Monday, July 21, 2008

Blog pimping and [the lack of] creativity

I came across a fabulous post on Big Contrarian (via 43Folders) recently. Basically, it's an essay ripping into the state of "pro blogging." This is the quote that spoke to me:
Write top ten lists and whore yourself on many other sites as you possibly can. Don’t be thoughtful, long-winded or interesting. Don’t write about you love, unless what you love is popular on Digg. And for god’s sake don’t even think about writing about more than one topic.Whether their strategies work or not is slightly beside the point. It’s cheap. It’s marketing driven, instead of content driven.
Sadly, that expresses my opinion about a lot of popular culture in general even though the original post is about blogging in particular. There's just not a whole lot of original, creative content out there. So many things are just market driven, and large segments of the market for some strange reason likes craptastic drivel.

While there's nothing inherently wrong with making money, I do think that money as the primary driving factor often kills originality and promotes homogenization. Know how there's a ton of stuff on t.v. but almost nothing to watch? Well, that's a good example of profit drive killing originality. Few networks are going to risk airing a new groundbreaking (and potentially money-losing) show when the formulaic banal shows will likely earn more money. In people's personal lives, few people will take a chance on pursuing a dream because of the risk of failure--particularly of the risk of monetary failure.

So, is mediocrity for the sake of money wrong? No, not necessarily. But maybe our priorities aren't quite in the right place if we allow profit drive to become the sole reason for pursuing something.

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