When you write a blog you always wonder who is reading you and why and if what you create is making a difference or not. Here in your favorite Urban Semiotic we work hard to provide you new thoughts in the form of fresh articles seven days a week. We average between 5,000 and 7,000 new words for your eyes and mind every week.

That’s a lot of original writing you get for free and it takes a massive effort to produce. Yesterday the following comment was published in our Info Area:

CBS News linked Urban Semiotic? What fantastic news! We live for links. We crave links. We are whores for links. Links provide relevance.

Links are validation that your thoughts and wonderings are shared by others with like minds or minds that enjoy challenging you on their site with their own musings.

Forging ideas across a network of ideas is the ultimate goal of any blog.

Melissa McNamara’s fine blog on CBSNews.com was a big score for us because we found purchase in a large-scale, Big Media, venue beyond our current ken.

I was curious which article Melissa had linked. Was it our report on Sexual Predators in the Deaf-Blind Community?

Did she find merit in Things We Have Lost? Did we resonate inside her with our article on Pretend Police Officers in the New York City Police Department? The answer was “none of the above.” Here’s how she mentioned us and linked us on her CBS News blog:

I was surprised to learn Melissa linked our “Sinbad Is Dead” article peeling the skin off Wikipedia as a non-scholarly and unreliable resource — I just saw a television advertisement for the NBC Nightly News tonight about the dangers of Wikipedia, so this must be a “hot topic” in newsland now — and Melissa’s link just goes to show how you can never predict what topics will be popular or what sort of ideas will find value and longevity beyond you.

That is why blog writers must follow their own passion and create their own magnitude, because if your try to outguess your readers, and their interests, you will never move beyond your own intellectual and emotional stasis of safety and harbor of satiety.

You must risk arguing new ideas in order to catapult beyond yourself and continue onward and outward. A cogent human being is required to seek precise meaning in a fuzzy world.

Melissa McNamara impressed me in several ways. First, she left a comment here notifying us of her article. That sort of understanding of how blogs work and internetwork with each other is a rare talent found in Big Media companies with traditional ties to how things are supposed to work.

Second, Melissa used my name to link from her CBS News blog and not the name of the blog. Most people — even the blogging savvy! — link “Urban Semiotic” and not the author of the idea. The fact that Melissa used my name means she understands the value of thoughtful ideas and she honors those who write them.

Finally, Melissa is responsive. I wrote her a quick thank-you email yesterday sharing how much I appreciated her comment notification of the CBS News link, and she immediately replied back. That sort of sensitivity to timeliness and duty of-the-moment passion is also rare to find on The Internets — let alone a giant black-rock monolith that is CBS News.

And so we soldier on here — always forever and eternally thankful for the links we have and will forge — and we will work to not censor our hope or temper our unmitigated joy at the possibility that, just perhaps, we will continue to dig up ideas and thoughts for argument that can find life and new inspiration beyond the Urban Semiotic domain.


  1. Hi David,
    Excellent job producing great content that attracts readers of all sorts — including readers over at the “Tiffany Network.”
    It’s also nice that Melissa McNamara used your name as well. It reminds me of the discussion about using full names for blogging accountability, instead of semi-anonymous nicknames.

  2. Hi Chris!
    The Wikipedia thing is an important issue — it should’ve been exposed as the fraud that it is back in the bad old Essjay days — but I guess it takes a popular name like Sinbad to give the issue popular grit:
    It’s funny how Melissa used my name — I guess I’ll forgive the dropping of the “W.” 😀 — but I didn’t use my own name in the title of the article! Ha. That was by design, though. The headline would not have been clear if I’d used my name instead of the name of the blog.

  3. Love that cartoon, Chris!
    Yes, Wikipedia is a really sticky problem — and to think there are those who feel the whole Wiki movement is what Google feels is their biggest threat, and not Microsoft or Yahoo — and that’s why Google bought JotSpot!

  4. David,
    Wow! How exciting! 😀
    I saw Ms. McNamara’s comment yesterday and immediately went to her article. Too, too cool!!

  5. I’m glad you read all the comments, Emily! That’s the best way to really get a feel for the real life of this blog. It’s amazing to watch who comments on what and when. It’s a varying temperature that finds its extremes all along the day.

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