26 August 2009

Genius bloggers post on occasion

My disagreements/line ratio with the latest Coding Horror is unusually high, and there doesn't seem to be a Proggit post for it yet (and it'll be a cold day in hell before I start submitting Coding Horror posts), so I figured I'd blog instead.

Atwood is a big fan of synecdoche: he has an annoying and incessant habit of using "we" when he really means "I". If he does something, it's not "Jeff Atwood does this", it's "software developers do this". Often it's "professional software developers do this", so we don't get confused and think he's a noob. Virtually every Coding Horror post at some point indirectly contains the assertion that Jeff Atwood is a genius developer, by demonstrating how Atwood does X and then slipping in "on a totally unrelated note, genius developers are known to do X". The most common mechanism is the transparently fake self-demeaning sound bite "all code sucks, especially mine". He says it so often he's starting to become famous for it, and I might respect it if he didn't feel the need to add in, every single time, "and uber-programmers realize this", like it's an afterthought. "Oh gosh, I guess I am a badass after all -- I didn't even realize! That was a close one, readers." I swear he's trying to inculcate his readers to subconsciously associate "Jeff Atwood" with "badass programmer"; I see no other reason for his ostentatious repetition of a fairly commonplace expression. I would honestly prefer if he just flat out said "I'm fucking awesome; deal with it" so I wouldn't need to wade through his obfuscated self-aggrandizement.

The latest post was no exception, of course; despite being less than a page even with graphics, he managed to slip in "the tipping point between amateurs and professionals in our industry: the professionals realize everything they write sucks."TM But before he got to that, he explained why he we blog:

We may kid ourselves into thinking we're writing out of some sense of public good, or to create connections, or contribute some small bit of knowledge to the world. But let's face it. Most of us blog because we're raving egomaniacs. We not only love to hear ourselves talk, we're incredibly eager to hear other people talk about us, and the more the better

Emphasis not mine, but I think it's probably beneath even me to comment much on that part anyway, especially considering what I've already covered. The main assertion that people blog for recognition seems unlikely, however, if only because 99% of blogs are read by pretty much nobody, and I like to think we're all aware of that. I have like three readers; I get way more exposure commenting on Reddit than I do blogging about something. I blog because I enjoy writing about things. And because if I kept my hatred of things bottled up I probably would've attacked someone by now, but that's a secondary benefit. I may not be particularly good at blogging, or particularly knowledgeable about the things I do blog about, but neither of those things matters in the slightest. This blog could just be saved in a file on my computer and I would get the same enjoyment out of writing in it; the only reasons it's online are because I occasionally link to it if a discussion about something I've covered comes up, and because setting up a blog is trivial so I see no reason not to. I occasionally try to "contribute some small bit of knowledge to the world", but most of the time my blog posts are just about things I felt like writing about at that moment. I don't post my blogs to Digg or Reddit (I hate when people do that, actually), or really make any effort to try and garner readers. Maybe that's unusual, but I think most bloggers blog because they enjoy writing about their interests; they're not under the delusion that the rest of the Internet is interested in reading about it

On the other hand, I might just be secretly hoping that Atwood reads my blog, as he has "an automatic Google ego search set up for my name". I really didn't think people googled themselves anymore, and certainly not continuously via a script, but again, maybe that's just me

And really good bloggers say that. Draw your own conclusions

1 comment:

Eddy Young said...

Can I hug you? B-)

This pictures sums up what you just wrote about Atwood: