I Love You Jason, But You are Wrong

by francine Hardaway on December 23, 2008

And so are you, Loren Feldman.

I listened to you on the Gillmor Gang, and though I enjoyed the conversation immensely — I agree with Jason that it’s the best Gang in quite a while– I really disagree that blogging is dead. Sure there are a lot of blogs, and sure there are a lot of trolls, but that’s no reason to diss the entire thing. That would be like saying “I’m tired of having friends.” Or worse, “I’m tired of making friends.”

I do enjoy Jason’s email list, and indeed I have one of my own that pre-dates my blog, which itself started in 1999. I have some subscribers to my blog, and some people who read it through feeds, and no ads, and no direct means of monetizing it. Nothing special or big, nothing I even consult Alexa, Compete, or even Technorati about, and I have looked at Google Analytics once. I’ve probably never been on Techmeme or Memeorandum, and I wouldn’t know if I were. I don’t look.

That’s because I love writing. I’m a trained writer who didn’t have a voice, and I’m damned happy to have one. I blog to convey information and opinion, and every once in a while to impart news if it falls in my lap. I read blogs to learn. Steve Gillmor is my teacher. Robert Scoble is my filter. So are many other people: Marc Canter, Louis Gray. And so are the major blogs. I’m taking a crash course in software development (50,000 ft. view) from them.

But I’m also reading and posting on non-tech sites: Earth911, EmpowHer, BlogHer, Huffpo, and Fast Company, because I’m also interested in the environment, health care, women’s issues, and politics. (BTW, Huffpo doesn’t scrape my blog; they gave me a password and I cross-post what I think their audience might be intererested in). I learn a lot from them, too. I guess I’m most like Robert, who likes to talk to smart people all the time. So do I.

Now. Is this a waste of my time? Hell no. I have a rich and interesting life. I am currently out of money to invest, but not out of cash flow, because all this blogging generates consulting. It generates reputation, probably the most important currency of all. It also generates deal flow, and while I can only advise at present, I know I can and will invest again, and in the mean time I get to see a lot of good stuff and meet wonderful people.

You guys who get a lot of traffic and have tried to monetize your blogs directly have asked for the trolls. In the early days, you link-loved, link-baited, and trackbacked yourselves to death. YOU established the conventions for what constitutes successful blogging by starting and fomenting the bitch-memes during the dull times. Now you have angry mobs shaking their verbal fists at you, but you stirred them up.

I wouldn’t spend too much time complaining about the current state of the blogosphere, information overload, wasting time, etc. While the signal-to-noise filters are primitive now, they are getting better every day, and this, too, shall pass.

Loren, I know those mice in the French kitchen were not a cgi script. I’ve been to Paris:-)

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

BarbaraKB December 23, 2008 at 4:57 pm

I would venture to say what is *dead* is the word “blog.” Just like “portal” or “web site” of old, we find new words to love. Keep on writing, Francine. Don’t care what we label the platform. Peace!

Fred Grott December 23, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Funny I was going to accuse Jason of becoming Dave Winer like as that sounds more like coming from DW than Jason.

Have a nice x-mas

Andy Beard December 24, 2008 at 3:43 am

I haven’t been blogging recently because what I want to say… I want to save for a better occasion – such as in the build up to a product launch.
I also got fairly sick of writing posts with a negative vibe.
I am a marketing geek, so I admit I do check stats and explore various forms of monetization.

This is a more current link for the Gillmor Gang http://gillmorgang.techcrunch.com/

It is interesting the ways both Loren and Jason go about their “reform” – I would do it totally different, using the tools that are really designed to do the task effectively.

p.s. Jason attacked SEO in the past, but only an SEO would notice that you have your privacy setting in wordpress set so that search engines won’t index your content.
In WP under Options >>> Privacy ,you need the setting “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Sphere, Technorati) and archivers”

francinehardaway December 24, 2008 at 4:15 am

Thanks for the current link to Gillmor Gang, Andy. I did a bad thing: I accepted Zemanta link suggestions and didn’t test the links. I actually know that’s the link:-) I guess Zemanta isn’t as good as I thought it was.

andrew korf December 28, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Definitely agree with your POV on blogging and blogs – so many examples of absolutely essential reads out there that have overshadowed the MSM for in depth analysis or no-so-in depth that are much more than the “buzz” of twitter and microblogs. I am pretty sure Sayajit Das isn’t on twitter (though I wish he was) – but eagerly anticipate each new post he put’s up on his blog (coincidentally found via another blog on the economy) http://www.wilmott.com/blogs/satyajitdas/index.cfm

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