Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Make Blogstitution Illegal??

Not illegal in a proper sense, but illegal in a "not allowed on Kottu sense". What do you think might happen?

It's just a bit of a mad thought, but I wonder, is it that mad?

Like you I hate to see outright blogstitution for posts listed on Kottu, or anywhere else for that matter. Those titles like "I fucked him...." and "My thoughts on Sri Lankan sex" are usually the best thing about the posts themselves. Click on the article and we're led to a pile of contentless content, a blogger so desperate for attention and so lacking in real output that they resort to such things.

The trouble is that there's a blurry, grey and moveable line between blogstitution and writing an attention grabbing headline or title. Or is there a line, or a differentiation, at all?

Surely the whole point of a headline, be it in a newspaper, blog or any other place, is to grab the attention of the prospective reader. Surely the headline is there to try to portray a vague idea of the content and make the reader want to investigate further, it's the shop window of writing.

Where is the tipping point at which a reasonable headline, one that fits the definition as specified above by myself, becomes a cheap way and tacky way of attracting attention?

My personal tipping point occurs when the article or post doesn't live up to the expectations that the headline has created. If the title makes me click but the content makes me click away and it happens a few times then I'll just stop reading that blog. I suppose it's false advertising and, while an outrightly deceptive ad will often get one off customers, rarely will it generate repeat business.

So, make blogstitution illegal?

No way.

In the long term any blog that relies on blogstitution, that has no real content or goes for cheap attractions to get its readers will fall by the wayside.



Sachintha said...

I'm usually someone against banning stuff unless it's absolutely necessary.

And this banning this is not going to work on Kottu anyway. As you correctly put it, where do we draw the line AND who draws the line? And even if we do draw it, it is going to be like a paintbrush stroke on a canvas drawn in the rain. And it being so blurry, how are we going to decide which is within the limits and which is not?

For example, someone could argue even this very post is doing it - blogstituition that is - for you grab attention by talking about banning it when it is mostly obvious that it is impossible, practially. Thus someone could argue you've just put up a post striving for attention. Many will say you are not, yet some will say yes you are. How are we going to decide? Majority vote? No way. People elected George W Bush. Twice.

Sachintha said...

And I'm sure, with time all the attention-whores will fade away. If I'm bored with a blog, I just stop reading it - nobody really wants to be banned. And even with their blogstituition, if people still read someone, then maybe there is something to what he/she writes.

So yeah, just leave it at that. Life will go on...

Thanks for the thought provoking post RD, that's my two cents there. One comment each.

themissingsandwich said...

I'm all for attention grabber headlines, as long as the post that follows enhances it instead of diminishes it. It's the 'shop window of writing' as you so aptly put it, after all.

I guess those parties guilty of blogstitution will have to live with it playing on their conscience AND run the risk of losing readers in the long run.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Sach and TMS - Yes, thanks for the comments. I've come to similar conclusions. Also a great headline can be an art in itself can't it?

Makuluwo said...

Meh. Tepid posts are everywhere, regardless of whether they're on blogstitution-ey blogs or not.
Getting rid of them is like trying to get rid of pollution. It's too vast spread.

Plus 'not allowing' it on Kottu is not exactly do-able either no? Who's going to judge the post and declare it 'crappy content with a misleading title'? :/

St. Fallen said...

it's a good thing I'm shutting down then :P