This has been said before, but it bears repeating: Chris Pirillo — the guy behind Gnomedex — has a post with some good advice in it about how to keep your blog from becoming part of the blogosphere echo chamber, where everyone writes about the same things and then dozens of blogs pile up on Techmeme like tractor-trailers jack-knifing on the I-95. This is a problem my friend Rob Hyndman has written about recently, and so has Jeremy Zawodny.
Chris’s advice is well worth reading, including “Don’t live inside your news aggregator” and “Stop whining (or worrying) about what list you’re on (or not on)” — of course, his list also includes “create, don’t regurgitate” and “say something original at least once a day,” but for the purposes of this post I’m going to ignore those. The core of his advice is to try and lift your head above the fray and think of something new, and to link to someone other than the usual suspects.
I’ve been trying to follow this latter suggestion ever since my friend Kent Newsome mentioned his “second opinion” idea, in which he tries to link to a lesser-known blogger whenever possible. Now, whenever I’m looking at Techmeme or Tailrank or Popurls, I try to look for names I don’t recognize and scan their posts to see if they have anything of value to add (which they often do). I still look at the usual suspects, but I do my best to at least read and potentially link to bloggers I haven’t read before — although Kent warns that this can go too far sometimes.