Lately I’ve noticed patterns: Ajax patterns, design patterns, UI patterns and others. I’ seeing another pattern. I’ve noticed different lightning rods in the blogosphere and how people respond to them. I’m calling it the distasteful blog pattern.
Here are a few cases. The latest is the pile on O’Reilly about a cease-and-desist letter over Web 2.0 as a Service Mark. Prior to this were charges against Michael Arrington about alleged conflicts of interest and other incredible stuff. Both of these remind me of the ongoing noise level of negative comments about Dave Winer as discussed in WikiPedia (Relationship to the public). And Joel Achenbach and other Washingtonpost.com bloggers are continually being smeared in the blogosphere.
First, I think it is unfortunate. Second, all of these dust-ups involve complicated issues that require more that a screenful of text to explain. We use to hear print journalist complain about the sound-bite not explaining an issue. Now we have screen-text. So third, I think this is a matter of where the technology, in this case a (screenful) blog entry, is getting in the way. Now if you want to be a technology determinist, then that is the way it is going to be. But, if you think that our culture can rise about the technology, maybe will start reading more thoughtful responses built on the cultural wisdom of journalism, solid debate and common decency.