Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Truth About Darren Rowse ProBlogger

by Robert L. Gisel

The term "Un-Blogger" from the Bloggers Dictionary for Un-Bloggers psoted below needed delineation. Here's the straight scoop.
I'm no friend of Darren Rowse, the ProBlogger. Maybe this will start a revolution, shades of Alice's Restuarant, for those who remember the 70's.

Let's face the facts: with tens of thousands of friends who needs another friend. Maybe the best thing I could do for him is to not get in his friends queue.

No one put me up to this. I have not been bribed by the competition or bought off by special interest advertisers. It is on my own determinism that I elect to be an Un-Friend. Who knows, this could be the best thing that ever happened to him.

With zillions of bloggers on the net the only defense is to be different. Right?

We're not talking enemy here, though separately this is true: what good is a protagonist without a really evil antagonist. I had to learn early on that I can't write a screenplay where the people are all agreeable unless lame is the target. "I agree James, Octupusy is rather intimidating to people. I think I shall call an open forum to discuss how we can improve the image of my World Takeover Plan." But looking back to the first line of this blog didn't that rather tighten your sphincter muscle?

You don't have to be an enemy at all to be an un-friend, in fact that is not what it is all about. If one remembers back some years there was a familiar and also very successful marketing campaign - the Un-Cola. This was good positioning, rather clever actually, by 7-Up, with the goal in mind to grab the number one beverage sales position then held by Coca Cola

There was another one of these about that time as well -- the Ugly One. VW took up the odd looks of the VW Bug so as to make it an asset. That, along with it's well engineered design that they floated in a swimming pool, made a marketing campaign winner.

Look at how Darren writes. It is very professional, spell and grammar checks are all in. He has acute pictures. He is polite, cordial with his publics and shows a genuine interest in others' viewpoints. As he wants to help others get along themselves the comments from his followers are all laudatory and appreciative. Sounds great, right? Wrong.

What it appears he lacks and needs the most is a true un-friend, someone who will step up and tell him the straight poop, that that last post sucked, when that is the case. Or that his style has become so consistently congenial that it is now, well, boooring! Don't you ever vigorously disagree with anything? In the post on The Importance of Pillar Articles and Why Obama and McCain Are Idiots Darren hosted this guest post article demonstrating a completely controversial lead-in. Way to go Darrel! Who wants to be number 50,001 out of 50,000 anyway. Contrarian has its advantages.

This brings me to my point precisely: I refuse to be a lemming. This fellow, Chris Guillebeau from the blog the Art of Non-Conformity goes forward on the premise that one should do something remarkable. That made an impression on me, is rather the way I am anyway just never said it that way. Now I look forward to going around the world in my electric Jeep (my remarkable ambition) and when I pass through a new country remember to ask "Have you seen Chris - has he been by here?" Either that or I'll run into The Guinness Globetrotter. (Just go into the Pub in Bangladesh and see who has been ordering Guiness.)

When you give a good look at the ProBlogger site you see that he has really cranked out the content. Enough to write a book! In fact he did, as you know. I have heard it said the hierarchy is quantity, quality and viability (that's from L. Ron Hubbard to give credit where due). I think it's safe to say by now Darren has gotten in the quantity. His quality is impecable. Recent posts show in his social networking he has excellent command of viable interactivity and the involving of others, though I would like to see more of that. In fact he seems to have it all down pat. That's the problem.

When you completely win over a game you have to have a new game. Complete mastery leaves one in a position of not enough challenge to hold one's interest. When you are totally accomplished at tv (pros in the field never capitalize tv) you had better go for movies or directing or producing - anything but remaining stagnant as "the best there is". For instance, I have been watching a past student of mine, Michelle Stafford, 3-time Emmy Award winner of the longest running "Young and the Restless" to see what will be her new game. How many Emmys can one person get before it's time to try something new? One wonders if Darren hasn't backed himself into this corner and arrived at the disinterest of a no-game.

This is a sure route to creating problems for oneself just to keep it interesting and to keep any game going - stagnate by not moving on to a bigger playing field.

Recent posts at Pro-Blogger have been rather too technical to my liking. I know when a post is full of terminology (or too much information at one time) I have never even heard spoken before, it's way over my head. I just skip rapidly over that one, which is possibly exactly what he thought would be the case. It is curious to me whether he is seeking to move into a more savvy arena or has succumbed to the urge to get placement as one of the chosen few in the Royal Savants Society: to be immortalized as one of the great geeks or gurus.

Other posts, which I prefer the most, are down to earth invites to discussion such as the one on Abundance Highway that throws out whether to be Niche Specific or Specifically Nicheless (Un-Niche). This hearty discourse has thrown out over 100 comments to date and has been very interactive indeed.

I have to say something about that though. I think the whole point has gone missed in that blog and the commentary. It actually isn't what it appears to be, you know, niche versus broadshoot. Who cares? It is all about what presents a deferent viewpoint. When people like it it could be Niche or Un-Niche, the public have spoken.

To put this in my new perspective, to Niche or to Un-Niche, it is like a good movie: there has to be some controversy, conflict and disagreement. It doesn't matter if it is general or specific. This is so even in a comedy! This would not have to be humor at another's expense that grates on the friendship, or contrast with great sarcasm that would seem to be headed for divorce. Why get into any of that? You can't be be-friended if you aren't a friend. So be an un-friend and slice though life with complete immunity.

The worst that can happen is that no one will go to your blog. Even before my declaration as an Un-Friend and subsequently an Un-Blogger there hasn't between much traffic to speak of to my blogs, something which I will have to sort out one of these days. Seven blogs deep with posts on all of them and only one hardy sole (pun intended) has managed to fight through the fish ladders to leave the seed of immortality on one of my posts. Ouch!

My response to that is wild abandon, to go renegade and be a self-proclaimed Un-Blogger. In my own will to cut apart from indefinable mainstream I feel I must forthwith and henceforth declare myself to be Darren Rowse's Un-Friend. Like it or lump it.

In his magnaminous personage Darren might even forgive the humor at his expense (and how I butchered his name spelling on my first publish).

If you care to help plant the flag for the universal Un-Blogger leave your declaration in the comments below. And drop some coin in the cup to help me help support the aspiring writers of the Sacramento Area Screenwriters Group.

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