And I'm happy with that equation. Right now my Alexa ranking is 135,644 and Page Rank is 5. While the former's ranking is often questioned there is no doubt Page Rank is a big deal for sites or blogs. If you've always thought high traffic equates having better ranking in either...you've been traveling the wrong avenue with that. My traffic ranges between 100-150 visits per day. Per visit, folks spend about minute and a half or so on my posts.
I don't know how either ranking works - not well enough that is - but I'm glad I'm doing well there. While Alexa's ranking depends on traffic from site/blog owners who've Alexa toolbar installed on their browsers, Page Rank, as I understand, is based on link quality. You can try and figure out its algorithm, but I am not about to study that.
The point is, when you stop thinking about search engine optimizing, linking, traffic, adsense, social networking this and begging for links that, you can focus on creating original content. People think of original content and instantly think of some complex set of rules that make them original. It's simply original because you thought of it. It may not be 'original' original because nothing is. People will mostly brand your work original because it's new...to them.
It's always how you look at things, how you perceive of things, and how your mind works that finds an audience. Originality is nice but POV is nicer. Don't try to make too many people happy. You'll just feel like a whore after some time. Don't think Hendrix deserves all that attention for being labeled a 'legend' and have 100 reasons to prove it? Talk about it. Half the world will hate you and the other half will surface and yell, "Thank you!!!" David Edelstein got chewed out for not liking 'The Dark Knight' as much as its die-hard fans (I'm one of them) but dammit, he has the right to not think it's better than "The Godfather".
Don't let desperation provoke you to resort to cheap tactics to build traffic. Because when your traffic drops, it will ruin your morale and you have no quality to fall back on. Then again, 'quality' is subjective; some people argue over the quality of porn now over quality or porn shot on film...so, you know.
Just as any normal person searches for quality of life, (s)he looks for quality in words, pictures, and sounds. You create them and (s)he'll find you. I have been fortunate in having some excellent folks reading my blog. I don't care if they read posts on their feed readers, mobile phones, or in printed form. I don't care if they click over and come to the actual site. They're reading, they're writing me, and they're doing it regularly. Some daily, some weekly, and some whenever they have time.
There are thousands of other things they can do than spend a few minutes reading what I have to say or show. But they choose to come back. Why would I want them to click on a 'Read more' link to have to finish reading it on my blog? To spike traffic from 100 to 103? I can understand why many other blogs would do that, but it makes no sense for me to do that. Because I don't count on my blog as an income source.
But I should stress that the beauty of this whole thing is: each person can decide how his/her content should be viewed. That is beautiful! Be it any which way (s)he has chosen to. I can have many reasons to defend how and why I choose to disperse my content but you can disagree with all of them. Blogging makes each of our vision customizable.
It can be discouraging when you see sites and blogs have RSS subscribers that can fill a small country but those stats can be misleading. As Fred Smith observed, numbers and stats can lie. Fred's explanation is a little better than what I had to say about MySpace's gazillion subscribers, but you see the point.
Amen to that.
I'm off to lunch. Egg drop soup doesn't give a shit about Page Rank...and does get cold. :)