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April 09, 2004
Blog Advertising Will Ruin Reason
This is a much larger issue that needs to be further developed than I have time for, currently.
My first idea is not original - anger and flame wars drives traffic. Clearly that's a fact.
Why this is so, needs to be discussed.
Why I think people will piss each other off - and enjoy doing it and continue to do it - is because of blog advertising. When you can earn money based on higher traffic, many people will do anything they can to drive that traffic.
Just this week, well two weeks I guess, has come the outraged outrage at outrageous (and apologized for and corrected) comments at Kathryn Cramer and DailyKos' sites (of the two I know about).
I only even knew about Cramer because of a post at OliverWillis.com.
If this wastrel trend continues to esculate, the blogosphere will not cater to the lowest common denominator - it will be the lowest common denominator.
Really, why do we celebrate anger but mock pacifists? Why cannot we (myself included at times. I'm under the illusion that people will listen reason) ignore that which pisses us off? Or at least refrain from commenting?
I rarely visit Instapundit. I never visit Little Green Footballs. I never visit Andrew Sullivan. Or Michael Moore.com or the Democratic Underground site (Unless that's where the Top 10 idiot conservatives list is, which I quite enjoy but mostly forget exists - I just remembered it.) and I certainly wouldn't link to any of them just so they'll find me and drive my traffic up.
If you do not ignore it and keep on visiting a site that pisses you off - then you are full of fake outrage.
I get involved and get loud on occasion because at some places it's the only thing people will listen to - and even then they don't listen, they just respond with a witless comment. But if a person rarely exhibits a need to rationally discuss anything, then it is a complete waste of time. Sometimes it takes me a while to realize this. Sometimes not.
I do, however, respect the idea that you cannot just ignore a site - you need to keep tabs on places where hate or deep misunderstanding start. Just so you're preparing yourself when you encounter it in your reading. Doesn't mean you need to validate or perpetuate, by traffic numbers, the blogger's belief that their comments are welcome or helpful to large numbers of people.
Just incomplete thoughts ....
UPDATE 17:15 I should add that I don't blame the advertisers for the devolution of discourse.