A blog post calls another very well known and well liked blogger an idiot. That's the title: "So-and-so is an Idiot." A mutual friend tipped me off in an email. I know the alleged idiot in that post, I do business with him, I like him, I respect him, and I've recommended his writing a lot.
Still, that's good blogging, right? Be controversial. Make people mad. Get traffic. I've done it myself, although I don't think quite as blatantly as that. I've certainly wanted to do it a few times. And the title, particularly when the subject is well known, is really powerful. And besides, nobody's always right, right? A disagreement here and there adds spice.
Is it all about traffic? Is sharper, meaner, and more obnoxious better?
You could, after all, start the post with "Not really. But I do think he's wrong when he says … " Actually, this annoying attack post cites, in small print down at the bottom, a much better post by Jon Dale that says essentially the same thing right. And better.
Because in the middle of that meanness, there is a point — indiscriminate high-volume Twitter use, to the point of near-Twitter-spamming, is probably not such a good idea, even if our well-known and well-liked friend says it is. The real point to be made is (and I'm not citing the URL on purpose, because I really don't like the title, or the personal attack):
The days are numbered for these types of tricks. I think everyone will agree that the world is changing into a more transparent place. Long tail success is created by genuineness and honesty. The days of the glamour and illusion created by mediums like television are coming to and end, being replaced by the blinding light of reality that is already creeping through the cracks of our world. We are about to step out of the casino doors at eight in the morning, after drinking and gambling all night, into the sunshine of honesty and truly seeing people for who they are.
And this ends with a very strong conclusion, reassuring, that we don't have to be celebrities:
Be honest. Be yourself. Be genuine in thought, word and deed. We will be drawn to you and love you for it.
So far and so good, a nice conclusion, and the idea of success mapping to genuineness and honesty is very attractive. A mean title, and kind of a mean attack, but a good point. Right?
But then I made the mistake of reading the comments. I really like the comments sometimes. Even the nasty name-calling all-uppercase-shouting comments can be fun sometimes. Very human. The best and the worst of human nature.
But by the end of the comments, it was diatribe, like an instant message argument, between two people; dull and ugly. Blogging gets really delightfully and disturbingly, both at the same time, human.
That's just my opinion.