One thing you’ll notice the more time you spend on the blogosphere is the immense traffic-value of The Blank Statement. Folks online don’t have time for nuance – you better either want it or not! Or as one of my acting teachers used to say when trying to figure out your relationship to a character or object: ‘You either want to kill it or f*ck it.’
Blanket Statements, also known as Condemnations, can be good for driving traffic, polarizing clients and turning off friends and family. So I present my:
Top Ten Techniques for Writing Blanket Statements to Drive Blog Traffic
1) Choose something popular. Making fun of unpopular things is no way to drive traffic. Be sure you choose something worthy of ridicule. Evidence: a post on my personal blog about Prussian Blue, a pair of nazi-tartlet pop stars gets tons of hits.
2) Choose something already online. Since you want to drive buzz and traffic – choose ideas and things that are already available online. No sense picking on something that isn’t in digital format – other people won’t be able to investigate it and share your ridicule.
3) Choose something around sex, religion or politics. Nothing gets people more polarized than the Sacred Three. Why do you think abortion and gay rights are constantly conentious (at least here in the US of A)?
4) Choose someone that has a blog. The egos of writers are famed for long protracted battles and conflicts. But where the literati had to wait for each edition of their newspaper, with a blog you can take someone down in real time.
5) Don’t pull a Godwin. I did this last week. Godwin means you immediately compare something to the Nazis. Supposedly, in internet-land, that means you have lost the argument. In the real world it means you get to do a pre-emptive invasion.
6) It’s all or nothing. Again love it – hate it. There’s no middle ground anymore. Moderates have to pick sides. If they don’t their cowards or idiots.
7) Choose something iconic. Everyone likes to see a take down of an icon or brand. Make spam from that sacred cow. (…pig?)
8) What About the Children. One of my favorite memes is that every new widget or shmoo is out to hurt the world’s children and feast on their naivete. Some think the blogosphere is merely Pennywise the Clown in distributed, peer-to-peer format.
9) Don’t investigate. Before slandering something or someone – be sure that you don’t read anything about it or take time to thoughtfully consider the various facets of the problem. No one is going to read all of your Blanket Statement anyway so you don’t want to invest anymore time than you have to.
10) Make lists. Be a Letterman. Make your list easy to scan and easy for people to not read all of and make instant sharp value judgements that feed the fire.
BONUS: Passive Aggressiveness. Don’t forget the power in the victim/aggressor stance. After you lash out be sure to act like you had no idea people would take your ideas so seriously. Get your feelings hurt after you’ve burned somebody on the pyre. Catholics don’t have to worry about this skill since it is innate.
So I’ll see everybody in the blanketosphere… or is that condemnosphere… persecutosphere?