Friday, November 4, 2011

Bloggers: No One Cares

There are two types of bloggers (there are two types of everything, depending on who is doing the classification, but just humor me):

1) Those who write to share their ideas, to foster legitimate discussion and encourage critical feedback

2) Assholes who want a captive audience that agrees with them, lest they delete negative comments

I am firmly in the first camp, even though I'm also an asshole. When I write stuff, I like to think whoever reads it gets some use out of it. If they think it sucks, I'd like them to say so in ye olde comments section of that particular post. Except for deleting spam, I'd never moderate anything. Idiots are easy enough to spot, and sometimes negative criticisms are accurate.

Some people, however, are completely incapable of dealing with criticism. When I read their blogs, it's obvious they have an axe to grind, and want nothing contrary said about their stupid opinions. And stupid opinions they are. Pretentious, stupid comments made as a matter-of-fact, shrouded in some sort of superior ability to discern the chaff from excellence. Nine times out of ten, they make disparaging, no, outright scurrilous, remarks about things, and nearly always their opinion differs from the masses. I think the common term for this is now "douchebag hipster", people who dislike what's popular simply because it's popular. I'm not an expert on aesthetics, having only had a couple graduate classes on the subject, but I am a dedicated student of classical philosophy and understand that many times things are appealing to a large group because they are objectively appealing. At least in whatever sense objectivity can be used to describe pleasing things.

For example, football is an extremely popular American sport (gridiron football for anyone dumb enough to think I'm talking about soccer). In fact, it is the most popular sport in the US and regularly leads television ratings in every single category. Game Seven of the World Series beat Sunday Night Football this year, but not by much. Anyway, football is watched by millions of people. Some of the Type-2 bloggers listed above, well, they hate football. They'll make posts about how much football sucks, how they think it's a stupid game, how dumb people must be for watching it. I'm never one to say anyone has to like watching football (you're missing out!), but the notion that hundreds of millions of people are idiots because they enjoy a game the blogger in question finds boring...that's just pretentious bullshit.

The comments thing, even worse. Post a comment that disputes their post, deleted! Or attacked then deleted. Why even have a fucking blog? Oh yeah, I almost forgot: to post crap for people to read and agree with. If you want to post useful information, why does it have to be laced with pseudo-tirades and come with some sort of condition, refraining from criticism? I get it, you're putting this shit out there for free, but look: if you put it on a blog, it is now open to public debate. If you don't like that, post it to a private blog or message board no one can see. I really don't understand the issue here, but yes I do...Type-2s are narcissistic. That's the only thing that makes any sense.

But really, to everyone blogging (especially me), the real conclusion is that NO ONE CARES. No one in the meaningful sense of the phrase. So what, a thousand people read your shit. That's statistically insignificant. Frank Mentzer told me the Red Box sold twelve million copies. Twelve fucking million. Most well-known authors don't sell that many books in toto in their lifetimes, much less one title. When he says shit, people do care because he's relevant. But bloggers...unless you're cranking out rpg titles with the same quality as the Red Box and selling millions, no one cares. No one gives a fuck, sorry. Pretending you only produce quality stuff that should be accepted and cherished, devoid of critique, that's why you're insignificant. Being criticized is the only way you will ever get better. And none of you are any good, obviously, or you'd leave the basement, cranking out blog posts, and start publishing legitimately. With a few exceptions. To all the guys who have actually published stuff and have sold it for dollars, well, kudos good sirs. At least you have the balls to put your work out there and have it deconstructed and analyzed in the most meaningful way possible. If anyone spends a buck on your product, you have succeeded. Say what you want about James Raggi (for instance), but when I read his blog I get the sense that he sincerely cares that people like his stuff. He seems to take criticism seriously and tries to improve. That's probably why he's making money off this hobby.

To reiterate: no one cares. If you want someone to care then start listening to the negativity. Take it seriously and try to improve your work. Or don't and be a pretentious dick who thinks everyone else is an idiot. Friends? Who needs 'em.

25 comments:

  1. I feel like I missed something somewhere in the blogosphere, but maybe this is just a culmination of things. (My major complaint about football right now is that my fantasy team is sucking ass.)

    I have deleted exactly one non-spam comment in the entire time I have been blogging--and I felt a little dirty for doing so.

    Being able to at least hear criticism--and of course there is a difference in whether it is offered in good or bad faith--you are right is one of the most important steps in having your work become serious.

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  2. What would be an example of the type II? I mean I hear people complain about their comments getting deleted or not approved on various places, but I can't tell how valid the complaints are.

    One guy thought I was 'banning' him because I did not approve his comment within an hour of his posting it (I was at work and didn't check my blog). I don't delete comments that disagree with me but I have deleted a few non-spam comments that were out of line with anytihng i'd want associate with my name on Google!

    Then there are vendettas, like Tao of DnD vs. [80% of his readers as far as I can tell]. I guess that could narcissism.

    C'mon, name names! :) Who we talking about?

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  3. As Chris stated, it's more a culmination of things, not specific circumstances that prompted this post. I suppose my major beef is simply that if you don't want to be criticized, don't use the fucking internet.

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  4. I have deleted two comments in the year long history of my blog - both because the person was not participating in discourse, but running an agenda having nothing to do with the post in question.

    I found out later, the poster was associated with YDIS, and was spamming my G+ with more of his nonsense.

    It is an extreme measure, tantamount to NBC warfare, not to be used lightly.

    Narcissism is more and more frequent, and garners a lot of attention.

    @mikemonaco, clearly you don't need names.

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  5. Preach it, man. Preach it. I'm in your choir. Of course we know there's a couple big "offenders" who moderate comments, etc. And I agree: what's the point of having a blog if you can't take some criticism? If you put out vitrol, for instance, expect to get it back! And if you are surprised by that bit of internet karma, then you truly are an idiot, or a sociopath.

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  6. I've been accused of being a type 2, but I don't think I am (but, then who would think that they were (or admit to being) a delusional idiot or a narcissist?). "You can't handle the truth" often seems to be the slightly more strategic alternative to, "You are just like Hitler."

    I've deleted some comments from my own blog, not because they disagreed with me (I have left up other comments from people who disagreed with me, so disagreement alone isn't enough to get me to delete your comment), but because I thought they were being assholes or they were being fundamentally dishonest about WHY they wanted to post a certain comment.

    I am unashamed to admit that if my blog has an 'agenda,' (I'm not sure it does, but bear with me), it should be MY agenda. And I have never insulted football on my blog.

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  7. So when I am carrying on a vendetta against 80% of my readers, whose comments I clearly destroy while laughing maniacally like an asshole about it, I am definitely not (1) because I have no ideas, I foster no legitimate discussion and my blog is 100% devoid of critical feedback.

    Got it.

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  8. Of course we know there's a couple big "offenders" who moderate comments, etc.

    Well I guess I'm one of those. Criticism I like, it makes me examine my own ideas and helps me grow.

    Outright abuse is not welcome, whether aimed at me or other folks who leave comments on my blog. Abusers can fuck off and will have their comments deleted, I said as much in my first ever blog post. I feel absolutely no guilt for this, none at all, but then I'm not an American with an idealised notion of freedom of speech. Rather I'm an Aussie who believes freedom of speech comes with certain responsibilities and one without the other is like a drunk driver. It's fine to get drunk but drunks have no right to drive, as the selfish bastards don't care who they hurt or how much damage they do.

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  9. No AsstroDickvicus, what you are is a hypocrite. You'll do to people on your blog what you decry YDIS (Yourdungeonissuck for those not reading it) for doing. He chooses crude fouler words, you attempt to pretty it up in disclaimers but it is all the same thing. To use your analogy you're the drug user who claims that he's not hurting anyone that he's not a drunk driver meanwhile you've driven over half a dozen people. Clean your own house before you come shit in others.

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  10. What's wrong lardgutspizzledick? Are you sick of me deleting your troll comments on my blog, so now you're going to internet-stalk me on other blogs? Go for it matey, abuse only hurts if you respect the source and you I don't respect - a cowardly troll who oh so bravely spews hate from behind the gutless shield of anonymity. You're either a sock-puppet YDIS account or a YDIS wannabe, either way you're a sad and pathetic excuse for a man.

    Note: This will be my standard response to your attacks outside of my blog from now on.

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  11. Alexis: Whether your vendetta is vs. a couple very vocal readers or 80%, I don't know, but like I said, as far as I can tell, it seems more like 80%. Certainly the only time I see your blog mentioned on other blogs is when people whine about how you deleted their comments or called them stupid for not responding as you desired. I don't read your blog as much I used to, so I couch my comment in, "As far as I can tell." But in any event I was trying to come up with an example of a narcissistic blog. I'm not sure I'd say there is no critical feedback & honest discussion there. For the record there is a bit of narcissism inherent in all blogging, IMO. Maybe the vendetta is waged against you by a bunch of idiots? Or maybe you're a little narcissistic. :)

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  12. Ah, AsstroDick, too medicated to come up with ripostes so you will settle for cut and paste? Unable to delete comments, so you'll settle for the old saved notepad file? You call me a coward? TROLOLOL! I think we all can see how you cannot handle the fire. At least Poag had some steel in his spine although he was just too bizarre. You are simply just a mockery of your own words. Try addressing the issues brought up!

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  13. What's wrong lardgutspizzledick? Are you sick of me deleting your troll comments on my blog, so now you're going to internet-stalk me on other blogs? Go for it matey, abuse only hurts if you respect the source and you I don't respect - a cowardly troll who oh so bravely spews hate from behind the gutless shield of anonymity. You're either a sock-puppet YDIS account or a YDIS wannabe, either way you're a sad and pathetic excuse for a man.

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  14. I wonder if filling up Brad's blog with your same cut/paste falls under your morals and ethics that you rattle on about? Is this how a good citizen of the OhhEssArr acts? TROLOLOLOL!

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  15. What's wrong lardgutspizzledick? Are you sick of me deleting your troll comments on my blog, so now you're going to internet-stalk me on other blogs? Go for it matey, abuse only hurts if you respect the source and you I don't respect - a cowardly troll who oh so bravely spews hate from behind the gutless shield of anonymity. You're either a sock-puppet YDIS account or a YDIS wannabe, either way you're a sad and pathetic excuse for a man.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Rather I'm an Aussie who believes freedom of speech comes with certain responsibilities and one without the other is like a drunk driver. It's fine to get drunk but drunks have no right to drive, as the selfish bastards don't care who they hurt or how much damage they do."

    Those are your words, right, AsstroDick? So then why do you hide behind cut/paste and continue to fill up some other poor blogger's blog with it? Why do you not address the hypocrisy you are now showing. That you will delete on your blog and then abuse other blogger's blogs when you cannot control the situation? Why do you come here with pompous words and then retreat?

    Delete or not, but if you are going to spout about responsibilities how is this behavior responsible?

    Answer is it is not. And you cannot deny it.

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  17. What's wrong lardgutspizzledick? Are you sick of me deleting your troll comments on my blog, so now you're going to internet-stalk me on other blogs? Go for it matey, abuse only hurts if you respect the source and you I don't respect - a cowardly troll who oh so bravely spews hate from behind the gutless shield of anonymity. You're either a sock-puppet YDIS account or a YDIS wannabe, either way you're a sad and pathetic excuse for a man.

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  18. There's nothing wrong, AsstroDick. I'm just amused at you abusing another blokes blog. What's wrong with you? Aside from the mental issues and your inability to answer the questions above. I hope you have an apology to our host Brad for your pollution.

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  19. What's wrong lardgutspizzledick? Are you sick of me deleting your troll comments on my blog, so now you're going to internet-stalk me on other blogs? Go for it matey, abuse only hurts if you respect the source and you I don't respect - a cowardly troll who oh so bravely spews hate from behind the gutless shield of anonymity. You're either a sock-puppet YDIS account or a YDIS wannabe, either way you're a sad and pathetic excuse for a man.

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  20. No, I am not sick of you deleting my comments. I am amused by it. Are you sick of it? Are you sick of hiding behind a copy and paste and not answer the questions?

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  21. What's wrong lardgutspizzledick? Are you sick of me deleting your troll comments on my blog, so now you're going to internet-stalk me on other blogs? Go for it matey, abuse only hurts if you respect the source and you I don't respect - a cowardly troll who oh so bravely spews hate from behind the gutless shield of anonymity. You're either a sock-puppet YDIS account or a YDIS wannabe, either way you're a sad and pathetic excuse for a man.

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  22. This was just an opportunity too good to pass up. I could not care less about you aside from the amusement of watching you perform for me. Dance little monkey dance!

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  23. What's wrong lardgutspizzledick? Are you sick of me deleting your troll comments on my blog, so now you're going to internet-stalk me on other blogs? Go for it matey, abuse only hurts if you respect the source and you I don't respect - a cowardly troll who oh so bravely spews hate from behind the gutless shield of anonymity. You're either a sock-puppet YDIS account or a YDIS wannabe, either way you're a sad and pathetic excuse for a man.

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  24. I'm interested, Brad, in what do you think of all this? Would you like the questions answered?

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