Steve Gillmor and the Art of Unnecessary Navel Gazing

Steve Gillmor craps all over Nick Carr about something having to do with Google after apparently having Nick as a guest on his latest podcast, which I used to greatly admire before Steve came out with this non-linking nonsense. Now I think that listening to Steve’s podcast will somehow dilute my brand or my reputation or my credibility or whatever it is that Steve says we should protect by creating a cocoon around ourselves.

Steve, trust me, Nick thinks he’s smarter than you. Although you may be closing in on him in the arrogance department with gems like this (from the same post):

Links produce economic ripples that keep incumbents in charge; removing links puts users in charge. Clicking on a link does not pay the author….

Actually, I don’t think Steve is arrogant at all. I just think he is trying to stuff the blogosphere into a magazine’s hole. They are different animals, Steve, and try as you might, you can’t turn a blog into a magazine. What you can do is turn it into a non-conversational personal web page, circa 1996. You can do that alright. But why would you want to?

Steve seems to have fallen into the Sisyphus trap of basing a blog’s success on the amount of money it makes. That’s like basing the success of a dinner table debate on who pays the check. Both are important, but there is generally no causal relationship.

And while I’m at it, is there any normal person in the world who can decipher this:

[T]he data only starts to speak when you get into the 6 citation and lower range. Above that, the numbers speak to clouds, silos, and their relative opaqueness. Not that that’s bad data; it’s negative gesturing at its root level. GMail, doubleclick, Rojo, Bloglines, etc. It tells us what we already know: Users have agreed to the terms of service in return for what they see as privacy, tools, and ease of use….

Steve, are you trying to be enigmatical? Do you think this sort of top down writing is why blogs are eating magazines’ lunch?

And then, the crown jewel:

Some of my best friends are linkers. Don’t forget to tip your linkers. Don’t want to link? What, and give up show business?

How, exactly, do you think people find your posts Steve? Are lesser beings born with an innate knowledge of where to find your writing? Or anyone else’s? Of course not. They find it via links. Just like I found this post via a link from Dave Winer.

There is more mumbo jumbo in Steve’s post, but when I got to this:

Remember that the greatest yield in time management is the culling of the less interesting. Looked at from a gesture perspective, each affinity link represents a dynamic ecosytem composed of a collaborative group with gestures rippling out and intersecting with other like or unlike-minded affinity systems. Where those emanations are more pronounced and back-referencing, powerful waves are generated. The Beatles are probably the most profound example of such a foldback affinity wave in our lifetimes.

I fell into a deep sleep and dreamed a of place where people just shared ideas and talked about topics of interest, without all the unnecessary navel gazing.

When I woke up, somehow I felt that Steve’s post was, to quote a phrase, “less interesting.”