Software, Hardware, Silverware

There’s Always More to Drink

MG Siegler:

Most of what is written about the tech world — both in blog form and old school media form — is bullshit. I won’t try to put some arbitrary label on it like 80%, but it’s a lot. There’s more bullshit than there is 100% pure, legitimate information.

The problem is systemic. Print circulation is dying and pageviews are all that matter in keeping advertisers happy. This means, whether writers like it or not, there’s an underlying drive for both sensationalism and more — more — more.

Read the stories that are published in the tech blogosphere tomorrow. Are most published because the writer put in a lot of work or original thought? No, most are published because more — more — more content leads to more — more — more pageviews.

Ouch. As a new writer trying to make a name for himself in the technology sphere, that stings. I tend to agree with what MG has to say, and while it’s true that a lot of what’s written on the web is bullshit written for pageviews, Siegler is himself sensationalizing. When, in any medium, has there not been way more crap than real quality products? Has that ever happened? The fact is that there are still plenty of writers putting out great content on the web right now. I find new ones every day. Most of them aren’t doing it for free1, and some are even making a living at it. Siegler tries to argue that these exceptions will eventually have to convert the the “more content, more pageviews” approach or perish. Now that’s a headline. Jumping-to-conclusions? Yep. A bit melodramatic? You betcha. Look, so long as there are people like me (and I suspect, MG Siegler) out there eating up rich internet writing, those who create it will stick around. It’s a bit early to be spelling out its doom.

There’s always going to be a bigger market for sensational stories with big headlines and worthless content, but there also will always be a large minority of us who crave real content, and are willing to pay for it. Just ask Shawn Blanc.

  1. Notable exception: myself. ↩︎