Robert Scoble caused a stir yesterday with a post on how tech bloggers are failing our readers. We all chase the same stories, get spun like a top by the PR machine, and can’t sustain a conversation about a single topic for more than a few days before we all rush to the next shiny object.
I caught him on video at the (surprisingly snoozy) Fortune Brainstorm conference. He pines for the old days of blogging, before comments were taken over by trolls. He seems to think the trolls all came from Digg and should go back there. More likely, it is just a sign that blogging is attracting a bigger audience
The problem is, as he put it in his post:
Our commenting systems really suck. . . . Only the most motivated will leave comments. That’s usually someone with an axe to grind. That’s cause we’ve failed you. We haven’t moderated jerks out of our commenting system so now no normal person would go close to anything resembling a modern commenting system.
It’s not only that. There was a time when a good idea (like a cheap Web tablet) would be chewed on for a month by the blogosphere, going back and forth between different bloggers, and getting refined along the way. We’re all slaves to the news cycle now, talking about the same thing for a day or two, and then moving on. But does it have to be this way?