The Big Con

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  • by Frank Paynter on August 27, 2024

    Scoble is fit to be tied that Amanda Congdon isn’t living her life the way he thinks would be best for her to live it. Robert is the new Mullah! Jeneane lays into him in the comment thread on that post. She’s been on a tear today, making fun of Robert, Seth Godin, and Hugh the cartoon guy. Hugh and Seth did an interview that was either hilarious (in a bad way) or an emetic (in a good way, I suppose, if you are anorexic or something).

    Madame Levy has a Site Pal reading a G.W.S. Trow passage about con men:

    The con man does give you something. It is a sense of your own worthlessness. A good question to ask: “Does this event exist without me?” If the answer is no, leave. You are involved in a con game. When the con man tells you that he is about to present you with “a wide range of options,” ask for one thing he will absolutely stand behind. Or beat him up. If he has some authority, you have a right to see what it is. If he is only describing the authority he senses in you, then do as you please.

    The idea of choice is easily debased if one forgets that the aim is to have chosen successfully, not to be endlessly choosing.

    By these lights, Scoble is behaving exactly like a con man! Kevin Kelly observed long ago that the web runs on love, not greed. That’s what dooms Michael Arrington to such a dismal life. Kelly said, “As the Internet continues to expand in volume and diversity without interruption, only a relatively small percent of its total mass will be money-making. The rest will be created and maintained out of passion, enthusiasm, a sense of civic obligation, or simply on the faith that it may later provide some economic use.” I don’t know if Robert’s core values ever lined up with Kelly’s observations, but regardless… the man needs a long vacation. Offline.

    The rip-off of BloggerCon IV was Arrington leading a core values session. There are all these bull elks out there clashing antlers and believing that there is some ultimate meaning in the struggle. I imagine that they’re lining up their own herds, and that there are plenty of submissive elks ready to present for them, but in the final analysis, one must remember that the critical importance of elk to the omnivore is that it provides the most flavorful red meat on the planet. Eat me? No, eat you, Robert. And Michael… eat you too. Good for Amanda for not listening to these confused voices. One of the saddest things about the con man is that he himself is the victim of a big con, or he wouldn’t be in the business of conning others.

    For core values worth internalizing one can look many places, but certainly not in the blogs of Scoble or Arrington. Here is a quick catch of the day from JP Rangaswami:

    I don’t read blogs to find out things faster than anyone else; I don’t read blogs to find things to link to and comment on before anyone else; I don’t read blogs because I can’t find any books to read.

    I read blogs because they’re participative, they are accessible, they help me learn. I write blogs because I want to participate. In a community. Everyone wants to make a difference, everyone wants to leave a legacy. Blogs are useful in both cases.

    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    Ethan 08.28.06 at 8:19

    “A good question to ask: “Does this event exist without me?” If the answer is no, leave.”

    Thanks for passing that along. Excellent advice!

    Frank Paynter 08.28.06 at 10:11

    Madame L. shared that thought as regards my brief obsession with the nazis to came to town (or so I inferred… it is — after all — all about me), but it seemed so apt for the peculiar Scoblofascism that was being imposed on Ms. Congdon, that I just had to use it.

    Thomas 08.28.06 at 11:25

    I would call it denunciation. Thanks for helping me out Frank ;)

    Frank Paynter 08.28.06 at 1:04

    It was a denunciation, wasn’t it? It was more than that too… an attempt to dictate the way Ms. Congdon chooses to do business based on principles Mr. Scoble has found to work for him.

    I wasn’t aware of Popurls before… there’s a lot that escapes me! I’m glad Jeneane pointed it out to me, and I’ll be checking in frequently.

    My new awareness of your high traffic, high value work is humbling. There are thousands of people all over the planet doing good things on the web, and one size does not fit all. Mr. Scoble’s attempt to bully people into a Bay Area approach to web work is just silly!

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