Dinosaur du jour

Dinosaur du jour

: I really should stop giving attention to big, old media Flintstones who bang their clubs on their heads and insult bloggers (also known as the public) to get attention. But I guess I can’t resist revealing the idiocy of these blind fools.

The doofus du jour is Randall Rothenberg, once-was ad columnist for the NY Times now biding time in AdAge and as “director of intellectual capital” for Booz Allen (that is, he plays editor of a magazine nobody reads for an overpriced consultancy desperate for attention). There’s no link on the AdAge site (I’ve been trying to get to editor Scott Donaton to bug him about this) and it’s significant that I’ve seen no one else quote the column (guess fewer people read you than read blogs, Rothenberg) so I’ll retype a few of the dingleberries for your entertainment:

Having reflected on blogs for the better part of two year, and having participated in the sport for a short two months, [note that he doesn’t have the balls to give us the address – ed] I am prepared to report that blogging is little more than hype dished out largely by the unemployable to the aimless.

Rather like columns, eh?

Who in the world has the time to read this crap?

He also doesn’t have the balls to list examples of crap. It’s just all crap, it seems. As if crap can’t be printed on paper.

Do some bloggers have sway? About as much as your average op-ed columnist.

I don’t get the insult there. It’s news that a mere blogger crapping crap onto a screen can have the influence of an honored print columnist.

A few even have meager, self-sustaining ad support.

And how much do you make from your column, Randall? Care to compare the take to Josh Marshall’s or various of Nick Denton’s blogs?

And, sure, blogs contributed to the outing of the false “60 Minutes” report on Bush’s National Guard service. But a million monkeys filing second-by-second observations on Web sites would undoubtedly stumble on the real author of Shakespeare’s plays.

I leave that one to you, dear readers. Comment among yourselves.

Blogs are this year’s fad. Decentralizing the power of the press is certainly a signal development. Will a million unemployed press barons emerge? No–only the few who have something important and original to say. In the case of blogs, McLuhan got it wrong: The medium isn’t the message. The message is the message.

Turn the mirror on yourself, commentator. You do no reporting for this dump. If you had, if you talked to the advertisers and agencies I’ve talked to recently, you’d find smart people who realize that this is about a new conversation with the market. They are eager to figure it out. Did you help them one bit? Did you impart any new information? Did you give them any evidence of your pissy position? No, sir, the only thing you’re right about is that the message is the message and you don’t have one.

: ON THE OTHER HAND…. I’m catching up on my AdAges and in the previous week’s issue, Rance Crain (aka the boss) writes a smart column on blogs, the election, and marketing.

So marketers want consumers to be in control, do they?…

Be careful what you wish for. What most marketers haven’t come to grips with is just how much consumers are now calling the shots. They have the ability to change the way ad messages are being received — and even come out with their own counter-messages….

The blog creators are influencers — people who pride themselves on knowing all kinds of arcane, insider details about the product, hence giving themselves credibility with consumers.

What’s clear is that advertising no longer has the luxury of being a one-way monologue….

If blogs are liberating consumers, they are having an equal impact on voters. More and more people are turning to blogs for their take on political events of the day, and traditional journalism is taking the hit….

The journalistic bloggers bypass professional journalists. Will consumer blogs bypass professional advertising agencies? As I said, be careful what you wish for.

  • Jeff. Howard’s blog was obviously ignored and he has learned that the best way to get attention is to pull a Dvorak. Who has time to read this crap? I love that one. He obvioiusly hasn’t discovered RSS and a newsreader. Unemployable? If he’s at AdAge, I seem to recall his boss, Rance Crain, wrote a column a few weeks ago that came to the opposite conclusion. Rance, however, is walking intellectual capital, no just an observer of it.

  • Every blogger I know has a job. Hell, most of the blogs I read are written by people with very lucrative jobs. If I was unemployed, I wouldn’t have access to the web, and therefore, no blog. Besides, for me, money is not my motivation in blogging. I blog therefore I am.

  • Booz Allen isn’t just an overpriced consultancy. They have the distinction of having been the originators of the first Booz bottle. Which was an attention-getting device remarkable for having left its imprint on the national vocabulary without having left the memory of where it came from.
    Just don’t get your jammies in a wad, you aren’t one of the forgettable ones.

  • Rothenberg’s words have the ring of the desperate emperor who’s now realizing he has no clothes. Or the Wizard of Oz who’s just realized the curtain has been pulled back on his charade. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

  • Observer

    Jarvis’s own “rules of engagement” specify “No personal attacks,” but isn’t this precisely the kind of demagogic, polarizing, ad hominem attack Jarvis himself criticizes when it comes to political debate in the rest of the media (i.e., TV, radio, etc.–especially political media). To see Jarvis at a conference, sucking up to the powers at be, makes you wonder precisely how someone so powerful can be so utterly insecure. What animus animates this man that he cannot tolerate criticism–not even criticism of him, mind you, but criticism of one (among several media) that he uses? When provoked, Jarvis seems only to hit below the belt, just like…well just like Tucker Carlson, in fact. Suddenly, he has to compare his earnings to Rothenberg’s (of whom this writer has only passing acquaintance), has to insult Booz Allen (which Jarvis’s own company has occasionally hired), and has to take even the merest whiff of realism–a surmise mere possibility that the business model of blogging might very well suck–as grounds for attack. You can love blogging, love bloggers (even), think there is lots of potential for future revenue and still be a skeptic. (I am, and I have a blog. I also publish magazines and have both print and online engagements–but I recognize that blogging may only be one among many developments in the rise of public access content management systems, and may not be the most profitable or even the most creative.)
    By the way–anticipating Jarvis’s rebuttal and attack–seeing how hypocritical Jarvis is about his so-called “rules of engagement,” I would never post my personal information here, nor would advise any honest media person to do so. Clearly, Jeff Jarvis is one very angry, insecure man, and his retributive tentacles spread far and wide.

  • ronbo

    I’m very suprised by Randy’s comments; he’s ususally ahead of the curve, not behind it. His AdAge columns on how agencies need to reinvent themselves have been spot on. He’s really off base here, tho.
    For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t focus too much on his being part of Booz Allen. He isn’t a typical management consultant by background (I know him slightly). He’s just smart and somewhat influential in a field that BAH wants to get involved in. They would probably take a run at you if they thought about it.

  • My first reaction to this post was “huzzah, Jeff.” Reading the comments here, though, reminded me of what we often lose sight of in blog critique: that Rothenberg (and Jeff) are real people

  • ned

    I don’t think Alan understands “Ad Hominem.” Rothenberg made no Ad Hominem comment, Jarvis did. It isn’t Ad Hominem, but rather ironic to notw that Alan’s blog is replete with “Ad Hominem” editorial and has like most blogs gone from a credible place which once saw some expert commentary, to a place of self-reference, self-reinforcing bias. Talk about 60 minutes – that blogs’s own archives are an embarrasement an order of magnitude higher.
    And so it goes. the problem is credible and useful information is not the same as ego boosting preaching to the chourus on the left or right which comprises 95% of jo pretender blogs.
    Don’t forget everyone was sure when radio came out it would give voice to everyone, but as it turned out few people and anything of value to say.

  • Well. I stand corrected. Except for this:

  • ned

    LOL, Alan you just made the perfect illustration of the critique of highly biased bloggers!
    You posted a link — in this case a dictionary definition — which you apperently didn’t read yourself! Too funny!
    It is CLEAR you also did not read Jarvis’ rant on Rothberg which is classic ad hominem:
    …that is, he plays editor of a magazine nobody reads for an overpriced consultancy desperate for attention…
    No one reads Ad Age? Being an editor at Wired is nothing?
    Perfect illustration of blogdoms self erected insularity, incredibly in this case, from even non-political facts.
    Jarvis’ comments are often insightful, but in this case they are definative ad hominem.
    I am sure you kow exactly what the problem is. Your own blog was once a place that collected many stories from many sources on a subject, namely the war on terror.
    You know that it has become an ideologically filtered venue for half the story and intellectually narcissistic and self affirming commentary.
    Last time I visited your site seriously was when the revelations of Judith Miller’s shenanigans came up. I had recalled your site having a bias but being a broad source with relevence. (before you peg my bias, I am certainly in favor of the war.) The Miller issue created an opportunity to cover a broad failing of the media on a subject to which your blog was supposedly devoted. You spent an order of magnitude more space on swiftboats.
    Confabs of rigidly like minded people on the net are a phenomena to be certain, they do not make for utility and they certainly are not “media.” They are message. Do people reading Al Frankin or Ann Coulter (and you know it is “or” and not “and”) signify anything meanigful?
    Might as well say people holding up signs with slogans at a Democratic or Republican convention are “media.”
    The main trend is that the blogs set up as alternatives to “MSM” have BECOME a manifestation of their own critique. that is the lesson.
    I suggest you go to dictionary.com and look up irony as well.