Thursday, January 19, 2006

Automated fixations

The sewer have always had a peculiar fixation with Russell Brown; now via DPF, I see that they've automated it, posting the summaries and links direct from Public Address's RSS feed to allow their readers to comment. Beats doing it by hand, I guess, but strangely they seem to think its some sort of coup. ZenTiger refers to it as a "landmark" and raves about "the novelty of the technology" - which is strange, given that LiveJournal has been doing this sort of thing for years. Others have referred to it as a "kidnapping", which is a rather peculiar spin on something the blogosphere has always done - linking to other people's posts. But the most hyperbolic is this comment from Adolf on the first such (re)posting:

This rather delicious imbroglio gives you [Russell] a bit of a problem. You are a bit like the brothel owner who suddenly finds the Madame across the road has put up a bigger and brighter red light. Within a few days two thirds of your girls will have gone over the road as well because that's where the traffic is now.

Obviously. Because what most Public Address readers really want to see isn't Public Address's well-written content, but the blogosphere equivalent of badly-trained monkeys throwing their own shit...



OK, and the point of the above was?

To be honest, I think Russell can go a wee bit OTT when in self-promotion mode and he's certainly bowled his fair share of gutterballs. We've also had our fits of mutual primate crap-throwing.

But, in the end, so what? Save the bile for something that actually matters.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 1/19/2006 02:14:00 AM

Pricking some clearly over-inflated egos, who seem to be under the strange misapprehension that a) they're doing something new, rather than something bloggers do every single day; and b) other people have some obligation to read and respond to their antics. It's not, and they don't.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/19/2006 03:28:00 AM

Reading SH is a bit of a scatological porn trip for you isn't it Idiot? Ah well, each to his own eh.

Posted by Chefen : 1/19/2006 05:19:00 AM

Good (fair) call, I/S :-)

Time will be the ultimate jury. Something for everyone here, I'd have thought..:
- I doubt PA readership will suffer at all
- the Humphreys-trogs don't have to exit their cave (sunlight too bright...)
- when RB enables site comments this year we might get a higher standard of discussion from the remaining readers

Posted by Anonymous : 1/19/2006 08:48:00 AM

I don't think Russell's hits will drop significantly - most of his current readers are people I suspect don't really engage in the rest of the blogosphere and aren't that interested in comments.

My reason for suspecting this is that I have had a few links from DPF in my time, and it increases my hits dramatically, but on the one occasion when I have had a link from Hard News, right at the end of the column and not really in the context of the article, my hits were at least three times higher than from a DPF link. These are not people who are commenting a lot on other blogs, or they would have possibly already have been looking at my blog - they are predominantly readers not commenters.

Posted by Span : 1/19/2006 09:07:00 AM

They are keen on their technology.

Personally, I hadn't visited their .com since it officially opened, after incidents that they can misrepresent if they like convinced me I didn't care what they think and their standards for good behavior in the comments section don't apply to themselves. In a way that doesn't entertain me anymore.

Nothing's changed.

So do you call them the sewer because they have yet to reap?

Actually, no, you're right. I do feel like a shower.

Posted by Lyndon : 1/19/2006 09:50:00 AM

I used to listen to Hard News on BFM years ago and I followed Russell Brown into the blogosphere. He writes well, he is interesting and well informed and I think seems like a decent guy with a family. I don't know who the nobodies are who, I assume, have decided to set him up as New Zealand's Robert Fisk with themselves as fiskers and I don't care either. I have no time for childish attempts at bullying which is what this sounds like to me. And if they want to steal Russell Brown's readership they should put their efforts into writing interesting, well researched and well written columns themselves.

Posted by Amanda : 1/19/2006 11:28:00 AM

SH seems to get a lot of attacking here. One has to wonder how they can afford to spend so much time doing what they do, they have a wiki, and a blog and god knows what else there. Methinks they are paid by some political party (Nats? ACT?).
Furthermore, Sir Humphrey was classic and brilliant, they are destroying his good name (Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister for those that don't get the reference). I hope the BBC sues their arse for copyright violation.

Posted by Anonymous : 1/19/2006 12:11:00 PM

That was one of the funniest posts ive read all year Idiot?savant
Those twits at SH really dont get it.

Posted by Anonymous : 1/19/2006 12:22:00 PM

Here's an essay question for you all -

"Inter-blog bitch fights are like flame-wars on bulletin boards - all consuming to the people incolved, tedious and distasteful to everyone else. Discuss."

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 1/19/2006 02:44:00 PM

G: of course, the fact that half of them work in IT and consider this kind of thing entertainment is far less worthy of consideration than the conspiracy theory that they're paid hacks for a political party...

In my experience, the bloggers at Sir Humphrey's will engage in reasoned argument with anyone that's willing to give it a go themselves. That they have comments sections full of right-wing nutter circus freaks is no more of a surprise than it is on kiwiblog. I presume the "circus freak" population will make their Hard News comments threads unusable by anyone without a few chromosomes missing, but that's the blog biz.

Posted by Psycho Milt : 1/19/2006 06:49:00 PM

Heh. Very funny guys. Feel better? So when have I personally insulted you? Are you sure it wasn't in response to something you said?

The thread seems largely guilty of exactly what you claim Sir Humphrey's of.

IdiotS, I'm not sure why you surmise that we think people have some obligation to read Sir Humphrey's. Quite frankly, I'd like it if a few of the trollsome sorts stayed away.

I'm normally fairly reasonable unless people are excessively rude.

Spanner, I can assure you linking to RB's RSS feed is not about hits. It is somewhat about the novelty (yes Idiot, I know its hardly unique, but I didn't know it was a crime to actually *use* the technology), and gosh, no-one noticed, but we actually linked up to THREE different feeds (with more planned), so it's not all about Russell, other than you so much want it to be.

g: We all do this on out own time, we are not paid for this. I put time and effort into my posts simply because I care about what I write, like most bloggers I imagine. Have you actually read any of my posts?

Some perspective guys. We have collectivdely done over 3,600 posts. He's not mentioned *that* much. I think I've done ONE post concerning RB.

Obviously countering the odd RB post is worthwhile, precisely because he is articulate and influential, and lives in both blogging and media circles. And we hold different opinions on many topics.

I'm beginning to think *we* must have some influence, you all talk about us so much - but that must be my overinflated ego...

Posted by ZenTiger : 1/19/2006 10:24:00 PM

ZT, I didn't think you personally thought it was about hits, but there have been comments elsewhere about how this is going to be the death knell of Hard News because now everyone is just going to go to SH's to read AND comment, when clearly that is not the case (especially given that you are only publishing the first para and a link!).

Posted by Span : 1/20/2006 08:26:00 AM

OK Span(ner). I agree. There is about zero chance this would reduce the Hard News readership, and there is nothing at Hard News to send readers to Sir Humphs, so its not going to increase our readership.

If anything, we may add a couple of readers to Hard News, because a few right wingers may be reminded to check out his thoughts. He puts his points across well, so what is the big deal here?

A large part of this argument is that we have set out to harm RB.

The effect of listing the first paragraph of his posts does not do that.

The point that we've done this for 3 feeds now also indicates this is not solely about RB.

The proportion of actual posts spent on RB is minute. They just generate noise. I still think much of this is "any excuse to see the worst motives".

Posted by ZenTiger : 1/20/2006 09:45:00 AM