Jeff at Visible Darkness led me through to this piece about the Dark Side of Blogging. (Insert “Use the blog, Luke!” and related unfunniness here) Questions about how marvellous and whiz-bang this new medium really is, and indeed how “stupid and repellent, sometimes crypto-genocidal” some warblogs can be, for example. Pushing back against utopian paeans to the organic growth of communities that even I, surly wonderchicken, have been guilty of propagating :

But when I suggested that there was something inherently suspicious about online “community,” I had in mind a radical thought experiment that forces its way across this divide. Something like: suppose we took warblogs, or even and its satellites, as the model of a weblog “community.” Should the kinder and gentler blogrings find that thought sobering? Don’t dismiss the comparison too quickly, not if you want a real assessment of the medium in all its potentialities.
Community vs. “strength”: Maybe I meant that there should there be more consideration of how to seek individual autonomy through community. That task might be different both from the mindset that one sees in the attack blogs and from the communal sociology of the more benign “clusters” and dialogic blogrings.
Or maybe I could put it differently this way: it’s not so much that I disagree with the celebration of the positive, even the wondrous qualities of weblogs. It’s just that I suspect they’re living on borrowed time.

So it's a cliche. Sue me.My only addition at this point is to tangentially woolgather : is it only a matter of time until Hollywood starts regularly hiring hundreds of blogtemps to fire up new weblogs, post furiously and praise to the skies the latest piece of crap opus by Jerry Bruckheimer or some other purveyor of soul-destroying cinematic garbage, interlink to themselves and a few ‘a-listers’, start offering large cash incentives to Kottke and Rageboy and other high-traffic blognodes to link back to the rent-a-bloggers, and watch the Google rank for their new Product soar? Or record companies to promote their wares? Or governments? Are recent, highly-successful experiments in spiking the GooglePunch like the recent one by Matt Haughey the tip of the iceberg? How soon before big business catches on, before the Office of Strategic Mind Control realizes the subtle power (if they haven’t already) of the interconnectedness of blogs and begins working blogspace like the infopimps they strive to be? Before this ‘place’, too, becomes branded and corporatized? (Forget the stone-knives-and-bearskins, bandwidth-wasting crudity of banner ads – savvy marketers will work the medium, pimp the actual hyperlinks, and tickle Google till it quivers, moans, and page-ranks, gratefully. Linkwhoring could become a serious business. Perhaps we could form a mafia, a Blogga Nostra, and skim a little of that corporate cream off the top, broker linkage deals, extort flame-protection money.)
Of course it may become moot, if Google fine-tunes their page ranking system for blogs. For now, though, please hold my hand. I’m a little scared.
(Edit : I see that Doc talked about this, recently, grumpily, kinda. Whoops.)

This blog entry has been brought to you by the new film from Tom Green : “Somebody Kill Me Now”. In theatres next week! comments.

Thoughts That, If Not Deep, Are At Least Wide, Uncrappy