Should Stupid People Not Blog?

No, they shouldn’t.

Of course there’s no way to determine who’s stupid—let alone the validity of stupid being a unit of measurement (or judgement)—but, yes, as a general rule of thumb, stupid people shouldn’t blog.

What I’m referring to here are some recent comments made by blogger and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis at ReadWriteWeb 2Way Summit NYC, namely:

“There are a lot of stupid people out there … and stupid people shouldn’t write.”

“There needs to be a better system for tuning down the stupid people and tuning up the smart people.”

Hearing stuff like that, in such blunt and unrefined fashion, will piss off most people. Yet I don’t see how anyone could disagree with the essential message: people who blog junk shouldn’t be blogging. They deserve to be penalized, not rewarded.

I’ve been quietly rallying about this for years here on Wordful. Anyone who has read my posts will detect a bit of frustration as I try to balance the truth with yet another evergreen “how to” post. And let’s not forget how many times I have to grit my teeth as another self-aggrandizing blogger profits from gaming the system.

But back to Calacanis. One cannot ignore the irony of comments like that coming from the guy who created Mahalo, the sad content farm that not only churned out —*ahem*— rubbish, but also in my opinion abused one of the most common words in the Hawaiian language (it means “thank you”).

No hard feelings, though. The Google Panda update wiped out a huge amount of Mahalo’s traffic and now Calacanis seems to have a new direction and more fortified attitude about the future of web content. So yeah — the real mahalo goes to Google.

His latter comment, however, is worth paying attention to. It should resonate very strongly with anyone who’s not stupid: “There needs to be a better system for tuning down the stupid people and tuning up the smart people.”

Listen up, because there’s gold here: Calacanis’s “better system” suggests a massive opportunity—a call to arms for talented bloggers, editors and entrepreneurs to reconcile and refine the web into a lean, mean content machine.

Photo by mikebaird.

  • The current system rewards popular “authorities” far more than qualified experts.

    Expert, in fact, has turned into a sort of dirty word. Who cares about expertise when authority is so much easier, so much more fun, so much more _social_?

    I have no answers.

    • Charles

      Hmmmm. This is a challenge indeed, and an opportunity.

  • You speak with so much Aloha in your heart. You should be commended…I sure am glad that you don’t sit on the “stupid board of bloggers” to decide who is smart enough to blog. We all have a right to speak and so do you. Be thankful your blog is not censored for the lack of Aloha. J.Osprey.

    • Charles

      It’s nice to know someone is listening, though I can’t quite figure out if you’re being sarcastic or not.

      By the way, I dig your blog. Aloha and mahalo back to you.

  • Even “stupid” people like to try and blog because it is something that they love to do. why should people who are smart get to be the ones to try and express them selves on a blog? Yes, I admit I suck at writing, punctuation etc… but so what. If I want to blog then so be it. If “stupid” people should be penalized for blogging then so should jerks who believes that stupid people shouldn’t have a blog! No one is perfect and everyone has a voice. Let them use it.

  • Sophie

    The worrying thing about “stupid people” blogging, is the people who avidly read, follow and try to re-create these “stupid” blogs…creating a family of “stupid bloggers”. Citing broadsheets which you skimmed to sound impressive when in reality you can only cope with tabloids aimed at the language skills of an 8 year old is, quite frankly, dangerous! Everyone can express themselves, but stick to what you know and don’t fabricate nonsense upon an opinion based on the caption of a photo you read which belongs to a credited newspaper.

  • Mark

    It’s odd this is the most recent post. This is a really distasteful post to leave as a legacy for your blog.

    It’s disrespectful in multiple ways to the core essence of Free Expression rights and the First Amendment specifically. There is certainly need for more sophistication of blog promotion for actual expertise, but the potential for abuse is too substantial.

    But practically, why let “stupid people” blog? There is the obvious “who will be the arbiters of intellect?” question. Reduction to that question neglects a more fundamental element of civilized society. We allow free speech rights to everyone, because even the stupidest or least sophisticated member of society may see a nuance or problem with a system that the rest of us are missing. This isn’t anti-intellectualism; common respect and common sense demand that all have a forum.

    Consider this:

  • If you can’t define who’s stupid how can you say whether one would blog or not blog. I would say stupid people don’t exist, only different.

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