Flutterby™! : memeorandumb

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics


2005-11-01 00:08:27.640911+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Shelly had some observations about what showed up on tech.memeorandum.com, and Dori expanded on one of her comments, the discussion of which makes me ask: What is it about services like Memeorandum and Technorati that people find compelling?

I think this must be an instance of "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded", and another symptom of the reason I'm not rich, but both of them seem to be following the curve, not leading it. Memeorandum today points out that the big news is... wait for it... that Bush has nominated Samuel Alito to serve on the Supreme Court. Shocker. Like that's not above the fold on newspapers across the country. Further, it tells us that political webloggers have an opinion on the matter. Wow. Isn't it amazing what automated media can do for us?

If we go over to tech.memeorandum.com we discover that, yes, people link to the same stories that /. linked to yesterday, and that Ruby on Rails is hot these days. Wow, kids, color me impressed.

Dropping back over to Technorati gives us a similarly bland view of the world. For instance, I know that Mark has been hacking on the Atari 2600 recently, and I'm wondering who else might be playing with that sort of hardware hackery, so I put "Atari 2600" into the search box, and discover that spam blogs are using that as a search term, and that someone just bought a game cartridge for that platform on eBay. I guess the exciting world of Beenie Babies is passé now.

I feel like what's going on is a "cargo cult" situation: The world at large sees a few smart interesting people doing cool stuff, and starts building mock-ups out of plywood to try to curry favor with the gods which gave those people their technology. And I suppose that if you're someone who's impressed by Microsoft's latest offerings then the runway markers on the rock strewn field make sense to you.

I suppose it's a free country, and they can do whatever they want, but the noise that these people introduce into the conversation just seems to get in the way, and like the younger sibling who just won't stay the hell home and insists on hanging out with you and your friends, I long for a time when we can have a clubhouse that isn't invaded by such mundanity.

[ related topics: Politics Weblogs Microsoft moron Current Events Journalism and Media Community ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-01 08:38:32.544376+00 by: meuon [edit history]

I thought Flutterby was such a clubhouse. (while apologizing for my last post again..). and I'm building one for the Chattanooga Grotto of the NSS website internals (login/password/NSS# and manual verification required) so we CAN talk among ourselves without the outside world of spray painting, trash dumping formation stealing, cretins invading our space.

It happens anywhere "AOLification" happens, the kewl stuff moves down a layer, away from the so public side. It affects Burning Man as well as the kewl coffee shop in Chattanooga (think I'm going to tell YOU where the real kewl hang out is? Hah!) {just kidding.. Aretha Frankenstiens and Stone Cup compliment each other nicely}.

So how will we know the real blogs from the mundane dreck: Content.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-01 15:58:12.49112+00 by: Nancy

whoo hoo! I have a new goal: my public blog = mundane dreck, my anonymous blog = mundane dreckier.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-11-01 16:47:28.182744+00 by: ebradway

You're just confusing content with community. What makes a certain blog or forum or listserve "work" is the community. The content is more a symptom of the community. Some communities leach content from others and some communities generate content. The best way to reduce the noise is to find the communities where you are able to communicate the best.

I had an interesting experience recently. Asha wants a new watch for Xmas and she saw a client wearing a Franck Muller. Not knowing much about watches, I Googled the name and came up with a world of interesting links: several jewelers selling used FMs for $10K+, several knock-off sites, and several watches on eBay. A particular watch was up for bid on eBay that Asha liked, so I setup a snipe with AuctionSniper and started researching the watch. Since the big name watchmakers don't put detailed images on their websites (no one really buys a $10,000 watch online - they go to a jeweler) - and there is very little historical data, I could not find any information about the watch we were interested in bidding on.

So I decided to research replica watches and came across the Replica Watches Guide forum. The community over there is rather interesting but if you spend a little time and get through the banter, you'll find a group of people who really know alot about designer watches AND knock-offs. Their focus is the new genre of "replica" watches: knock-offs that sometimes even use Swiss movements (and in the case of a particular Franck Muller, the exact same movement that the genuine FM uses) and cost a couple hundred dollars. They agonize over the details of one knock-off versus another. They "geek-out" on what jewelers know how to add the radioactive luminescent paint to the hands of their Rolex Submariner replica so they always glow - just like the original.

What I found, after dealing with alot of BS, was that the watch I was interested in on eBay was actually a poor knock-off. The font of the engraving on the back was all wrong. I cancelled the snipe and, ironically, the watch sold for over $300 - much more than a quality replica from one of the dealers with known track-records on the forum. These guys really know their watches. But the forum is members-only, so it keeps out the knock-off spammers and they have a very specific community. It is these parameters of the community that allows the value of the content to come out.

And, of course, I wouldn't ask these guys their opinions on Samuel Alito!

P.S. There's an interesting case of Engrish on the Japanese Franck Muller site. See if you can pick it out!