November 12, 2004

The Easiest Post in the World

Let me help those of you just starting out, you new bloggers. Here's a template to help you write the easiest post in the world:

[AUTHOR] at [SOURCE] says [link][PROVOCATIVE DESCRIPTION][/link]:

[blockquote][TWO TO EIGHT PARAGRAPHS FROM AUTHOR AT SOURCE][/blockquote]

[select (A or B or C)][CONCLUSION A-AUTHOR/SOURCE WRONG:CONCLUSION B- AUTHOR/SOURCE RIGHT:CONCLUSION C-AUTHOR/SOURCE STUPID AND/OR INSANE][/select]

There you go! Here's an example:

David Ignatius at the Washington Post says the CIA is to blame for Arafat's years of terror:

One of the more improbable chapters in the life of Yasser Arafat was his wink-and-nod understanding with the CIA. In secret, Arafat for the past 30 years allowed his top intelligence officers to maintain regular contact with the agency -- even as he publicly continued his defiant and ultimately fruitless quest for a Palestinian state.

The intelligence liaison was one of Arafat's many straddles -- a way of playing all possible sides of the game. In the early 1970s, when the covert relationship with the United States began, he was simultaneously in contact with the CIA and the KGB, with the radical Egyptians and the conservative Saudis. All these secret machinations didn't get Arafat much in the end, and maybe that's the real point: The things that matter most in the modern world are overt actions, not covert ones.

I stumbled across the U.S.-PLO contacts more than 20 years ago, when I was covering the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal, and published an exposť in 1983. With Arafat's passing, perhaps it's a good time to look back at his secret history.

America's dalliance with Arafat began in late 1969, when the CIA first spotted a promising potential recruit in his Fatah organization named Ali Hassan Salameh, known as Abu Hassan. A CIA case officer in Beirut, Robert Ames, made contact through a Lebanese intermediary, and there was a brief exchange of information. I'm told that it was blessed from the beginning by Arafat, who wanted to open a channel to the Americans.

Wow, that Ignatiius sure is a conspiracy nut, huh?

See? Easy as fill-in-the-blanks. You're welcome.

Of course, I did quote WAY TOO MUCH of the original article, far more than is acceptable in terms of Fair Use, but in fact, that was deliberate. Too many bloggers have figured out that if you quote at least half the piece in your post, your readers won't click to read it for themselves. Net result? They stay on YOUR site. Reading what YOU have to say. Fair use?--Screw fair use; you're who's important around here!

If you follow the template religiously, you ought to be able to generate 20-30 posts a day easily. More, if you don't take time out for mundane things like going to work.

Be sure to write at least one original post a week to balance all this out, though. Here's your template for it:

[I AM TOO A REAL JOURNALIST!]

Wow! That was even easier than the first template!

Of course, if you follow my simple instructions, I'll probably think you're a useless hack, and I won't read you. But who cares what I think anyway? For every reader like me who mutters "hack" under her breath, you should be able to attract 100 others who nod their heads like bobblehead dolls in an earthquake. And that means traffic!

(DISCLAIMERS: This post not inspired by any one particular blogger; it's more a generalized phenomenon that I'm seeing several places. This post is not an attempt to call someone out or hurt someone's feelings, unless that someone deserves it. If your initial reaction to this post is to get defensive and leave me a comment to say, "Hey, I do not either do that," I'm probably not talking about you. If your initial reaction to this post is, "Who cares what that dumb bitch has to say about it? Not like she gets any traffic," then I'm probably talking about you, and we should just agree to loathe each other for eternity. If your initial reaction to this post is, "Who CARES," or "No, not another post about blogging!" then fella, I want to party with you. Finally, this post partly inspired by the latest poll at Jim Treacher's--see the sidebar on the right, the one with all the ads in it, all the ads you should click at least once to make Jim happy.)

Posted by Ilyka at November 12, 2004 05:40 PM in hell is other people
Comments

Ilyka was right when she wrote:

This post is not an attempt to call someone out or hurt someone's feelings, unless that someone deserves it.

now where are we having that party?

Posted by: rammer at November 13, 2004 05:14 AM

http://www.thebulletin.com/wwwboard/messages/126832.html chambersgulproom

Posted by: stare at October 20, 2005 03:12 AM