If you have written a post begging your readership to nominate you for the Bloggies, then please do us all a favor. Stop blogging. You’re part of the problem.
Because blogging isn’t a popularity contest. If you are not offending at least one reader or writing something that causes your readership to think, if you are not taking advantage of this alternative medium to do something worthwhile and different, the things that other mediums can’t do because they need advertising and readers, then I hope you’ll spend the rest of your days without an Internet connection working at a small-town newspaper banging out a weekly gardening column that offends no one.
I’ve been blogging in some form or another for the past seven years. Maybe more. So I’ve seen all five years of the Bloggies nonsense. Will someone please tell me just what exactly these awards have done to further humankind? Have they expanded blogging in any way? Have they provoked meaningful discussion? No. The Bloggies is nothing less than a big SXSW circlejerk, the online equivalent of a UHF fishing show that you’ve watched for the hundredth time. The same fishermen, growing older and specializing in catching the same fish, using the same techniques, saying the same things. Let’s look at the names. Jeffrey Zeldman. Evan Williams. Jason Kottke. Nothing against them, but yawn.
If you’re a person into blogging to win hits and influence people instead of saying no to constantly checking your Technorati rating or your stats, then I wonder how you can ever find pleasure in the form. Blogging as a stepping stone to a career? Helpful, yes, but hardly the cure-all answer. Why not just focus on realistic goals that lead you straight to the career instead of sneaking in posts during your day job? If you want to be a journalist, get a job on a paper. If you want a book deal, write a book and carefully market it. If you want to be a legitimate pundit, go to grad school and “publish or perish” in journals. But don’t automatically assume that your blog gives you immediate credentials. And don’t think that it entitles to anything. As we all learned back during the 2004 political convention coverage, it was the bloggers who proved to be the laziest reporters of the bunch, offering reports about as substantial as a Field & Stream cover story. Of course, if you do want to practice journalism through a blog, then stop railing against the mainstream media about how superior you are and do the fucking legwork. Back up your shit, yo. Make phone calls, talk to people, get multiple sides of the story. That’s what you can do in this medium that the big papers can’t.
For god’s sake, stop encouraging crap like the Bloggies, which is nothing less than a bunch of insular nonsense motivated by charisma rather than content. I should point out that the only person who had the balls to turn down a Bloggies award was Noah Grey. He recognized the hypocrisy and rejected it. (And long before those able pups Trotted into filthy lucre, Noah Grey laid down the framework for gradual evoloution of the software which guided this medium through Greymatter. The man understood community.)
So in conclusion: Fuck the Bloggies. Fuck it hard.
This has been a public service announcement.
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.