Monday, September 10, 2007

Say It Ain't So, Joe.

As I've often remarked (well, at least once) the internet gave everyone a voice but it didn't guarantee that they have anything worthwhile to say. In the field of aviation commentary and opinionizing (and bloviating, to be sure) that holds true as well.

Sometimes we here in the hothouse atmosphere of Airbus v. Boeing blogging can make outrageous statements but it's the general rule that personal attacks in public are bad form-unless you're an unidentified commenter at James Wallace's P.I. blog. Then you can be as nasty as you wanna be.

This operation here at the Dougloid Towers is a fair example, and it's a funny thing to speculate that people like us are the old established journalistic voices in the field...well, us and Fleetbuzz and Radar Vector and a few others who do it for the fun of it. I'm coming up on two years here, and I've not made a nickel from it, and I haven't even attempted it.

Quite simply this is not a commercial site and it isn't for sale. You do not see any advertising here. You probably never will, either.

On the other hand there are those who are self promoters who are not always observant of the conventions of this tribe. When the Seattle P.I. needs a gadfly, there is usually one of these fellows ready made to trot out contrarian agitprop from da Festung. It's a nifty bit of niche marketing, but it is a contrived alternate reality.

Performance and consistency and a nose for truth is what's real. That's at the heart of any observation of this industry. What it means is that what you do is what's important, not what you're trying to market.

You've got to remember that on the web, with instant retrieval of every lame thing we've ever said, we're all pretty much naked and calling people ass kissers and toadies is bad form that usually emerges to the discredit of those who've ignored Mother's maxim: If you can't say anything nice (or at least neutral) about someone don't say anything at all. I myself have been guilty of such things at times but I haven't been caught yet. I should probably go wash my mouth out with soap right now, in fact.

Bob Dylan once opined that if you live outside the law you must be honest, and were he writing today, he might say that if you fool around on the web at all sooner or later every silly and poorly thought out opinion you've held and intemperate remark you've made is going to become fair game.


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