Andreessen on blogging

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Fri, 7 Mar 2003 01:06:32 +0100 (CET)


On Thu, 6 Mar 2003, Mike Masnick wrote:

> First off, I blog for a living, so maybe my comments should be 
> discounted.  My day job *is* blogging, so I can't necessarily speak 
> accurately for those who blog outside of work.

If you manage to get paid for it, I have no issues at all left, and in
fact intensely hope your current enviable -- very enviable -- state is
sustainable. May your karma grow strong to make spacetime curve around
itself, and your sire as many offspring as Genghis Khan did, and may your 
cat never lose hair.
 
> This is the complaint I hear most often about blogs and the one that makes 
> the least sense to me.  What do you care why other people blog?  If it's 

I don't. I'm not reading them, so why should I?

> important to them, then it's important.  If it's not important to you, then 
> don't read them.  Done deal.  Life is good.  Everyone is happy.

Right, so don't biotch about blogs downhere, and the lamb will lie down 
the the lion, and all and sundry things will be good, verily.

> Who needs an ulterior motive?  People (oh my goodness!) are all different 

Me here.

> and have different reasons for anything they do.  Some blog for fun.  Some 

My point being: people are absolutely not all different, and have diffent 
threads to yank them by. The classes are few, and I'm curious to the self 
image or the bloggers.

> do it to remember stuff.  Some do it to be popular (c'mon, everyone's doing 
> it...).  Some people do it for work.

Nice line of work you've got there. I sure hope it's sustainable.

> I don't deny that most blogs out there hold no interest for me 
> whatsoever.  But, that doesn't mean the format and the concept are useless.

Absolutely not. But what is the probability of a user encountering 
content? Search engine, easy. Active polling? Does this really happen? 
Really, really? How many polling points can an average uninstrumented 
users secure in her memory?

> Blogs are simply a new medium for conversation - and they're useful for 
> certain types of conversations.  Just because you don't grasp that doesn't 
> mean they're no good.

I'm not saying blogs are crappy-poo, generically. I'm interested in why
you think they're not. "Just because you don't grasp that" doesn't quite
cut the N-lost.
 
> >Blogs are pull, I can't even manage to wade through my push.
> 
> And, thus, everyone should stop blogging?  Because you don't have enough 
> time to read them all?

There are about 5-7 items you can hold in your short-term memory. I wonder
what the average's blogger's attention span is, but I don't think it's
very exceptional to make her compulsary blog 300 sites daily, out of her
memory. So I wonder what the average length of the polling list is. 

Mine is zero. How long is yours?
 
> Interestingly, though, plenty of people are working on ways to make blogs 
> more "push" mechanisms.  That is, for those who find them useful as such.

Which indicates that maybe blogs are b0rken. This list is both push and 
pull, and we're still barely managing. (Speaking for myself solely, kudos 
if you do actually camp out here).
 
> Maybe God reads all the damn fork messages that are going back and forth 
> each day, because (clearly) no human could.  What does this have to do with 

If I can read FoRK, I can read about 0.237 of a blog. Given that I read
tens to hundreds of mailing lists daily, blogs suck dead farts out of dead
pigeons, to put it politely, at least as far as efficiency is concerned.

> anything we're discussing here?  The point isn't to read all blogs - or 
> even to read any blogs.  It's just a tool that some people find useful.

Some people sometimes breathe mixtures of gases.

> Looking at the vast collection of people who do blog, and who do *do*, I'd 
> have to say empirically you don't have much to stand on.  Make an extreme 
> statement and it only takes a single example to throw you off.

Your logic-circuit has suffered a melt-down, but it's okay. You can put it 
in your blog. People will care. Really.
 
> In the end... just like any technology, the blog is a tool.  It's useful 
> for some, not useful for others.  And like any tool, people will misuse it 
> to their own liking.  Tossing out the whole concept because some people use 
> blogs in ways that you don't find interesting shows a lack of creativity on 
> your part - not on those of the bloggers.

I think there is very good content put out by the bloggers, by very virtue 
of their pig-headedness. I'm just wondering what -- apart from search 
engines -- make them magnetize the eyeballs.