I’ve never been a fan of Wired; it’s like the love child of Fast Company and Martha Stewart Living. To me, it’s full of people who don’t think you’re doing things right and all too eager to straighten you out. With that disclosure out of the way…
Boutin sounds a bit like the graying souls who remember how great [insert website name here] used to be — you know, before [insert point in time here]. To the extent that there are shills, opportunities, and scam-meisters behind blogs, why is he surprised? That’s what happens with technology: people start using it in ways that you didn’t expect.
Can’t you just hear copyists in England bitching and moaning about how great publishing was before William Caxton set up that damned printing press?
Just because entire cable channels shriek about attractiveÂ young white women who’ve disappeared doesn’t mean you should stop watching television.
Boutin says that “the time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter.”Â As a comment to his article notes, “You used a long blog post to announce the death of blogging? There could be some baby in that bathwater…”
I don’t think I even want to know how Boutin defines “better spent.” How is this snit different from saying, “You oughta be watching Henry IV (Part One) instead of Dancing with the Stars?”
He focuses on the fact that the top 100 Technorati sites are dominated by professionals. If your burning ambition is to have a two-digit Technorati ranking, then you’ve got a lot of flacking to do.Â (You’re also way too busy to read my blog.) Otherwise, have some coffee and relax.
It’s true, as Boutin points out, that blogs made self-publishing easy. And sites like Flickr or YouTube make it easy to public visual or audio material.
Still, although he says that the real appeal of Twitter is brevity, it took him over 600 words to say that. (That’s a standard op-ed column size, by the way; he’s not exactly trailing clouds of innovation across the digital sky.)Â Based on character count, he could have managed it in 28 tweets — but that wouldn’t suit Wired, which I assume pays by the article and not by the Twitter volume.
To me, Boutin is confusing the product (blog posts) with the process (communicating). He’s also paying way too much emphasis to advertising and revenue, topics that easily turn the blogosphere into an Amway convention.
If your interest is in having conversations, rather than inviting people over so, once they’re gone, you can check under the cushions for the change they spilled , then Boutin’s “discovery” is less than startling.
Not having a blog because Robert Scoble (or Tina Brown) does is as silly has having one because he does. Blog software lets you be all about you — your interests, your opinions, your passions, your distractions. Whether anyone joins in is optional.
Printing press photo by Vlasta2.