Step Away from the Lightsaber

I don’t get this so-called Google World in which a bunch of geeks sit around and watch some other geeks doing some nerdy and/or mundane activity.  Is this really the highest and best use for the blogosphere?  Is this the way we want to present blogging to the real world?  Next we’re going to be dancing around with lightsabers and calling it a documentary.

Do we really want to watch people drive around in their car?  Sure, I did it, with a bunch of other geeks, when Scoble took his little road trip.  But I found it profoundly boring.  More importantly, I don’t see any meaningful use for the permanent webcam beyond what traditional web-casting and YouTube already offer.  For one thing, the producers of meaningful content are not going to let some blogger webcast for free what they want others to pay for.  The other stuff is just (what’s the opposite of glorified?) home movies.

I’m not dumping on all web-directed video.  To the contrary, I like Scoble’s photo shoots with Thomas Hawk.  Mostly because I like to hear Thomas talk about photography.  But there’s no reason that sort of thing couldn’t be distributed via YouTube.  In other words, there’s no need for immediacy that requires us to watch those videos as they happen – or soon thereafter.

If the point is that webcasting your life can be done, fine.  So can building a ship in a bottle, but neither of them are edge of your seat entertainment.  If the point is that these videos are to TV what podcasts (another geeky endeavor that no one outside of the blogosphere gives a hoot about) are to radio, well I don’t buy it.  These video things are much more about the glorification of the people in them than they are about entertaining the people who allegedly watch them.

Here’s the point I’m getting at:  if it’s cool and fun, then let it be cool and fun.  There’s not one thing wrong with cool and fun.  But all the alchemy on Techmeme can’t turn cool and fun into big business.  If we want the blogosphere to be taken seriously, we simply can’t act like a glorified home movie is something important or revolutionary.  It’s not- and anyone who isn’t in one or hoping to divine gold from one knows that.

It just seems to me that the blogosphere, and particularly that portion of it with an audience, is becoming more tangential every day, when it should be striving to become less tangential.

There are a ton of better things for bloggers to spend their time doing than Trumanizing themselves.  It wasn’t all that interesting when Jim Carrey did it.

Put the lightsabers and the webcams down, and go do something useful and interesting.

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