The elephant in the kitchen

Dare Obasanjo, of Microsoft, just pulled the ad hominem card. In debate class in high school the teacher would instantly award the other side a win if you ever pulled that card. Why? Because it demonstrated you lost your cool and couldn’t win through sheer logic or through a rational demonstration the other side was wrong. And, at minimum it just draws attention to your debating tactics rather than what we were supposed to be debating about anyway.

Hey, maybe that’s why Dare pulled the card out here and slapped it on my kitchen table.

To keep us from looking at the elephant in the kitchen! Brilliantly played sir Dare!

But, since I’m childish, narrowminded, and egotistical or whatever else Dare tried sticking me with, let’s just get back to the elephant in the room, shall we? 

What does Microsoft do when it says “we have the most blogs?” Or, when it says really ANYTHING about its Internet services?

It takes them to advertisers and says “pony up, we know you paid MySpace ‘XXX’ and we have the most now, so we want ‘XXX+y’.” See, the little game we’re all playing in this Web 2.0 world is advertising.

The other little dirty secret of advertising? Not all readers are the same. Unfortunately if you’re an A List blogger it’s egotistical (and elitist) to point that out. Since Dare pulled out the ad hominem card already might as well slap this elephant in the ass and make it sing!

Quick. Is Jeff Jarvis worth more or less to an advertiser than this guy? Or this? Or this?

I’ll tell you what executives from big companies (like Kraft, Procter and Gamble, GM, and others) who were at MSN’s OWN ADVERTISING CONFERENCE told me. An influencer is worth THOUSANDS of times more than a non-influencer (influencer is someone who tells other people stuff, which is why blogging is getting so much advertising attention lately). That’s why Google is charging more per click than MSN is (Google has more influential users). That’s why Federated Media is closing advertising deals left and right.

And, why Microsoft’s shareholders are totally uninterested in the fact that Live Spaces has 70 million spaces (you’d think that with such rapid growth that shareholders would be cheering and would be preparing for an advertising profit windfall and that they wouldn’t have balked with Ballmer told them “I’m spending $2 billion of your cash.”

You’re right Dare. Maybe I’m childish. But I’m tired of being told that bloggers don’t matter. Which is what the Live employee told me yesterday. And it’s what you and Mike are saying today. Mike even repeated it just today on his blog. Read his post very carefully. He is saying that bloggers don’t matter. Why did he do that? Well, he’s trying to take the high road and trying to tell people that his service is hip and for them, not like that lamo “MySpace” thing, which is for kids and musicians with weird hair. Not like that “blogging” thing, which is for those elitist “A listers.” He’s positioning Spaces for normal, everyday people.

Which would be great if his marketing department didn’t run counter to his positioning by showing up at BlogHer (totally explains why Live Spaces’ presentation was totally derided by people who were there) and by his executives who try to position Live Spaces to advertisers as “blogs” so that they can get the high CPM ($$$ per thousands of viewers) that bloggers are getting right now.

This is why I’m being called childish, narrow minded, and petty right now. I dared to not let them have it both ways. Either they have most of their inventory done by “normal, everyday people” that’s empty, like every single blog on their service I found today, or they have a “hip, cool, influential” service, like WordPress, SixApart, Flickr, Technorati, and Blogger have.

You can’t have it both ways. Well, actually, Six Apart is getting it both ways. They have Moveable Type and TypePad and they have Vox, which is aimed at “normal, everyday people.”

Well, this childish, narrowminded, egotistical blogger is heading off to bed. It’ll be a fun day tomorrow when I get more ad hominem attacks hurled my way.

161 thoughts on “The elephant in the kitchen

  1. Guys, guys, GUYS!

    When it comes down to it, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, when the cards are played, when the game is over, we all know how to pick the real winner.

    It’s a tried and true practice that has worked for centuries.

    All that really matters is…

    who has a larger penis?

  2. Guys, guys, GUYS!

    When it comes down to it, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, when the cards are played, when the game is over, we all know how to pick the real winner.

    It’s a tried and true practice that has worked for centuries.

    All that really matters is…

    who has a larger penis?

  3. Robert, Im totally on your side for this.

    The number advertised by MSN Live Spaces means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and is NOT ACCURATE for real content.

    I have a MSN Live Space account. Why? Because I got some corporate email to my hotmail account saying how great they were. So I clicked and activated my space. Looked around, didnt see anything worth using daily… and have NEVER USED IT SINCE. So I guess I fall in the category of one of the empty links.

    Im sure thousands upon hundreds of thousands hotmail users did the same thing. Activated, but has never used it to post real content.

    I guess I’ve had a chip on my shoulder about what “blogs” are ever since I heard my Librarian Mother-In-Law telling me how she was giving a presentation on them to other librarians. Of which, she described a blog as a place to store files for later use. Not content, not updated, not a blog.

    I first understood a Blog to be a “weB LOG”, or almost an online diary if you will. Once the newness of “ooh, Im on the web and here are my feelings went away”, it shifted towards “here are the products/news/items/thoughts that have me thinking today”.

  4. Robert, Im totally on your side for this.

    The number advertised by MSN Live Spaces means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and is NOT ACCURATE for real content.

    I have a MSN Live Space account. Why? Because I got some corporate email to my hotmail account saying how great they were. So I clicked and activated my space. Looked around, didnt see anything worth using daily… and have NEVER USED IT SINCE. So I guess I fall in the category of one of the empty links.

    Im sure thousands upon hundreds of thousands hotmail users did the same thing. Activated, but has never used it to post real content.

    I guess I’ve had a chip on my shoulder about what “blogs” are ever since I heard my Librarian Mother-In-Law telling me how she was giving a presentation on them to other librarians. Of which, she described a blog as a place to store files for later use. Not content, not updated, not a blog.

    I first understood a Blog to be a “weB LOG”, or almost an online diary if you will. Once the newness of “ooh, Im on the web and here are my feelings went away”, it shifted towards “here are the products/news/items/thoughts that have me thinking today”.

  5. Actually, I’ve seen several Federated Media sites without ads on them lately. If they were selling ads left and right, they’d all be full.

    For the record, I agree with the concept though and like the concept.

  6. Actually, I’ve seen several Federated Media sites without ads on them lately. If they were selling ads left and right, they’d all be full.

    For the record, I agree with the concept though and like the concept.

  7. Robert, I for one am pleased you are taking your position. A few weeks ago I wrote “Ode to a Curmudgeon” (link below) – I am certified one, and I like to see posts challenging vendors. Lord knows, there are too many blogs that just report their product announcements. With their large marketing budgets, most vendors do not need more blog pandering.

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2006/07/ode_to_a_curmud.html

    What I do not like is the personal level at which people attack. If you had called Ballmer “egotistical or petty” I could understand a personal attack back. But you are questioning the methodology behind what should be counted as a blog. It is a fair topic and can be discussed professionally.

    And no, I for one, do not think you are berating infrequent bloggers. The long tail of blogging is real long because of your efforts to make blogging mainstream.

    And it will be good to see more of you on Curmudgeon Island -)

  8. Robert, I for one am pleased you are taking your position. A few weeks ago I wrote “Ode to a Curmudgeon” (link below) – I am certified one, and I like to see posts challenging vendors. Lord knows, there are too many blogs that just report their product announcements. With their large marketing budgets, most vendors do not need more blog pandering.

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2006/07/ode_to_a_curmud.html

    What I do not like is the personal level at which people attack. If you had called Ballmer “egotistical or petty” I could understand a personal attack back. But you are questioning the methodology behind what should be counted as a blog. It is a fair topic and can be discussed professionally.

    And no, I for one, do not think you are berating infrequent bloggers. The long tail of blogging is real long because of your efforts to make blogging mainstream.

    And it will be good to see more of you on Curmudgeon Island -)

  9. Hi Robert,

    I think you hit the crux of the matter, and some of your readers missed it. The issue here is really what the definition of a blog is.

    It would seem we need a new word in our lexicon for non-blog blogs. By that I mean things like private blogs, photo only “spaces” etc. Your analogy comparing an intrantet page to an internet page was apt.

    As far as bloggers not mattering. I seem to recall the mainstream press saying that a few years ago. Now they routinely quote bloggers on the air.

    In my humble view blogging is an incredible improvement on content distribution and dissemination almost as significant as the first newspapers. And just like newspapers there are “rag” bloggers, and true “source” bloggers. You get the picture.

    If your readers don’t accept your definition of a blog, then their arguments are moot. In other words they are arguing a different issue not responding to your original point.

    I don’t pretend to be able to offer a better definition than anyone else, but I do believe advertising dollars know the difference!

    Cheers,

    Bob Porter

  10. Hi Robert,

    I think you hit the crux of the matter, and some of your readers missed it. The issue here is really what the definition of a blog is.

    It would seem we need a new word in our lexicon for non-blog blogs. By that I mean things like private blogs, photo only “spaces” etc. Your analogy comparing an intrantet page to an internet page was apt.

    As far as bloggers not mattering. I seem to recall the mainstream press saying that a few years ago. Now they routinely quote bloggers on the air.

    In my humble view blogging is an incredible improvement on content distribution and dissemination almost as significant as the first newspapers. And just like newspapers there are “rag” bloggers, and true “source” bloggers. You get the picture.

    If your readers don’t accept your definition of a blog, then their arguments are moot. In other words they are arguing a different issue not responding to your original point.

    I don’t pretend to be able to offer a better definition than anyone else, but I do believe advertising dollars know the difference!

    Cheers,

    Bob Porter

  11. I must say that I agree completely with Booger. The style of the blog (and your personality) have been changing during the last months.
    This discussion just confirms what I have been feling for some time now.
    That’s why I’ve unsubscribed. Not because I am ‘thin skinned’.

  12. I must say that I agree completely with Booger. The style of the blog (and your personality) have been changing during the last months.
    This discussion just confirms what I have been feling for some time now.
    That’s why I’ve unsubscribed. Not because I am ‘thin skinned’.

  13. It’s true Dare’s dad is the president of Nigeria:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dare_Obasanjo

    He is the RssBandit author and one of the orignators of microformats.

    Well, I guess scobleizer.wordpress.com will be banned from now on in Nigeria.

    Robert, is Jeff still the best boss you’ve ever had? :-)
    http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/06/12/throwing-chairs

    Anyway, I will read your blogs again after your ego comes down a bit and not being childish. I just removed it from my rss aggregator. And no, I am not a MS employee!!

  14. It’s true Dare’s dad is the president of Nigeria:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dare_Obasanjo

    He is the RssBandit author and one of the orignators of microformats.

    Well, I guess scobleizer.wordpress.com will be banned from now on in Nigeria.

    Robert, is Jeff still the best boss you’ve ever had? :-)
    http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/06/12/throwing-chairs

    Anyway, I will read your blogs again after your ego comes down a bit and not being childish. I just removed it from my rss aggregator. And no, I am not a MS employee!!

  15. From the Scoble wayback machine before Scoble was an “A”-something (and fitting in this thread):

    “Personally, I believe in BOGU’ing for EVERYONE, not just the big fish. You never know when the janitor will go to school, get an MBA, and start a company. I’ve seen it happen. Translation for weblog world: treat Gnome-Girl as good as you’d treat Dave Winer or Glenn Reynolds. You never know who’ll get promoted. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way over the years.”

    - Robert Scoble (http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2003/02/26.html)

    Has this been forgotten? I know that this is why I (and apparently others) liked to read the “old ” Robert Scoble and am much more put off by the new “Robert Scoble brand”. Anonymous posters could be janitors or CEOs of major firms – you used to treat everyone with respect. Somewhere along the line in the past year you started catering only to the known big fish and began to be exceptionally rude to the people who made you what you are but happen to disagree with you.

    BTW, try hitting the random blog button in WordPress 50 times – will they have to adjust their XXX,XXX blogs number as well?

    Booger

  16. From the Scoble wayback machine before Scoble was an “A”-something (and fitting in this thread):

    “Personally, I believe in BOGU’ing for EVERYONE, not just the big fish. You never know when the janitor will go to school, get an MBA, and start a company. I’ve seen it happen. Translation for weblog world: treat Gnome-Girl as good as you’d treat Dave Winer or Glenn Reynolds. You never know who’ll get promoted. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way over the years.”

    - Robert Scoble (http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2003/02/26.html)

    Has this been forgotten? I know that this is why I (and apparently others) liked to read the “old ” Robert Scoble and am much more put off by the new “Robert Scoble brand”. Anonymous posters could be janitors or CEOs of major firms – you used to treat everyone with respect. Somewhere along the line in the past year you started catering only to the known big fish and began to be exceptionally rude to the people who made you what you are but happen to disagree with you.

    BTW, try hitting the random blog button in WordPress 50 times – will they have to adjust their XXX,XXX blogs number as well?

    Booger

  17. Robert I still find your point convincing after reading through all posts. Perhaps You should have made it clearer that You’re discussing the value of MS’s way of measuring ‘size’ of their blogging service not the factual data.

    BTW this was the most heated dispute seen on a tech blog. Guess You’re quite brave to allow it. Congrats

  18. Robert I still find your point convincing after reading through all posts. Perhaps You should have made it clearer that You’re discussing the value of MS’s way of measuring ‘size’ of their blogging service not the factual data.

    BTW this was the most heated dispute seen on a tech blog. Guess You’re quite brave to allow it. Congrats

  19. Kamal, thanks. Yeah, I believe in taking the consequences for what you write, both good and bad.

    I, Blog, I answered your “you’ve lost it” claim over on your blog’s comments.

  20. Kamal, thanks. Yeah, I believe in taking the consequences for what you write, both good and bad.

    I, Blog, I answered your “you’ve lost it” claim over on your blog’s comments.

  21. Robert, one good point I like to convey to you on this series of post is that I like your blog because you take accountability of what you write. Whenever something, good or bad, is said in the comment section you respond. I like the fact that you responded to each and every comment requiring your response. A point is worth reading if the person making it is willing to defend it:)

  22. Robert, one good point I like to convey to you on this series of post is that I like your blog because you take accountability of what you write. Whenever something, good or bad, is said in the comment section you respond. I like the fact that you responded to each and every comment requiring your response. A point is worth reading if the person making it is willing to defend it:)

  23. Maneesh: Have a good one.

    But, if only 2% of Live Spaces are blogs, then they AREN’T the largest.

    Anyway, you guys win. Find one series of posts you don’t like and you all say “unsubscribe.”

    Maybe you aren’t valuable readers after all if you’re all so thin skinned. At least I stick in here even after you all say things I don’t like.

  24. Maneesh: Have a good one.

    But, if only 2% of Live Spaces are blogs, then they AREN’T the largest.

    Anyway, you guys win. Find one series of posts you don’t like and you all say “unsubscribe.”

    Maybe you aren’t valuable readers after all if you’re all so thin skinned. At least I stick in here even after you all say things I don’t like.

  25. Robert, I think you’ve mentioned at least 10 times in these series of posts that the main reason you’re upset is: George Moore, VP Windows Live, said that spaces has 70 million blogs / George Moore said that Spaces has more blogs than anyone else.

    I looked at the original link “http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/windows_live_contacts.php” and all it says is that 1) Spaces has 70 million users (can’t deny that) and 2) Spaces is the largest blogging services (which Dare and Mike have followed up by saying is accurate if you measure by unique visitors per month… obviously there are many ways to measure “largest blogging service”, but unique visitors per month is just as reasonable a measurement as any other measurement).

    So basically, in my point of view, you have 1) repeatedly misquoted the original premise of your argument to try and prove a useless point 2) responded childishly when actual Live Spaces employees have tried to engage in a dialog 3) pissed off many of your readers who apparently aren’t a-list enough to matter to you 4) looked surpringly egotistical and petty in the process

    I’ve been a faithful reader of your blog for over a year now… but this discussion was so ridiculous that now’s the time to unsubscribe.

    29 999 readers left. Good luck.

    - Maneesh

  26. Robert, I think you’ve mentioned at least 10 times in these series of posts that the main reason you’re upset is: George Moore, VP Windows Live, said that spaces has 70 million blogs / George Moore said that Spaces has more blogs than anyone else.

    I looked at the original link “http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/windows_live_contacts.php” and all it says is that 1) Spaces has 70 million users (can’t deny that) and 2) Spaces is the largest blogging services (which Dare and Mike have followed up by saying is accurate if you measure by unique visitors per month… obviously there are many ways to measure “largest blogging service”, but unique visitors per month is just as reasonable a measurement as any other measurement).

    So basically, in my point of view, you have 1) repeatedly misquoted the original premise of your argument to try and prove a useless point 2) responded childishly when actual Live Spaces employees have tried to engage in a dialog 3) pissed off many of your readers who apparently aren’t a-list enough to matter to you 4) looked surpringly egotistical and petty in the process

    I’ve been a faithful reader of your blog for over a year now… but this discussion was so ridiculous that now’s the time to unsubscribe.

    29 999 readers left. Good luck.

    - Maneesh

  27. Robert, I think you had a point. But I also think the point did not get across because somewhere you lost your cool.

  28. Robert, I think you had a point. But I also think the point did not get across because somewhere you lost your cool.

  29. Unbelieveable: I think we’re talking over one another. OK, you win. Everything is a blog. I’m arrogant and an asshole.

    I started the whole evening pissed off cause an exec is claiming there’s 70 million blogs over on MSN Spaces. You say they all are blogs, even the ones (most of them) that have no posts. Fine, we will have to disagree on that one.

    Anyway, it’s clear that everyone just hates my point of view on this, so I’ll live with that fact and get on with my life. It’s not that important anyway.

    I think I’ll call each post of mine a blog, though. I have more blogs than 5,000 Spaces do! See how ridiculous this game can get?

  30. Unbelieveable: I think we’re talking over one another. OK, you win. Everything is a blog. I’m arrogant and an asshole.

    I started the whole evening pissed off cause an exec is claiming there’s 70 million blogs over on MSN Spaces. You say they all are blogs, even the ones (most of them) that have no posts. Fine, we will have to disagree on that one.

    Anyway, it’s clear that everyone just hates my point of view on this, so I’ll live with that fact and get on with my life. It’s not that important anyway.

    I think I’ll call each post of mine a blog, though. I have more blogs than 5,000 Spaces do! See how ridiculous this game can get?

  31. I’m with you 100% on this Scoble. I think most of the major blogging services have atrocious levels of spam.

    The difference is, the rest of them don’t sit around trumpeting their numbers as if they’re some sort of accomplishment. They also don’t say, “Oh look, we gave every Yahoo IM user a blog, and now we have 200 million more blogs!”

    Now for the tough love:

    Welcome to the life of someone outside of Microsoft. Jerks like Dare are constantly ready to call you dumb in public if you disagree with them, or even if you’re just voicing a reasonable question.

    Spaces is a decent blogging service, but it’s not served by the frankly absurd claims of the people running it and the hyper-irrelevant stats we keep hearing.

    You summarize it best when you point out that the real metric for success here is advertising revenue. If your blog is just spam, or if it’s a blog that’s only read by other people in a third world country with very little free income, those ads probably aren’t going to be worth much. Hard knocks, but there it is.

    Oh yeah — and if Dare’s dad is really president of Nigeria, can he do something about the friggin’ 419 scammers already? That has to be awkward at the family dinner table. “Dad, I have received word that you want to transfer 10 million dollars to my account because the authorities have frozen your other accounts. Why didn’t you just call and ask me?”

  32. I’m with you 100% on this Scoble. I think most of the major blogging services have atrocious levels of spam.

    The difference is, the rest of them don’t sit around trumpeting their numbers as if they’re some sort of accomplishment. They also don’t say, “Oh look, we gave every Yahoo IM user a blog, and now we have 200 million more blogs!”

    Now for the tough love:

    Welcome to the life of someone outside of Microsoft. Jerks like Dare are constantly ready to call you dumb in public if you disagree with them, or even if you’re just voicing a reasonable question.

    Spaces is a decent blogging service, but it’s not served by the frankly absurd claims of the people running it and the hyper-irrelevant stats we keep hearing.

    You summarize it best when you point out that the real metric for success here is advertising revenue. If your blog is just spam, or if it’s a blog that’s only read by other people in a third world country with very little free income, those ads probably aren’t going to be worth much. Hard knocks, but there it is.

    Oh yeah — and if Dare’s dad is really president of Nigeria, can he do something about the friggin’ 419 scammers already? That has to be awkward at the family dinner table. “Dad, I have received word that you want to transfer 10 million dollars to my account because the authorities have frozen your other accounts. Why didn’t you just call and ask me?”

  33. Robert, you posted a list of sites from Spaces tonight. I think that the issue is MSN Search. We ALL know that sucks. Finding value on Spaces blogs is a complete accident, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

  34. Robert, you posted a list of sites from Spaces tonight. I think that the issue is MSN Search. We ALL know that sucks. Finding value on Spaces blogs is a complete accident, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

  35. But you see Robert…that is just the point. Not ALL blog posts are going to be important to you all the time. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a blog, or the product of a blogger. That family blogger may post something someday, that helps someone in a distant place get through a divorce, or help with raising a child. And that makes it “A” list for that person that day. I didn’t say anything about a firewall…it’s content on the Web…chances are someone a little less elitist will find it valuable.

    I agree with many other posters here. You are showing severe childish arrogance by saying that YOU define what is a blogger/blog and what is not. I think that you’re probably upset because your narrow vision of what is valuable on the web doesn’t mesh with the massive vision that Microsoft is trying to realize.

  36. But you see Robert…that is just the point. Not ALL blog posts are going to be important to you all the time. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a blog, or the product of a blogger. That family blogger may post something someday, that helps someone in a distant place get through a divorce, or help with raising a child. And that makes it “A” list for that person that day. I didn’t say anything about a firewall…it’s content on the Web…chances are someone a little less elitist will find it valuable.

    I agree with many other posters here. You are showing severe childish arrogance by saying that YOU define what is a blogger/blog and what is not. I think that you’re probably upset because your narrow vision of what is valuable on the web doesn’t mesh with the massive vision that Microsoft is trying to realize.

  37. Casper: it’s pretty clear you didn’t visit a single one of the Live Spaces I linked to tonight.

    If you had you’d realize that what you do is FAR FAR more interesting than ANY of those so-called bloggers.

    Please, read those spaces. Then try to stick up for them again. I’ll wait.

    What you are doing is blogging. What they are doing? Not that I saw.

    Maybe I’m missing it, though.

    You had eight posts, all interesting.

    I didn’t find a single space that was even close.

    I guess you’re arguing for counting everyone as a blogger, even if they only have a single post that says “hey.”

    OK, I give up. It’s pretty clear I’m just pissing everyone off by trying to have a LITTLE bit of standards (two public posts a month doesn’t seem unreasonable to me).

  38. Casper: it’s pretty clear you didn’t visit a single one of the Live Spaces I linked to tonight.

    If you had you’d realize that what you do is FAR FAR more interesting than ANY of those so-called bloggers.

    Please, read those spaces. Then try to stick up for them again. I’ll wait.

    What you are doing is blogging. What they are doing? Not that I saw.

    Maybe I’m missing it, though.

    You had eight posts, all interesting.

    I didn’t find a single space that was even close.

    I guess you’re arguing for counting everyone as a blogger, even if they only have a single post that says “hey.”

    OK, I give up. It’s pretty clear I’m just pissing everyone off by trying to have a LITTLE bit of standards (two public posts a month doesn’t seem unreasonable to me).

  39. Unbelieveable: someone blogging behind a firewall to their own family only is NOT a blogger. Sorry. They are something else. Not saying they aren’t important, but they aren’t adding to the Web and, therefore, they aren’t important to ME cause I’m a consumer of things on the Web.

    >> You lament that you hear bloggers don’t matter, but what YOU are saying is that non-”A” list bloggers don’t matter.

    That’s part of it, but they really are saying the Blist and Clist and Zlist don’t matter either.

    But, I did claim that to advertisers the Alist matters more, cause that’s where the bulk of the traffic is. It’s a major reason why I don’t take advertising cause I think a kid in Australia with five readers is just as important. But not if he writes just about his cats. Just kidding. Heheh.

  40. Unbelieveable: someone blogging behind a firewall to their own family only is NOT a blogger. Sorry. They are something else. Not saying they aren’t important, but they aren’t adding to the Web and, therefore, they aren’t important to ME cause I’m a consumer of things on the Web.

    >> You lament that you hear bloggers don’t matter, but what YOU are saying is that non-”A” list bloggers don’t matter.

    That’s part of it, but they really are saying the Blist and Clist and Zlist don’t matter either.

    But, I did claim that to advertisers the Alist matters more, cause that’s where the bulk of the traffic is. It’s a major reason why I don’t take advertising cause I think a kid in Australia with five readers is just as important. But not if he writes just about his cats. Just kidding. Heheh.

  41. I’m sorry to say it Robert but these last couple of posts regarding the number of Live Spaces seems to have gotten out of hand. These posts look like the writings of Dvorak and Nick Carr, who will write anything to create a fuzz in the blogging world and enhance their status as influential a-list bloggers (to use your own term). In the past I have seen you as an unbiased blogger pointing out interesting issues at microsoft and in the blogging sphere (your blog was the first blog that I subscribed to). Everyone knows that you were one of the driving forces behind the adoption of blogging and a lot of companies wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you.
    The thing about your posts that really made me wonder was the definition of a blog. In your terms a lot of us casual bloggers aren’t “real” bloggers – wasn’t the whole idea about blogging that it could be used by anybody and that the format could be suited to the inviduals needs? Unfortunately I’m not as lucky as you to be paid to blog, so I don’t have time to write long posts (or the writing skills) and update often, so I just started photo blogging and writing small annotations to the photos. Why shouldn’t I be included as a blogger? Maybe you should try writing a couple a good posts a month instead of writing several posts a day – quality > quantity.
    The other fact that I want to point out is that your assumption that influence is more important than numbers of users is also a claim without any evidence. I’m sure that Jeff Jarvis is more important in your business but in my world, the most important / influential people are my friends. Why is that? It could be explained that in this maturity phase of the blogging phenomenon, affinity and critical mass are more important now than in the early stages of adoption. What I’m saying is that your friends are a stronger network tie than the people you mention. How many of your non-technology friends are reading Jeff Jarvis’ blog? In my case zero of my friends read any of the a-list bloggers (arrington, scoble, winer, canter, carr, etc.) but they do read eachothers blogs – this way Google was interested in investing in MySpace advertising.

  42. I’m sorry to say it Robert but these last couple of posts regarding the number of Live Spaces seems to have gotten out of hand. These posts look like the writings of Dvorak and Nick Carr, who will write anything to create a fuzz in the blogging world and enhance their status as influential a-list bloggers (to use your own term). In the past I have seen you as an unbiased blogger pointing out interesting issues at microsoft and in the blogging sphere (your blog was the first blog that I subscribed to). Everyone knows that you were one of the driving forces behind the adoption of blogging and a lot of companies wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you.
    The thing about your posts that really made me wonder was the definition of a blog. In your terms a lot of us casual bloggers aren’t “real” bloggers – wasn’t the whole idea about blogging that it could be used by anybody and that the format could be suited to the inviduals needs? Unfortunately I’m not as lucky as you to be paid to blog, so I don’t have time to write long posts (or the writing skills) and update often, so I just started photo blogging and writing small annotations to the photos. Why shouldn’t I be included as a blogger? Maybe you should try writing a couple a good posts a month instead of writing several posts a day – quality > quantity.
    The other fact that I want to point out is that your assumption that influence is more important than numbers of users is also a claim without any evidence. I’m sure that Jeff Jarvis is more important in your business but in my world, the most important / influential people are my friends. Why is that? It could be explained that in this maturity phase of the blogging phenomenon, affinity and critical mass are more important now than in the early stages of adoption. What I’m saying is that your friends are a stronger network tie than the people you mention. How many of your non-technology friends are reading Jeff Jarvis’ blog? In my case zero of my friends read any of the a-list bloggers (arrington, scoble, winer, canter, carr, etc.) but they do read eachothers blogs – this way Google was interested in investing in MySpace advertising.

  43. So many contradictions in your post Robert…

    You don’t think that Microsoft should be able to claim they have a blog service. Who cares about the numbers…they have the functionality. They have lots of users. Have you ever seen the numbers of users of Hotmail and Spaces in South America. It’s amazing…off the charts compared to Yahoo, AOL, Blogger…etc. Yes, Microsoft are idiots…they don’t know how to capitalize on this user base. But that doesn’t lessen the importance of the blog and those that use it.

    If I use your reasoning, there would be no independent films. It’s not about the company that runs the blogging service. It’s about the blogger. And even if there is only one blog in that 100 million that is popular and well published and well read/commented that service is valuable…and definitely valuable for that person. You lament that you hear bloggers don’t matter, but what YOU are saying is that non-”A” list bloggers don’t matter. You know how many blogs I see on Spaces that are just for families to communicate? But, you see Robert, YOU are the arrogant “A” lister and it seems that nobody else is good enough to be called a blogger.

    Now, to Dare’s comment that seems to have gotten your goat. He’s referring to your blog. The posts don’t mean anything. They’re just inane links, rambling pointers to obscure geek references and pimping your new silly videos. THAT is what he’s referring to. And you know what? If that is what we’re calling blogging…then there are millions of valid blogs on Spaces.

  44. So many contradictions in your post Robert…

    You don’t think that Microsoft should be able to claim they have a blog service. Who cares about the numbers…they have the functionality. They have lots of users. Have you ever seen the numbers of users of Hotmail and Spaces in South America. It’s amazing…off the charts compared to Yahoo, AOL, Blogger…etc. Yes, Microsoft are idiots…they don’t know how to capitalize on this user base. But that doesn’t lessen the importance of the blog and those that use it.

    If I use your reasoning, there would be no independent films. It’s not about the company that runs the blogging service. It’s about the blogger. And even if there is only one blog in that 100 million that is popular and well published and well read/commented that service is valuable…and definitely valuable for that person. You lament that you hear bloggers don’t matter, but what YOU are saying is that non-”A” list bloggers don’t matter. You know how many blogs I see on Spaces that are just for families to communicate? But, you see Robert, YOU are the arrogant “A” lister and it seems that nobody else is good enough to be called a blogger.

    Now, to Dare’s comment that seems to have gotten your goat. He’s referring to your blog. The posts don’t mean anything. They’re just inane links, rambling pointers to obscure geek references and pimping your new silly videos. THAT is what he’s referring to. And you know what? If that is what we’re calling blogging…then there are millions of valid blogs on Spaces.

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