Tech Blogging: In Defense Of Slowing Down

March 7, 2008

Two stories are currently attracting attention on Techmeme: rumors of a Digg sale, and some startup tips from Jason Calacanis. Both are rising on Techmeme in a rather amusing way, in which there’s a lesson about blogging in general: we may all benefit from slowing the heck down and not being in such a flurried rush to dash off a post and hit “publish.”

Techmeme

This morning, TechCrunch floated a rumor that Digg was about to be purchased by Microsoft or Google for around $200 million. As expected, tons of tech bloggers piled on with speculative posts. But a few hours later, Louis Gray Twittered a link to a post Digg’s blog itself from Jay Adelson – declaring the acquisition rumors completely false.

TechCrunch updated the original post with an “update” paragraph acknowledging Jay’s post, and claiming their source is “very, very good”. But there isn’t any way to shake the huge clot of blogs linking to the “Digg selling” story, and commenting on old – possibly untrue – news. This will all work itself off over time, but right now – I find it amusing.

Also today, Jason Calacanis posted 17 money-saving start-up tips. I thought most of the tips were decent and certainly had some useful insights (not buying a phone system and investing in dual monitors for example). But there was one tip about firing workaholics – that non-workaholics shouldn’t be in the startup “game” and would be better off working at Starbucks or the post office.

When I first read this, I figured Jason was just joking, but in his defense, there’s a kernel of truth to it. Passion and devotion at the expense of all else is one reason why I personally don’t currently work at one (too jaded after two startup implosions – I’ll take salary over stock options any day).

Anyhow, perhaps his post was dashed off without full thought as to the reaction of the tech blogosphere at large. Techcrunch in particular latched onto the negative implications – with the inflammatory headline “Calacanis Fires People Who Have A Life”, as well as others, with headlines I can’t really repeat here. Jason responded with a post explaining what he really meant, but those harsh words are out there already, in the form of the original post, now tops at Techmeme.

So at the end of the day, both examples demonstrate the worth of slowing down – resisting the urge to rush onto the “Techmeme pile up” or rattle off a blog post without re-reading it and just… pause a bit. Techmeme isn’t going anywhere, and your post will still show up when the time is right.

Comments

  1. Louis Gray says:

    Of course this is right. That’s why I swore off news-chasing a long time ago. And it’s clear to those of us who watch what the difference is between those who make the news and those who follow. Unfortunately, some of the more influential and louder folks are in this category, so saying who I think they are would be a bad idea. But … we know.

  2. Duncan says:

    I think you missed one point, he didn’t say you should sack people who didn’t work hard, he said you should sack people who want balance. You can work bloody hard and still have a balance life, “workaholics” can actually be less effective than someone who works hard but maintains a balanced lifestyle (read the 37signals post). The comment that wanting balance means you should work at starbucks is insulting to anyone who has a family or who doesn’t want to do an Om Malik and end up having a heart attack from working too hard.

  3. Mark Evans says:

    In theory, bloggers should slow down but the competition, particularly among the mega-tech blogs such as TechCrunch, GigaOm, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, etc. – make it extremely difficult for them to delay hitting the publish button. In particular, TechCrunch has embraced the notion of being first and having exclusives, which can be both its strength and weakness.

  4. webomatica says:

    @Mark, yeah, I do think the pressure to keep posting, keep up with the rumors is very high. My thoughts about slowing down is more directed toward the bloggers in the “B-list” – the independent ones, of which I’m a part, who don’t break news but provide speculation, and often end up in that “cloud” just below the breaking story.

    There is a tricky balance between posting fast and quality. At one end is a blog that posts 50 times a day with pictures of LOLcats and the other are those that slow down, post once a week, and really pack their posts with tons of content. I’m constantly feeling nudged to the latter.

  5. Ps3 says:

    Lol its not a rumor in any way i am sure you guys would know about it by now.
    Its been quiet some time since more than than a million people found.

  6. xBox live says:

    At the end of the day, people are going to blog as much as they to, to become the “best” and “newest” blog.

    There are tens of thousands of blogs around, most posting about similar things, and the only real way to distinguish which are quality, is by searching google news.

    However, even google news can throw up some fairly low key and worthless blogs, and I expect it’s just going to get worse.

  7. superpaulia says:

    dead right

    we live in a world of 24 hour non stop media and everybody is searching for things to say

    it causes so much panic e.g. millenium bug, CJD, asian flu, credit crunch etc

    all so unnecessary

  8. billy bob says:

    wise words superpaulia

    What about global warming?

  9. vtvera says:

    Each to his own but remember

    one man’s crap is another man’s caviar