One of the fun parts about having a blog is all the tools that link blogs together. One thing that I like to do is check out all the places that are linking to me. There are lots of way to do that.
First, there's Sitemeter. They're the ones who provide the counter for this site. The counter has lots of features, but my favorite is that it lets me track visits by referrals. This lets me tell who's linking to me. I don't know how reliable it is, because sometimes I've traced it back to blogs where I couldn't find a single link to Back of the Envelope, but it's fun to check out. Most of it comes from other blogs that have me on their blogroll, usually Blogs for Bush who automatically reference me through the Blogs for Bush blogroll (see, I knew joining up would get me more hits).
Next, there's Technorati, which finds all the blogs linking to a site, even non-blog sites. Try it out on your own blog, or any random webpage. My blog has 28 blogs linking to it, mostly Blogs for Bush again.
Third, there's Blog Pulse. Blog Pulse looks for key phrases that are occuring with some frequency on blogs. I got a hit from someone looking at the phrase social security system. This post somehow managed to turn up at the top.
Fourth, there's the venerable Truth Laid Bear Blogosphere Ecosystem, where I'm still in the lowly realm of the Crawly Amphibian. I hope someday to make it up to Primate, or even--dare I dream?--Mortal Human. Unfortunately, there's no way this Blog is big enough, nor am I dedicated enough, to launch myself into the realm of Higher Beings, where Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan dwell.
Well, now that I've had fun pointing out all the ways you can find this blog on the Internet, which helps to lead plenty of people here who'd otherwise never have an interest in anything I have to write, what's my point? Well, I did want to point to a few people who've linked to me. For example, Alessandra, whose blog, Reflections in Order Not to Go Insane, is just a day older than mine, comments on my article on the Complementarity of the Sexes, both in a blog post and the comments section; it's only the fourth comment I've gotten overall. Then there's The Pryhills, which clearly has very different ideas than I about the Federal Marriage Amendment. I'm not quite sure how I ended up on its blogroll, considering.
Of course, when a big blogger links to me, it has a cascading effect. When Captain Ed found my Why Iraq? post interesting, Slings and Arrows picked up on it (Although, he may have found it independently, but it's hard for me to imagine someone just browsing my blog without a pointer. I'm modest that way.). And I still haven't managed to find everyone who linked to my post on Dave Barry's Kerry DYKWIA story that started a Cornerlanche.
Update: Added a pointer to Alessandra's comment.
Update: I forgot to mention Technorati's Breaking News, which looks for references to hot stories. I got a few hits when I picked up on Orrin Hatch's proposed amendment.
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