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While I think that Jason's point
June 12, 2000 3:31 PM   Subscribe

While I think that Jason's point is completely legit, hurting people in the process seems a bit overboard. any thoughts?
posted by phooey (127 comments total)

 
All the post implied to me was that Jason thought that a lot of blogs were alike...not that Zippyblog was worse, just more of what he was already reading, and he wanted to see a really different blog.
posted by Electric Elf at 3:42 PM on June 12, 2000


Did he hurt someone? The only way to be hurt by Jason's comment is to be a wee bit oversensitive. All he said was that Swallowing Tacks and Zippygirl are extremely similar. He didn't say they were bad. He's just bemoaning lack of variety.
To take it personally (when one is clearly serving as a value-judgment-free example) is to be taking all this a bit too seriously.

posted by peterme at 3:56 PM on June 12, 2000


Whiners. Both of 'em. Clout and the crybaby.
posted by Jeremy at 4:02 PM on June 12, 2000


perhaps 'hurt' isn't the best term. ruffled? annoyed? perplexed? i'm reacting based on what i've read today:
"I feel sick and hurt right now" ... "Why can't They understand that there are other people out there who might actually enjoy what They dismiss?" - zippygirl.org
"at the end of the day, who finds "listening" to someone sit round whining about how boring everyone else is interesting?" - swallowingtacks.com
"People who criticize others yet do not contribute anything or try to change the way things are bug me." -- digital-web.com
"The one thing about Jason's commentary that I have real trouble with is its uncharacteristic harshness." -- barbelith.com



posted by phooey at 4:13 PM on June 12, 2000


"uncharacteristic harshness."

I have to agree. I have a lot of admiration for Jason and have looked up to him and his work for many years. He's generally a very opinionated person, but tactful at the same time.

I'd like to think that this was just a small lapse in tact. The point he makes IS valid, however I think that this was one that could be made without specific reference.
posted by thinkdink at 4:33 PM on June 12, 2000


I didn't see Jason's post as an attack on anyone, just an observation of the current status of weblogs. Jason tends to be a bit more critical of webloggers and weblogging than I am (I'm all about the love, baby), but he is certainly not the first to notice a bit of a drought going on. Jason is just a bit less delicate in his observations than some - which isn't exactly news, either. Will this be the next Tempest in a Teapot? As someone who spends his time lampooning the weblog community, I can think of few topics as full of possibility as 'lack of interesting content'.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 4:38 PM on June 12, 2000


*PLEASE*, someone shout 'april fools' right about now. I'm really astonished that people are whining about a piece of well-though-through criticism.... I can only begin to imagin what would happen if one of those people where to go onto irc (admittedly, sometimes not the friendliest of places). They'd be mental wrecks for weeks. Not that we could tell....
posted by fvw at 4:41 PM on June 12, 2000


$BLOGNAME hasn't written anything lately that appeals to me. Should I take $WEBLOGGER to task for it? Should I quietly find another site that I will enjoy? Or, for that matter, should I try to create the kind of material I want to see?
posted by harmful at 4:43 PM on June 12, 2000


create.
posted by thinkdink at 4:45 PM on June 12, 2000


I didn't think he was being harsh at all. Some people really like Dr. Pepper.

I'm with Jason, there is a terrible lack of originality out there. It's not bad, it's just the same. Why is it that pointing out something like that is such a bad thing? If it were me posting, I wouldn't have linked actual sites, doing so seems to lay the blame on the two of them.

FTrain had a similar gripe back in April. He proceeded to offer some solutions. I would have liked to have seen someone try out a few of them.

All but the loglog.


posted by perplexed at 4:52 PM on June 12, 2000


It's possible that what we have here is a misunderstanding based on two very different views of web publishing (and also some gender differences).

You can look at a website (blog or whatever) as a public document, like a newspaper article or a novel. If you publish a novel, you should expect criticism. Nasty personal attacks are uncalled for of course, but you SHOULD expect some negative criticism from people who don't share your ideas.

Or...

You can look at blogs and blog readers as your COMMUNITY. When you post something, you are sharing part of yourself with your friends. Looked at this way, Jason's comment could be VIEWED as an attack (even if it wasn’t meant as one)--or at the very least as insensitive.

To understand this, imagine someone going to a family reunion and remarking how disappointed he is that most pies nowadays taste the same. "For example," he says, "did you notice how aunt Mary's pie tastes almost exactly like aunt Marge's?"

This critic might be genuinely puzzled when he later found Mary crying in the corner. "I wasn't SAYING that your pie is bad. I was just making a point about blah blah blah..."

(This next point is a GENERALIZATION) Often this type of misunderstanding is gender based. "Male" blogging is about "conveying information" while female blogging is about "connecting with a community."

When I first understood this male/female difference, my reaction was "Jesus Christ! Woman sure are sensitive. Can't a guy express a simple OPINION around here? I'm not TRYING to hurt anyone's FEELINGS!!!"

But there's a way out of this mess. I think it would have made a BIG difference if Jason had added a qualification to his critique. He could have said, "I have nothing against zippygirl's blog (which often contains wonderful things), but..." Sure, that's not his point and it muddies his argument. So why should he have to do it?!?

He doesn't HAVE to do it! No one has to do anything. But if we're not sensitive to each other’s feelings, we're likely to (accidentally) hurt each other.
posted by grumblebee at 5:03 PM on June 12, 2000


I don't think anyone can really accuse Kottke of failing to "create"... and I agree it was just an observation, and he only used those two blogs as an example because they had similar links. Very much a tempest in a teapot.

What I think is interesting: so far no one has mentioned the quite snappish comments that have appeared on zippygirl in response to the (possible / implied / mild) criticism from Kottke: so far she's accused him of trying to tear her down, compared him to schoolyard bullies, and observed (prefacing it with "one snarky little comment:") that he doesn't update daily. I would say that zippygirl has gotten her own back and then some.
posted by wiremommy at 5:06 PM on June 12, 2000


tho in the spirit of grumblebee's comments, I should say I certainly don't see anything wrong or unfair about zippygirl's comments-- she's just telling her side of the story.

Was that the kind of "disclaimer" you meant, grumblebee? ^_^
posted by wiremommy at 5:09 PM on June 12, 2000


I'm not sure why we need to take sides or talk about who is right and who is wrong. I didn't read zipygirl's response, but if she said the things you say she did, she did so because her feelings were hurt. I'm NOT excusing it. Two wrongs don't make a blah blah blah, but what's the POINT of keeping score.

Jason hurt zippygirl's feelings (or at least she felt hurt by something he said) and she reacted the way people often react when they are hurt. Was she bad? Was he bad? Whatever... Is she ok? Are her feelings still hurt? If so, can we help? (I don't read her blog. Has anyone here every read it? Is there anything nice worth saying about it?) If not, great. Lets move on and try not to hurt each other.

Before we all get into a "grumblebee" disclaimer festival, I would like to point out that I am NOT advocating some sort of PC touchy-feely style of writing in which everyone watches every word and bends over backward trying not to offend anyone.

Actually, I'm not advocating anything. I'm just pointing out that there are consequences to the things we write--fair or unfair--and we can live with them or change the way we write.
posted by grumblebee at 5:21 PM on June 12, 2000


Folks, this is really out of control. Male-female difference? Dog/cat difference? Are we setting boundaries now?

Aren't blogs about personal expression? How can one dog go after another? The whole deal is you do what you want ... and (IMHO) if what one person does isn't perfect, perhaps self-examination is more to the point than examining the work of others.

Why can't we all just sniff butts and be friends?

Betterdog
http://www.doggieblog.com/
posted by betterdog at 5:21 PM on June 12, 2000


Wow, it this "Blog Nicely III"????

That's fame folks...take it with the good & the bad. (Though I sure wish someone would point out what Jason said that was so bad....I must've missed it.)
Vive la Difference!

Sorry. Just calling it like I see it....

posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 5:47 PM on June 12, 2000


God, I love the weblogs. Love them. Please, someone call my website names. Boring as hell design. Disgusting colors. Content that looks like it crawled out from under a rock.

I mean, it's been so long since junior high, and I want to go back.

I've reread the post at Kottke.org three or four times now, and I've got to tell you, if "I'm looking for something different" is the worst he's got to say about me, I must be doing great.
posted by mrmorgan at 6:46 PM on June 12, 2000


I hate to say this, but if the same comments that appeared on kottke.org showed up in the log of some kid no one knew... well, you know.

And I would say that being called unoriginal and "just like everyone else" IS a tad offensive to people who try to make something about their lives. Maybe we should all get thicker skins or maybe we should just mind our own beeswax. The web belongs to everyone and they can do whatever they want with it.
posted by stefnet at 6:47 PM on June 12, 2000


Well..... what a fun place. Not only do I have to "blog nicely", but I have to refrain from mentioning anyone. If I don't, they will misunderstand what I say and be hurt.

"Zippyblog is just a refill" - This is the cause of hurt feelings and heated debate? Some guy saying your site is like a bunch of others? I suspect you knew that already. Were you trying to be original and unique? I don't think so.

This blog nicely shit just fucking chaffs my ass. Welcome to the Internet. Soon to have 6 billion viewers. Not all of whom will be saying happy smiley things about your weblog. And I hope you wouldn't want to have an Internet filled with happy smiley weblogs.

AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! You happy smiley people are driving me INSSAAAAANNE!!!!! I don't condone mean comments, but Kottke's post isn't even bordering on mean.

So...... To the happy smiley weblog police: If you want to take away my cynical sarcasm, you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:47 PM on June 12, 2000


We all want to think that we're doing something unique. Jason basically said, "You are not special. You are a thinned out version of someone else, who is also pretty common." He may not have intended to sound like that, but if you were the girl he said that about you might think differently.

A big part of posting things online is validation, especially with blogs. It's not that hard to understand why she's upset as Jason specifically pointed her out.
posted by Andrea at 6:50 PM on June 12, 2000


Yeah, but after Jason pointed her out, I'll bet she got more hits in a few hours then she did in the last 2 weeks.

Throw in the ( hey, you stats-keepers out there, if you feel like reopening a can of worms, what's the average clickthrough on a link from MeFi and give me a ballpark) 3 or 4 hundred she probably got from here, and she's probably received more unique hits than any of my personal pages ever had.

No such thing as bad publicity, and whatnot.

This entire ordeal touches on every major issue I've ever seen pop up in blogging, personal web pages, hell, even back to BBSing in my home town in the early nineties. TINC, 'Blog/Journal/Rant/BBS/Play Nicely. They've all been done before, from the first time you heard a "Jim likes Sherry!" whispered in your ears in Grade 2 to the last time you hear "Frank gets the softest corn!" in the retirement home.

Every time a communtiy expands beyond two people there's going to be differences of opinion, hurt feelings. amd a cabal (there is no cabal).

Unfortunately, the early adopters will have gone through it in their current community many times by the time said community diminishes.

Is it valid? Probably. One's feelings and opinions always are. Is it life-shattering? Doubtful. We all want to be unique, and we are all individuals. Not everyone can be a trend-setter, but as long as it's new to you, just enjoy what you're doing.

I hate to trivialize someone I don't know and whom I'll probably never encounter again, online or off, and that's not my intent. Zippygirl (the new Blog Nicely poster child? :-) will get over it in a week, and probably with some new regular visitors, and hopefully with an urge to try something new.

Who knows, the people who are 'doing the same thing' may find a way to break out and do the next new thing. It takes a while to get used to a medium, and if there's one thing that blogging really does encourage, through the ongoing bouts of boredom and psuedo-random link propogation is the urge in all of us to do something that will rock the community.

God I talk too much.
posted by cCranium at 7:09 PM on June 12, 2000



No one ever picks on *my* 'log.

posted by baylink at 7:11 PM on June 12, 2000


baylink: we like a challenge.
posted by cCranium at 7:15 PM on June 12, 2000


I think what he did was rude. If I had been her I would've been really upset. I see nothing wrong with her weblog. It's just that - a weblog. I don't think she has to prove herself to anyone. It's for her. She enjoys doing it. If he doesn't find it interesting then he shouldn't go there. I don't get what he accomplished by pointing out that it was just a *refill* of another site.

Anyway enough of my rambling. Just wanted to put in my 2 cents.

Hey Zippygirl! Keep up the good work and don't let some negative feedback by someone get you down. :-)
posted by FAB4GIRL at 7:20 PM on June 12, 2000


When I read Jason's post, what I took away was that he was trying to encourage people to push the envelope, to try something new. I didn't at all feel like he was slamming any of the sites he mentioned, or weblogs in general. Even his own weblog is "more of the same." That's not the point. The question he put out there was, "is there anything new under the Blogger sun?"

I'm stunned at the responses that some of the sites in question have posted (tks to phooey for summarizing them here). Even the whole "validation" thing doesn't fly. Jason didn't even say, "These are the blogs that I think suck." He just used them as examples of what he was seeing, and explained why he didn't think they were anything new...

(All of a sudden, I feel very silly sitting here, trying to explain what Jason meant by his post. Enough.)

Get over it folks. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a few bookmarks to trim.
posted by Calebos at 7:27 PM on June 12, 2000


this message is for jason..  these people don't seem to appreciate the exposure you are giving them.  i'll have you know that my blog sucks as much, if not more, than any of the sites you considered for inclusion in that post about weblogs.  personally i'm hurt that you didn't choose me to dis.  you're a big meanie.
posted by jacksaturn at 7:33 PM on June 12, 2000


I was in a writing program with Adam Mars-Jones (now a well-known and respected novelist).

I spent three weeks writing a short story that brought tears to my eyes. In our weekly crit, Adam summed it up this way: "Another failed male bonding story."

Of another of my attempts at literary greatness, Adam said: "Juvenile action told with senile diction."

I'll never forget those criticisms. They made me a much better writer.

:::

Art students critique each others' work. Writers do. Musicians do. It comes with the territory. It can be immensely helpful. If you publish, you must expect that some people will dislike what you do. I've been getting flame mail and bad write-ups for five years. It tells me that someone is paying attention. Sometimes it helps me do better work. Sometimes it is the raving of a disturbed person, and I ignore it.

:::

What Jason did was name names, and that's why all the hurt feelings. If he'd simply said, "a lot of weblogs are boring," who would have argued?

I don't know that the examples he chose were the best examples possible. Nick's blog at digital-web is an afterthought. Digital-web is a magazine for web designers. It publishes useful articles and interviews. It's very well-designed. It has a what's new page, but that's not what the site is about.

Blogger went ahead and made it Blog of the Week anyway. So Nick took a hit from Jason. Probably undeserved. k10k has a news page too, but it will never be Blog of the Week, because the k10k boys don't use Blogger. The point is, the site is not a blog even if it has a news page. Neither is Nick's.

That's a side point anyway.

:::

Here's another:

>Yeah, but after Jason pointed her out, I'll bet she got more hits in a few hours then she did in the last 2 weeks.

Probably not. She probably got about 90 hits.

That's what I got when Jason linked to me.

Three thousand people a day may read kottke.org - maybe more, maybe less. Most who go there, I think, are more interested in his odd little thoughts and what-if statements than in following his links.

Some webloggers may live in a dreamworld where the various weblog ratings systems mean something. I assure you they have nothing to do with actual traffic from human beings. One counts how many webloggers have listed your log on their site. Well, since weblogs are webringish, many of the same sites get listed on many blogs. This doesn't mean they are read by human beings. It doesn't mean the links are actually clicked. Why would I click a blind link, unless the name is incredibly compelling, or I already know the site and therefore consider it convenient to click the link when I find it on another site I already know?

You could show up on 1000 logs and it wouldn't mean you get 1000 hits a day. Nevertheless, your site could appear popular.

Another site rates you by how many other webloggers have said they read you.

What does that mean?

Nothing.

If we're talking about real traffic, very few of us have it.

And that's okay.

This is not mass marketing and we're not selling Pepsi. If a few like-minded people enjoy what you are creating, that is enough. Isn't it?

The vastly overestimated popularity of a few logs, as well as of a few sites that aren't logs (imagine that), has to do with repetitive traffic patterns. I go to the same five sites that are talking the same five sites and I think, "those sites must be really popular. EVERYONE is talking about them."

No, everyone isn't.

:::

I generally do not link to stuff to put it down, particularly when it is an individual expression. But that's me.

"I'm Zeldman, I'm everyone's friend." As someone who disliked me once said in condemnation.

:::

I thought the community versus facts/ female versus male idea was sort of interesting. I have no idea if it's true.

:::

I get hate mail and insane mail and have other humbling experiences, but I volunteered for it when I put my stuff online.



posted by Zeldman at 7:51 PM on June 12, 2000


I've had other sites refer to mine as a "stinking pile of crap". That's negitive. "Refill" is not. Sure, Zipptgirl's feelings were hurt, but let's put this in context.

I learned a long time ago that looking to my website for validation only leads to depression. It's a really good lessen to learn if you want to put your life out there for everyone. It's not inviting some friends to share your thoughts. It's opening your personal diary to the WHOLE WORLD. This is a bad way to get validation.

Something tells me Kottke is more upset by all this than Zippygirl. To me he's the victom here. Can he still speak his mind on his personal website? From kottke.org "about":

"Kottke.org is a personal Web site of Jason Kottke. It's something I do in my spare time"

Have the people who are upset with Kottke ever met him? Have you taken the time to get to know what he's like? Or is it just this one thing he said? Does that matter more than all the rest?

Welcome to the Internet people. Millions of viewers. Most of whom aren't going to give you the validation you crave. This isn't the right venue for that. You might want it to be, but it's never going to happen.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:57 PM on June 12, 2000


Good thoughts Zeldman.

One thing though. I'd suggest your link-through stats from other pages differ than those of a lesser-known site. People read sites for many reasons. I read sites like yours and Jason's on a regular basis because they're both examples of design, and because I find both your thoughts and his to be interesting, usually well-thought, and often similar to my own. Therefore, if I see a link from either of you to the other (along with many of the other blogs I read daily) I won't click-through, because I'll either already have been there, or be going there shortly.

I realize hits are a pretty paltry means of measuring quality or popularity, but they are a measurement.

And as an even greater aside, I'm mildly peeved with myself for forgetting webrings in my nowhere near complete listing of online community forms.
posted by cCranium at 8:03 PM on June 12, 2000


Well, first off let me confess that I had no idea who in the name of Woden the One-Eyed Jason Kottke was until I read Tom's post, although I've seen the name around here. And, as always when I read the now incredibly redundant (and keep in mind, I have only been blogging since late April, and I've heard this one twelve times) 'Weblogs are all the same' post, the first thought I had was:

No, we are not. We are not at all.

There are blogs out there that no one seems to read but me, that no one ever mentions, that just absolutely kick ass, and if I wasn't trying to get my Thesis written and post my own deranged thoughts on my own blog (which some people seem to like, and more people seem to find somewhat baffling...I get mail from odd people who seem to think I can help them figure out if their cats have CIA microchips in them from their recent trip to the vet) and meet this cute girl at the library and write letters to friends and write a novel and move into a new apartment and find out if my leukemia is out of remission, I'd dedicate my life to telling everyone every single blog that I think is worth reading. I'd mention them all. I have about half of them on my blog as permanent links, and I will add more as soon as I get to it, but I won't point you all there (as I so crassly did in a letter to Mister Kottke himself upon following the link from Barbelith) because what do you care?

You don't. Nor should you. What I like, you don't have to.

The fact is, sometimes I like blogs which are just quips and links. Harrumph! is a bit like that, but it's breezy and fun and smart and nothing like me. It's the same as a hundred other blogs, and yet it is unique. (It is just one of many possible examples...I really can't list them all.) I go to blogs like this because they don't think like me, they don't worry about being unique or clever or anything...they're honest and interesting pictures into the minds of people I have nothing in common with.

They teach me what people are really like.

I'm a freak, always have been, always will be. No one here is interested in the sad story of my childhood and young adulthood, least of all me. But to people like me, to whom normal happy people might as well be from Mars, blogs like Zippyblog are oases of concepts that honestly would never occur to me. Do they challenge the status quo, shatter my preconceptions, force me to think? Not especially.

Sometimes, that's what I'm looking for.

Jason has a point, and we all know he does. He didn't say anything remotely to hurt anyone, and we mostly know that too. Any hurt was probably due to the fact that, as Jen of Zippyblog admitted, she linked to him hoping he would notice her and when he did, it didn't seem especially friendly. In a way, it's like looking up to someone only to have them ignore you, and while Jason can't be held responsible for that, we can't really blame Jen for being hurt.

It's all quite comprehensible, and none of us need take sides. Jason was just saying something he felt he'd observed in a rational and more or less neutral statement. Jen reacted as anyone well might when they are disappointed in being singled out in a context that could be taken as negative.

That's really all I have to say about this. Honi soit qui mal y pense and all that. I'm sure this time that no evil was intended, and therefore will think none. Although I do have to apologize publicly to Jason for my email...it wasn't especially negative, but it was presumptuous of me to assume that he'd be interested.
posted by Ezrael at 8:18 PM on June 12, 2000


You're all working out your childhood issues, that's what I think. If you stop and think about it, what Kottke is really saying is show me some cool shit. That's what I did, I sent him an email with a site I've been reading lately that is truly different from anything I've seen before. Unlike Zeldman I did click on the links, and thanks for not opening separate windows, a practice I don't like at all, and thought he was right. They are clubbish and silly. And don't make the mistake of blaming Kottke because someone whined about him not loving them enough. That's not his fault. They chose to have an emotional release. Good for them! But he didn't cause it. Many opportunities to learn here. Happy to help! Have a nice day, namaste y'all.
posted by davewiner at 8:39 PM on June 12, 2000


Blogs are all the same in the same fashion that all web sites are the same. There is a certain formula to it, and in Doctor Kottke's mind, it is very formulaic right now. To me, it's kind of like saying, "All paintings start with a canvas. The canvas is pretty boring - no one's trying anything really different."

If I were in the shoes of the bloggers mentioned, I would take it initally as personal but then realize it's more critical and not a personal jab. In fact when I read the statement, it was kind of soul-stirring; I wanted to improve the idea of the weblog (I sure as hell am not doing that with my current one. :) I might've fired off an email to Jason, and then wished I hadn't, and spent time blogging about it, and then spent time trying to improve the site.

But I can totally understand how it can be taken personally. I came from the world of online journaling, which I did for about a year and a half. While I'm no seasoned veteran, there is a certain line you have to come to - the one that separates the personal and the professional criticism. Lots of people automatically think that because you post (allegedly) personal thoughts online, they can feel free to comment on them. Perhaps they can, perhaps they can't, but it's up to the author to decide that and act upon it.

I read about five blogs or so on a daily basis and there is a good degree of overlap - but I don't know how I would get around that, so I'll keep my mouth shut on it.

And finally, all I know is that I was thrilled when one of my personal projects got linked to on Zannah's blog.

posted by hijinx at 8:46 PM on June 12, 2000


I say we skip this whole Kottke thing and just kick Dave's ass.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 8:55 PM on June 12, 2000


You got the rope? I got the tree!
Mob mentality is a go!
posted by Ezrael at 8:57 PM on June 12, 2000


I'm not even sure of what the hell I'm talking about...say, does anyone else wonder if we can get this thread out to a thousand entries?
posted by Ezrael at 8:58 PM on June 12, 2000


I say we skip this whole Kottke thing and just kick Dave's ass.

Excellent!!

posted by davewiner at 9:04 PM on June 12, 2000


Well now we know what dave is into.
All together now...
eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww!
posted by Neale at 9:11 PM on June 12, 2000


It's amazing how a little remark can stir the embers.

Great points Ezrael. Web sites are for communication. Good or bad, we all throw our hats in the ring. I sometimes enjoy being wrong when I write. It's a lot easier to grow and learn when people give good criticism, then to go on thinking you are right.

Tact is an interesting consideration when you have no control over your audience. Can we be expected to consider the global impact of everything we put online everyday? Can we be expected consider all the possible interpretations of what we write also?

It sounds like a some people want to set the bar pretty high.
posted by john at 9:14 PM on June 12, 2000


>I sent him an email with a site I've been reading lately
>that is truly different from anything I've seen before.

And...?
posted by grumblebee at 9:16 PM on June 12, 2000


I was going to add something, but for my money you should just read this one again cause that says everything I felt was important to say in an eloquent fashion.
posted by jbushnell at 9:45 PM on June 12, 2000


I am not my web page. And neither are you. Or you. Or any of us. Sticks and stones...etc. Shall we all move on?
posted by bradlands at 9:46 PM on June 12, 2000


"If we're talking about real traffic, very few of us have it."
- The Z-Man -

Well dammit, I'm never gonna become "Father of the Planet" at this rate... Hey Jason, my site really sucks, bro! Can I get a plug? :0)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 9:50 PM on June 12, 2000


Seriously... why must all these bloggers be so damn sensitive??? Instead of an attack, why not see it as "someone pointing out room for improvement?" It started when Wondergurl was annoyed at Powazek and Mark from Riothero, but then could take it when people had something to say about her?

Kottke is simply saying he wants to see something radically different... constructive criticism. Not directly at Zippy-whathername...just weblogs in general.

Unless everyone here feels that they've reached their full potential...and can grow no further...I know I haven't...

Criticize me. I thrive on negativity!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 10:08 PM on June 12, 2000


It's true, Eric's site does suck. Let's all criticize it on our blogs. Why should Jason have all the fun? :)

I just know someone's going to read this and think I mean it, I just know it. But alia jacta est, right?
posted by Ezrael at 10:10 PM on June 12, 2000


By the way, Eric wrote an effective angry letter to his dad, and it's on his soapbox. While I actually knew my dad, I can't say I'm glad of it, and I like this letter a lot.

However, the rest of the site still sucks. Remember to get to work on criticizing it on your blogs, everyone. :)
posted by Ezrael at 10:12 PM on June 12, 2000


Hello, everyone. In an attempt to clarify what I meant to relate to my readers with yesterday's post, I posted some further thoughts on my site. They will have to do, because I just don't have time to respond point-by-point to all the comments here and elsewhere (having spent two+ hours concocting that post and writing related email).

posted by jkottke at 10:28 PM on June 12, 2000


While nobody will read this because it's 40-some posts down, I will say "wow". Now I don't read Blogs. I don't even have one myself. I really only read Metafilter and Kottke.org (and that's just cuz I know Jason personally). But after all this bickering, I must say I'm glad I'm not a big part of this "community". Everyone shouting back and forth over one person's opinion. Obviously that's a testament to how much people care about Jason, because if you didn't, you all wouldn't be acting this way, but still. I think most of us here are adults, can we act like one please?

Jason wrote an opinion. I hadn't been to any of the sites mentioned on Kottke.org before, but knowing Jason, he was just trying to find examples to illustrate his point, not to dis anyone. I've never known Jason as a mean or opinionated person. Passionate yes, insensitive, no way. Perhaps I'm just biased though, who knows.
posted by vitaflo at 10:33 PM on June 12, 2000


Waaaaah.... Brother Ezrael's picking on me again!!!!...

And whatever you do...Don't click this link!!! ....all thousand of you!!!!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 10:35 PM on June 12, 2000


Dammit... that was supposed to conceal the URL... I've botched it up and ruined the page. Sorry...seriously...

I'm gonna ease out the back door now... sorry.
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 10:37 PM on June 12, 2000


A lot of people name their weblog file "blogger.html".
Isn't that a bit like naming your child "Uterus?"


HAHHAHHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH! Oh, shit. The worst part is, I have named my child Uterus! Man, I almost wet my pants reading that. I guess I'm just damn lazy. Actually, for a lot of us, I think that's the default option blogger gives you, and I have a hard enough time getting dressed in the morning to devote any thought to it, lemur that I am.

And vitaflo: For the most part, I think the discussion here has been reasonably, well...reasonable. It's apparently due to Jason's power in this incestuous community that so much traffic has been generated, and when so many of we intelligencia (I still can't get over that) get on a subject, we tend to go all over the map. Trust me, as I'm sure you know, this could have been a lot worse.

Also, Eric has all sorts of evil on his page we good folk should ignore, like this. Trust me, you should avoid him. He's the devil's Rock Lobster.

I won't become the thing I hate
I won't become...noooooooo!

Stabbing Westward, The Thing I Hate

At this point, I think I've gone mad. I need sleep, food, and possibly to go away and stop trying to extend the thread so that it topples all previous records.
posted by Ezrael at 11:06 PM on June 12, 2000


LOL! That was funny! Thanks for the laugh! ;-)

Hey, we all know no one will read the posts this far down so let's have our own little Metafilter party! YEAH!


posted by FAB4GIRL at 11:07 PM on June 12, 2000


Actually - I don't want to spoil the party but I'll go. I can't keep my eyes open. Dream time for me. I'm tired.


posted by FAB4GIRL at 11:09 PM on June 12, 2000


Noooo.... don't go yet Fab4Girl. Kottke surprised us all with a case of "Dr. Pepper"!!! And I just picked up some Kahlua!

Dude...*please* tell me you didn't name a kid "uterus"??? I'm not even *that* cruel??!!?
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 11:35 PM on June 12, 2000


WA WA WA WA WHOOOO!!! BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!! WA WA WHOOOOO!!
posted by EngineBeak at 11:49 PM on June 12, 2000


Well, I meant that my blog was 'blogger.html' not that I actually have a child. Sorry. It was late and I was sleepy. Still am, actually.

By the way, apropos of nothing, Rush Limbaugh was 4F due to a pilnoidal cyst, not a trick knee. Keep that in mind. The man lies constantly.
posted by Ezrael at 4:37 AM on June 13, 2000


While I don't want to discount what's been said about gender differences in blogging/writing (something about which there is *oodles* of scholarship, much of it good), I think he has made a pretty good technical/design point: everyone is slapping the standard tags inside a three-cell table with links to pretty much the same blogs on one side. And perhaps the self-referentiality is an unhealthy symptom of something too.

I really liked what Zeldman et al. said about blogging for validation. Makes me want to tear down or at least reimagine blogging.
posted by mecran01 at 6:52 AM on June 13, 2000


The world has too many positive people in it. This contributes to the growing problem of championing mediocrity.
posted by rich at 6:55 AM on June 13, 2000


I'd just like to say that, as an emotional girl, I totally agree with Kottke's statements. I'm not one of the "weblog elite," but I still read quite a few each day. I anxiously click on new sites to see if they can satisfy my need for something more substantial and, sadly, they're basically linking back to the place I came from and talking about something I just read. Just because your page is "personal" to you doesn't mean it's PERSONAL. For Christ's sake! Some guy in Finland keeps telling me how fabulous my site is. I don't know how they hell he or anyone else found it, but the point is that once you post something, it's fair game. You wouldn't have put it up there otherwise. So, to Jason, my site isn't original either. I'd love to have the hits. Would you consider linking to me? It might encourage me to push the envelope if I knew other people were watching.
posted by Julia2100 at 6:55 AM on June 13, 2000


>But after all this bickering, I must say I'm glad I'm not
>a big part of this "community". Everyone shouting back
>and forth over one person's opinion.

I don't really feel like I'm part of the blogging community either (I don't have a blog, for one thing), but I don't think people are acting strangely. They are acting like typical members of just about any human community or group. When you're on the outside, it seems like everyone on the inside gets worked up over trivialities. But from the inside, one person's comment can make a huge difference and can sometimes rattle everybody. I've never know a social group in which this wasn't the case.
posted by grumblebee at 7:13 AM on June 13, 2000


>While I don't want to discount what's been said about
>gender differences in blogging/writing (something
>about which there is *oodles* of scholarship, much of
>it good)...

The best resourch I know is ---> this
posted by grumblebee at 7:18 AM on June 13, 2000


Ass-kissing, back-pedaling, and browbeating, oh my! Human inventiveness never ceases to amaze me. Many of us are still too immature to negotiate old haunts and playground taunts, but that doesn't stop us from seeking new hurts in non-spatial environs. We use technology to inflate our fragile dirigible egos, set them adrift. We take exception to the actions of people whom we'll probably never meet, and who don't really impact upon our personal lives. That's progress.

Later, once the blush has faded, we try to frame it all as intellectual foment, as "discussion." Play it cool. But there's no denying that cold words made the blood run hot. And that's pretty synthetic. Maybe looping laughtracks should be embedded into all personal commentary sites.

Or maybe we should just deal with our insecurities, rather than dealing them out at the speed of light.
posted by highindustrial at 8:04 AM on June 13, 2000


"Or maybe we should just deal with our insecurities, rather than dealing them out at the speed of light."

Well, said dude...

You know, it's funny how everyone keeps bringing up "Junior High" and "High School Popularity Contests". I recently got in touch with my 16 year old self (You know, the kid waaay in the back that the teacher kept saying "Excuse me, it aint that bright in here...mind taking the sunglasses off"?).... I didn't give a crap about cliques, and being in the "in-crowd" back then....now I feel so much better and employ that mentality on the web.

I propose the only logical solution: Me, Uncle Joe, Baylink, Ezrael and y6y6y6 locking Zippygirl in a locker, posting "Kick me" signs on various web celeb's backs, and hanging out in the men's room at the next Web awards show and take turns dunking Kottke, Dave Winer, et al in toilets....

Come on guys, it'll be like the good ol' days....! :0)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 8:44 AM on June 13, 2000


You bunch of friggin' intellectuals. BANKERS! I hate bankers. Insecurities to be dealt with include (but are not limited to):
Lovehandles
Hairstyle
Taste in music
Smalltalk
Clevage LustAnybody got a quarter, I gotta call my therapist...
posted by Jeremy at 9:25 AM on June 13, 2000


i would just like to point out what i think is the most important statement in jason's piece:

"I critique because I love."

and I'd like to add the clause 'and because I think' -- not just take someone's mention of an arbitrary word-count to heart and turn it into a 'trend,' not just follow the crowd because everybody else is doing it so why shouldn't you, etc, etc, I could go on but I won't.

The point is this:
Why do you put yourself out there? What's your point, what's your deal? "I want to express myself" is, I think, almost a cop-out in this sense; it's great to want to express yourself, but what are you going to *say*?
*Who are you?*
-- they're questions that have to be asked, I think, and knowing the answers aids in less hurt reactions to any critique which might crop up, no matter how mild or harsh.
posted by maura at 9:57 AM on June 13, 2000


I thought people were supposed to use these blogs to record and log what they find on the 'Net. I didn't know the objective was to find something that would consistently impress Kottke. I mean good luck there. What's he not already seen on the 'Net? It's the ones most jaded by the 'Net I think who scream the most about how bland it is to watch other people using it.

I mean just cuz Kottke saw the William Burroughs Cut Up Engine years ago and found it passe then, that doesn't mean other people wouldn't find it cool today. Especially if they've never seen it before.

It's all a matter of perspective. Personally I think you all suck, including Kottke and all the ones we accumulatively put up on precarious pedestals, but that's just my opinion. Personally i think I suck too, and most web enthusiasts never value my opinion. And with good reason.

It sucks to be right all the time. *smirk*
posted by ZachsMind at 10:05 AM on June 13, 2000


Blogger is a tool. It is not a purpose in and of itself.

(heh heh.. he said 'tool')

Maura summed it up, I think the best. Jason critiques because he loves. People are out here to express themselves.

But even more to the point of *who are you* is *who are you expressing to*.

If you say you are doing it for yourself, then keep a ournal. If you want to build a web page, run personal server on your machine and keep it off the spiders' path.

The problem with technology is that people will usually use it to its lowest common denominator. I said that one day to Spoonfed over a beer. A week later, an IT professor for my MBA class entertained us with a story about how this Vice President of a credit department for a majo retailer was writing down 10% of a 200 million credit card business a year on the basis of a computer print out.

Auditors came in and asked what the logic was. He said the computer gave him a printout and he wrote down the number it gave him.

They asked him again and he got annoyed. 'I get the printout and I do it.'

They then went to the IT department who replied that it was written in COBOL long ago and would be impossible to decifer.

20 million dollars a year written down based on a COBOL program wrote when the credit card usiness fr the retailer was probably less than a million dollars a year. A VP in the Credit Department no longer knows how to do paydowns himself because the computer does it for him. But he doesn't use the information. He just acts on it. It uses him.

I thought it was a funny story.

As for the "I hate Bankers" comment. I take exception to that. People hate me for way more reasons than just being a banker.

Yes, I just admitted it. I am a banker. But you have to admit, that credit department story was pretty funny.

Who are you expressing yourself to?
posted by rich at 10:24 AM on June 13, 2000


"If you make something public, you should expect criticism."

I've heard this idea (or variations of it) many times, and I agree with it (although I would change the emphasis slightly to read "if you make something public, chances are someone will criticize it, so be prepared.")

But I think it's worth examining this idea. What does it mean to "make something public." By choosing to walk on a public street, am I fair game? Is it ok for people to come up to me and say, "wow! that shirt sure is ugly!"?

Is publishing on the web different from other sorts of public expression--i.e. the clothes you choose to wear? If so, how does it differ?

Also, where does "constructive criticism" cross the line into "abuse"? Does it make any difference whether or not the criticism was asked for? Or is unsolicited advice ok?

Where does one draw the line between one's output and one's self? If you think Keanu Reeves sucks as an actor and you say so publicly, does it make sense for him to take it personally? Or is he failing to understand an important distinction?

Finally, if you feel you have been dissed, what should you do? Should we encourage people to seek revenge, defend themselves, get over it, or suffer in silence?
posted by grumblebee at 10:33 AM on June 13, 2000


grumblebee:

Publishing on the web is very different from other sorts of public expression, because it's an anonymous environment, and people behave differently when they don't have to handle the repercussions of real life.

If I walked up to someone and said "Wow, that's an ugly shirt!" I suffer to potential consequence of physical harm, or worse yet, that person can point out that at least they don't have a mustard stain dribbling down the middle of their chest. (freak lunch accident, honest)

In terms of what someone should do after being dissed, it depends on the forum. If I call you inane and idiotic, you're quite capable of pointing to numerous threads where you've proven yourself otherwise, and (way too many :-) threads where I've in fact proven myself to be the inane and idiotic one.

If I send you an anonymous email saying the same, you can try to email me and argue the point otherwise, or you can just delete my email and move on.

It's stuff that many of us have been through before, and will be again. It happens with famous people of any stripe, and if you ask anyone who's in any way a celebrity (not to mention writers and artists and programmers and anyone else who constantly has their work constantly criticised, which is I imagine most) how they deal with trolls, the vast majority will say they develop a thick skin.
posted by cCranium at 11:07 AM on June 13, 2000


That Chevy Chase movie with Dan Ackroid (spelling?) as a freaky judge 'Nothing but trouble'? You know, Digital Underground plays the humpty hump song and Demi Moore has killer clevage the whole movie? yea, thats what I was refering to. just some random injected insanity to break the tide of over wrought textual spewing that is becoming more and more the norm on a once mellow metafilter...
posted by Jeremy at 11:41 AM on June 13, 2000


No one ever picks on *my* 'log.

That's because it sucks.

Heh.
posted by mikewas at 11:45 AM on June 13, 2000


I'd like to take this moment to advocate eating babies.

Thank you.

Oh yes, and Kottke's points are completely on the money, but the reason you respect his points is because he got "fame" (hah!) from 0sil8 and not because of his blog, in much the same way that Powazek is "enshrined" because of { fray } and not because of his blog.

By your works ye shall be known.
posted by solistrato at 11:53 AM on June 13, 2000


I have a hard time being too sympathetic with people who feel offended that someone has dissed their creative effort. It doesn't matter whether you take photographs or paint on canvas or sculpt steel with a torch or write poetry or fiction or HTML: not everyone is going to like what you do. Some people are going to think it is boring. Some people are going to think your work is stupid, inane, and offensively dull. Some of these people are going to say so in public, and depending on your field, they may even be paid a great deal of money to do so.

You don't have to agree with what they say, and you are free to grudge them every cubic centimeter of air they breathe. But you also need to learn how to deal with the criticism, because that's part of putting your work out in public.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:05 PM on June 13, 2000


Alexander Pope said it better than I could:

"I wish we had the humanity to reflect that even the worst authors might, in their endeavour to please us, deserve something at our hands. We have no cause to quarrel with them but for their obstinacy in persisting to write; and this too may admit of alleviating circumstances."

The point: if you think you have something to offer, you should offer it; but once you've offered it, you have to put up with the opinions of others, because that's the only way you'll ever know if it was worth offering.
posted by holgate at 12:47 PM on June 13, 2000


>If I call you inane and idiotic, you're quite capable of
>pointing to numerous threads where you've proven yourself >otherwise, and (way too many :-) threads where I've in fact >proven myself to be the inane and idiotic one.

It's amazing how often real life resembles "The Oresteia" by Aeschylus. Agamemnon kills his daughtor (to appease the gods), then his wife, Clytemnestra, kills him in revenge. Then her son, Orestes, kills her to avenge his murdered father. Then, from the grave, she sends monsters to torment him. Only the intervention of the gods stops the cycle from going on forever.

To me the most heroic act is making peace with ones detractors. Often, this is impossible for me to do, but I keep trying.

Here's my fantasy:

Post to Metafilter: John Doe's blog sucks and he's ugly.

John Doe's response: Sorry you don't like my weblog. What should do you think I should change?

Original Poster: You should take down that fucking ugly picture of yourself. It gives me the creeps.

John Doe's response: Do you think it would be better with another picture or no picture at all?

Original Poster: anything would be better than looking at you! Even a picture of roadkill.

John Doe: I've looked through my clip art, and I don't have any road kill. Can you email me a pic?
posted by grumblebee at 12:49 PM on June 13, 2000


" Is it ok for people to come up to me and say, "wow! that shirt sure is ugly!"?"

Well, no. It's rude. But it was also an extreme example. Kottke did now say the blogs were ugly.

But if you're wearing your shirt in their face, the might have a right to comment and say, "Seems like everyone is wearing those shirts nowadays."

The other difference is, you don't *have* to read Kottke's words. If someone's in front of me, I definitely have to look at their shirt.
posted by zannah at 1:07 PM on June 13, 2000


So (because you HAVE to look at the shirt but only look at Kottke.org by choice) you feel that it's acceptable to chastise the wearer of the shirt? Or did I misunderstand?
posted by grumblebee at 1:13 PM on June 13, 2000


Oh, no. I still think it's rude. But I'm saying that there is a difference. I don't really feel that Kottke was saying their pages were boring. Just that they were similar.

On the whole, though, I realise that some people are just, by nature, rude. And there's not a lot I can do about that except ignore it. I don't really think Kottke is, but that's probably because I've gotten far worse both on other people's web sites and in email. (Trust me, saying that a weblog is like a Dr. Pepper refill is nothing compared to someone saying that you're a disgrace to web design and the web and writing and that you should kill yourself or at least take your pages offline before someone kills themselves as a result of looking at them).

So. My response is slightly biased because of that.
posted by zannah at 1:26 PM on June 13, 2000


Sweet Jesus on the Cross, ENOUGH already.
posted by Zeldman at 1:38 PM on June 13, 2000


did we ever pick an ocean?
posted by Sapphireblue at 1:41 PM on June 13, 2000


Anybody else here wondering how long this thread would have actually been if this involved someone other than a "Web Celeb"?

I can see it now:
Baylink: EricBrooksDotCom dissed Zippygirl!
y6y6y6: What else is new, he's an asshole!
Grumblebee: Yep
Fab4Girl: What a moron!
CrazyUncleJoe: Are we still on for kicking Dave Winer's ass?
Ezrael: Sure, why not.
Frayed: Who's Eric Brooks?
-----End of Thread------

posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 1:49 PM on June 13, 2000


Well...I've taken this as far as I can.....
See you all at "Blog Nicely IV"? :0)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 1:56 PM on June 13, 2000


Who am I expressing myself to?

The managing general partner of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Why do you ask?
posted by baylink at 2:27 PM on June 13, 2000


Well, while I've said all I'm gonna about Jason and Jen (Remember, kids, Eric still sucks and we should mock him mercilessly on our blogs...I'm currently writing an epic poem entitled Fair wanderer, wither goes thou art? about it...here's a sample:

For ragged is the animation
And dark bile seeming your vocation
Your bitter gall flows from your heart,
While I admire a burning passion,
Envy your skills in my own fashion,
A question my brain does feel smart
With a need for you to boldy answer
On a web growing like metastatized cancer
I ask, 'Wither goes your art?'
)

It will be part of the 'Eric Brooksiad' and you'll all be expected to help me out by coming up with more rhymes, because it always makes me poor noodle ache to do it.)
I think it's true that this thread would have stopped a long time ago if it were someone else involved. However, since I'm dedicated to keeping this thread going by any means necessary, I've decided on something. If we can beat the current record for posts on a thread before this topic slides into the archives, I will eat something gross, and I'll leave it up to y'all to decide what. It must be non-toxic and organic, but otherwise, the sky's the limit.
posted by Ezrael at 2:34 PM on June 13, 2000


Anyone else thinking of Pink Flamingos?
posted by wiremommy at 2:48 PM on June 13, 2000


"If we can beat the current record for posts on a thread before this topic slides into the archives, I will eat something gross, and I'll leave it up to y'all to decide what. "

Aw hell... dude, how can I resist watching something like that?

Let me contribute:

Matthew Rossi from Nantucket...

Oh wait... kids might be here. Dammit where's the "Delete" button??!!?? Aw jeez!!! Don't send...don't send!!!!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 3:08 PM on June 13, 2000


Okay, I see I need a caveat: Nothing attached to anything that's still alive. Eric, you have a dirty, dirty mind. Excellent. (Cue maniacal laughter.)
posted by Ezrael at 3:45 PM on June 13, 2000


Oh for gods sake.

Grow the f*ck up, the lot of you.
It's only a personal website.

Get on with your lives people!!!!

Are comments coming from Jason Kottke *really* that important? He's a just a person on the web, just another voice among the din. So is Jeffrey Z, so is Derek P, and all the other well known webpeople. Why do people flip out so much just because they state an opinion on something?

If they said
posted by tomcosgrave at 4:49 PM on June 13, 2000


Sorry, the submit button by accident...

To continue - if they said something about the web that actually meant something (say, webstandards) then no one could care - but because it's your ego he gets to, you get all in a huff.
It's pretty lame to see that the comments of maybe three people have that much of an effect. As I said already - that's all they are people. Not gods, not in political power, nothing. Why care so much?
posted by tomcosgrave at 4:53 PM on June 13, 2000


Jeffrey, you did it wrong the proper Zeldman Ex Machina would be handled thusly:
[AS PERIACTOI ROTATE TO DISPLAY IMAGERY OF THE RENDING OF HEAVEN, ENTER JZ VIA MECHANE - UC SKENE TO THEOLOGION]
JZ [booming]: "Your Hubris has dipleased the Web Gods!"

[THE METAFILTER CHORUS CHANTS "HUBRIS! HUBRIS!" AS THEY BEAR JASON OFF THE STAGE]

JZ [turning to the Theatron]: "You also have displeased us, with your wailing and gnashing of teeth! Sacrifice your daughters tonight at the Grotto of Pan or watch your crops wither."

[JZ'S CHARIOT-CRANE CARRIES HIM AWAY AS EKECLEMA ROLLS TO THE CENTER OF THE ORCHESTRA. A DRAPE IS TORN AWAY TO SHOW THE BLOODY CORPSE OF DAVE WINER]

CHORUS: "Whaaaa??"

[THE SUN SINKS BELOW THE HORIZON AS THE THEATAI FILE OUT]
See, that wasn't so hard, was it? As for me, I'd just like to throw in an enthusiastic "SHOW US YOUR THYMELE!"


posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 5:14 PM on June 13, 2000


Hee hee hee....
What's a "hubris"?

Tom... you left out Lance Arthur... and Heather Champ, and Meg, and Glenn Davis and....

Oh man! I hear more chariots coming...TAKE COVER!!!!!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 5:39 PM on June 13, 2000


"and all the other well known webpeople"

No I didn't.
Anyway, my point still stands, IMHO.

Please, this horse is dead. Pray, let us move on.
posted by tomcosgrave at 5:56 PM on June 13, 2000


I think it is intolerable that this discussion is being dominated, nay perpetuated by a select few members of the metafilter community. Just because you have more time to spend writing posts doesn't mean you shouldn't let other people have their say too! This is exactly what's wrong with the web these days: all these elitists who treat the web like their own private party and don't give a shit about what other people say.....The web is about community, man!
posted by cardboard at 6:08 PM on June 13, 2000


Uh... dude, who are you talking about? A few of us are clowning around here... but I'd never stop anyone from speaking their mind....

If you feel there's more to add, or want to bring up another subject (which I suspect has been brewing here for quite some time)...I say "Go for it, bro!" :0)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 6:40 PM on June 13, 2000


I've never seen a thread with over 100 entries, so i'm here to do my part. GO GO GO!
posted by thirteen at 6:43 PM on June 13, 2000


> y6y6y6: What else is new, he's an asshole!

Dude. Please listen: I don't think you are an asshole. I think your site is ugly. Big difference. You seem like a nice person actually. Please concentrate.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:03 PM on June 13, 2000


Current thread length: Approximately 3.75 Bens.
Last relevent, adult or even cogent point: Roughly 2.5 Bens ago.
posted by bradlands at 7:04 PM on June 13, 2000


Last incorrect spelling of the word 'relevant': 3.743 Bens ago.
posted by bradlands at 7:07 PM on June 13, 2000


I'll say it again. On Memorial Day, there were six posts on the shoddy treatment of American war veterans. Yet here we have over 100 posts on the earth-shaking topic of whether or not Jason Kottke insulted other people - and if so, whether he meant to insult them.

The original comment on Kottke's site was about a lack of meaning and originality on the web. To counter this, we have over 100 posts, very few of which mean anything at all.

This, too, is a website. This page is permanent. Our idiocy is stored indefinitely on a server, and may be perused by anyone - though I doubt most rational people will keep going once they see what this page is about.

Dave Winer said we were working out childhood issues. From the looks of this thread, Dave overestimated us. We're not working out childhood issues, we're still children. And not in the "loving beings filled with light" sense of the word.
posted by Zeldman at 7:17 PM on June 13, 2000


MeFi has officially turned into usenet. Whether for good or evil remains to be seen. As with usenet, I doubt that it's all that important.
posted by elgoose at 7:24 PM on June 13, 2000


Aww...We were just having fun Uncle Jeffrey!

We'll stop now..... :0(
(damn 99 posts...we were soooooo close!)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 7:26 PM on June 13, 2000


Thank you Captain Obvious.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:46 PM on June 13, 2000


Not quite. I've determined that even the parts of Usenet I still like are infected with the "creative insults for karma points with the regulars" syndrome.
posted by dhartung at 8:06 PM on June 13, 2000


Jeffrey, I mean, really, Eric and I are just horsing around. There is still room for a little mindless fun, isn't there? Sure, Eric's site is a semiotic nightmare (I mean, he even has a Support your Friends policy! What's next, feeding the hungry and helping the sick?:) but I actually respect the hell out of him and go there often. I mean, sure, this is going to be preserved indefinitely (the fragile nature of electonic media in the event of an EMP makes me doubt forever, but what do I know) but what, honestly, does that matter? Archaeologists in Pompei have found crude sexual graffiti on the walls of the buildings, and were glad to find it.

Sure, we're acting childish, especially Eric and I. It's fun, it's lighthearted, it's genuine, and if this page somehow survives a thousand years, data archaeologists will be damn glad to get it. Each oblique reference we toss in is new information to them, each obscure joke a piece of a puzzle they may never solve.

C'mon. Play with us. You know you wanna. Make fun of my hair. Trust me, it deserves it. What I've seen of your posts in the past makes me assume you are a smart guy with a sense of humor, and I want you on my team. Help me put Eric down hard. He keeps getting back up!

Mad in the wind and free, I dance for ghosts
And know myself a prince, burning in the crimson dawn.
The sky is fire. I know the beauty of feral glee,
Of mindless mirth and obsidian on the edge,
Of lunatics and giggling swains and deranged hosts.
In the valley of the sane the half-mad boy is king.


I forget if I wrote that or an ex-girlfriend of mine did,
but her point is still valid. I love the occassional burst of zany, and this is as good a thread as any, if not more. Certainly you see the discordian merit in so long a thread about so small a topic?

I consider myself to be merely generous to the future.
posted by Ezrael at 8:06 PM on June 13, 2000


Nice troll, Cardboard; Eric? You're so busted, man.

And for those who've left their sense of humor in their other pants... don't click on the damn thread; ok? :-)
posted by baylink at 8:31 PM on June 13, 2000


This rocks. Great thread, guys. I thought the "blog nicely" affair would have done it, but now I'm sure that after this, blog meta-talk will be confined to the eighth ring of hell where it belongs. ;)
posted by Calebos at 8:58 PM on June 13, 2000


"Nasty! Nasty boys don't mean a thing! Oh you NASTY BOYS!" - Janet Jackson

Feel the love
posted by Jeremy at 9:37 PM on June 13, 2000


Uh...Baylink... I'm not cardboard.
I was about to blast him, until I finally understood what he was trying to say.
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 10:04 PM on June 13, 2000


I don't know about you guys... but with the day I had, I really needed to do some cutting up. Sounds like a few of you did too.

There's tons of discussions going on that I think are dumb & pointless on Metafilter... but I don't barge in and ruin everyone's day by posting that. Jeez!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 10:12 PM on June 13, 2000


I'm ill, and when I'm ill I get cranky. Sorry I said anything. I like watching you guys horse around. Your jokes are a relief from everybody else's navelgazing. Including mine.

I do think Metafilter is getting hurt here. Not by anyone in particular. Just seems more "meta" than "filter" lately, and that's not Matt's fault. Collectively we seem to be making a lot of noise. But talking about that won't help.
posted by Zeldman at 10:51 PM on June 13, 2000


I can see it now. We'll start a new thread about this thread, and then a thread about that thread, and eventually the world will implode.

Wow, it's the Glass Bead Game on-line!
posted by Ezrael at 11:00 PM on June 13, 2000


I have to agree with Jeffrey...a fair portion of MetaFilter is becoming "blog filler". Matt has been thoughtful enough to set up a general weblog topic on MetaTalk. May I suggest that we move the offices of the Department of Navel Contemplation to there from now on?
posted by bradlands at 12:01 AM on June 14, 2000


"I'm ill, and when I'm ill I get cranky. Sorry I said anything. "

Dude... you gotta see a doctor. seriously. You've been run down for a while. Just worried about ya.

Whose navel are we staring at anyway?
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 1:05 AM on June 14, 2000


After some consideration I've moved my comments to MetaTalk.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:49 AM on June 14, 2000


I don't know whose *navel* we're staring at, Eric, but if you ask about *other* parts of the anatomy...
posted by baylink at 6:22 AM on June 14, 2000


I hate to see a man lose his cool! Calm down Tom! ;-)
posted by FAB4GIRL at 10:10 AM on June 14, 2000


Hi all... this seriously strayed off-topic-topic (?) Has been moved to MetaTalk for more immature high school-like antics and shenanigans....

Oh, and please let Mr. Cosgrave know that me, y6y6y6 and Ezrael would like to see him in the boy's bathroom?
Thank you ever so much.... :0)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 10:57 AM on June 14, 2000


*sniggers* Can I be the messenger? Please!!!!!!
posted by FAB4GIRL at 11:29 AM on June 14, 2000


Okay..... Jon's rule #26:

I'm not doing ANYTHING in the boy's room with Matthew & Eric. You crazy kids..... I'm NOT gay! Stop thinking that!

And Kottke is not a meanie.
And Zippygirl's site is just fine.

And what the hell is a "sniggers"???
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:35 PM on June 14, 2000


Look up snigger in the dictionary! *shakes head* kids these days.
posted by FAB4GIRL at 1:38 PM on June 14, 2000


I made it to the end and all I can say is "thank god for mylanta!"
posted by jenett at 4:53 PM on June 14, 2000


I would like to state at this time that I am in fact made, entirely of tin.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:41 PM on June 15, 2000


I think the webcam at metacubed says it best.

posted by Zeldman at 3:15 PM on June 15, 2000


*SIGH* How Ironic that the crowd (lovingly referred to at MetaFilter as "the usual culprits") have respectfully moved this discussion to MetaTalk... and all you law-abiding folks are still posting here....

Oh man... it's like a "Web Celebrity Roast" in there! Don't mind the heavy cigarette smoke... Matt hasn't put any vents down there yet....
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 12:00 AM on June 16, 2000


>>Finally, if you feel you have been dissed, what should you do? >>Should we encourage people to seek revenge, defend >>themselves, get over it, or suffer in silence?

Revenge! I have a large collection of voodoo dolls and ancient spells set aside especially for bloggers who dis me. I have voodoo dolls in the shape of all the major bloggers and I am waiting for the day when they will say something nasty about my website so I can thrust pins through their beady little eyes.

There are no posts allowed after this one, this is the last post. I have the last word. The last word is: pasta!

posted by tracy at 12:46 AM on June 17, 2000


I thought Ted's point regarding the phone company was very insightful. Why should we have to put up with this stuff? What ever happened to the 7th ammendment? Do they expect us to eat lard?

Tracy - I like this new rule. So..... pasta!
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:15 PM on June 18, 2000


Er. You kooky kids.

Gaze this:

navel oranges


Thank you, and good night.

FIN (pasta)
posted by jason at 9:17 AM on June 22, 2000


I would like to state at this time that I am in fact made, entirely of pasta.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:59 PM on July 6, 2000


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