From Robert Scoble, “Microsoft tech evangelist”, on snarkiness, deliberate attacks in hopes of getting hits, and other such self-referential blogdom ploys.
The John Dvorakification of the blogosphere (I’m signing off of Memeorandum)
I’m unsubscribing from Memeorandum.Reading Dave Winer this morning made me realize I’m just falling down a dark hole. It’s the same hole I was in in the 1990s when I posted about 100,000 items on various newsgroups: in a group the writer is in control, not the reader.I miss my RSS reading. Reading RSS makes me smarter, not snarkier. Why? Cause I choose who I’m going to read. Pick smart people to read and you’ll get smarter.
With RSS readers you choose who and what you read, as well as well you read it. All in one place too, if you want. But Scoble has a much larger point.
Hint, the smartest people in my RSS are usually the least snarky. Why? Cause they could give a f**k about all the traffic.
Well put indeed. The best blogs are those with something intelligent to say, and they don’t waste their time and yours by indulging themselves in nasty, pointless attacks – or in responding to them.
Why is all the snark going on? Cause everyone wants traffic. Why did I call this the John Dvorakification? Cause he figured out in the 1980s (yes, he’s been at this so long) that if you attack a community (particularly the Apple one) that everyone will get all up in arms and will start talking about the attack. That translates into traffic. Traffic = advertising dollars.
Dvorak sometimes is useful, but too often he does indeed simply spew something deliberately calculated to be annoying and ‘controversial’ then wait for the outraged response. In the politicial blogosphere this translates into leftie blogs becoming outraged by what FoxNews babbled last night. Who cares? Why get dragged into such pointless fights? Instead, aim your posts at those in the middle and those already tilting your way. That’s who you want to convince.
Blogs that do that DO get hits. The poseurs, hanger-ons, and those with nothing to say will drop by the wayside soon enough. Scoble may not get massive hits, but nonetheless he has a big effect. Lots of ‘influence-makers’ read him, and what he posts can spread meme-like through the blogosphere. That’s what I’m talking about here. Quality, not quantity.