Friday, 7 January 2011

"The SFF Blogosphere Ain't What It Used To Be"

Here is something interesting someone said.

Like Pat - oh would that I could be just a little more like Pat - I had hoped to say something interesting about the interesting thing someone said. But since many of you are also interesting, and interested in interesting things, I figured you might have something interesting to say about the interesting thing aforementioned.

In lieu of my saying anything interesting at all. You know.



  1. I had something interesting to say, but I just can't be bothered.

    Besides, this blog likely won't be here/matter come this time next year.

    Or will it?

    As for the Hotlist, I think I'll let someone else do the work for me.

    Or will they?


  2. Won't they? No, of course they will.

    Besides, this time next year, the pressures of mega internet celebrity will surely have gotten to me, and of course then I'll have to go on for a couple of months about how I'm kicking it all in - PLEASE LOVE ME! - and then not.

    Or will I? :/

  3. (I really wish blogger would let you edit comments.)


    I read Newton's post. Honestly, some of it sounded a bit like excuses and posturing. Whining even.

    To his point about a watered down blogosphere, though, I've lately become fond of saying that "It turns out that the best thing about the internet is also the worst thing." Anyone with an internet connection and a passing interest in ANY subject can now call themselves a writer. I honestly don't count myself above these overnight blogging sensations (hell, I might even count myself amongst them at times), but I do try (I did say TRY) to put my most professional foot forward when I send a post out into the internets.

    I do tend to follow genre film blogs more so than genre fiction blogs, and I can honestly say that poorly edited posts are becoming the norm rather than the exception in that area. I'm no grammar genius, but some truly obvious stuff slips out from what can only be sheer laziness. That and just the desire to publish in volume. More posts means more ad ops, right?

    I suppose we're all trying to find something in the end. The internet is just the most obvious place to look nowadays.

    The Sound and Fury of Kristopher A. Denby

  4. I view the dilution of the field as a very good thing. It gives you choice as to who you want to read. Yes, there's no quality control - but so what? Aren't you capable of deciding for yourself whether you like a blogger enough to want to come back?

    There has been a flood of new blogs for the past several years, yes. That doesn't mean that they're all bad or that you have to bother with every one of them if you find their content poorly written or edited or what have you.

    Personally, I think that The Hat Rack has proven itself by having Absolutely Brilliant posts at least twice a week for more than a year - but every other new blogger thinks exactly the same thing, just with the names and exact posting schedule changed. Do you think that The Hat Rack is puerile, unnecessary, and uninteresting? That's absolutely fine. Feel free to not return; I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for somewhere in this wonderfully disorganized sea of blogs.

    As the for the quantity of blogs making it harder to get noticed - well, that's just silly. As Newton himself has observed, 95% of bloggers are reviewing the exact same books; I don't see new releases having a hard time getting reviewed anytime in the near future.

    (Also posted on Newton's blog)

  5. Well. I'm not sure how I've been misinterpreted as whining - I should have put a label at the top saying "TOTALLY NEUTRAL SENTIMENT". I'm all for bloggers, too. I think it's great having so many. I'm just saying it's tough for new writers (not me, the new guys) to be heard, and that with publisher mega-sites, the power of individual bloggers is slightly lessened, because the publishers are effectively taking all the interesting content for themselves...

  6. For what it's worth, and this is sure to end in someone accusing me of back-pedalling, I wasn't accusing anyone of whining: I was having a go at Pat, a harmless little hobby of mine. I'm of the mind that the topics being discussed over on Mark's blog - and elsewhere - are well worth discussing. In fact I'd discuss them myself if I found myself with anything interesting (other than "hmmmm, interesting...") to say.

    All's I was poking fun at was how Pat, the one Blogger to rule them all, had opted to approach this topic. By saying how he'd like to be he was busy with More Important Shit.

    I am the bloody pointless blog-post police.

    No harm done to anyone else, I hope?

  7. Evil Hat--

    Yes. I mean, no. I mean, were you talking to me? Ah, forget it. I disagreeably agree with the grievance you've so grievously given.


    Don't take offense. I misinterpret things all of the time. I knew you'd probably pop up here eventually. I wasn't trying to bait you, I just think some of your points were a little...woeful. I think competition forces people to shine. Talent should (even in the face of adversity and a saturated environment) prevail and the cream will rise to the top.

    Of course the above statement flies completely in the face of comments I made yesterday on another board where, while discussing politicians, I stated that "shit floats to the top."


    The Sound and Fury of Kristopher A. Denby

  8. Kristopher: wasn't specifically addressing anyone, more the mindset in general (though I was thinking of your comment with the "poorly edited" part of my own).

  9. Evil Hat-

    In that case, yes. I totally agree with you. I have a habit of making little to no sense in these kinds of debates. Forgive me.

    The internet, while vast and accessible to many forms of intelligence, is like the toothpaste aisle at the supermarket. If you try one and it leaves a crappy taste in your mouth, you move on to the next one. Despite my opinion on sloppy posting, I go back to these sites because I am actively choosing content over professionalism. And, well, nobody's perfect, right?

    And the irony of my hypocrisy is not lost on me.

    Take care.

    The Sound and Fury of Kristopher A. Denby

  10. I was going to comment, but realized I was too busy doing other stuff. So, pick the best comments here, and we'll figure that's probably what I was going to say.

  11. That's an interesting point, Brenda. But did you know, points are also sharp, and Sharpe is the name of a detective STV are doing a drama about?

    Not that I've watched it or anything.


  12. Oh, and by "these sites" I meant the unnamed, poorly edited blogs that I sometimes read. I most definitely did not mean The Speculative Scotsman.

    Niall, did you ever think you'd get this much discussion by doing so little work? Add some cover art to this post and you'll have proven half of Mark's points.

    The Sound and Fury of Kristopher A. Denby

  13. Heh. Pat's a joke. We're a week into the new year and what content have we seen on the Hotlist?

    * A contest
    * A contest winnner
    * A music video
    * NYT bestseller list
    * A post lifted directly from Joe Abercrombie's site
    * Another contest
    * An extract of a post lifted directly from MCN's site
    * A contest winner
    * A link lifted from Winter is Coming

    So basically zero original content. Yeah, there's nine updates thus far this year, but most of the content within is just templates he's used for said posts for years now. He's only actually typed maybe two score words this year, the rest is just ctrl+c and ctrl+v.

    Oh, but wait. He's up to his neck in boxes and shit. He can't be expected to actually post original content. My bad.

  14. Appreciate you taking stock like that, Nick. I would have, you know, but I'm up to my neck in boxes and--- wait a second! :P

    Yeah. That's exactly the thing about the Hotlist that rubs me the wrong way. That, and - let's face it - when there is original content, it's usually tripe about holidays, hot ladies on beaches observed while on said holidays, or how such and such a famous personage thinks Pat is the bees knees.

    And bees don't have knees.

  15. And Kris - I know! It's killing me, honest to God, how a silliness I spent all of five minutes on attracts this level of discussion whilst the reviews I pour my heart and soul into (some of the time) are lucky to see a "hmm".

    Ah well. I'll take what I can get. And you all aren't half bad, truth be told.

  16. The Hotlist has one good piece of content, which is the reason it's still on my blog roll. Pat's interviews are among the best - not because he asks great questions but because he has such a huge number of them, and that really does matter to some extent. If you can think of them, Pat's interviewed them; they're not the best interviews, but it still does give you some insight to the author. If the new post is anything but an interview, I usually don't bother to head over.