OK, raise your hands: how many of you bloggers out there want a popular blog? Ayup, I know: you beg for Diggs and Sphinns, ask your friends to Stumble your post.. you'd love to be able to brag that you had to move to another host because the traffic was just getting overwhelming..
Do you really want that?
Maybe you do. After all, there are bennies attached: fame, maybe even money.. what's not to like?
Well, there is a dark side, and I see it every time one of my utterings gains a bit of web traction and a few thousand people show up to read it. There's no nice way to say it, so I'll just blurt it out..
Before you get all PC on me, hear me out. Some people are smarter than others. You know that. If you have a hundred friends, a few of them are obviously a lot sharper than the rest of your bunch and a few obviously are not. It doesn't mean they aren't nice people, it doesn't mean you don't like them, it just means that they aren't quite as quick on the uptake as the rest.
They are the ones who sometimes say some pretty dumb things, right? Maybe a little embarrassing sometimes? Yeah, you know what I mean.
So what happens when one of your posts catches fire and a bunch of people you've never seen before coming flying in to read it? Well, obviously some of those people are smarter than others. And some are not.
The dumb ones leave dumb comments.
Wait, I know what you are going to say. Yes, it's true that the smart ones leave smart comments, so it sort of balances off, doesn't it? Well, not for me, no. You see, the crowd who visits and comments here regularly already is smart. Their comments are sharp, enjoyable, sometimes pretty darn funny. I enjoy those people. But when a boatload of new folks stop in and a few of them drop off inane and truly dumb comments, it feels almost like uninvited guests at a party. Who wants these jerks? I don't.
The most recent example was this Linux post. It got picked up by a few of the big Linux sites and the hits came pouring in. Most of the comments were fine.. but a few were.. well, less than intelligent.
It bugs me. It's not the criticism - I don't care about that. It's the repetition of what someone else already said, the careless reading, the foolish misunderstandings.. I just don't suffer fools easily, sorry.
Really. That's all I want. I don't want to be super popular, read by millions. I know some people can handle that: they'd bask in the adulation and ignore the stupidity that comes with it. Not me. It would constantly tick me off and I'd be miserable.
If you are like me (and I know a lot of you are), the old "be careful what you wish for" warning comes to mind. Yes, we all want success, we all want to be popular..
But just a little bit, right? Not so much that the dumb ones find us..
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2011-03-25 Anthony Lawrence