Deprecated: Function set_magic_quotes_runtime() is deprecated in /home/ohword00/domains/ohword.com/public_html/textpattern/lib/txplib_db.php on line 14 Sure I can blame you. That's my job - I'm a blogger.
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Aug 31, 2006

Sure I can blame you. That's my job - I'm a blogger. · by Rafi Kam

Tara Henley at XXL has responded to my post on the problems with hip-hop media (ok I focussed on the online hip-hop media) with a well thought-out and somewhat self-critical reply.

Lets see where to start…

“Let’s be honest, the online world and the media are not the same thing. At all.”

How do you figure? You have media sources passing information and people receiving it. Online is the uber-media because the playing field is fairly flat. Anyone can become the media online. That’s the power (or some say the problem) of this world.

Naturally, entities with money or offline media experience (like XXL) would seem to have an advantage over a blogger going it alone. But oddly the lack of money and not being tied to a real-world organization are the bloggers big advantages. Unfortunately it seems that many would rather just copy the “pro media” rather than critique, explore, filter, subvert or provide an alternative to it.

Instead they copy them especially when it comes to your #1 point… Thinking the internet has a huge demand for garbage content. Well actually some bloggers should slow down. I’m a fan of Bol but I now often skip him because he just throws up the same damn posts too often for my liking. He’s on his grind but I have to question whether he gives a shit about what he’s saying or he’s just scrambling to make quota.

There’s no rule that says you need to post daily. If you drop a golden post once or twice a week you’ll still get an audience. Better yet, you’ll get your audience. A loyal one that appreciates quality over quantity. Probably they’ll be other people in the media. There’s a power in that too… If you write for the people who write for the people you don’t have to be a slave to the whole hourly content grind. Sometimes they’ll even make posts about what you said.

Most people are drowning in the output of online media. Content has become filler for advertising. This isn’t a sustainable model. If you’re just pushing out the same crap as everyone else, people are probably already getting sick of you. You become just part of the noise.

Bloggers who approach it differently seem to get a lot of love. And if they stick to it, their following will grow. This should become especially true as RSS subscriptions grow in popularity. It’s hard to remember to check that quality site once a month when they update but if you have a subscription, you don’t have to think about it.

I agree with your points that snark and scandal may seem to be the easiest formula for results in the blog world but that’s basically a cop-out. If you look at the most popular blogs on the internet, that’s not their formula. It’s only in our niche that people believe those gimmicks are an acceptable substitute for quality writing, original stories or actually being a useful/entertaining media source.

Comments for "Sure I can blame you. That's my job - I'm a blogger."

  1. >He’s on his grind but I have to question whether he gives a shit about what he’s saying or he’s just scrambling to make quota.

    I don’t give a shit, but I don’t have a quota either.


    Bol    Aug 31, 04:12 PM   
  2. ^You’re so dangerous and sexy.


    R.H.S.    Aug 31, 04:19 PM   
  3. Oh Word = decidedly neither dangerous nor sexy.

    I did this shit for free for a good two years before I made so much as a dime from it. What was my aim in those days?

    As far as whether I write too much or too often, that’s all relative. I’m only spending maybe two or three hours a day writing as is. I could very easily spend eight or ten hours.

    HL Mencken was said to have written over 3,000 words a day every day of his life. And some of it was even, god forbid, redundant.

    I suppose you rag on him, too.


    Bol    Aug 31, 04:33 PM   
  4. Did you just compare yourself to Mencken?

    Like, I said, dangerous and sexy. Much luck to you.


    R.H.S.    Aug 31, 04:38 PM   
  5. Good thing blogs weren’t invented back then or someone would have actually been reading all that crap.


    Rafi    Aug 31, 04:40 PM   
  6. Just to be clear, I have no problem with people posting a bunch of times a day. We’ve been doing it lately. Bol, I only singled you out as an example of someone who seems to be posting non-stop. I get the feeling that you really dont give a shit about most of what you’re writing. You just said that’s true. That's just a comment man. It's not me ragging on you. I've defended and even saluted you plenty of times on this site.

    The reason I’m even on that topic is because I have a problem with the reasoning stated by Tara that the supposed demands of the internet medium for hourly content is a reason why we must have garbage content.

    Yes the internet audience needs content all the time but it doesnt have to all come from any one site!

    Not every website needs to be CNN with breaking news all the time. Sites can and do sustain an audience with just a few quality daily or even weekly updates. There are plenty that do.

    If hip-hop sites just keep desperately running any story to feed the Content Monster they all end up looking pretty interchangable.


    Rafi    Aug 31, 05:15 PM   
  7. The truth of the matter is that I give a shit about very little.

    Why should I let that get in the way of my writing?

    Do you really feel like the hip-hop blogosphere is doing too much writing right now?


    Bol    Aug 31, 05:17 PM   
  8. No, I feel like it’s doing too little good writing right now.


    Rafi    Aug 31, 05:20 PM   
  9. Careful Rafi. This guy writes a lot and clearly doesn’t give a shit about anything. We’re dealing with a lethal combination here.


    R.H.S.    Aug 31, 05:23 PM   
  10. >No, I feel like it’s doing too little good writing right now.

    Oh, and the way to do more good writing is to do less writing in general?

    >Careful Rafi. This guy writes a lot and clearly doesn’t give a shit about anything. We’re dealing with a lethal combination here.

    I care about pr0n, steak, beer, reading, writing, and that’s about it.

    Who the fuck are you, anyway? The Oh Word Comment Master?


    Bol    Aug 31, 05:59 PM   
  11. “It’s only in our niche that people believe those gimmicks are an acceptable substitute for quality writing, original stories or actually being a useful/entertaining media source.”

    You could easily replace “media source” with “hip hop,” no? might it not be the medium but the subject that inspires these gimmicks?

    Also I heard bol stole the Mencken factoid directly from okayplayer.


    noz    Aug 31, 06:00 PM   
  12. As if I read okayplayer…


    Bol    Aug 31, 06:29 PM   
  13. Noz, no doubt hip-hop is cancerous. But I thought we could start with destroying the media. Nobody will listen if we go for all hip-hop at once because we’ll get distracted by defining terms and those foolish people who want to save it.

    We’ll get to hip-hop in good time. First lets bring down the hip-hop media. It’s a much easier sell.

    Besides I think Sacha’s post had it right, the hip-hop media doesn’t just stand by and report on hip-hop. It’s basically in the driver’s seat right now.

    Record sales are hurting (I keep reading) but the publicists and the magazines, the tv shows, advertising, all keep rolling at full speed.

    Yet you’re right. Despite all this loud buzzing going on, there might not really be anything at all worth talking about!


    Rafi    Aug 31, 06:35 PM   
  14. Rafi – don’t get me wrong, Sach makes some good points, I’m just saying I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this phenomenon seems pretty much exclusive to the online hip hop community.

    bol – you are a thief AND a liar


    noz    Aug 31, 06:56 PM   
  15. Anything but a coincidence. Hiphop has a self-destructive streak a mile wide and one hell of an apetite for gimmicks. Obviously that’s going to reflect in Hiphop media.

    Without going ?uestlove on anyone though, there’s no harm in questioning and wanting to change the status quo. Interesting, edgy Hiphop can exist without the media exacerbating things.


    Sach    Aug 31, 07:20 PM   
  16. this is a total aside but…

    noz, nice use of textile! nobody ever does links here!


    Rafi    Aug 31, 07:31 PM   
  17. Peep this textile:

    okayplayer = teh ghey=


    Bol    Aug 31, 07:49 PM   
  18. I forgot how bad the okayplayer boards are.

    Not to mention the 9 year old code that must be running that site. Plus they insist on talking content in the subject line, making it unreadable.


    David    Aug 31, 09:58 PM   
  19. Ok, good points all around, but since when did sensational coverage of scandalous occurences become exclusive to the hip hop media? What the MSM just did with John Mark Karr is far beyond anything any hip hop media outlet has ever done.


    eskay    Sep 1, 09:51 AM   
  20. True. Sensationalism is definitely not unique to hip-hop but at least there are a bunch of indie media sources who have been calling out the MSM since the Karr story broke.


    Rafi    Sep 1, 10:32 AM   
  21. EVERYONE SIMMER THE FUCK DOWN.


    arlene    Sep 3, 11:50 PM   
  22. Seems like everyone of you bloggers who get no love are all on the XXL bloggers dicks. Stop hating and stick to building you blog up off your own strengths and writing skills rather than just constantly talking about what others aren’t doing that suits your tastes. Remember you tastes and/or opinions are ALL YOURS to each his or her own.


    Observer    Sep 6, 02:09 AM   
  23. ^When you have nothing to add to the discussion, hit ‘em hard with good ol’ 1st Grade logic.


    R.H.S.    Sep 6, 02:05 PM