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You know, I'm to the point in my blogging life where I tell the whole SNR thing (Signal to Noise Ratio) to shove it. Chris recently made an earth-shattering, enlightened comment per one of my posts yesterday: “Now try actually blogging instead of just lowering the SNR.” And I just have a couple things to say about that. In this case, I'm not going to worry about being eloquent either, so prepare yourself (and no offense to the maintainer of this fine site, but I'm a little miffed right now).

Before I go and insult numerous people, just let me make this clear that this might be my last post here if I end up insulting the people that I think might be insulted by this rant. And, the thing is, I don't really care anymore. I guess the GeeksWithBlogs main feed is not a feed for people with a sense of humor or for bloggers that simply want to brighten up people's days.

As a little background, yesterday I made a couple of seemingly useless posts. I say “seemingly“ because they were NOT useless posts. I happened to think they were funny and also showed off the quirky personality I have from time to time (at least, one of my true friends liked it). What did that experiment prove not once, but twice? In my opinion, it proved that there is no room for any humor here (“Excuse me, Sir, only PROFESSIONAL posts are excepted here“ [insert a demeaning look here] [insert an “adjusting the bow tie“ action here]). Granted, I will say that I probably shouldn't have syndicated those posts to the main feed. And the reason they were is because, well, that's the default and when I blog, I simply blog what I feel like and don't think about “should this go to the main feed?“ Shame on me for thinking that my personality might be of interest to some people. Shame on me for thinking that character is interesting. Shame on me for thinking that you don't have to be a genius who always contributes priceless thought-turds to “society“ in order to be viewed as “valuable.“

What this has helped me realize is that perhaps I'm just not cutout to have a blog on a “community“ site. Truthfully, I don't want to have to worry about only posting “technical“ posts because that's what the *community* posts. That's the whole reason that I don't post that often. The fact is that sometimes, I don't give a flying rat's tail about technology. I don't want to have to think about “Am I providing worth here?“ I want to blog about what I want to blog when I want to blog about it. After all, Rory, my all-time favorite blogger, doesn't give a rat about that, so why should I? To all of you who are thinking “Well, you're no Rory“ (and I know there are a couple of you), you can take your precious tech-goo aggregator (NOW WITH LESS PERSONALITY (for the one-time low price of $0.99)) and shove it.

Personally, I like blogs because of the person BEHIND the blog. Without that transparency, I might as well be reading the encyclopedia all the doo-dah-day.

Now, here's where I compromise and try to be somewhat sane and realistic. From now on, if I want to post about anything that might show any sort of personality or invoke any type of emotion response, I won't syndicate on the main feed. That way, the whole “SNR“ of the main feed is preserved, and all the robotic clones won't be forced to try to perform any tricky emotions.

As far as Jeff's “strategery“, it does offend me that I'm the example of why it needs to be done. The whole time I've been here at GeeksWithBlogs, I've seen *far* more egregious sins again the SNR than I committed yesterday. Remember, I've been here a *long* time. One need only look at the blogger list to see how long I've been around.

On the other hand, I think it's a sad day when Jeff feels that it is now a requirement of the main feed. All of us (including me (I'll admit I made a mistake (although I feel like it shouldn't be a mistake if you're blogging))) should be responsible enough to determine what is “valuable“ and what is not. Think of it as “the Greatest Hits“ of GeeksWithBlogs. For me though, it's just yet another hurdle that I don't think I should have.

[Note: I realize this is largely an emotional response, but I'm going to post it anyways since I did try to curb my emotions at least a little bit. I might regret it later, but I don't currently care. This way, perhaps you'll get a better idea of who I am, even if I can be a jerk sometimes (even though that is apparently exactly what people DON'T want.]

And with that, I now submit my humble apologies if I offended anyone in charge of this operation as it truly is a great site (and I'm not kidding, I'm serious; without GeeksWithBlogs, I wouldn't have been able to say this in the first place).

Well, +5 points to the “Get your own site up and running so you can blog about whatever the hell you want to blog about” category for me.

Peace out!

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 2:07 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Dear Robots and Clones

# re: Dear Robots and Clones
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regardless of who you may or may not insult, the irony is I consider this (rant? call it what you want...) blogging. The previous posts I commented on weren't. Just my opinion and we all know what those are worth. It's one thing to post goofy stuff, we all do it... god knows I do, but it just seemed like the post I commented on was one in a series of "testing testing, is this thing on?" type posts. Those don't tell me near as much about "the man behind the blog" as this one does. Quite honestly, if I annoyed you so bad you wrote this as a response then I guess my post worked. This one didn't lower the SNR at all. :)
Left by chris on May 11, 2005 2:29 PM

# re: Dear Robots and Clones
Requesting Gravatar...
Believe it or not, you actually didn't annoy me that much. Your comment simply acted as a catalist (sp?) for thoughts I've been having for quite a while.

But, one of the points that I was making is that the posts weren't just "testing" posts. Anyone who actually knows me knows that. I think it's just an example of how a blog is still not as good as a communication medium as speech. I thought that the posts did show off my quirky behavior. After all, if they were testing posts, I would have said "Testing."

Also, I would like to point out that the post you actually commented on did contain more information than the other ones. Mainly, if you post multiple times within the same minute, .Text will mess up the order in which they were posted. I agree that there wasn't expressed as well as it could have been though :).

And I'm still motivated to get my own site since I don't want to have to worry about SNR at all :).

And, believe it or not, I am quite *thankful* for you comment. No matter what the comment may or may not have been, I think we both can agree that the comment helped bring up some interesting stuff :).

Take it easy!
Left by Jason Olson on May 11, 2005 2:35 PM

# re: Dear Robots and Clones
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I came here because I read your comments on Rory's site and I figured I should start blogging somewhere without paying out the butt to figure out it's not worth paying for, at least not for me and not yet. Domain + Hosting just for a blog doesn't sound like a good investment to me at the moment.

I understand about the whole unmoderated "gotta be me" thing. I live there myself and honestly I don't think but about 10% of my overall posts are actually technology oriented. Yes this is GEEKS with Blogs, but being a geek != being technical. I can be a band geek knowing nothing of computers, or a social geek who studies human behavior from afar and blogs about the crap I see (I fall more here, though I actually do get paid to use a computer (go figure)).

SNR is hard to deal with but it's everywhere, so I'm not about to say "Hey, Big Media! You have a ton of crap on the news. Why don't you go about fixing that. Like, now. Thanks" though I suppose I could tell Jeff Julian something similar and something COULD be done about that. What do I do with noise? I tune it out. Sure it's annoying to see but it only takes 5 seconds to tell if something really is worth reading or not but there are some people (spammers) that have a habit of luring you in to nothing but crap. Jason's definately not that kind of person. I can tell whether it's crap or not without having to actually think about it.

Sure it doesn't always affect me but then again I'm not into game development or ASP.NET or half of the other technical stuff that's syndicated to the main feed. I COULD whine and moan about the "noise" of this technological crap I have no interest in, but that's just not who I am as a person.

When I signed up for I sent Jeff a polite email asking for an account. I then asked what was acceptable and that if I didn't make technological posts would it "count against me" his response was he didn't care as long as long as I didn't piss anyone off (paraphrasing, but he was extremely cool). That was regards to my personal content not the main feed so I know we're talking about the same person. I do agree that the people who come to and look at the feed are probably people (like me) looking for a place to either host their blog or find some interesting technical content. You can't remove SNR entirely, but I do agree that the main feed should have certain "protections" that other feeds do not.
Left by Jeremy Brayton on May 11, 2005 4:47 PM

# re: Dear Robots and Clones
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J-man, I setup my own blog (moving from last September) for precisely the same reason, to have more freedom to write what I wanted to write and not feel responsible to the community.

But being on your own, SNR is even more important than in a community. Readers have to have a good reason to stay subscribed and you have to recognize why they are reading your blog, and its not to hear about what I had for dinner last night, or whatever.

There's a freedom in being solo, greater satisfaction, but more responsibility, too. It astounds me that people subscribe to my blog, yet they do, so I want to make sure I don't sling any noise their way in appreciation for their attention.

As for community geek sites go, provides me with the LEAST amount of technology-oriented information of any aggregated feed I subscribe to. I've always felt that way, and is why I've subscribed, but I continue to do so for completeness only. So I don't see the problem in you continuing to post non-technical posts, personally.

Left by Dave Burke on May 11, 2005 5:27 PM

# re: Dear Robots and Clones
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Just re-read my comment and wanted to clarify that I subscribe to TO GET technical info, but find it has very little, which was my point on being curious why your non-technical posts were an issue.

Speaking of noise. Double comments are huge SNR offenders!
Left by Dave Burke on May 11, 2005 5:37 PM

# re: Dear Robots and Clones
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I'm not sure what the fuss is all about. I enjoyed your posts for what they were.

If you do move, be sure to let us know where.

No, you're not Rory. That's not a bad thing, Rory's great, but if yours were the same I wouldn't bother reading both.

Could somebody do something about CNN for me, there's too much SNR on there too.

Left by TomB on May 12, 2005 9:36 AM

# re: Dear Robots and Clones
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Not offended at all - I took your posts as you intended: a quirky representation of your personality. But I am curious, how many posts and or users are being censored from the main feed?

When I first came online, I so offended people with my liberal political posts about the conservative christians that Jeff almost kicked me off the site. (It didn't hurt that I also kicked off a few posts where the style seemed to kill the div/spans of the main page either.)

Thankfully Jeff still provides me this blogspace, but I have been forever banned from the "main feed". You don't even see me in the GWB list of bloggers on the main page. I don't even exist.

// steve, Censored GWB Blogger
Left by Steve Hartzog on May 12, 2005 11:25 AM

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