“You’re a linkblogger.” The words were said in jest and quickly amended with “but they’re interesting links,” but this was comfort insufficient to dull the sharp edge of his earlier label. If the astringent characterization had come from someone I didn’t know or respected less, I would have just let it go, given a dismissive glance, but this was not an option. No, the slur was hurled by my friend David Hornik who puts himself out there via VentureBlog, Says Me! and the occasional TED posting.
For those who have successfully avoided tech jargon, “linkblogging” is the act of filling your blog with nothing but references to other blogs, news posts, websites, etc under some title like “Links of the Day.” Sure these collections of “things I find interesting” have a place on the web, but more often than not, they turn into echo chambers of the same people noting an interesting news article from a small paper or referencing the small niche blog. The 53,651 that Josh Koppleman refers to as the audience of TechCrunch.
I pause here for a moment to recognize the irony of writing about linkblogging and echo chambers while linking to participants in the echo chamber. Let’s continue.
Among bloggers, some occasional linkblogging is permitted but I do believe there is an unspoken hierarchy that looks something like this:
Totally original posts > copy and paste of other’s posts, with your add’l comments > list of links
Or more clearly: Lion > buzzard > buzzard poop
So Hornik was putting me at the bottom of the food chain and even the evolutionary ladder. What to do? I couldn’t protest too much, I mean, it’s true. My latest posts have mostly been random links and some of the more effusive Second Life praise. Should I look over and shrug “writer’s block” looking for his sympathy? No, he’s been there and fought through it.
I could respond with the easy “well, man, Google has been killing me lately and you know, i haven’t had time.” But that would position me as someone who can’t ‘get it all done’ and maybe harm the chances of August Capital leading my Series A in 2008.
No, I needed something more dramatic….. [to be continued]