We have met the enemy: He is us

As predictable as clockwork, every so often a post comes along that dumps on either Techmeme or the blogosphere in general for being shallow and self-centered, for being onanistic (look it up) and consumed by the desire for cheap traffic hits, etc. etc. This week’s installment comes from Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion, who says he’s tired of “the Lazysphere,” as he calls it — poorly thought out posts that chase the latest Techmeme frenzy. Only deep thinking for Steve from now on, apparently.

I like Steve, and I think he adds a lot of value with his blog — and I think there are plenty of others who do so as well, including some of the ones Steven Hodson of WinExtra has listed in his post on the topic, such as MG Siegler’s ParisLemon. You know where I found both of those guys? On Techmeme. And they often have contrarian opinions, as ParisLemon did on Wikia Search (of course he agreed with me).

It’s easy to look at something like the Techmeme time-lapse video that Amit put together and conclude that it’s all a lot of sound and fury, signifying very little. And if that’s what you think it is, then presto — that’s what it will become. And you’ll be off in your little corner, thinking your big thoughts and chatting with your five loyal readers. But in that noise and frenzy there is also some signal, and it’s up to you to find it.

That’s what the blogosphere is all about. Complaining about some lazy bloggers chasing links is like complaining about all the stupid shows that are on the telly, or all the loud-mouthed idiots holding forth at the local watering hole. Ignore them. Focus on those that are saying something interesting — wherever they may be.

* headline is from an ancient Pogo comic strip

Rubel vs. PC Mag — bizarre

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get most of the reaction to Steve Rubel’s little Twitter-related gaffe (Twaffe?), in which he said that he throws his PC Magazine in the trash, and now has had to apologize to the editor-in-chief of PC Mag, etc. First of all, you mean they still publish PC Mag? Who knew. I stopped subscribing years ago, and so did anyone else with any sense.

snipshot_e411dij41o5e.jpgAnd secondly, yes I totally understand that it was probably unwise of Steve to say that about PC Mag, seeing as how Edelman pitches companies to PC Mag, and that we all have to watch what we say now, Twitter is not like instant messaging, etc. etc. Totally get that. But still — what the hell is Jim Louderback doing posting a long commentary on what Rubel did to some anonymous PR gossip rag like Strumpette? He has his own website, although it currently just hosts a bio and some links. Why not put it there?

Better yet, why not post a comment on Steve’s blog, or send him an email? Or talk to Edelman privately? Instead, he posts it on Strumpette, and muses aloud about penalizing Edelman in some way — not to mention that he takes what Rubel said completely out of context. What kind of person does that? It’s like overhearing someone say something offhand on the streetcar and then writing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. Bizarre.

Comments — the new search frontier

Among the blizzard of year-end predictions and forecasts on various blogs — some interesting and some not — is one that caught my eye from Steve Rubel over at Micropersuasion, who said that one of the things he really wants is a way of searching and tracking comments on blog posts. That’s something I’ve been thinking about too.

As Steve notes, sometimes the best thing about a blog post is the comments, but there isn’t an easy way to search or track them — although he notes that Elisa Camahort tags any post she comments on with del.icio.us so she can track them. Where are the searches from technorati.com or bloglines.com or icerocket.com that focus on comments? (Come on, Mark . You can do it).

Fred Wilson over at A VC expands on Steve’s comments with his thoughts — including the fact that it would be nice if there was a way to elevate the best comments on a post, something I’ve been waiting for as well. (Come on, Matt. You can do it). As Fred puts it: “Bottom line – blogs are conversations. We need to start treating the comments like the important content that they are instead of an afterthought.”

Well said.