Saturday, December 19, 2009


JSH: Understanding Usenet as theater

In our incredibly connected Information Age, one of the FASTEST ways to get a worldwide audience is through Usenet. For that reason there are a lot of players in this environment, and a tremendous amount of competition, where understanding how it works effectively depends I think on seeing a lot of postings as theater.

Here there is TREMENDOUS competition. Understand that—you are competing with everyone else!!!

I don't know how many times over the years I've seen some poster begrudge the attention my posts get, wondering why he (it's always another guy), can't get nearly as much with postings he things are relevant, carefully reasoned out, and polite.

While I throw up half-baked ideas, readily engage in insult battles, have errors scattered all over the place, and often will rant on just about anything that suits my purposes of the moment!

What gives?

REALITY is that Usenet is a pure attention zone. Quite simply, you must hold people's attention to be read.

If you are read, you are getting attention.

So I have the phenomena of posters who stalk my postings telling people no to read them! Because that way they get read themselves.

I call them attention parasites or liken them to barnacles on a ship at sea.

They know what they're doing. And it does work.

Theater is about conflict. If you take any basic creative writing courses you'll get that thrown at you a LOT. Conflict.

Agreement does not draw interest. It bores people.

Drama is about an antagonist and protagonist. Usenet is a lot about drama.

Get it right and you are influential.

My postings can be so dominant on newsgroups that I am now careful about which ones I use. As I can simply squash everyone else on small newsgroups or skew the postings even on big ones like sci.physics, which doesn't usually suit my purposes.

Objections are simply fuel for the fire.

Consider that years ago I was just one of many arguing out my own ideas and research on Usenet, where I focused on mathematics. Today after years of arguing I am a dominate figure across any number of media (not pop culture, yet, so, no, no television, radio or movies…yet) where I like pointing to search engines as it's easy for others to check. So Google says I have the definition of mathematical proof. Cool.

When posters give you instructions about using Usenet that emphasize being polite. Kissing butt (otherwise known as respecting what is mainstream or profusely thanking others for help) remember they are teaching you how to be ignored.

Pay attention to what they do. Not what they say.

The people with the greatest longevity you'll notice on newsgroups are just about all insult machines.

Conflict. Take a course on creative writing. Learn how to be argumentative. Try things. Mistakes are not a bad thing.

And join the theater that is called Usenet. It may often be a theater of the absurd, but worldwide attention is just about reality.

Today I'm read in over 50 countries—every 30 days.

Not counting Usenet. That's just my math blog.

Conflicts here are your friends. It may bruise your ego. Hurt your feelings.

But without objections, you are not interesting.

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