How Not to Suck, Blow, or Otherwise Annoy Me While Blogging

I thought as a corollary to my previous post, I would spend some time thinking about what specifically keeps a blog from going bad. I started the week assuming that I would quickly accumulate a list of blog don’ts. At the end of the week, I’ve realized it’s just not all that hard. I’ve arrived at only two rules:

1) You can’t have a staff.

Sure you can have a buddy, friends and family, but no one can be payed or otherwise “employed” by the blog.

2) No ads

See rule one. It applies to you as well. We all know why everything goes bad on the web… Monetization. A blog costs you nothing. Allow it to pay you in the preservation of your dignity.

Blogging

To be honest, when I secured the URL for this blog, six months ago, I had this very entry in mind. This fact, in hindsight, actually reaffirms the founding principle of the blog. You don’t become what you hate, you are, and always have been by design (nature and nurture), what you hate. I hate bloggers.

To be fair, I can’t imagine a world without them. Not because I find real utility in anything they produce, but because in a world where there are no bloggers, these people I abhor might actually want to speak to me in person. If nothing else, with the world in it’s current state, I can selectivly ignore and isolate myself from their nonsense. Instead, what compels me to hate the phenomenon of modern blogging, and in the process stir up my own nonsense, is that it has silently shifted its domain in our cultural mind share from OP Ed to news source.

Consider a time when the news was the news and even it was not to be trusted. Growing up, I can’t count the number of people who were all too eager to remind me that “you cant believe everything you read.” I can recall very vividly the colleagues I’ve encountered who were always eager you expound upon all the ways that the mainstream media was the man. It still is.

Somewhere along the timeline of journalism, more perpendicular than parallel, appeared blogging. It was the new and empowering, next logical, step for those of us who had long since tired of the ubiquitous “so where do you live” AOL conversation. Wait, do people actually fess up to the period of AOL awkwardness when it was weird and fun to encounter random people to chat with? Was it ubiquitous? Okay, so this is awkward. I was twelve, don’t judge.

The blog, the diary reborn and gifted to the masses, would eventually “mature,” and so it did, into the digital soapbox. And all this I am okay with because it never deviated from the personal. It was never construed as anything more than an “I, me, mine” window into someone else’s psychosis and world view. You knew what you were getting and took it for the rambling that it was.

Somehow, in our concete that the empowerment of the digital age is a victory for the masses, we’ve assigned meaning to our unknown neighbor’s whim. Blogs became profitable. This is where things get ugly. The blogger is the new pig. With neither credential nor consequence. this emerging newsman is about as tolerable and trustworthy as your least favorite break room chatter and the hound that spreads it. Yes, I believe you can picture their face.

I can’t think of a better example of this than gawker media. This incestuous troupe (built as sister sites, I swear, only to lend each other credibility) has masqueraded themselves as a “journalistic organization” for years while managing to do little more than aggregate the aggregates, and misrepresent, other people’s news stories. They have made a living off of playing the “telephone game” with other people’s work and they do it as well as I did in kindergarten.

Consider this: the news was always something you didn’t trust right off the presses. Why would you let some unqualified, uneducated, yet still ad-supported site supply your “information?” I’d just as soon recommend you chat up (insert Madonna or equally obnoxious loudmouth celebrity of your choosing. Make it a good one as it’s a big part of the success of this line) on her (or his, because hey, maybe you picked Bono) politics before voting. Blogging should stay small, personal, and not so much honest, but genuine.

Welcome! And no, I don’t feel better now.