I think I was rather muddled in my last post, as all three comments interpreted it as saying 'I want to be more famous'. This wasn't my intention, so let me clarify what I meant.
Firstly, let's place my blog in its role to me as an academic. One of the joys of blogging is that there are no restrictions – blog posts can be long or short, text or multimedia, blogs can be about a subject or an individual, they can be serious or fun. If I was a research student, say, then the role of my blog would perhaps be much more as a tool of self-reflection. As a Professor of Ed Tech at a distance education university, who has a kind of new technology remit, my blog is central both to my academic output and my identity. As such I need to be a little harder on myself about it, than say, a leisure blog about films. I regard my blog as equally important as academic publications, research, teaching, university projects (actually, probably more so, but don't tell the bosses).
Therefore, as a professional it's only right to be reflective on your performance. That's what my last post was meant to be, although in a humourous fashion (okay, not that humourous I confess).
Secondly, when I mentioned technorati ratings, links, comments and number of subscribers, it wasn't because I was interested in these as an end point. Rather that, as in any professional practice, one seeks feedback. If I am teaching I want to know that a) students are learning, b) I'm doing a decent job and c) what I'm saying is interesting. The same goes for publishing an academic article – you want someone to read it and find it useful. So, as part of the reflective practice, you seek external verification that you are communicating effectively, and do not rely solely on your own judgement.
In the blogosphere therefore comments, links, technorati ratings and subscribers act as a very rough proxy that you are communicating effectively and what you are saying is interesting. They are far from perfect, but for the way I perceive my blog, they have some role.
Thirdly, it's not about fame and ego – it's about feedback and conversation. It's nice to know if what you are saying is of any interest, but much more importantly it becomes much more interesting, motivating, deeper and better informed when it becomes part of a wider conversation.
So, that's what I was getting at. My conclusion was that I was doing okay as a blogger, but I could be better. The reason I chose the example of other actors (De Niro etc) wasn't because they were more famous than Affleck, but because they had produced better work (if we ignore late De Niro and Hoffman anyway). I think it's important to take stock and seek to improve. For instance, reflection has led me to conclude that my practice of linking has slipped, usually because I'm rushing to get a post out. The reason I don't link enough is because I don't read as many blogs as I used to. So, my first resolution (blogolution?) is to read, and respond, more.