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The Truth Laid Bear and Systemic Problems

April 30th, 2007 . by TexasFred

What follows below is an exact copy of the email I just sent to NZ Bear, the proprietor of TTLB, The Truth Laid Bear and the Eco-System… Please feel free to comment on this if you will and let this guy know how YOU feel about the TTLB system and how well it’s working for you… Fred

NZ Bear,

I am about to blast you ALL OVER the blogosphere, and you can’t say you weren’t warned previously…

Your so-called Eco-System and excuses for it’s malfunctions and ignoring people when they try to contact you has gone on for long enough, trouble tickets are a joke too, they get ignored right along with the emails…

My personal blog, TexasFred, went from #145, which is about right, to #45 to #42 to #30 to #58,956 in the course of 1 stinking week…

I know people that are all but begging you to get them on the TTLB and you won’t even show them the decency of a response and after they have submitted their blogs, they never show up, you never make a post on YOUR blog concerning the failures of TTLB, you never send a mass email to the members to let them know that your system is a failure, you are NOT tending to business and for that, there is no excuse…

No one asked you to build TTLB, no one held a gun to your head and demanded that you make this one of the best ranking services that ever was, you did it, on your own, and then you just threw it away, at least that’s MY opinion…

I am not sure WHY you are letting people down the way you are, surely it’s not because of your less than stellar endeavor called The Victory Caucus…

NZ, this email is going out to over 250 blog OWNERS and is going to be posted on my blog, I am fed up with the crap, I have taken everything connected to you or your so-called Eco-System OFF of the TexasFred Blog and the Reject the U.N. Blog as well, and that’s funny too, the U.N. Blog is Ranked #6 on your system…

Dude, you need to unscrew your head and get your shit together, once upon a time you had something really great, a worthwhile service, right up til the time you decided to do the New and Improved thing..

To my readers, if you’ve had an issue with TTLB, if you’ve tried to contact him and been ignored, if you’ve seen your blog not show up or do weird things while ON his service, PLEASE make a comment on my blog so that he can see exactly what I am talking about, provided he’s not so rude as to ignore this email too…

It is my belief that if you’re going to offer a service such as TTLB, you need to either have the whereto to keep it running correctly or the intestinal fortitude to can it, tell people you’ve canned it, and then move on…

What say YOU the bloggers??

Sincerely,
TexasFred

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41 Responses to “The Truth Laid Bear and Systemic Problems”

  1. comment number 1 by: Lemuel Calhoon

    It’s worth every penny we pay for it and until they try to raise the price I’ll not complain.

  2. comment number 2 by: D. Ox

    I can only add my own disappointment. TTLB stopped counting my links months and months ago, and I have had no answer to my email. I tried re-registering (since I changed the name of my blog a bit, from “The Dumb Ox” to “Dumb Ox Daily News” when I went with more rss’s, and he seems to have banned it. I deleted the original one first and then re-registered. Now, nothing, nada, zip, niente. And no help with the issue either.

    Look, I can understand if the Bear didn’t like Linkfest or whatever other initiatives are out there to link like-minded bloggers to each other, but geesh, that’s life on the internet. Things change. And it shouldn’t matter a darn if bloggers find ways to link to each other more easily. The point, the traffic, the interest on the web, is still there.

    Calling it “artificial” is usual Lib clap-trap for something they don’t like.

    It’s nature man, it’s the world. If you’re going to hold yourself out as providing a service that then a lot of other groups tie their services into, you had better get over your Liberal bias Bear.

    Wah! Wah! Wah!

    THIS GOES TO SHOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LIBS CONTROL IMPORTANT NODES OF THE INTERNET!!!

    WARNING to those of you with eyes and ears…

  3. comment number 3 by: TexasFred

    Lem, my stuff is free too, and every time the blog rolls go down, I get a ‘bitch fest’ of emails, so, to put it in terms a hillbilly can understand, that old dog don’t hunt…

  4. comment number 4 by: N.Z. Bear

    Well, since Fred appears to have made me a personal crusade, I’ll reply directly here. We’ll see if he approves this comment, or prefers to keep this discussion one sided.

    Here’s what I sent Fred in response to his email:

    From: N.Z. Bear [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 8:14 AM
    To: ‘TexasFred’
    Subject: RE: OK, I have had it…

    The answer to all of your questions is: because I’m working my ass off to improve the system, and rather than make commitments I may not meet, I’m spending my time actually trying to fix things. I spent literally my entire weekend working on the Ecosystem — and am at my desk again now doing so — so forgive me if I don’t feel all that bad about what a terrible person I am for letting you down.

    Yes, I should post an announcement on what’s going on. Mea culpa. Over the past month, I’ve quietly re-engineered the entire architecture driving the thing, and it works MUCH better now — laying the foundation for more visible improvements to come. The actual rankings have been in serious flux over the past week, and the hopefully final fixes only went in late yesterday, so I’m still not quite done.

    If you want to publicly attack me, I certainly can’t stop you. But I think many will recognize that this ice cream is free, and is being provided by a man who’s trying to contribute to the blogosphere in as many ways as possible while still supporting his family.

    NZ

    To add to that: Fred is absolutely right that I should communicate better, although I’d argue he’s absolutely wrong in his attitude. All I can say is, it is really honestly truly the case that I’m working very hard on making the Ecosystem and all of TTLB’s services not just as good as they ever were, but much, much better — and in a way that will provide a sustainable customer-support system to address user concerns as well. If you think you are frustrated at how long that’s taking — I assure you, it doesn’t compare at all to how eager I am to reach that point and be providing a system that truly makes folks happy.

  5. comment number 5 by: McCain

    I disconnected TTLB a couple of weeks ago out of frustration. They also didn’t respond to my help requests about http://www.rightpundits.com blog, where they lost track of visits and new links for weeks and weeks. In fact, I can’t even remember why I joined it in the first place. What does TTLB actually provide besides bragging rights that are availble from other ranking services and Alexa? Is there any reasonable SEO benefit?

  6. comment number 6 by: Dallas Meow

    I went from a fish to crustacheon overnight –
    I wouldn’t much care if I was a microbe again – except I am on a mission to raise money for this Breast Cancer 3 day I’m walking in, and the four regular readers I had don’t want to part with a penny.
    [no offense gramps]
    Maybe if I had legs, they’d see I could walk those 60 miles….
    GOTTA
    GET
    BACK UP
    — so yes, Fred. I have had many a trouble, wrote to inquire once, but never receieved a reply. Gave up —
    Figure my chatter is too light for their tastes anyway.
    Still, the others I frequent do not give ME the variety or quality of blogs I WANT to read.
    Step in and give ‘em a hand Fred!

  7. comment number 7 by: Debbie

    My rank stayed the same for months, then suddenly last week I saw changes again. I WAS a Playful Primate # 68, today I checked and got this message:

    Notice 4/30/07: Yes, some major work is going on around the Ecosystem, and the rankings have gone wonky at the moment. Please bear with me, as this is a sign of good things to come — lots of improvements coming!

    I read somewhere, can’t remember where, that TTLB was upset about the Open Trackbacks – Trackposting – automated linking. That it wasn’t fair and didn’t reflect the ‘true’ popularity of a blog. Of course TTLB was created before automated trackbacks were invented.

    Personally I don’t care for the automated linking, it doesn’t mean anything. What does means something, is when another blog thinks enough of what I have written to mention me, my site, what I have written, and takes the time to personally send a trackback. I’m supposing that is what TTLB was meant to follow and rate.

    When you have a person who ‘trackposts’ almost every article they write to everybody else who is trackposting, it diminishes the entire point of trackbacks, in my opinion. So the rankings really don’t mean anything any more.

    I’m not a technical person, so I can’t complain, I don’t really understand all the ins and outs of how TTLB works. However, if it’s not working, then either make it work in a fair way, or dump it.

    Fred you are right, for the longest time TTLB was touted by many as THE premier place to find blogs and their ranks. Not so much any more.

  8. comment number 8 by: TexasFred

    N.Z. Bear Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 10:35 am
    Yes, I should post an announcement on what’s going on. Mea culpa. Over the past month, I’ve quietly re-engineered the entire architecture driving the thing, and it works MUCH better now �

    Yes, you should have, 2 or 3 months ago, when it stopped working then and people tried to get you to fix it THEN…

    Working much better??

    Yeah, sure it is…

  9. comment number 9 by: D. Ox

    Great to get a response here! I hope you all don’t mind taking advantage of the context to at least get this other point out. In reading some of NZ’s postings about the updating, the one point of concern to me was about your concern over and looking to check for “artificial” link and tracback initiatives… and that concern, still raises issues of blogosphere freedom. I can only speak for myself, but I am certainly grateful for your enterprise and initiative. I hope you will eventually address the implications of blogger cooperative activities somewhere, sometime, when you (NZ) get a chance. Transparency in ranking services like TTLB seems a pretty serious issue.

  10. comment number 10 by: TexasFred

    The TTLB System started going to hell in a handbasket back in August, some of the OLD, stuck rankings are still showing, there is NO WAY IN HELL that Bear can say, not with a straight face and a modicum of truth that this is a new issue and that he hasn’t been aware…

    So, after my mean and vicious attack, there’s finally, after almost 8 months of bullshit, a minor notice placed on the details page of TTLB…

    And I did save a screen shot of the way the rankings were stuck since last August just to document further…

    Yeah man, that’s really taking care of notifications and the responsibility YOU assumed in this endeavor…

  11. comment number 11 by: D. Ox

    p.s. Now that I see that I am #2 on TTLB, I withdraw my prior concerns!

    Ok, Ok. I understand Debbie’s point too that linking/trackbacking groups can potentially be sort of “meaningless” — but on the other hand, I for one have used Linkfest Haven (thank you Ferdy and gang) to both promote my posts to like-minded bloggers, and to have them send me their posts of interest. There’s only a couple blogs that are in Linkfest that do not regularly carry posts I like to see when they bother to send the title in a trackback.

    I don’t want to call this type of activity “artificial” unless indeed the sending of trackbacks is without any relevence to the philosophy or ideology or interests of the various bloggers. If they are blogs with related interests, isn’t facilitating the trackbacking just an improvement? I mean its like MyBLogLog or StumbleUpon or any host of social networking initiatives that are MUCH MORE POWERFUL. True, using the trackback link as a way to connect blogs may be a problem. In fact, I have tried to work up a better system with my “Bloggregator” but that’s another story.

    Second deal: obviously there’s some distortion on the relative number of links, and I wouldn’t know how to measure it, or deal with it. So I don’t minimize the difficulty of what NZ may be trying to do in that regard. (I’m assuming my #2 spot is one of those wildly fluctuating things and will be VERY transitory, as NZ works on the updates.) I think some reflection on basics is not a bad idea from time to time.

  12. comment number 12 by: Stanford Matthews

    Fred and NZ:
    This is when the net works best. An actual useful discussion addressing problems.
    To Fred, provoking a useful discussion should get you ‘hits’ and a H/T.
    To NZ, same for you, yes, it’s free so what do I want for nothing, my money back?
    thank you for your work, thank you for expressing the lack of communication. I can only imagine how immense a job it would be to answer the number of emails I suspect you receive but more frequent explanations at TTLB may avoid more conversations like this one.

    To echo some sentiments and anecdotes here:
    We only started our blog promoting about 6 weeks ago cuz last year we had nothing but grief just trying to deal with our first encounter with Technorati.
    All I can say is our initial experience using TTLB was baffling but we accepted we may share some of the blame for how we complied with our understanding of the way it works.
    After inquiring of others on the subject, a month to see results was estimated.
    Sure enough after bouncing around as an insignificant microbe for six weeks, POOF, we were launched to Large Mammal overnite. Ironically, just today the display at TTLB has us nearly bottoming out as a microbe again, but the display code on our blog remains as a Large Mammal.

    If we are genuinely a ‘microbe’ that would surprise any of us. But the experience so far has been puzzling. Ranked at the bottom, then in the top 500, then dual rankings at TTLB vs our site display. You tell me. Wuz up?
    BTW, we use sitemeter and had privacy level set to medium as opposed to normal from the beginning expecting TTLB’s scan to miss us, but that does not appear to be the case. Set it to normal for one day’s scan with no noticeable effect.
    That’s all I have.

  13. comment number 13 by: Stanford Matthews

    Oops, typo on my last comment.
    It should have read, If we are genuinely a ‘microbe’ that would ‘not’ surprise any of us.

  14. comment number 14 by: Robert

    My unsolicited 2 cents:
    I never have payed much attention to where I fall in the rankings, or what does what to who and when… I blog to relieve stress and get the word out about the MORON factor. It’s a hobby more than a profession.

    Fred, has a history of letting folks know they are FUBAR face to face first, prior to using blog space to publicly denounce an individual or service. THIS I would bet is no different. (Man Law 101)

    Free service or not, it is a character issue IMO, if you provide a service and you are having trouble, COMMUNICATE it and just maybe you will get help, or at the very least understanding from your customers.

  15. comment number 15 by: Kiril, The Mad Macedonian

    DEBBIE WROTE:

    “Personally I don’t care for the automated linking, it doesn’t mean anything. What does means something, is when another blog thinks enough of what I have written to mention me, my site, what I have written, and takes the time to personally send a trackback. I’m supposing that is what TTLB was meant to follow and rate.

    When you have a person who ‘trackposts’ almost every article they write to everybody else who is trackposting, it diminishes the entire point of trackbacks, in my opinion. So the rankings really don’t mean anything any more.”

    I like the way she thinks. ;-D

    Trackbacks such as she descibes only occur from people who care enough to do it, AND know HOW, and the value of doing so.

    I have been in the Ecosystem on both my blogs since forever, and the only reason I can see for Sneakeasy’s Joint ( http://www.sneakeasysjoint.com ) being a Large Mammal is the number of Links in my Blogroll.

    It certainly ain’t for my miniscule traffic ( 95% searches anyway ), hee, hee. :-D

    No-one actually READS SEJ on a regular basis that I tell, but that’s okay, since I have never had aspirations to Instapundithood. ;-D

    The last TB was in December, and then 3 months before that,

    On my more popular, and actually read ( Though Searches are the main source of traffic, like SEJ. ) The Cycling Dude, I get maybe 1 TB a month.

    My visits, still miniscule, are 2 to 4 times, SEJ, my Blogroll is made up of BikeBlogs, and my Ecosystem rank is Wiggly Worm.

    I’ve kept the Ecosystem out of habit, but it actually does nothing for me in the way of bringing traffic, comments, or TB.

    Few in the “Blogosphere” we all know, and love, are even aware of the BikeBlog Niche, or any of the other Niches of the Blog World, it seems to me.

  16. comment number 16 by: FrauBudgie

    NZBear really doesn’t answer e-mails, etc., and of course, nothing really changes with the G-D software. I thought about just posting your e-mail on my website, but I don’t have permission.

    For what it’s worth, I hit your blog every day.

    Oh, Fred — attempting to make sense of the TTLB ecosystem is kind of like being an insignificant microbe vs a Higher Being … good luck — I admire you for trying.

    Take care, Blog ON!!!!

    ARGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

    FrauBudgie

  17. comment number 17 by: GM Roper

    Fred and I go way back, we think the same way on so very many things, and are widely seperated on a few things. This is one of them. Knowing how hard it is to code for the TTLB and being in total awe of all the work that goes into it, I sympathize with Bear. I also know that it is frustrating to not get an answer to an ernest reply, so I’m glad that Bear acknowledges that it would have been better to let folk know what was happening. I appreciate all the work that Bear does, and that he tries to support his family at the same time. I appreciate all the work that Fred does as well and am a member of a number of blogrolls that he has started and I will continue to be a member (assuming of course that the programs continue). I have always thought that the best link from another blog is in their personal blogroll and not one of the blogrolls, but that is just me. I’ll take any recognition that I can get. I started as a microbe and I earned playful primate… I haven’t earned the spot I’ve got now, but high or low, it’s like Einstein said… It is all Relative! and on that awful pun, I’ll sign off.

    GM
    Cancer Sucks

  18. comment number 18 by: TexasFred

    GM, I too sympathize with Bear, I know it’s not easy, but he has totally ignored this since at least last August, I have the screen shot of the flat-line rankings from August until last week, I have sent him several very nice mails and even offered to help him if there was ANYTHING that could be done to rectify the situation…

    My emails went totally ignored, until this AM when I told him that was it, I was going to lower the boom on him…

    And miracle of miracles, I got a response in less than 15 minutes…

    Amazing isn’t it??

  19. comment number 19 by: Bull Jones

    When I started my blog I looked for a way of determining my rank vs. the rest of you folks out there. Why? Well, to see who gives a damn about what a hillbilly, Southern boy like me has to say.

    And Vanity, of course!

    Yes, NZBear’s history of not answering emails is aggravating, but I know how big a pain it is when your mailbox is stuffed and you’ve been working all day. Something gets left unread. The problem with not answering trouble tickets is another matter. If you are going to set up a system of Customer Service, then you must be willing to follow through. I’ll admit to shock and amazement to see such a fast response to Texas Fred’s email.

    I chose to leave the code on my site for two reasons: 1) I figured that at some point NZBear would get it all fixed or simply shut it down. 2) Vanity again! My status hit “Large Mammal” and stayed there. It took months for me to climb out of the muck and I liked the dry land better! My status never changed downward. Since I never expect to go higher I was content to let it stay. I wonder how low I’ll fall with a correction in the code?

    There has been some talk that there is a political motivation in keeping some of us with more conservative views lower on the totem pole. I have no proof and this is the first I’ve heard of it. I tend to think better of people until the proof is there for all to see. I hope that such proof never shows itself in this case.

  20. comment number 20 by: TexasFred

    Bull Jones Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 2:05 pm
    There has been some talk that there is a political motivation in keeping some of us with more conservative views lower on the totem pole. I have no proof and this is the first I’ve heard of it. I tend to think better of people until the proof is there for all to see. I hope that such proof never shows itself in this case.

    I, in NO WAY, have made ANY accusations to that effect, my gripe is with Bear and the way he’s ignored folks and let a really great ranking service go to hell in a hand basket…

    I am not questioning his politics in any way, and would appreciate any and ALL of you not doing anything like that in this blog, UNLESS you have rock solid proof, I mean names, dates, times, links, the whole 9 yards…

    Otherwise it’s just a rumor and a smear on the man that doesnt need to be there…

  21. comment number 21 by: Semper Fi Mom

    This is a VERY intersting discussion. I’m learning a lot already! I didn’t even know there were supposed to be benefits from being part of TTLB. I just saw it on someone else’s blog and thought “Oh cool! I wonder what rank we are?”, put it on the blog, then forgot about it. I did notice that we went from flappy bird to marauding marsupial to playful primate and back again. I think I need a “blogging for dummies” book. :)

  22. comment number 22 by: Bull Jones

    Exactly my point, Fred!

    I’d NEVER accuse you of doing any such thing. Never fear! There was a mention of a Liberal bias in one of the comments is all.

  23. comment number 23 by: TexasFred

    Yeah, I saw it too, after you pointed it out, not a problem, I just didn’t want this to go off on a ‘Bash the Bear’ tangent for something he didn’t do, issues are one thing, BS is a totally different thing…

    I can’t edit this comment, it’s too far back in the queue, I can only edit the last 20 and this one was too far back…

    Thanks for waking ME up Bull… :)

  24. comment number 24 by: TexasFred

    Well, here’s the deal, just so everyone knows, and I post it here in the blog so no one can misinterpret it or say I said something I didn’t…

    If Bear gets TTLB working properly again, I applaud him and tip the Stetson TO him, it’s a damn great service, WHEN IT WORKS

    My biggest gripe is this, Bear has totally ignored repeated requests for HELP from some folks that I know personally, and call friend, and that pissed me off to no end…

    2nd biggest gripe, I have sent him 2 or 3 emails asking if there was something that could be done to help and offering to do whatever I could do or was allowed to do, gratis, just a blogger helping a blogger, and Bear didn’t have the decency to tell me to PISS OFF and mind my own business…

    He left a lot of folks hanging, wondering, asking questions and starting rumors, I was NO PART of any rumor, I don’t DO rumors, I stated facts and feelings, but the thing that pisses me off the most is this, Bear ignored ALL nice emails asking questions and offering help, and ignored MANY emails from others, as well as MANY ‘trouble ticket’ reports that went unanswered, but as soon as I sent him an email telling him I was about to launch on his method of doing business, I got an almost immediate response from him, telling me how hard he was working to make this free service even better…

    When it takes a THREAT of exposure to get someone to respond, I have to suspect there is some hidden agenda, I won’t speculate ON that agenda or what it might be, but the very timing of the immediate response gave me some pause…

    Why an IMMEDIATE response today?? And to ME??

    Surely I’m not THAT powerful a blogger, at least I don’t think so, I know I can be a bit of a ‘crusader’ at times but damn, that immediate response just ‘floors’ me…

  25. comment number 25 by: Faultline USA

    Well this has certainly been a very interesting comment exchange. I have to agree with what Debbie said:

    “Personally I don’t care for the automated linking, it doesn’t mean anything. What does means something, is when another blog thinks enough of what I have written to mention me, my site, what I have written, and takes the time to personally send a trackback. I’m supposing that is what TTLB was meant to follow and rate.�

    I also agree that not giving responses to numerous e-mails is a sure way to earn the ire of many people. My particular gripe is with several big public blogrolls that are Oh so happy to have you install their codes on your sidebar, but just never seem to get around to adding your blog to that public blogroll. I’m always hesitant to remove an unattended blogroll too quickly, so I send reminder e-mails. If after 2-3 attempts at reminding by e-mail, I don’t get a satisfactory response, that blogroll is gone from my blog. One blogroll owner thinks he’s very cleaver and keeps sending the same automated responses.

  26. comment number 26 by: TexasFred

    Faultline, I have had the exact same problem with other blog rolls, not my own, but others, and I hate that bullshit…

    People WANT you to be a part of THEIR blog roll or ranking service and then they don’t have the gumption to get off their asses and do a thing about it until someone like ME blasts off on em…

    I don’t DO my business like that, if you don’t get response from me, it’s because I’m either in the hospital or dead, and in that case Mrs TexasFred will let a few of my close friends know and they will post a message saying the mean old bastard is dead…

  27. comment number 27 by: Faultline USA

    Fred:

    Of all the public blogrolls I’ve added you have been the absolutely fastest to respond! People who are very conscientious also have high expectations. That’s good. That’s what it means to have traditional values – a real conservative!!!

  28. comment number 28 by: FrauBudgie

    Fred, you da MAN!!!!!

  29. comment number 29 by: TexasFred

    FrauBudgie Says:
    April 30th, 2007 at 4:11 pm
    Fred, you da MAN!!!!!

    Yes, I am…

     

  30. comment number 30 by: Ranando

    Wish I had something to add, I didn’t know who TTLB was until a few days ago.

    I can say this, Fred replies to every email I’ve every sent him.

  31. comment number 31 by: littleolelady

    I didn’t speak on this earlier, wanted to see how it played out. But Fred knows the problems I had with TTLB. Nothing personal to Bear, but even if it is a free thing, if you don’t want tech emails/questions then take down the email link for tech issues/problems.. I sent more than half a dozen before I just gave up. I guess they must have eventually done something, but I had a HUGE time getting mine straightened out and am still not sure it was right after it was ‘fixed’.

    I wish you good luck in your endeavor Bear.

    (And now Technorati is messed up on me as well. Sometimes I think these things hate me, I KNOW YIM does. )

    That’s odd Ranando.. Fred never replies to my emails… he must like you better.. :-D .. Just kidding Fred *hugs*

  32. comment number 32 by: TexasFred

    Technorati is messing up too… That’s another mean attack for another day…

    I wonder how many bloggers are gonna tell me I’m wrong on that one??

  33. comment number 33 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    I wish I were smart enough to even make a damn comment.

    BZ

  34. comment number 34 by: Lyn

    Oh, TTLB went wacky? I thought I was just that good! :-)

  35. comment number 35 by: Stanford Matthews

    Now that the discussion may have subsided, I’ll take this opportunity to address some comments about the relative merits of ranking and linking.

    While it is more worthwhile and rewarding for blog content to be acknowledged for its intrinsic value and quality of the author’s work, with an estimated 55 million blogs, your chances of being read without ranking and linking are about the same as hitting the lottery. It is then like the tree that falls on the deserted island, did it make any noise?

    While all forms of promotion vary in legitimacy, short of spamming or violating established etiquette, if you want to know the value of your contribution, let enough people see it.

    I have to stop now as I can get rather blabby.

  36. comment number 36 by: Debbie

    A couple last thoughts. Bloggers cannot rely on Site Meter any more, or the number of visits/page views as shown on TTLB, because many people use feed readers such as Bloglines and Feedburner. They read blogs they like via the feed reader, rather than actually going to visit the blog. The only time they actually visit the blog is when the need a Permalink URL or Trackback URL. So your number of page views and direct front page hits is not accurate, it’s probably much higher.

    Second, I did a little post on January 16, “Where is NZ Bear”,

    “I’m worried about NZ Bear. Has he been bear-napped? Do we need to round up a ransom for his safe return? Is he injured?”

    I commented that we had not heard from him in months and that the rankings were not updating. So that shows that this problem has been going on for at least 6 months. I have also had other bloggers email me asking what’s going on with TTLB, they could get no response from help tickets.

    I hope NZ will come back here, Fred, and read the comments people have taken their time to submit. This isn’t some new or recent problem, it’s been going on for a long time. And what hope do we really have that it’s going to be any better in the future? We’ve been told TTLB was revamped, new and improved, on previous occasions and it wasn’t true.

  37. comment number 37 by: David

    Ranking services are only good for the information they provide UNDER the ranking. Who is linkung you, when, etc. In the past, both Technorati and TTLB have been useful in leading me to some good reads on blogs that linked to me. As time has gione on, I’ve had issues with nboth Technorati and TTLB, though more and more with the info available on TTLB. In the last few months, my “new reads” have been almost entirely blogs that link in on one of my linkfest posts. That’s right: I read blogposts that TB me whether they’re linking to my post because they are commenting on a “substantive” post or a linkfest post. THAT’S that linkfests are for in my little world.

    And Debbie: your comments on sitemeter are bang on. Once I’ve found another “good reads” blog, yeh, I’ll likely read ‘em via RSS for the most part thereafter, because it’s just a great time saver. Sitremeter? I used it at one time because it was a TTLB requirement, back when I kinda thought the TTLB ecosystem was more useful than I view it today. I cut off its reporting more than a year ago, since it was–even then–less and less useful.

    But as for the ranking issue… it’s just a game. NZ changes the weighting according to his own arcane preferences and POOF! 2,500 links disappear overnight! Big deal. It’s his game, his rules. And the ranking IS just a game. That dead “blogs” and sites that aren’t blogs at all are listed at all could be annoying, if the ranking game really mattered at all, but it doesn’t–to me at least. It’s a snicker.

    As a result of reading this post, I checked my oen TTLB ranking. Funny. Really funny. That’s where I got the reference for 2,500 links disappearing overnight. :-) Shows it right there! In one day, apparently about that many links just went POOF!

    No they didn’t. NZ just applied a different weighting to links already there, because he decided some links are more equal than others. AND THAT’S JUST FINE, because it’s his baby.

    It’d be nice if a service like TTLB or Technorati could offer real, in-depth information for free, but I take NZ Bear’s comment that he’s doing this on his own time while working at his RW job to support his family to heart (although, isn’t that what we all do on our blogs? :-) ). Still, Fred’s got a solid point on the communication factor. Answering emails and trouble tickets is a MUST. Even an auto-response with an update or “you’re on hold” *heh* message is better than silence.

    My takeaway? First, view the rankings as a game. Do NOT take them seriously. Second, cut the guy some slack when the ecosystem is wonky or he decides to change the rules in the middle of the game: he’s one guy doing his thing; and it IS his game, you know. Third, yeh, hold his feet to the fire on the communication issue. Just letting people hang, ignoring questions and even offers of help(!) is just not good practice. And some genuine transparency about the metrics would be a Very Good Thing, because it would be that rarest of birds: useful information.

    Still, I suspect I’m in the vast unwashed host of bloggers who just blog to silence the voices in our heads. It won’t matter one bit to folks like me what our TTLB ranking is, as long as we can just get the noise in our heads to quiet down a bit… ;-)

  38. comment number 38 by: GUNZ

    Yep, I joined here awhile back. I should say ‘tried’ to join here awhile back.

    I am not an old salt when it comes to blogging, actually just over a year now and had seen the TTLB on various sites and for a long time I had put off joining.

    Finally after a year I decided to join it and went to the site and apparently wasted my time. And that’s what pisses me off more than anything. The guy that runs it is wasting a lot of folks time. To me that equals asshole.

    I understand a lot undoubtedly goes into it including a lot of his time, their time, or how ever many operates and maintains it, but there are just so many blogs and people involved with that I gotta wonder what kind of person lets it go to shit like that??

    It has got to be the former Marine in me because I have no use for disloyal asshats.

    He had an obligation and from what I know about it he basically ignored just about everyone early on when the thing really went into the crapper.

    I wasted my time, and now if it was to ever to get fixed to a satisfactory level I can’t even redo it, because I doubt he would take the time to erase my account and allow me to start over.

    I tried that and it says my url is already registered. I can’t search it. I put the script on my blog and it’s freakin useless.

    I gotta wonder if it’s burn out or ( female anatomy part ) whipped.

    He’s what we might call a shit bird in the Corps. He’s earned the name shit bird of the blogosphere. Probably a flaming liberal…

  39. comment number 39 by: The Anonymous Blogger

    Sorry, no anonymous comments… Even if I DO happen to agree with them..  Site Admin

  40. comment number 40 by: TexasFred

    I would like to thank everyone that responded to this thread and offered their input, it has been very enlightening and truly appreciated…

  41. comment number 41 by: Right Truth

    Scientific Study Conducted by Right Truth…

    I have conducted a scientific study on TTLB, LinkFest Haven, Open Trackbacks, and SiteMeter. It’s scientific because I say it’s scientific, which makes it as scientific as any other ‘study’ out there. Earlier this year Texas Fred conducted a discus…