Why Blogs Are Like High School

Todd at A Penny For is sick of all the blog hype. I too, am growing tired of the generalizations, overstatements and inner circle elitism. Speaking of cliques, check out this cartoon from Hugh MacLeod.
Here’s the comment I left at his site.

It’s all downhill after you do (jump the shark). Right?
Regarding the C-listers comment, is it not funny that a technology that purports to free us from such hierarchies, does not?
We’re humans, regardless of which tools we employ. And humans want order/structure, just like wolves.

So, when I see Steve Rubel make a post about how Scoble and Dave Winer are coming to NYC for tomorrow’s Geek Dinner, I’m at a loss. This is worthy of a post? It’s only news if you’re deep inside that clique.
I generally enjoy Rubel’s blog, and he certainly has every right to post whatever he wants. Winer and Scoble add star power to the event in question, and for people coming to the Geek Dinner, or considering, that star power is important. What I’m saying is screw blogging stars. I know nothing can be done about it. It’s human nature to want stars, and want to be a star. Maybe I’m in a mood, but the whole idea rubs me the wrong way.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. “It’s human nature to want stars, and want to be a star.”
    Those are both pathologies if you ask me.

  2. Seems to me that Scoble and Rubel were inviting people to join them for dinner. I don’t see that as elitist.
    I guess bloggers can leave it to readers to determine the worthiness of their posts and then engage or unsubscribe as they see fit…

  3. Johnnie,
    This post isn’t just about a Geek Dinner with A-listers on the menu. It’s about our need to classify and rub elbows with stars.
    Part of what I’m questioning is how does a newbie join in on a conversation like this? There’s a barrier in place when we say “Scoble’s gonna be there.” The reader has to know who Scoble is. The reader has to care. Or the post doesn’t connect.
    I understand that a blog can be a message board, or indeed a private conversation. But I do not think that’s what Rubel is shooting for on Micropersuasion. And I do not mean to pick on Steve. Many of us regularly make this type of post.

  4. I know what you’re saying. There are a certain number of bloggers who, it seems to me, spend a lot of time in their posts simply referring to each other and talking about how great they all are. In fact, they may be great. But I usually end up giving up on those blogs, even when they have very interesting things to say, because I get tired of having to wade through all of the inside references and all the mundane comments about what the writer had for breakfast.
    I might add that people intent on becoming stars often end up getting used up and thrown away. Just look at the story in the New York Times this weekend about reality show contestants who become red-hot stars for one season and then are kicked out of the “cool kids club” immediately, left to make a living through appearances at live radio remotes and Rotary Club meetings.
    Personally I don’t think of any blogger as a “star”, whether they want me to or not. We’re all just people, some with wider readership and reach, some with less. Who cares. Most bloggers have the objective to simply write about something they care about. The best ones are consistent and passionate about the subject on which they’ve chosen to center their blog (which, by the way, is usually not themselves).

  5. Well, nobody gets to be an A-Lister just by pimping their friends. If it were that easy, we’d all be doing it.
    Actually, we all are doing it, but that’s another story 😉