"The Techmeme leaderboard sucks because, now that we have transparency, undeserving others who didn't close to inventing RSS or the question mark are unfairly stealing my web influence. People are saying stupid things about Web 3.0 just to get attention. (PS... Did I tell you what I think Web 3.0 is? Its when mainstream media acknowledges us little guys... and clearly that's a more well thought out vision of Web 3.0 than Jason's and clearly I'm not annoyed that more people noticed a tree falling in the forest than my seminal Web 3.0 post.) There's more important stuff to be blogging about, like Iran. Now, back to blogging about the blogosphere."
So, that's not an exact quote, but it's close.
Don't you just love it when the big name pundits confuse their popularity for indications of the quality of their writing and support for their thinking?
Knock Jason if you will, but I think he's incredibly self aware and so is Guy Kawasaki. They seem to understand their role as pot stirrers, and that's why they're so damned good at it. Truemors? Maybe the worst startup ever, but it was one of the best PR moves ever. For 14k or whatever he spent on it, Guy bought himself even more incredible PR and self-marketing, and not for a moment did anyone confuse him with an actual entrepreneur, nor did he. In the same way, I'm pretty sure Jason knew exactly what he was doing when he proclaimed Web 3.0 to be pretty much exactly what Mahalo was doing. He's not an idiot, Dave, he's incredibly smart, actually. Jason being Jason is exactly why Mahalo is as much of a conversation topic as it is.
All these "big guys"... the Guys, the Winers, the Techcrunches, the Scobles, and the ultimate, the Dvoraks, they serve a function. They are the conversation leaders. They give us something to talk about (or in Dvorak's case, someone to send our hate posts to). In the absence of real news, they suggest topics... and they often do it in a way that inspires others to write a lot more inspiring literature about it. Does anyone out there think that Scoble's post on anything is going to be the best post on it? That's not his job. He points to things... not unlike a Paris Hilton, who we don't actually watch for what she says, but more for the things she "points to" around her... the cult of personality, the flow of news, the lifestyle, etc. The most thoughtful posts are on the blogs only a handful of people read, because they're too long or not controversial enough or they have too much integrity than to shamelessly linkbait by writing "Why Web 2.0 sucks..." posts.
They are the water coolers. We gather around them and talk about their topics because we like to be able to connect to lots of other people talking about the same thing. The tail isn't as long as we think it is, because, at the end of the day, how much fun is it to be the only person actually blogging about cats? That's my theory on why mainstream TV never goes away... because people want to go in the next day to work to be able to talk about what happened on Lost or Grey's or whatever.
The problem is when those folks don't realize that they are just water coolers... when the water cooler starts going "blub, blub, blub" so loud that it tries to drown out other people's conversation, thinking that people are actually at the water cooler for the water and only the water.
I was talking to Nate last night about how the nextNY listserv has been getting a little boring of late. That's because people only seem to be using it for useful things. No one posts the kind of idiocy that Dave despises, and while on one hand I'm glad my inbox isn't full of 300 post listserv threads with namecalling, it does sort of wake people up and gather them and get them talking and that's an incredibly valuable function.