Oh, sorry. We were trying to read your blog…
I don’t have a particularly catchy intro for this Scroll.
I’ve been tasting it in my mouth for a week or so and now I’ve finally vomited it up.
It might piss you off. But that’s not what I want.
I just want us to start putting a little more thought into the things we do.
And maybe have a good laugh at ourselves along the way.
This Scroll doesn’t have a Conclusion either. So feel free to continue the list with things you hate about blogs too. You can even say, “I hate how fucking self-righteous you are, Wolf Boy!” As long as you RT this when you’re done.
Without further a due… or is it adieu… I never know… well, here it is:
What the fuck kind of word is this? It’s so ugly I want to scoop my eyes out with spoons every time I see it. Blog. Blog. Blob. Blog. Blog. Blob. Blog.
See? You probably didn’t even catch that I inserted Blob in there because it looks just like Blog if you turned the ‘g’ upside down and straightened out the curly part. This is fitting since most Blogs are just Blobs anyway: meaningless words piling up in the corners of the Internet and petrifying into a strange, static substance that future generations will have to pry off the Web with digital versions of whatever tool you use to remove weird blobs from corners.
While we’re on the subject of stupid words, let’s talk about blog posts. Is this what you tie your Blob to so it doesn’t run away? Posts are static. They aren’t meant to move. If your writing isn’t moving people, you might want to check here first when you go in for a tune-up. Are you writing blob posts? Or are you writing essays? Articles? Stories?
I write Scrolls. No, you can’t write Scrolls too. That’s just for me and Jack Kerouac.
2. Affiliate Links.
Maybe you clicked on that link to “On The Road: The Original Scroll.” Maybe you were even intrigued enough to purchase that book right then and there. Maybe the estate of Jack Kerouac just sent me a 50% cut of the purchase price…
Oh, wait. No. They didn’t do that.
Why? Because I didn’t do anything.
You’d think a share-the-wealth Commie like me would be all up into these affiliate links. But I actually think they’re the bane of the blogosphere and of good writing in the new publishing industry.
Look at it this way. I spend a year writing a novel. I feel like $12 a book is a fair price for an e-book. But in the current blog economy, I’m pretty much expected to offer a 50% cut to anyone who slaps my affiliate link on their website. So now I am only making $6 on a book I worked my ass off to create, and you are making $6 for copying and pasting a link.
So how do I make the $12 I truly deserve for my time and effort and originality?
I charge you $24 for my book made of pixels.
But jacked up prices aren’t my real problem with affiliate links.
My real problem is that affiliate links encourage shitty writing.
Your book doesn’t have to be good to sell. Your book just has to offer a lucrative enough affiliate cut that people will give you fawning reviews just so they can make $20 from your $40 book that was only honestly worth $10 to begin with. If that.
This is why the blob world is full of half-assed shitty e-books right now and blobbers pretending not to know that the book they are hawking is half-assed and shitty.
They also encourage…
3. False Followers.
These are the people who don’t really give a shit about your writing.
They just give a shit about making a profit off your writing.
Affiliate links are the most obvious way to spot these people. They’re pimping your book, but they aren’t trying to connect with you personally. That’s a good sign.
But there are other ways these barnacles reveal themselves as well.
They may show up when a truly successful writer shares your work because they think you’re in the club and maybe you’ll invite them too.
We all do this to some degree, but usually the friendships we develop outweigh the personal gain we initially dreamed of. But sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you find out that someone was never your friend at all and they drop you as soon as you no longer seem like a profitable ally.
People like this often turn up soon after a blob post …
4. Goes Viral.
I’m not sure what the official word on this subject is, but from my observations any post that achieves 50 or more Retweets is declared to have gone viral.
Because when 50 people in a remote jungle village all die of one disease that never leaves their patch of the woods we say that disease has gone viral.
Blobbers sometimes forget that blobbing is not the universe. They forget that even some of the most successful Cloud Writers have a Twitter following the size of a small, rural town in Arkansas. They forget that for the most part we are mostly just talking to each other.
There’s nothing wrong with talking to each other. It’s quite lovely.
Let’s just stop pretending that we changed the world because 112 people shared our work on Facebook. There are more than 112 people in an Applebee’s at any given moment.
Keep writing for the audience you have. Stop bragging that it’s bigger than it is.
One of the best ways to get your post to “go viral” is with a…
5. Shocking Sexual Revelation!
So there was this one time when you were 14 and you kissed your best friend on a dare at a slumber party and even though you have only ever had sex with men in the 16 intervening years since then, you still think you’re probably bisexual based on that kiss.
Shut the fuck up, Katy Perry.
Unless there is a picture of you and someone of the same sex naked in bed together, nobody really gives a shit. They are Retweeting you because if they don’t everyone else might think they’re prudes or bigots.
They don’t give a shit because they aren’t shocked.
They have all known at least 427 people who color outside the lines in bed.
Their uncles are gay. Their mom’s new husband is 32 years her junior. They once dated a person who insisted on dressing up in a giant bunny suit before sex.
They’ve seen it all.
It is 2011. It’s just sex.
6. Seth Godin Quotes.
There are other people in the world who say smart things.
7. Tyler Durdin Quotes.
Seriously. What’s up?
Do we not know anybody to quote whose last name doesn’t end with the suffix ‘din’?
There are other fictional people in the world who say smart things.
What?! Change what?!!?!?!!
What the fuck are you trying to change?!?!?!
You better be able to tell me.
Otherwise, you sound like an Obama intern who wandered off into the woods during the 2008 election campaign and just emerged with no idea that nothing has really fucking changed.
Point being, you can’t just say say change.
It’s not a buzz word to get votes or page visits. It’s a verb.
Tessa Zeng knows what she wants to change.
If not, then spare us another vague blob about change you aren’t even passionate enough to put it into clear, concise, words and obvious action.
9. Everyone Can Blog!
This is true. Anyone with a computer can start a blob.
But should you?
Because a lot of the blogs that tell you anyone can start a blog and make money at it are just trying to make money off of your desire to start a blog. They know the truth. They aren’t worried that by selling blog-building books they will bring about their own blog’s demise by revealing their secrets to anyone with $45 on their credit card.
They know that you probably can’t write.
And they don’t care.
But I care.
And if you can’t write…
You probably shouldn’t start a business based around writing.
I’m sorry. I’m sure there are other things you’re great at it.
But if writing isn’t one of them, you need to stop polluting the Cloud.
Am I saying I’m one of the best writers in the world?
Of course not. (But I might be…)
You don’t have to be Hemingway or Kerouac or even a hack like Shakespeare.
But you need to be able to string words together in a way that makes people think.
If you can’t, then you’re back at #1. You have created a blob.
10. Violent Language
This is the one that’s going to get me in real trouble.
I’m sure a few will just write this off as being jealous that I’m not at #WDS this weekend.
It’s true. There are a bunch of people up there that I would love to be hanging out with.
And I’m sure that the speakers and the workshops are going to be great.
But can y’all do me a favor when you get back?
Never use the word Domination again.
I joined this community because I thought we were in the business of setting people free.
Nobody has ever been set free through Empires, Cartels, or Domination.
I know these words are strong and catchy and make good copy for business builder types.
Here are some other strong, catchy words:
Bitch. Faggot. Nigger.
Not very good copy, are they?
Some words with dark meanings should be left in the dark.
There are plenty of strong, catchy words that don’t have connotations of slavery and senseless mass death.
I know I sound like a real party pooper here. But understand I have nothing against the spirit of what is happening in Portland right now as I write this. I hope everyone is having a life-changing blast.
I just never liked the name.
So maybe while you’re there, you could come up with something new that isn’t so scary?
Something that actually captures our true, life-giving intentions toward the world?
That would be great.
Retweet if you want to.