Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Nightly Tally

Total Comments for the Last 10 Posts

RCAB = 634

Babalú = 39

Commenters are the committed readers. Their interest is real and substantial, not casual and transitory. Commenters are the bulwark of every blog, the mainstay, the cornerstone. Without them there would be no feedback , and without feedback the posts would be static. Most visitors to almost all blogs stumble there by accident, or are dropped there by Google. They stay only long enough to ascertain whether the information contained there might be useful in writing a school paper or settling a question. Chances are that whether they found the blog useful or no they will never return there, because the motivation that brought them there in the first place has lapsed and it is of no interest to them in any other context. Perhaps 95% of googlers fall into this opportunistic category. Those readers, incidentally, constitute most of Babalú's readers. This is easily discernable by the paucity of comments left there: passersby usually have very little to say. Babalú is a dying blog petrified in its morbidity while RCAB is instinct with life and activity, a living and vibrant organism.

What distinguishes one blog from the other?

First and foremost, freedom.

Those with a genuine interest in Cuba, who visit Cuba-themed blogs to nurture that interest and share their own views, can have their say here but not at Babalú.

So long as Babalú continues to censor and blackball these readers, our target audience, they will continue to boycott it.


john longfellow aka lou dobbs said...

I have noticed recently that Babulu never allows a goose egg in any of their post. No doubt, there is a lot of ghost-posting for appearances purposes only.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


And still, with all the ghost-commenting, Babalú averages less than 4 comments per post.

Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem at Babalu is the prevalence of non-Cuban related issues, i.e. Obama. I don't begrudge the writers taking the blog where they want to take it, but the loss of focus, I think, is the cause of Babalu's recent woes. Do people really go there for the Obama bashing and other political rants? I don't think so.

Vana said...

The problem with Babalu is too many writers, one can never get or feel personal there, and foremost the censorship, visiting there feels like you are living in a dictatorship, where one censors himself in order not to be banned, or worse be called a ñangara and be put down with all the filthy epithets they can muster, therefore one never feels comfortable there.

Congratulatioons Manuel, your blog is like a beacon of freedom, I feel at home here.

john longfellow aka lou dobbs said...


I agree, it seems like Mike Cigar has made Babulu, strictly an anti-obama site. But it is a republican site, so i guess it is keeping with the republican theme. I guess!!

Fantomas said...

dont take bloggin too personally mat

The main blogger died he was only 49

dont let thathappen to you

Go outside, play , enjoy the fresh air

hatred and blogging a lethal combo

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I think you need your advice more than I do unless you are blogging from an open field while chasing the butterflies.

General Giap said...

Longfellow. Vana. Fantomas. The same morons leaving the same moronic comments. A tremendous measure of success by any calculation.

Fran Calzon cillo said...

Mat el general debe ser un babalusiano envidioso

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Babalú trolls:

You forget a few regulars and all the guest stars (including 8 Babalunians), not to mention the Tribe of the Anonimi.

Anonymous said...

There is a real anger that permeates at Babalu that as a reader, makes it an uninteresting place to visit. Thats not why I started reading there. It would be one thing if that anger was directed at the dictatorship; you can't have too much of that. But what you find at Babalu is much less that, it's just rank partisanship on behalf of a party that frankly has done little in recent years in support of the cause of Cuban liberty. As for the Obama bashing -- by Claudia, Henry, Alberto, as well as Mike - I fail to see what that has to do with advancing that cause.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I will say this much: I prefer to have Babalú bashing Obama than McCain, as they did for a long time because of Henry's differences on domestic policy with him. I could care less if McCain is a moderate Republican or no Republican at all. It is enough for me that there will be no midnight surprises from him, because, having been tortured by Castro's goons at the "Hanoi Hilton," he knows the real nature of Castroism and has a score to settle with its henchmen. If in their bumbling partisan way the Babalunians win one vote for McCain or cost Obama one vote, it will be the best thing they have done in the blog's history.

Rick said...

Here's a couple other stats to ponder, Manuel.

Google Reader Subscribers:

babalu: 171

Blogline Subscribers:

babalu: 127

Technorati Authority:

RCAB: 29
babalu: 505

Take a big swig of Molson, Manuel, and try to come up with an argument on why comments, 90% of which are made up by sock puppets, are so much more important than any of the above. I know you will because you're so grammatically creative.

Jeebus, I feel so dirty when I wind up having to defend babalu from your brainless banter. I hate that.


Ho Chi Minh said...

Vana, take a wild guess which word applies to you (courtesy of George Carlin): shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits.

General Vinh said...

Comrade, your victory is assured! Only a superior blog could generate the commentary this one does! Your five-year plan for dominating the blogosphere is one step closer!

Vana said...

Ho Chi Min:

You gave ma a good laugh, go ahead call me more names they do not bother me in the least, if you think you are being insulting guess again, oh and tits yeah I got

Vana said...

Oh did I say Ho Chi Min, I meant Val, Henry, or any of the fine cadre of writers.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Ah, poor Rick, I can almost pity you. If you had not been the agent of SotP's destruction, I would in fact pity you.

Last year you had a successful blog in a local kind of way, which cut a big swath in a little corner of the blogosphere.

Then you decided that your precious identity had been compromised by another blogger, though that other blogger (not me) revealed neither your name nor workplace.

Fearful that you would be exposed and your own blog provide the evidence against you, you shut it down and almost immediately realized that you had made a big mistake.

You opened another blog but you could not get all the ingredients together that made for SotP's success.

Alex would not consent to join you. Having already had one blog pulled from under him, he was not willing to try his luck again with you.

Also, you were constrained from blogging all day long as you had formerly at SotP.. Since your "predicament" was reported in the Miami Herald everybody that you wanted not to know about it found out anyway and now discretion was not even discretionary for you anymore.

Under such disadvantages your new blog could not hope to replicate and has not replicated the success of your old one.

I suppose this is the reason for your bitterness. It must surely be as obvious to you as it is to everybody else.

At this point, you can envy not only Babalu's stats but mine as well.

I made no claim here to anything but having more comments (which are, as I've explained, the central indication of a blog's success). The statistics that you offer are irrelevant to my argument. Check again in 4 years and we'll see where RCAB stands when it has reached Babalu's seniority.

The time and effort you have expended in this only show the deep animus that you have for me, which does indeed surpass your obsession with Babalu or the blog that outed you (but didn't really).

This is understandable since you consider me your superior as a writer and thinker whereas you regard Val Prieto and Henry Gomez as your inferiors.

Rick said...

So here's some other stats for you to reflect on, Manny. Keep in mind that SFDB has been around a mere 90 days, while RCAB has been languishing in its own putrid stew for a year.

Google Reader Subscribers:

SFDB: 38

Blogline Subscribers:

babalu: 17

Technorati Authority:

RCAB: 29
babalu: 82

The saddest thing about that authority ranking is that it probably wouldn't have even cracked double digits had not Critical Miami thrown you a bone and linked to you.

Just think of where the unsuccessful SFDB will be in another 9 months when it reaches RCAB's seniority.

Success, Manuel, is having people spend their Christmas nights trying to find information to impugn your character. When people do that, Manny, you know you've achieved the upper hand.

Know what I mean, champ?


Rick said...

Oopsey...blogline and technorati should read SFDB and not babalu.

Cut and paste will kill you every time.


Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Well, this is a revelation; or, rather, no revelation, because nothing about you is unknown to me, alas.

So now you have actually assumed the character of Babalú, become the thing that you hate but secretly envy; for reasons too perverse even to fanthom.

However, if your goal is to become another Babalú, that goal, at least, is within reach. If your goal is to replicate the local success of SotP, then you will have a much harder time since lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place, as I've already explained.

I suppose if I spent my mornings and nights flattering other bloggers, I, too, might get their attention. But I leave that meretricious activity to you.

BTW, the only referral that I've ever gotten from Critical Miami is you. Which, of course, is worse than nothing.

Resume your copying and pasting.

Rick said...

And there you have it.


Great rejoinder, Manny. Even you couldn't muster up a cogent response to those unflattering and embarrassing numbers.

The fact that you have still have single-digit RSS reader subscribers after a year and only get me linking over from Critical Miami is all the explanation any one needs to evaluate this rag's following.

Which actually wouldn't be that bad if you weren't so effing insolent about your own self importance.


Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Well, you have one advantage over Dracula: the count had to shun the light of day 24/7; you at least get a reprieve on week-ends.

As it happens, I am linked by other blogs besides Critical Miami, even Cuba-themed blogs despite Babalú's arm-twisting tactics.

I am sure that I get ten times as many visitors as you do and 100 times as many page views; and I know that the average 7-8 minutes that most visitors spend on this blog per visit is unmatched anywhere.

But, as I've said, it is the comments that matter to me and there I have you beat by the same ratio as Babalú, which, of course, is the occasion for all this bitching on your part.

By copying my formula in a very reductionist way -- e.g. one line shout-outs to other local blogs -- you will at least be guaranteed a level of popularity among your fellow bloggers. Keep plugging their blogs and I am sure they will keep plugging yours.

In fact, Rick, you may be the father of the Mutual Plugging Society. Aren't you proud?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I didn't understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?