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Friday, February 06, 2009

io9: Worth Reading or Consumerist Fluff?

Mulluane recently suggested I should talk about this topic. I've been avoiding it under the assumption that nobody really wants to hear what I think about the enormous blog site io9 and whether I agree with some folks out there that think it's largely a meaningless place for literature enthusiasts. SF Signal has already asked the general public what they think about io9 and I have already left a comment with a short answer. But I suppose longer, more elaborate discussions are in order.

I don't read io9...anymore. Why? I don't follow io9 because they post too much content that isn't of interest to me. My disinterest in io9 has nothing to do with the fact that they don't cite sources or provide a little link love (although those things do irritate me a great deal), it has to do with simply finding their content to be largely uninteresting. I like the occasional post about upcoming movies and lost things rediscovered, but io9 is too much of a media outlet for me and focuses too much attention on these things. It became apparent to me at some point that I was skimming most, if not all of io9's posts, and I made the decision to cut it from my RSS reader.

Now, I'm not in any way saying that io9 is a "bad blog." I suspect that many people find it interesting; on occasion I'll find a post by them that actually does something for me, but because that doesn't happen often I see no point having it clogging up my RSS reader. For what io9 covers, I think it does a good job. It succeeds in stirring up controversy, getting people to talk about things within the genre, and digs up old junk from the past to offload on an unsuspecting, but excited public. It has a purpose.

With that in mind, I agree entirely with the Crotchedy Old Fan that io9 should be called out for its failure to credit its sources. It doesn't take more than a few moments to link to someone, and if you're going to take content from them, the least you can do is give some link love (it's good for you, good for them, etc.). Besides, if you enjoyed someone else's content so much as to want to use it for a post of your own (or, maybe you hated it enough to do the same thing), then it seems only logical that you would want to make sure that person keeps producing interesting content. Not linking to someone whose content you enjoyed is like me not linking to SF Signal's post on this very subject (io9).

At the end of the day, however, I don't read io9 because it simply fails to provide me regular content in subjects I'm interested in. But, that's the case with 99.9% of the blogosphere, hence why I only follow some blogs and not others. If every blog provided content we enjoy, then I suspect we'd never get out of the house.

Anyone else have any opinions on the matter?

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