Friday, October 13, 2006

One year later and no apology from Chris Pirillo

It's been almost a year since ubergeek Chris Pirillo made his declaration that "Blogspot has become nothing but a crapfarm" in his "Kill Blogspot already!" rant. By his calculations, 99% of the blogs on Blogspot were not "legitimate", and the entire Blospot community should be shut down, or at the very least all Blogspot blogs (like mine) should be ostracized.

I've been thinking about this lately. Not too much, because I don't really give a runny crap what Chris Pirillo thinks or says. But unfortunately, a lot of undergeeks do, and many of them simply dittoed his words in an effort to bask in his reflected geek glory...and possibly garner a few more hits to their sites, which was the strategy being used by "splogs" (fake blogs, usually designed with nefarious intent) that attracted Pirillo's attention in the first place.

It was a visit to another blog that stirred my memory. Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy is a friend of my sister. His site is informative and fun and a hell of a good time, and is definitely getting added to my sidebar links the next time I futz with my template. In a recent post that escaped my attention until today he invoked the "Pirillo Effect", a rule derived from observation that states that you can summon Chris Pirillo to your website by mentioning his name three times. (So far that's four and two half-mentions. Hello, little man. Remember me?) I probably overstepped the bounds of blog etiquette by posting a comment on Phil's post that challenged Chris to apologize for his earlier remarks, something that, to the knowledge of this Blogspot blogger, he has not yet done.

To make it clear what I would consider an apology from him, I will reprint a comment I made to my own post about this issue, a comment that was in response to a comment left by Chris Pirillo:

Maybe "Dick" is a little strong. And I suppose I could have simply checked the Wikipedia to answer the question "Who the hell is Chris Pirillo anyway?" It was interesting to see the Pirillo Effect in action. (Candyman, Candyman, Candyman...)

I would like to extend my congratulations, however. Yes, thanks to Chris Pirillo's call to "Kill Blogspot Already!", Google has decided to take countermeasures against fake blogs. Clearly they hadn't been working on this up until now. Obviously Chris gets the credit for this.

But I think I'll stand by my conclusion that Chris Pirillo is a dick. I'll let his own words explain why:

"Kill Blogspot Already!!! "
OK, when you've got as much exposure as this guy does - and he has a lot - any call to action is going to be echoed by a lot of folks. In later posts Chris will claim that he was trying to encourage Google to address the problem of what he calls "spam blogs". But that's not what this title says.

"Blogspot has become nothing but a crapfarm."
If nothing else had been said, this alone would have earned him the title of Dick. I blog on Blogspot. So do a lot of other people, including many of the people I link to. "Nothing but a crapfarm"? There's not much wiggle room there, boy. You've declared all of our blogs crap. Screw you.

"(T)he 1% "legitimate" minority."
OK, someone as plugged in as Chris Pirillo must have some data to back this claim up. 99% of the blogs on Blogspot (which, remember, is "nothing but a crapfarm") are illegitimate. And how do you define legitimacy? Show us your data, show us your judgement criteria.

Or is this just hyperbole, just spouting off, shooting from the hip? If so - if this is, as he later tries to cast it, a biting satire in the manner of Swift's "Modest Proposal" - well, it falls flat. It comes across as a call to "Kill Blogspot Already!" That's the way I read it, and I'm sure that's the way many of Chris Pirillo's propellerhead minions read it. And maybe everything that he has written should be taken with a grain of salt - it might also be hyperbole.

Chris, you owe us an apology. Me. Lauren. Rima. Anne. Siobhan. Katie. SuperG. Lisa. Puppetdude. Dee. Teigra. All the others whose blogs are hosted by a service you've declared to be "nothing but a crapfarm". There can't be that many of us - "1% legitimate" can't amount to that many blogs.

Now, I don't expect an apology to me. Frankly, I don't care. But you owe the others an apology, many of whom don't even know that you insulted them. I check their blogs ever day. Post it in the comments of their latest entry. If I see you doing this, you'll be a little bit along the way to not being a dick.

Then use the "Next Blog" button for an hour. If you find fake blogs, flag them. If you find real ones, apologize to them, too.

And post the apology on your site. You reach a lot of people. You've insulted a lot of people. You need to let them know that you're not really a dick.

He never has. I didn't expect he would. So the initial judgment still stands.

And so do I.


Lockergnome said...

Well, I *AM* a dick - but not for that reason, specifically. ;) Google has certainly taken gigantic leaps forward in terms of anti-spammishness, but they're not out of the woods yet. If anything's gonna save 'em, it's by another vendor becoming the "tallest nail."

D.B. Echo said...

And still you refuse to retract your insult against the millions of legitimate bloggers who have Blogspot blogs.

You are a dick, but you've passed up the opportunity to show the world you have one by apologizing. Goodbye, little boy.

Michelle D said...

....And Livejournal, and Diaryland, and Diary-X, and wordpress, and Moveable type, and 8 million other stupid websites that offer blogging tools. Get real. It'll never happen.

That guy is a Moran.