My favorite podcast just finished their final, what they refer to as ordinary episode: LUG Radio . The podcast is hosted by four British blokes (Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge, Chris Procter, and Adam Sweet) who admittedly swear and joke a lot but also discuss Linux and other open source related topics with very refreshing insights. That’s all over now of course. They bailed out. Don’t they say that only all good things come to an end? (wink,wink,smile)
In that final episode they were discussing whether – in their own words – “Pundits should fuck off”. Their definition of a pundit is someone who writes or talks authoritatively about subjects without actually being an authority on that subject. In short: someone who pontificates. Listen to the episode yourself if you want to know what they concluded. One interesting question that came out of this discussion was whether good bloggers are just good at articulating things and not necessarily knowledgable about the subjects they write about.
Now I might be venturing on very thin ice here, but I actually like to write about subjects that fascinate me. And I am always fascinated by the things I don’t fully understand yet, but am trying to understand. So my blogs are often thoughts that I am saying out loud, hoping I can spark some thoughts in other people’s heads too. Does that make me a pundit? I’ll leave that up to you (be gentle…).
Last week, Eiso Kant posted an entry on his blog with the inviting title: “Is blogging dead?”. His point is that “blogs are often no longer about the integrity of the content but the number of backlinks it receives, the number of page views and how high it ranks in Google”. I admit, these things matter much to me too, but you actually need to write about someting that is valued by others to achieve all that. That’s the beauty of Web 2.0!
The thing that triggered me most was a response by Eiso on a comment to this blog entry, where he wrote:
“I have been at the head of a project where we hired article writers to populate blogs. When we paid them we didn’t ask for great articles, neither were we looking for the best writers, we were looking for cheap keyword rich content.”
So if I am understanding correctly, you can rent a ranter for populating blogs. These people actually get paid to provide mediocre content. I have tried www.rent-a-ranter.com but it doesn’t exist yet. So here’s your chance!