Sunday, March 18, 2007

Is blogging like baseball?

There's an interesting parallel between this post on blogging and marketing by Kathy Sierra (linked to by bEnder in his post below) and this New York Times column on baseball by David Brooks (linked to helpfully by sydbristow on Iraqwarit).

Note especially Sierra:

You must be willing and able to turn off (temporarily) The Voice inside that says, "We'll never get away with this. People will hate it." ... [T]his is somewhat like The Inner Game approach or Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain or any of the other approaches to creativity that get your logical "talking" mind out of the way so all the more useful but non-speaking parts of your brain can get on with the important things you're trying to accomplish.

and Brooks:

[B]aseball has accomplished [an] ... important feat. It has developed a series of habits and standards of behavior to keep the conscious mind from interfering with the automatic mind.

Baseball is one of those activities in which the harder you try, the worse you do. The more a pitcher aims the ball, the wilder he becomes. The more a batter tenses, the slower and more tentative his muscles become.

So, I suppose I need to approach each post with the same insouciance with which Jose Reyes regards a split-finger fastball or a Baltimore chop. But, perhaps more importantly, a la Sierra, I need to find a way to make you hate me.


TenaciousK said...

Hate you enough to never miss a day, showing up without fail to hate you as reliably as Lyndon Larouche hates Barak Obama. Hate you enough to spend hours thinking every day about how much I hate you, and scheme up little ways that I can express my hatred, scrutinizing your every hated word for a fracture in your logic, in which I can insert the wedge of my hatred.

Yup - with enough people hating you like that, you could make a career out of being hated. People will pay to hate you - to be graced with even tiny little expositions of yourself, upon which they can vent their spleen, and gnash their teeth in righteous rage.

Welcome to the Brave New World of commercialized media. Leave your inhibitions at the door and throw yourself headlong into the stream of sensationalized bile people titillate themselves with. Take a page from Dennis Rodman, or Mike Tyson, and become the anti-hero we crave, so we can make ourselves feel righteous for a little while. Set yourself up, m'boy, and let the games begin!

Has OJ started a blog yet?

Claude Scales said...

So I should start considering hair coloring, tattoos and bling? Sounds like a plan.

LaRouche hates Obama? Hadn't heard that, but can't say I'm surprised. I suppose he thinks Obama's splitting heroin profits with Hamid Karzai and Queen Elizabeth.

iclxm: I crave lox, Mom.

TenaciousK said...

I don't know if LaRouche really hates Obama - I'm guessing. A guess with some basis, however, though I can't stand to attend to him. My grandmother once gave me one of his books ("The Ugly Truth About the ADL"), which was revelatory in all kinds of ways - mostly about LaRouche, and my grandmother, who donated money to that despicable man.

Tattoos and bling aren't going to cut it. Posing on your harley while wearing a wedding dress, however - that might come a little closer to being the kind of offensive we all love to be offended by.

topazz said...

this is the second time this week I've been able to use this link in a reply. Most all the disagreements I read on the fray there is usually one side deliberately grandstanding for sheer effect.

To answer your question claude; Blogging is not always but sometimes like baseball.

People secretly like it when the ball hits someone in the stands and knocks them out cold, but they hate it when it looks like you've posted a home run and some idiot goes and intercepts it with a threadjacking reply.

TenaciousK said...

Hmmm, I'm experiencing a moment of concern. Did I jack this thread? If so, that wasn't my intent.

Though I am curious, Topazz - what constitutes threadjacking?

TK [wondering for a moment if he's been walking around with his fly down...]

topazz said...


No, no, no! Never meant you (or Claude) - I apologize if thats how it sounded. I was making (a rather bad) analogy to that Cubs fan who intercepted the baseball a few years back, much to the ire of the whole city of Chicago, I was likening it to a threadjack. And as for the Onion reference, when someone is being bad - are they actually "hateful" - or just being an asshole?

Ah, nevermind. I guess Baseball isn't like blogging - there's no question as to the meaning in baseball. It's right there for you to see.

TenaciousK said...

Oh Topazz, I wasn't offended or anything - just curious about whether I was violating blogger etiquette (if there is such a thing). I'd want to know, you know [where's Schad when you need him?].

JohnMcG said...

Just for argument's sake, let's condier the possibility that TK did jack this thread....

TenaciousK said...

Uhm, I'm fine with that, John. Going in that vein, my questions are - at what point did I threadjack (it certainly seems as though we've crossed that line now, but at what point did we cross it?), is this a bad thing, and do I demonstrate poor blogging etiquette?

I guess I always figured responses - whether marginally relevant, misguided, contrary, or whatever - are a good thing. I mean, I wasn't trying to undermine what Claude was saying.

Did I?

JohnMcG said...

Well, for this discussion, I think it would be helpful if we stipulate that threadjacking is an offense on roughly the same moral plane as murder, since each post is a piece of someone's life, and you are essentailly nullifying it.

"Threadjacking" is probably therefore too mild a term, since it brings to mind lesser crimes like hijacking and carjackings, as well as innocuous activites such as jacking up a car to change a tire. Perhaps "threadicide" would be more appropriate.

That being the case, I think your guilt became apparent with the mentioning of LaRouche and Obama, since there is no public arcrimony between them, and could not help but lead the discussion toward whether LaRouche in fact does hate Obama, and how we would know if he did.

TenaciousK said...

I have to plead Threadslaughter, your honor - I was just reaching for an (awkward) analogy! I never meant any harm to the thread, honest!

Claude Scales said...

TK: As lord of this thread, I hereby declare you exonerated (as if my replying to your original comment wasn't exoneration enough).