I wasn't exactly sure, but when today's Memeorandum news was dominated by Scoble's April Fools joke (and about a hundred hangers-on) it became painfully obvious that trackbacks and comments have become nothing more than linkbaiting, and despite claims of the opposite, far too many people at the top care far, far too much about their traffic.
Reading most of the active blogs is really becoming boring. There is so much rehashed news, unresearched opinion, and ad hominem debate that surely this is not a good use of time. Comments and trackbacks are sure to be just as boring, and mind-numbingly chaotic. I hear the same sentiment from lots of people.
I am certain that people like Scoble, Dave Winer, and Doc Searls all started blogging for the right reasons. I am certain their desire to provide insight and "conversation" is real. But, they need to go back to their roots. The conversation is sounding like a drunken bevy of aristocrats at an opera premier. Meme-trackers have in some ways made it worse. I was just sickened to see the feeding frenzy that April fools initiated. It brings out the worst in people to "know how to seed the meme".
I humbly recommend the following to all of you dedicated and visionary A-listers out there:
- Don't say anything if it's been said before. Say it once, and say it from your heart. If you heart is silent, don't post. Or, post a cameo from your personal life. If you have to keep the meme throbbing, add some spice.
- Link to people and new valuable information from outside of the circle, not to one another. Bouncing between a-listers is tiring. You need to take people outside the a-list into reality. That's your job being at the top guys: digging it up, presenting it to us. Enlightening us. If you don't like that job, then stop blogging.
- Discourage meme-tracker mentality. If something is getting out of hand, change the subject. If the top bloggers change the subject, the crowd follows. Diffuse the bullshit.
- Take the next step in blogging journalism: present conclusions! One nice thing about the a-list group is that they're capable of coordinated effort. Show us how it's done! Figure out how, in this chaotic space, to bring some sense to it. Maybe a few of you should put your egos in cold storage and work together, share a blog space. Figure it out! I'd love to have the combined knowledge of the group, but am not going to read 20 dissenting opinions and rants and raves to get it. I don't have enough headache medicine.
The last one is really important. Self-managed blogging has reached it's limit, and meme-trackers, though a good idea, are actually making it worse. It may take some good old-fashioned teamwork, or maybe some new technologies. I want to hear what you say, but I want every word to count.
I want you guys to become the "Strunk and White" of the blogging world. Omit needless posts and comments. Instead, you're heading off into the stratosphere making more and more noise. Time to sit down, pull out that great bottle of wine you've been saving, and reflect.
I'm not going to trackback or link to anything with this post as a form of silent protest.