aaand this is why digg > slashdot

so, don’t get me wrong.  i ♥ slashdot, i even like reading the comments for their biting snark, but it’s pretty much a given that if you post something stupid, lame, or sentimental, by anyone‘s standards, you’re asking for a lashing on the old /.

sometime over the summer or early in the year there was this viral vid of a kid who had just come home from the dentist’s and he was tripping on nitrous oxide, and pretty much freaking out about it.  his dad was mildly supportive, but mostly he was videotaping the thing and laughing.  then he posted it to youtube and his blog because he thought it was so funny.  if you look at it from the kids’ perspective, dad was being pretty f’d up.

i mention that video because this one is not that.  it’s not a parent videotaping their kid in order to laugh at, jeer at, or make fun of them.  it’s mildly amusing because of the dad’s reactions, and because the kid is so grateful and well-spoken about it.  but, more important than the video, and why i’m currently digging digg more than slashdot, is the comments on this link.

The Only Prepubescent Kid Who Deserves an Xbox 360 (video)

rather than automatically being on the aggressive side about the video, the link, the submitter, the kid, the dad, and pretty much life in general, the comments are overwhelmingly positive.  being so used to reading flames and sarcasm, the difference is striking, and refreshing.  and probably being a parent has made me a bit more sentimental, as well.  so yeah, i think this puts digg above slashdot for commenters not being dickwads.

rise above

[audio:RiseAbove.mp3]

so i had this long post all ready to run based on some stuff i discovered through clicking around a certain blogger’s twitter feed.  it became the fictionalized story of two like-minded neophyte bloggers who came to the blogging world from an altogether different online world — the online porn industry.  they both had similar stories of how they shared their names with notorious porn stars and somehow both found twitter rocket.  (all the above is actually true, the story that i wove from those details was fictional, albeit not entirely unlikely.)  needless to say, i didn’t run that story or  you’d be reading it now.  and i’m not gonna.

i decided i don’t care.  so what if a couple of former porn stars are using twitter rocket — that’s not the part that bugs me.  the part that bugs me is people being deliberately deceptive as a marketing technique.  sure, i get that marketing is all about little white lies, but being associated with it leaves a foul taste in my mouth.  i, too, am using a product that people are promoting by being deceptive.

it’s like, oh i don’t know, going to someone else’s blog and using it as a forum to make yourself look good and genuine and discredit the blog author.  going to someone’s blog for the sole purpose of discrediting them, and doing so repeatedly, is distasteful.  doing so deliberately to drive traffic back to your site or link is even more so.  but that’s exactly what @blogginghannah did.  she got her start by going to popular pro-blogger darren rowse‘s site and deliberately posting inflammatory comments to get attention.  sure it works.  it did exactly what she intended it to do — drove traffic to her site, where she posted a long article about how problogger was a swindle.  it’s distasteful.  but then, i come from the old school days of the net where you’d go to alt.topic.whatever and read 90% flame war and 10% real content.  i got myself flamed on alt.society.gothic by asking the incredibly controversial question (for a research paper) “what is goth?”  (the word kindergoth was flung at me.)

what’s worse is people who do the same thing — target a blog and then post inflammatory comments to drive traffic back to your link — but they don’t post their own website, they use an affiliate link.  it’s worse because you aren’t even giving people the benefit of judging you by your opinions, what else you have to say, you’re just throwing an ad in their face.  i don’t like junk mail, i don’t like rick rolls, and that, to me, seems likes the two things combined.  call it a junk roll.  it’s rubbish. it might work, but it’s lame.  especially when the blog you’re commenting on has no real value for generating traffic to your link.

it reminded me of this song by black flag.  i am chosing to rise above that level of name-calling and attention-grabbing, not adding to the misrepresentation.  it’s easy for me to get drawn into that, and i am guilty of being baited, but the best thing to do is to ignore it and it will go away, and remember what henry rollins said:

Jealous cowards try to control
Rise above
We’re gonna rise above
They distort what we say
Rise above
We’re gonna rise above
Try and stop what we do
Rise above
When they can’t do it themselves

We are tired of your abuse
Try to stop us it’s no use

what can’t they do? provide content of any real value.  rise above, we’re gonna rise above.