I started blogging many years ago, long before it was called blogging. My first “blog” was an essay about how any pathetic loser (including myself) could make themselves a web page, express themselves for all to see and completely mess up the ability for search engines to return useful information. And while that was true all those years ago, it is even worse now. Ever since mainstream Web 2.0 threw up on pop culture with MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, Plurk, Identica, Rejaw, Laconica, Friendfeed and a myriad of other similar services, it has allowed every moron and their pets to think they are bloggers as they express themselves in status messages that are about 140 characters long. This phenomena, known as microblogging, has been the worse thing to hit the internet since HTTP.
With all of these ways for anyone to post crap to the web (including myself), the content of the web has degraded to a new low. We are now in blogging hell. Don’t freak out, I’m not against free speech. I’m just saying that blogging has become on par with spam. Too much crap that no one wants to see. And it’s at the point you can’t tell valuable information from complete and utter bullshit.
To prove my point, for my blog, I was working on a list of the piss poor reasons that people post to the net. But soon after, I came across a CNN page that described the 12 most annoying Facebook users. Turns out our lists were quite similar, but the difference was the end result. CNN thought these were things people shouldn’t do on Facebook (BTW, CNN does many of these things) while I saw them as the ONLY things that are done on Facebook, Twitter or where ever the hell you are posting. Anyway, here is how I see it:
There are people who tell you every single detail of your life; what they eat, see, think, who they saw, etc. And some of these people will tell you intimate, personal details that NO ONE wanted to know. Of course if you’re not handing out personal details, you may just be trying to promote yourself. That’s what I do. I post every time I blog, podcast, or add something new in my online store. I’m a press whore, what can I say. But as far as I can tell, self promotion is the number one reason to post online. And one of the leading methods of self promotion is called “friend whoring” (at least that’s what I call it). This is where you add as many friends as you possibly can because, you can. This very easy for 18 year old girls with bikini pictures on their profile, but it’s nearly impossible for a 40 something year old man to get anyone as a friend, especially if he also has pictures of himself in a bikini on his profile.
Well, now that I have established that people online need attention, the next question is what type of attention do they need? Some people need sympathy, someone to feel sorry for them, others need to complain so that everyone knows they are angry about something. There are people who have to be the first person to break the news of some event. They were first, they started the trend, no one else matters because they were first. And if that’s not enough, there are people who get attention by posting information or pictures of other people. They get pleasure in letting everyone know that they know what someone else is doing. These attention whores have a plethora of friends to give them the attention they never got from their daddies.
There is, of course, a no ending supply of quizzes, games, causes, etc that can be posted or sent to your friends to complete. All of which are designed to extract all sorts of personal information and get it out to the public.
CNN had a great term for one class of online posters, the obscurest. These are the people who post cryptic, puzzling posts that only make sense to them and them alone. These are my favorite. I do this all the time.
The people that annoy me the most are those who use improper grammar in their posts. I understand you may be limited to 142 characters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try hardest to use good grammar.
Then there are people who are the complete opposite of everyone so far. These are the “readers”. They spend all day reading tweets, posts, blogs, but never ever contribute to anything. They feel like they are a part of society, but are a few bricks shy of an outgoing personality. In public we would call these people stalkers.
So after all of this, I have trouble coming up with a meaningful use to any of these online microblogging or blogging platforms besides what has been mentioned so far. As a matter of fact, this blog post itself is guilty of most of the issues shown above. Oh well.
That’s the way I see it and I’m so sorry you had to read it.