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The New A List

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Damn, I wish I hadn’t read blogs today. I took yesterday off. I might take the rest of the week off.

Blogging for me is at an inflection point. Blogging for me had the opportunity to become something magical: where the reader gets smarter and more informed. It seems that lately it’s become the worst of the Usenet – just straight up street fighting. My guy vs. your guy. My cause vs. your cause.

So, why do I wish I hadn’t read blogs today? Cause I saw a lynch mob beating up my friend, Dave Winer. As I read their posts (and the even more vile comments on those posts) I realize that this isn’t the blogosphere I signed up for.

Although it’s one I helped create.

No one kept their head – the knives and guns just came out in this street fight. No one called both sides and did some real reporting. No one added any value. Built anyone up. No, all I read was “Dave’s an a++hole” kind of comments. Update: Nick Bradbury kept his head.

Worse, some bloggers are asking me to join the mob! Um, no.

First, throwing out the fact that Dave’s a friend of mine and has done more for me and my family than the entire lynch mob put together, there’s the little thing of my philosophy.

My philosophy? I want better software. More software. More geek toys. More things that improve my life.

So, what does my philosophy tell me to do? Protect the inventor. Protect the guy who brought us SOAP, XML-RPC, RSS, OPML, and a few other things here and there. Against the angry mob.

Why? Cause if I don’t, then maybe some new inventor will say “this space sucks, I’m gonna go somewhere that they appreciate inventors.” And if that happens I’ll lose. We’ll all lose.

Now, read very carefully. I have no idea who has a good legal case here. I have no idea who is in the right, or who is in the wrong. I know it’s fun to pick sides, but when there are two sides to the story we MUST stop and put on our thinking caps and MUST stop behaving like a mob. Even a guy accused of murder deserves a fair trial.

Why?

Cause I know how this game is played. Once Dave is outta the way, they are coming after me. Or you. Or your friends.

I wish I had never looked at the blogs this morning. I’m sorry for any part I played in helping create this new “A list.”

Ever notice that the new A list only tears down people and ideas but never puts new ideas, new products, new tools, out there to attack?

This is why I’m trying to get away from Memeorandum and other memetrackers. I am getting pulled into this new “A list” world. Why? Cause the new A list is getting huge audiences. They are getting more comments on their blogs. More inbound links. Moving up the Technorati popularity list.

I almost bought into it myself and thought I needed to join the “attack mob” too.

If that’s how the game is gonna be played, I want off the Technorati list now.

I wish I had never looked at the blogs today.

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Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as PodTech.net’s Vice President of Media Development.

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The New A List
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