Calling BS

Two compelling cries of bullshit in the blogosphere this morning. First, Dave Winer pegs the onslaught of advertisements in RSS accurately: it represents lazy thinking by marketers:

Here’s some food for thought for “marketers” who say they need to put ads in RSS feeds to make them pay. By some calculations, in three years, 27 percent of the NY Times hits will originate from their RSS feeds. The BBC is aiming for 10 percent by the end of the year. Neither company puts ads in their feeds because: The feeds themselves are ads for the stories they link to, which are revenue-generators. Anything that keeps people from clicking, that confuses them, takes them off course, is going to drop the click-through rate. And it’s a good deal for the users, because they get the headlines and summaries for articles they only have a superficial interest in, and can easily access the full stories for articles that they want more information on. The rare win-win.

And Doc Searls posts an insightful criticism of the effects of bell-curve thinking on IT, the educational system, and individual achievers, in a post that follows up his equally insightful two-part review of Tom Friedman’s The World is Flat and “It’s a Flat World, After All”:

…all this might also help explain why I chafe at the caste system implied in labels like “Alpha blogger.”

What I love about blogging is that it isn’t school. Instead it’s a great way to discover how the long, flat tail features plenty of original and brilliant individuals. These good folks succeed by earning links, not grades. It’s a much better, and a much flatter, system.