrote.
Don’t do this. Because people aren’t stupid. Look, I go to conventions and writers’ events, as most of you know. And invariably the most annoying person there is the aspiring writer or neo-pro who is simply there to network, and does so in a graspingly obvious fashion: the guy who goes from group to group, looking for the right people who will eventually let him trade up to standing in a conversational circle with, oh, let’s say, Neil Gaiman, so he can ever-so-casually drop the name of his latest book/story/whatever into Gaiman’s ear.
There’s nothing wrong with networking; there’s nothing wrong with talking about your book with Neil Gaiman (or whomever) either, should you get a chance. But it’s all in how it’s done. To repeat: People aren’t stupid. They know the difference between someone who is engaged in a conversation for the pleasure of the conversation itself, and someone who is marking time in the conversation until they can once again open their mouths and talk about them.
That’s all I have to say about that.