Blogs and Digg, not geeky enough?

I notice a general trend looking through blogs, TechMeme, and Digg. There aren’t many coders anymore.

Five years ago the discussions were far more technical and geeky. Even insiderish. When compared to the hype and news of today.

It makes me pine for ye old RSS vs. Atom geek flamefests.

Anyone else notice this trend?

Anyway, thanks to Mike Gunderloy for helping keep technical blogs around.

What brought this on? Last week at OffTheGrid we had a “language war” that spontaneously broke out. I filmed part of it. Not sure I learned much that I didn’t already know, but it was fun to hear some of that old developer passion break out in a fun way.

Anyway, tonight over on Digg I see that Pirillo and Laporte are bringing back TechTV. Hey, wait a second! You wanna bring back TechTV but you want ME to do all the work? I didn’t sign up for THAT! Heheh.

Elsehere on the blogs, yes, I did tell On10.net at BlogHer that Maryam was my #1 Maryam. But it helps that she’s #1 on Google too.

But, back to geeks. Jason Perlow, contributing editor of Linux Magazine is one and gives PodTech a preview of LinuxWorld, going on this week in SF.

Oh, and Richard Stallman who is almost as geeky as Shelley Powers is on the decidedly not geeky geekentertainment.tv talking about borscht. I love how Irina gives him some heck. You know, sometimes people gave us Microsofties crud cause Steve Ballmer would say or do some outlandish things (developers, developers, developers!) but if I still worked at Microsoft I’d just send Richard’s video to everyone and say “this guy makes Ballmer sound normal.”

Comments

  1. The mainstreaming of sites like Digg – is responisible for talking out of the Techie-Geek province and making it interesting to a wider audience. And that reflects the varieties of cream of the crops that will persist to their homepage

    http://digg.com/users/SearchEngines/homepage

    Adding Entertainment, Politics, Videos, Health as category options is being realistic about the needs of society. These sites are overwhelmingly GEEK oriented – but not a per-capita as before….

    Come to think of it – That is Great! – having ONE source for most of your information needs, that you can display-customize to suit your preference :-)

  2. The mainstreaming of sites like Digg – is responisible for talking out of the Techie-Geek province and making it interesting to a wider audience. And that reflects the varieties of cream of the crops that will persist to their homepage

    http://digg.com/users/SearchEngines/homepage

    Adding Entertainment, Politics, Videos, Health as category options is being realistic about the needs of society. These sites are overwhelmingly GEEK oriented – but not a per-capita as before….

    Come to think of it – That is Great! – having ONE source for most of your information needs, that you can display-customize to suit your preference :-)

  3. what? turning technical sites into boring collections of general news without any added insight? i could get that anywhere.

    what i want is valuable insight (which is different from navelgazing trolling).

    and this “irena slutsky” will fade away soon enough, but RMS will be remembered forever. gcc, gdb, Emacs, GPLv2 — immortal.

  4. what? turning technical sites into boring collections of general news without any added insight? i could get that anywhere.

    what i want is valuable insight (which is different from navelgazing trolling).

    and this “irena slutsky” will fade away soon enough, but RMS will be remembered forever. gcc, gdb, Emacs, GPLv2 — immortal.

  5. I’m a coder. I just started up a blog that I wouldn’t label geeky, but I do post code samples. :)

    In my case I try to make my blog a place for everyone to find ‘fun’. Fun in the form ‘puzzles’ that tickle the inquisitive mind.

    “Naked conversations” has been my inspiration to start a blog. I hope it works out.

  6. I’m a coder. I just started up a blog that I wouldn’t label geeky, but I do post code samples. :)

    In my case I try to make my blog a place for everyone to find ‘fun’. Fun in the form ‘puzzles’ that tickle the inquisitive mind.

    “Naked conversations” has been my inspiration to start a blog. I hope it works out.

  7. I don’t know…talking about borsht can really lose you street cred.

    tech.meme, digg, these are all made by the marketers now. They’re not geek, they’re buzz. All you need is ten people linking to each other to dominate tech.meme, and hence digg.

    This is weblogging today–all packaging, no content.

    This is what you helped create, Robert.

  8. I don’t know…talking about borsht can really lose you street cred.

    tech.meme, digg, these are all made by the marketers now. They’re not geek, they’re buzz. All you need is ten people linking to each other to dominate tech.meme, and hence digg.

    This is weblogging today–all packaging, no content.

    This is what you helped create, Robert.

  9. Oh, Shelley, if I ceded the blogosphere to you, would you write more code?

    The problem you’re noticing is there are far far more people who aren’t technical than there are true nerds who can write C++ or Java code. There’s a reason why those types are getting salaries over $100,000 in Silicon Valley.

  10. Oh, Shelley, if I ceded the blogosphere to you, would you write more code?

    The problem you’re noticing is there are far far more people who aren’t technical than there are true nerds who can write C++ or Java code. There’s a reason why those types are getting salaries over $100,000 in Silicon Valley.

  11. Yes, very true Robert. But with the bloggin movement becoming far more popular and people wanting to make money from it (it works!) this seems the sad, but logical destination (BTW: remember the old days when IRC was used for technical stuff, too?)…

  12. Yes, very true Robert. But with the bloggin movement becoming far more popular and people wanting to make money from it (it works!) this seems the sad, but logical destination (BTW: remember the old days when IRC was used for technical stuff, too?)…

  13. So you “pine” for the arrogantly aristocratic A-Listy insider-baseball games “Medium is the Message” tool-makers era, yet you preach ‘Naked Conversations’ to the masses?

    How dare those unwashed masses play OUR tiddly-wink games, why, why, we are Royal Pedigree.

    Doing a “George III on the Loss of America”, eh?

    It’s a good trend, just the natural cycle, and if you can take Podtech, into that trend, then you will win, or at least remain alive, after the VCs cut off your air supply.

    The Internet itself was all shop-talk technical geeky insiderish, Unix command line zaps for eons, that is until the Web made it to those supposed “unwashed masses”.

  14. So you “pine” for the arrogantly aristocratic A-Listy insider-baseball games “Medium is the Message” tool-makers era, yet you preach ‘Naked Conversations’ to the masses?

    How dare those unwashed masses play OUR tiddly-wink games, why, why, we are Royal Pedigree.

    Doing a “George III on the Loss of America”, eh?

    It’s a good trend, just the natural cycle, and if you can take Podtech, into that trend, then you will win, or at least remain alive, after the VCs cut off your air supply.

    The Internet itself was all shop-talk technical geeky insiderish, Unix command line zaps for eons, that is until the Web made it to those supposed “unwashed masses”.

  15. All sites eventually go mainstream, it’s just a regular recurring trend. When I was still studying CompSci, there was a dutch computer forum inhabited only by tech students that I practically lived on. I loved it there, post a question and 10 minutes later someone had an answer for you. In detail. With screenshots. 8 years down the line and that site still has the same technical perspective, but the people gathering there are 90% *ahem* n00bs, 10% technically savvy. I almost never post there anymore. Just not worth the effort.

  16. All sites eventually go mainstream, it’s just a regular recurring trend. When I was still studying CompSci, there was a dutch computer forum inhabited only by tech students that I practically lived on. I loved it there, post a question and 10 minutes later someone had an answer for you. In detail. With screenshots. 8 years down the line and that site still has the same technical perspective, but the people gathering there are 90% *ahem* n00bs, 10% technically savvy. I almost never post there anymore. Just not worth the effort.

  17. Isn’t the loss of geekiness a side effect of popularization?

    Like the frontier towns in the Wild West. Originally populated by trappers, hunters, miners, etc. Scruffy men who were good with technology (guns, pickaxes), and whose limited social skills made them prefer to work alone or in small teams. The geeks of that era.

    Then the merchants come along… originally they cater to the geeks (think Amazon.com circa 1995), but then they broaden their scope and this attracts non-geeks.

    Homesteaders show up looking to stake their claim on the new frontier. (“Create your own web site!”) The population grows and becomes less homogenous: families, schools, kids are seen in the streets. Infrastructure improves (roads paved, bridges built) and this attracts even more users. (You had to REALLY went to get on the Internet when you had to install a TCP/IP stack and configure SLIP.) High bandwidth arrives (the railroad comes to town) and the population increases and diversifies again.

    Eventually it gets to the point where the geeks who originally built the place become less and less visible. They grouse about the kids with no respect, the newbies who can’t build or fix things. They get annoyed at the regulation that comes with civilization — “You can’t even bring your shootin’ iron into the saloon anymore!”

    And eventually, what the geeks did routinely comes to be considered quaint. “Build your own PC? Make your own patch cable? Why would anyone ever do that? Buying one is cheaper and just as good. Building your own PC would be like hunting your own food, or mining your own gold. It’s easier just to buy it at the store….”

    It’s just inevitable. One era ends, another begins. It’s more productive to embrace the good aspects of the new than to mourn the good aspects of the old.

    Another sign this is happening is the death of AOL as a paid service. It used to be a kind of Internet for Newbies: a Wild West for people who had no survival skills. Now the frontier has been tamed, and newbies don’t need AOL anymore.

    Never ask, “Oh, why were things so much better in the old days?” It’s not an intelligent question.
    — Ecclesiastes 7:10

    Whatever happens or can happen has already happened before. God makes the same thing happen again and again.
    — Ecclesiastes 3:15
    :-)

  18. Isn’t the loss of geekiness a side effect of popularization?

    Like the frontier towns in the Wild West. Originally populated by trappers, hunters, miners, etc. Scruffy men who were good with technology (guns, pickaxes), and whose limited social skills made them prefer to work alone or in small teams. The geeks of that era.

    Then the merchants come along… originally they cater to the geeks (think Amazon.com circa 1995), but then they broaden their scope and this attracts non-geeks.

    Homesteaders show up looking to stake their claim on the new frontier. (“Create your own web site!”) The population grows and becomes less homogenous: families, schools, kids are seen in the streets. Infrastructure improves (roads paved, bridges built) and this attracts even more users. (You had to REALLY went to get on the Internet when you had to install a TCP/IP stack and configure SLIP.) High bandwidth arrives (the railroad comes to town) and the population increases and diversifies again.

    Eventually it gets to the point where the geeks who originally built the place become less and less visible. They grouse about the kids with no respect, the newbies who can’t build or fix things. They get annoyed at the regulation that comes with civilization — “You can’t even bring your shootin’ iron into the saloon anymore!”

    And eventually, what the geeks did routinely comes to be considered quaint. “Build your own PC? Make your own patch cable? Why would anyone ever do that? Buying one is cheaper and just as good. Building your own PC would be like hunting your own food, or mining your own gold. It’s easier just to buy it at the store….”

    It’s just inevitable. One era ends, another begins. It’s more productive to embrace the good aspects of the new than to mourn the good aspects of the old.

    Another sign this is happening is the death of AOL as a paid service. It used to be a kind of Internet for Newbies: a Wild West for people who had no survival skills. Now the frontier has been tamed, and newbies don’t need AOL anymore.

    Never ask, “Oh, why were things so much better in the old days?” It’s not an intelligent question.
    — Ecclesiastes 7:10

    Whatever happens or can happen has already happened before. God makes the same thing happen again and again.
    — Ecclesiastes 3:15
    :-)

  19. Nice history play, I’d toss some more in, but no real need, agree fully.

    Weird kick-in with Ecclesiastes, tho I rather like Ecclesiastes, such an odd book, load up on the pessimism and fatalism, Your Own Personal Biblical Nihilism…

    But then how do you reconcile this…

    “However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.” – Ecclesiastes 11:8 (NIV)

    Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.” – Isaiah 46:8 (NASB)

    Remember the days of old, Consider the years of generation to generation; Ask thy father, and he will shew thee; Thine elders, and they will tell thee.” – Deuteronomy 32:7 (Darby)

    “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” – Psalm 77:11 (NIV)

    Remember or forget? Forget to remember or remember to forget?

  20. Nice history play, I’d toss some more in, but no real need, agree fully.

    Weird kick-in with Ecclesiastes, tho I rather like Ecclesiastes, such an odd book, load up on the pessimism and fatalism, Your Own Personal Biblical Nihilism…

    But then how do you reconcile this…

    “However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.” – Ecclesiastes 11:8 (NIV)

    Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.” – Isaiah 46:8 (NASB)

    Remember the days of old, Consider the years of generation to generation; Ask thy father, and he will shew thee; Thine elders, and they will tell thee.” – Deuteronomy 32:7 (Darby)

    “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” – Psalm 77:11 (NIV)

    Remember or forget? Forget to remember or remember to forget?

  21. LOL

    I don’t “remember” seeing any Biblical injunction to “forget.” ;-) Remembering is good… (remembering the commandments, the multiplication tables, or where you parked your car)… but nostalgic longing for an idealized past, ehhhh, probably not so good….

    Sure, I remember when geeks ruled the Internet. I also remember loading TSRs in high memory. You can keep the past… LOL

    You quoted one of my favorite verses, Ecclesiastes 11:8. The problem is that only one translation really gets it right: the “Today’s English” version.

    You quoted the NIV:

    However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.

    “Today’s English” version of the same verse:

    Be grateful for every year you live. No matter how long you live, remember that you will be dead much longer. There is nothing at all to look forward to.

    For some reason I like to imagine Woody Allen staring into the camera and saying it in his monologue at the end of Love and Death: “For, as the scripture says, ‘No matter how long you live, remember that you will be dead much longer.’”

    It just sounds like something he’d write… :-)

  22. LOL

    I don’t “remember” seeing any Biblical injunction to “forget.” ;-) Remembering is good… (remembering the commandments, the multiplication tables, or where you parked your car)… but nostalgic longing for an idealized past, ehhhh, probably not so good….

    Sure, I remember when geeks ruled the Internet. I also remember loading TSRs in high memory. You can keep the past… LOL

    You quoted one of my favorite verses, Ecclesiastes 11:8. The problem is that only one translation really gets it right: the “Today’s English” version.

    You quoted the NIV:

    However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.

    “Today’s English” version of the same verse:

    Be grateful for every year you live. No matter how long you live, remember that you will be dead much longer. There is nothing at all to look forward to.

    For some reason I like to imagine Woody Allen staring into the camera and saying it in his monologue at the end of Love and Death: “For, as the scripture says, ‘No matter how long you live, remember that you will be dead much longer.’”

    It just sounds like something he’d write… :-)

  23. I think Shelley has it about write. Scoble, you’re perfectly emblematic of the trend… someone who blathers about technology as if they really now it but really only dabbles in it.

    These surface-level technologists have digg and techmeme at the centers of their world. They reflect off of each other and create an echo chamber. Have you ever read the comment threads on Digg? They’re fairly hilarious. I’m secretly convinced the most technical folks there are php teens who are busy re-writing their high school’s web site.

    Think about it… the 2.0 blathersphere gets breathless if Jason Fried talks about software development and yawns if Scott Hanselman does. If you think both of these guys are similarly steeped in software development, then you’re exactly part of the problem.

    Digg and techmeme are the new CNets–they’re not for real technologists, they’re for the prosumers.

  24. I think Shelley has it about write. Scoble, you’re perfectly emblematic of the trend… someone who blathers about technology as if they really now it but really only dabbles in it.

    These surface-level technologists have digg and techmeme at the centers of their world. They reflect off of each other and create an echo chamber. Have you ever read the comment threads on Digg? They’re fairly hilarious. I’m secretly convinced the most technical folks there are php teens who are busy re-writing their high school’s web site.

    Think about it… the 2.0 blathersphere gets breathless if Jason Fried talks about software development and yawns if Scott Hanselman does. If you think both of these guys are similarly steeped in software development, then you’re exactly part of the problem.

    Digg and techmeme are the new CNets–they’re not for real technologists, they’re for the prosumers.

  25. There is loads of geek stuff around, depends where you look. Avoid the A-list!
    My (at least) daily open-in tabs Firefox folder contains the following:

    Gmail – lots of tech mailing lists
    Bloglines – a handful of tech blogs (I recently forgot my password, started a new list)
    Planet RDF – mostly hardcore Semantic Web tech
    del.icio.us/popular – mostly geeky
    techmeme – mostly dull commercial crud
    Planet Web 2.0 – mix of tech and dull commercial crud
    Planet XMLhack – mostly hardcore geekery
    #SWIG scratchpad – more semweb geekery
    #swig chatlogs – ditto
    Hot Links – misc, fair proportion of geekery
    Corante Web Hub – mix of tech and dull commercial crud (disclosure: I’m a contributor, meant to get a proportion of advertising income, but I still haven’t seen a bean from Corante and my emails weren’t answered)
    Planet Swhack – mix of tech and (usually interesting) misc
    Feed validator – usually ok, occasionally traps a copy-paste glitch
    HTML validator – I’ve had a single error nagging me for several months now…
    ESW Wiki recent changes – yet more semweb stuff
    Achewood – finest cartoon on the web
    my blog – to check for comments

  26. There is loads of geek stuff around, depends where you look. Avoid the A-list!
    My (at least) daily open-in tabs Firefox folder contains the following:

    Gmail – lots of tech mailing lists
    Bloglines – a handful of tech blogs (I recently forgot my password, started a new list)
    Planet RDF – mostly hardcore Semantic Web tech
    del.icio.us/popular – mostly geeky
    techmeme – mostly dull commercial crud
    Planet Web 2.0 – mix of tech and dull commercial crud
    Planet XMLhack – mostly hardcore geekery
    #SWIG scratchpad – more semweb geekery
    #swig chatlogs – ditto
    Hot Links – misc, fair proportion of geekery
    Corante Web Hub – mix of tech and dull commercial crud (disclosure: I’m a contributor, meant to get a proportion of advertising income, but I still haven’t seen a bean from Corante and my emails weren’t answered)
    Planet Swhack – mix of tech and (usually interesting) misc
    Feed validator – usually ok, occasionally traps a copy-paste glitch
    HTML validator – I’ve had a single error nagging me for several months now…
    ESW Wiki recent changes – yet more semweb stuff
    Achewood – finest cartoon on the web
    my blog – to check for comments

  27. It just sounds like something he’d write…

    Ironic thing, was that was the exact nanosecond thought I had, before I read your take. ;) Then it went looking-down-the-barrel-of-a-loaded-shotgun (or hacksaw) Quentin Tarantinoish.

    But then I liked the poetic NIV last bit “everything to come is meaningless”, which is more futile acidic than the Valleygirlish bad-hair day ‘like, nothing at all, like, to, like, to look forward to, like bummer.’

    So now a syntactical morphology exegesis, on the differences between “remember” and the concept of “longing”? I will spare you… ;)

  28. It just sounds like something he’d write…

    Ironic thing, was that was the exact nanosecond thought I had, before I read your take. ;) Then it went looking-down-the-barrel-of-a-loaded-shotgun (or hacksaw) Quentin Tarantinoish.

    But then I liked the poetic NIV last bit “everything to come is meaningless”, which is more futile acidic than the Valleygirlish bad-hair day ‘like, nothing at all, like, to, like, to look forward to, like bummer.’

    So now a syntactical morphology exegesis, on the differences between “remember” and the concept of “longing”? I will spare you… ;)

  29. [...] So…I have been a reader of blogs for awhile now and now I have ventured into the world of digital conversations myself. However, I am not quite sure I know what to blog about. Scoble says that he pines for geekiness. Others go for whatever life may bring. For me, I think I lean more towards the plethora method. I want to write what I am passionate about. I’ll probably write mostly about tech stuff (Apple and Ruby on Rails are some good starts…). Maybe occasionally a good movie or band. And I am sure I’ll write about what I am learning in school as I am beginning my Masters in two weeks. And invariably you will hear how wonderful my wife is. Hopefully my blog proves interesting. Hopefully geek and non-geek friends alike will find a place. So…welcome! [...]