More on the RSS

Robert Scoble has a good enough sense of humor that he ended up linking to yesterday’s post and dropping me a comment. But one person took issue with my comment that there aren’t 600 good blogs on the internet. I’d like to make a clarification: I don’t think there are 600 good sites on the entire internet. Blogs are just a subset.

But this illuminates a very real opportunity for exploitation–both the reality and the delusion. First, good content is INCREDIBLY rare. Think of all the sites you read, how many of them actually produce what you read? Most of them are just portals to the people who are the real producers. At this point, almost all the A-list, high traffic bloggers have been done book deal. They all failed for good reason: They have very little to offer. They couldn’t expand their stories, delve into issues they’d only scratch the surface of. The idea that the internet is any less susceptible to the woes of Hollywood is ridiculous. It’s not so much that we have a system or a platform problem–we have a people problem. The wrong people are gatekeepers, the wrong people are creating, the wrong people are marketing and the rest of us simply have to accept it. So just like I can’t think of 600 good sites, I can’t think of 600 GREAT movies or 60 current great musicians. The opportunity then–as it always has been–is original and passionate art. Now, the mantra of “just have good content” is too easily tossed around but that doesn’t make it untrue. The problem is no one takes it seriously, no one really tries. But the idea that we can replace Hollywood megalomaniacs with Silicon Valley dorks isn’t going to cut it.

Two, people are so desperate to consume content that they’re willing to accept up to 600 sites a day. That means there is a ton of opportunity, and being talented makes you a commodity. So what you have is a massive market and no one is serving it. The latent demand for quality is there but the people who can satiate it have fallen down on the job.

But you tell me: Is there anywhere near 600 blogs worth reading on a daily basis? I have a solid 150 and maybe–and I mean maybe–6-10 posts a day do I find myself glad I to have read. If so, where are they hiding? And why is Scoble the only one who seems to have tracked them down?

And as a sidenote: Where I’m working now in Hollywood is gobbling up anything of quality it can find, so if you have friends or are fans of anything, pass it along and I’ll vet through it.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.