Dead animals, large and small - how SDA outdid the Big Guys in number of hits. Once.
Well, anyone wanting to out do SDA can use several tactics:
-post free porn
-write something really offensive
-write something really dumb
See, it’s kind of like asking yourself what kind of fish are out there, and what will they go for when deciding on bait. After all, to bloggers who are going for the big numbers and the money above all else, quality and truth don’t matter.
This is why papers like The Enquirer emerged. In fact, if you want to boost visits to your blog, you could by an Enquirer, skim through the articles, and there you are! Free advice on flexible truth in writing!
The post that caused so many to link to SDA had to do with the neo-cons jumping all over a report that challenges some popular theories on climate change. It has a poorly executed, hazy pic of of a dino lying in the sand with a caption - "Not Waiting For The Asteroid." The comments consist of the usual incestuous discourse of Flat Earthers, climate change deniers, and creationists mocking those who are foolish enough to believe the thousands of reports that challenge the one McMillan alludes to. You know, those of us who actually studied evolution, genetics, physics, climatology, and those of us who read in-depth on these issues, analyse and compare reports, and apply logic rather than the teachings of a religious text.
K. Mc’s was not a brilliant post, or a well researched piece. It simply offered a bad picture, a handful of right-wing comments making fun of people who actually understand evolution and believe in it, and a link to a report by a scientist.
Somehow, based on the crappy picture and the lack of any content in the post generated by K. Mc, I suspect what people were looking for was the link to the report.
The right bait, guys. The right bait.
Why does this incident bother me so much? Oh, I’m sure those patting each other (and themselves) on the back for drawing in so many visits to their blogs are saying "jealousy! 900ft J is jealous ‘cause hardly anyone goes there and we have 6,958.2 friends, just like on Facebook!"
No, I am happy to say it isn’t that. What bothers me is that because blogs are becoming more influential on the Net, they threaten to undermine responsible and relatively unbiased journalism. They also feed a disturbing appetite in people for quick news bites, allowing other people to do the thinking and analysis for them. They also tend to cover popular stories and topics, allowing other equally important (but less exciting) issues to slide into the "outer-sphere."
This incident concerns me because the concept of quality is being linked to the number of hits, where blogs are concerned. And this is simply not true. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" outsold "The Piano" in theatres, but it is not a better movie. Harry Potter novels outsold Raymond Carver’s books, but they are not better. More fun for some people in both cases, perhaps, but certainly not better as books and movies are rated.
As blogs become more influential, people will look for the "best" blogs, and it would do society a great disfavour if the best blogs were decided by who gets the most hits.