-Ragin Cajun, third-tier blogger. (h/t Shane)
If you read my first piece on "the tier system" over at the Peanut Gallery, then you'll recall that I said there were two main ingredients that first-tier blogs have, traffic and community. It goes without saying that content is king.
Traffic is something that all third tier blogs lack (at least in significant numbers). So while there are many different types of third-tier blogs they all have one thing in common; they are all dependent on first-tier blogs for traffic growth.
Some of the more shameless third-tier bloggers (myself and Woody included) "link-whore" themselves on first-tier blogs in an attempt to draw more traffic to their own blogs. It's a low-percentage play, but look how this practice has benefitted Woody.
Just a few months ago he was clacking away on the fake parchment paper that was his "trailerparkesque," third-tier blog. Now, he is "The Woodshedder," first-tier blogger over at IBankCoin.
I guess over time, by spending hours and hours at places like Technorati, or My Blog Log, or commenting on every damn blog every day forever, that you could build up a decent readership without having to suck at the "teet" of the first-tier bloggers. But man, it would probably take forever.
Much better to have traffic thrown at you than to slave for it.
So ultimately, two things are necessary for a third-tier blog to make the jump up the "tier system." Solid links from good blogs, and excellent original content so that once people have found you they hang around and comment enough to form that other, more elusive element of first-tier blogs, "community."
Now, since we understand what it is that third-tier blogs lack, here's a brief, categorized, list of some third-tier blogs.
Subcategories of third-tier blogs
An excellent example of a third tier blog is Ragin's (see picture, above) blog. His blog is also "gay" which is a subcategory of "third tier blog." You'll notice that Ragin (club name, "The Rage") also exhibits very typical third-tier blogger behavior every time he asks "the Fly" if his blog is still third tier. Only third-tier bloggers seek acceptance from first-tier bloggers in such a blatantly humble way.
Then you have Danny's old blog (which I won't link here due to our "blogging standoff"). Moneyskater is a perfect example of another subcategory of the third-tier blog, the "copycat blog." He not only borrowed the color scheme and theme of "the Fly's" old blog, but he also lifted jargon directly from "the Fly" and even went so far as to think the masses cared when he bought or sold stock.
Imagine taking investment advice from an unemployed skater... It's hilarious!
Still, this strategy worked out quite nicely for "the scruffy, beer-chugging one" as he latched onto a first-tier blogger with a large enough ego, and became the so-called "bride of Fly." He now enjoys first-tier blogger status and uses his new found power to disparage and divide the third-tier blogging class.
Another subcategory of the third tier blog is the "adsensed" blog. A good example of the "adsensed" blog, is Bubs' trading blog. His blog is crawling with so many adverts that it's sometimes hard to go there and not buy implants of some sort.
Oddly enough, "the Fly's" new site is quickly becoming adsensed. Time will tell what becomes of a "whored-out" first-tier blog.
There are the "crazy" bloggers. For this example, we have our friend HPT. Dude lost $20 grand in one day, freaked out and changed the name of his blog to "High Probability
Trader Blowup." Now, you never really know what you're going to find over there. Go back in his archives before the "blow-up" and it's like, a whole different place.
Then you have the "ex-trekkie/emo-kids/porn freak"sub-category. There is only one blog that fits into this category... Move The Markets. Incidentally, MtM also appeals to fans of Mr. Rodgers... It's a sick place really. It makes me feel uncomfortable every time I need to go there.
-the Move the Markets team of bloggers
Below the 3rd tier, naturally, is the 4th tier, or, "the spawning ground." This is where many blogs die unfortunately, never busting through that 100 page view a day kind of existence. Some will fight through the loneliness and adversity and manage to gain third-tier blog status... most will not.
There are countless examples of such blogs. Indeed, they make up the vast majority of the blogosphere. However, I won't point them out. You just don't link to fourth-tier blogs. In fact, if you do... you may be considered a forth-tier blogger yourself. Very dangerous territory really. Only first-tier bloggers are safe to link to forth-tier bloggers and even that carries a little risk.
Finally, you have the cult blogs. Blogs that have been abandoned by their authors but live on nonetheless. An example of this could be Jake's old blog or even mdawsz's lispy blog... which interestingly enough, was once a third-tier blog.
Then there are the dead blogs. Ducati's blog and Momojuicing's blog are examples of blogs that flamed out without a trace. Both of these blogs can no longer be accessed via the internet. Ducati, should you need him, can still be accessed over at "the Fly's" site. Momojuicing simply vanished.
Oh, and let's not forget the "bear blog." Visiting a bear blog is somewhat akin to going to a 24-hour newstand to pick up a copy of Hustler at 3am when you're drunk, horny and alone. You go there, sometimes, but you don't want anyone to see you.