Shouting Into the Internet Abyss

commentsComments. We don't have them turned on here at Serendipity35 any more. We were pounded over and over with spammers and so we turned them off more than a year ago

I thought about that as a read this piece on The New Yorker site that suggests that if the Internet were to receive its own Ten Commandments, one of them would be “Thou Shalt Not Read the Comments.”

The author says that there are "few online experiences more dispiriting, more arduously futile, than the downward scroll into the netherworld of half-assed provocations and inanities that exists beneath the typical opinion piece or YouTube video."

I miss our comments. The good ones, not the spam. I still think that part of the reason anyone should blog is to get some feedback from the world. But because this blog has such a long tail of posts, we became a target to spammers. last month we had 1140635 hits and that makes us a place a spammer want to put his link to Viagra and Beats headphones and Gucci bags and all the other crap that got sent our way. I have news for spammers and marketers: Tim and I post our own legitimate ads on this blog's sidebar to Amazon and such and they don't generate enough revenue after a few months to even get the two of a burger and beer at McGovern's.

I suppose I am shouting into the abyss with these posts if I can't even hear an echo of a comment.

That makes me think of when I was an undergrad at Rutgers and did some time at the college radio station, WRSU. We were just moving the station from AM to FM then and I got my FCC license and learned how to run the board and all that. I have always loved radio. But as a rookie, you got the unenviable time slots early in the morning or late at night and you wondered if anyone was out there listening.

LampoonAt the time we were running The National Lampoon Radio Hour which was a very funny series of sketches. It was Saturday Night Live on the radio (with some of the same people, like Bill Murray). It was created, produced and written by staff from National Lampoon magazine and it lasted for a little over a year back in 1973 and 1974.

It originally was a radio HOUR but at some point while I was on the air, they cut it to 30 minutes, supposedly because they couldn't afford or didn't have the time to put together enough material required for a one-hour show.

That first half-hour show made mention at the end that some wimpy radio stations were not going to play the second half of the hour because that was the part with all the dirty stuff. Of course, the show ended there. And the station got calls from angry listeners that were mad because they couldn't hear the second half and because the college station was too wimpy to play it. I was unable to convince these callers that there was no second half and that it was just another gag. It was one of the rare times I knew someone was out there listening.


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