The Blogosphere Is Dead And Its Your Fault

Killing ouselves off!

Killing ourselves off!

Warning: ** If you’re easily offended I suggest you click off to another blog this instant because I will offend your delicate sensibilities. This post is about the blogosphere in its entirety and not about any one particular individual or their actions. **

I am sick to death of the blogsphere. It’s weak, it’s spineless and has about as much veracity as a neutered, toothless, three legged Chihuahua.

It’s dying.

I’d love to know what the root cause of the blogospheres apathetic decline into little more than a circle-jerk for various communities is, but I’m betting that from here on in we’re pretty much screwed.

We’ve descended into a mob of self serving, self centered sheeple that act with about as much individuality a a shoal of fish. One of us reacts and we all react, we all panic. We all cling to each other like sprat on the shores of community while the mackerel devour us.

We secretly despise each others success and revel in others failure, all the while acting like we’re all the best of buddies and that everything everybody writes is amazing and smells like roses.

Well it does smell like roses, until you realize it’s the smell of the bullshit you’ve thrown on the roses to fertilize them.

This weekend I’ve been deeply disturbed by the wishy washy, head stuck in the sand, lets avoid reality when it’s spitting down our throats,  nature of a fairly substantial number of my fellow bloggers.

The entire @MyBottlesUp story just sums it all up for me. Here you have a woman who blatantly fabricated a story that a goverment agency took her child from her. Tweeted about it wrote about it, tried to cash in on her “story” and then when faced with undeniable video evidence that it had never happened, accused the TSA of doctoring the video.

No remorse, no guilt, just more accusations.

So the TSA released more video. 9 videos in fact, showing her entire journey through airport security, sometimes from various angles.

The response of some of the people: “The TSA are faking it” or worse (because I can actually understand that there are a lot of wing-nut conspiracy freaks out there donning  their silver foil hats) the response of those who think we should let it be because she’s “not well”. She suffers from anxiety and substance abuse.

She was well enough to make this shit up. She was well enough to write about it. To tweet about lining up publishers. Well enough to try to pretend her site was down and to write a long response refuting the undeniable evidence.

Yet people want to protect her. They want to make excuses. They would much rather we all look like one big idiot community than do what is needed.

Take a stand. Say what she did was wrong and unfollow her. Unfollow her and unsubscribe from her everywhere. If she wants back make her earn it. Make her apologize.

A prime example of this spineless behavior is Blog with Integrity. You may have seen it, it’s a square blue badge which adorns some bloggers sites stating that they have basically signed a pledge to be goodie goodies… It’s noble. Naive, but noble.

@MyBottleUp proudly displays the “blog with integrity” badge on her sidebar. When the people behind the “I’m holier than thou emblem” were asked what their stance was on all the goings on, they responded by scurrying into the corner like mice afraid of their own shadow. They chose to stay out of it because you know, a blogger sporting their badge should never have to be talked to or asked to have it removed when they violate the principles it is supposed to represent.

Over the weekend, a blogger wrote a negative post about her experiences with the TSA during an airport security screening. The TSA refuted her claims in a post that included video of the incident. The inevitable blogstorm ensued.

The blogger displays the Blog with Integrity badge on her blog, and we have been asked in email, in posts and on Twitter about the matter. Some have called for us to ask her to remove the badge. Others merely wonder what we will do.

Here is our position:

Disputes and disagreements are between the parties involved. There are two sides to every story. It’s only fair to let a story play out before anyone makes up their mind.

Blog with Integrity is a voluntary community effort. Not a regulatory body. We don’t make decisions about your integrity. You do. Your readers do. The badge is a symbol of a blogger’s personal commitment to the principles of the pledge; only he or she can decide whether or not to display it.

In this case, we hope that everyone who has blogged, commented or tweeted about the incident will take the opportunity to re-examine his or her own words, and act accordingly.

Remember the final line of the pledge: “I own my words. Even if I occasionally have to eat them.”

Up Yours!

Up Yours!

Bullshit! Your badge either means something or it doesn’t. You are either serious about what it represents or you’re not.

If you’re going to shy away at the first point of contention then why even bother in the first place. Good intentions have never gotten anybody anywhere.

What exactly does the badge stand for if any unscrupulous twat can just slap it on the side of his or her blog and claim they’ve got integrity as if some mighty Monty Python finger descended from the heavens and shoved integrity up their backside?

I’m not one for regulating the blogosphere. But you know what? If it was my badge I would do some of the following in order to make it mean something:

  • Have a registry of sites that are displaying the badge.
  • Use some kind of script to track the distribution of the badge so it is tied to each website and if they violate the pledge turn off the badge.
  • Make community regulation an integral part of the system. After all it’s so much easier to stick to the rules when you have people supporting you and possibly snitching on you if you cheat…
  • Act like I give a shit when stuff like this goes down.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t really want to regulate the blogosphere, in fact I’ve lambasted Tim O’Reilly and others for suggesting such silliness in the past. But that said, if you’re going to try to do it, dear “Blog with Integrity” people, then for feck sake at least do it right!

I’m truly sick of todays blogosphere, where the ultra polite and light on brainwave activity have massive zombie hordes follower numbers while those who dare to express an actual opinion are ostracized to the edges of mediocrity. I honestly believe that John C Dovark is the only person to have crossed that divide, but that still plays out as a poor reflection on that esteemed section of the blogging community that act like everything is one great big group hug with Barney the purple pedophile.

Heaven forbid that someone be different. That someone suggest we don’t all have to brown nose each other all the time.

When the hell is the blogosphere going to finally grow up and stop moaning about what it doesn’t have, what bloggers believe (naively) they are entitled to and act like adults.

Adults can have opinions. We don’t have to go along with the crowd. We can do something different and be part of the community.We don’t have to think that every god damn post by every idiot we just happen to know is praiseworthy to the point of gushing…

We can call a spade a spade. We can call people out for what they’ve done wrong and praise them for what they’ve achieved. We can regulate ourselves without a laid out set of rules or crappy badges in our sidebars. I mean seriously who besides those that display them know what they’re for anyway?

All we have to do is accept that we are adults and that we have a community to protect and build if we ever want to get taken seriously.

Treat the community as a plant with each one of us acting as a gardener. I know that sounds daft but stick with me.

If a bit is rotten, does wrong, then don’t just ignore it. Cut it off. Each of us, one at a time. If that part heals, grows strong again, then let it back in for another chance.

If we all act like little gardeners and follow our own individual moral compass and just decide to unsubscribe, unfollow and not visit the blogs of people who we feel are not in the best interest of the community we will eventually find a natural middle ground where everyone is comfortable.

Yes the community will split. Probably into a number of parts. The marketers and spammers will find themselves marketing and spamming each other. The trolls will have nobody to play with etc… But the core will remain and just like cutting the dead branches off a tree in order to save it, the community will begin to grow and flourish again.

If we can just drop this, everybody be nice to everybody about everything no matter what attitude, the blogosphere will be a far better place and may actually start to earn some respect.

We need to drop the “He’s local so I’ll follow his blog or on twitter even though he’s a dick” bullshit. The same within communities such as mommybloggers. You can’t protect the idiots from themselves so let them go, let them die off.

Darwin called it natural selection. Survival of the fittest. The weak, infirm and just plain stupid die off so as not to pollute the gene pool and damage the entire species.

We’ve been protecting and making excuses for far too long. They’re like a cancer and our acceptance and encouragement is only weakening the entire body and eating us up from the inside while we trot around like idiots with our rose tinted glassed on pretending that everything is fine.

Very soon the only bloggers remaining will be barely capable of thought in more the 140 character bursts and only capable of that if they are participating in a community reach around scheme.

Culling the herd is a common practice to stop the spread of disease so that all the animals aren’t lost. If we don’t cull some of our herds, and soon, there won’t be any blogosphere left worth protecting.