When Knights of the Realm Climb on Their High Horses

by Karoli on February 2, 2007 · 31 comments

white knight defends…their butts get dirty. Today is no exception, particularly when it comes to anything concerning PayPerPost. I’ve written you a little story to illustrate the point.

The Players


The heroine:
Hijacked Princess Robyn, the single mom who recently won an HP camera outfit and $1000.


The Alleged Villain:
Ted Murphy and PayPerPost


The Self-Anointed White Knights:
Jason Calacanis, Jeff Jarvis, Nick Denton, and Frederic. Update: Loren Feldman has a horse, too.


The Chorus of Reason:
Mathew Ingram, Tony Hung, Scott Karp (at the Blog Herald), Jason Kaneshiro (Webomatica), Steven Hodson (Winextra.com), Larry Dignan (ZDNet), and Jeneane Sessum.

The Story

Once upon a time in a magic land called The Pure Blogosphere, bloggers lived together in peace and purity. Happy bloggers wrote about whatever they chose, generating much free content which they then published for all the land to read. The Pure Blogosphere was the Eden of the Internet, never marred by conflict or discord. This magic land was inhabited and ruled by geeks and businessmen who built a shiny white castle on a distant hill, placing special guardians called “A-Listers” around it so that it could not be breached. Calling upon the Great gods Google, Technorati and Techmeme they cast the Page Rank and AdSense spells to protect their castle from the evil hordes of invaders who threatened from the Deep Abyss at the Edge.

in the eyeOne day, darkness fell across the land. Evil Ted Murphy and his henchmen sprung forth from a Comet Crashing into the Abyss at the Edge of the Sphere, casting his evil spell over the blogiverse, luring innocents to write for PayPerPost.

Ever gallant, the Knights rose to the defense of their Precious Land, decrying the scourge that was the evil called PayPerPost. They cast anti-payola spells, called upon the gods Google, Techmeme and Technorati to come forth and silence the impure voices of the Polluting Posties who were destroying what they had built, praying that their loyal gods would once again weave the spell that would silence those Postie Polluters forever.

The rabble rose up and rebelled at their efforts, identifying themselves and their content as paid content, offering disclosure to the Great Gods Google, Techmeme and Technorati, breaking the spell and opening the gates at the Edge of the Abyss.

Yet, a pall remained, leaving the land barren and still. When the Knights gathered at the Round Table of AlwaysOn to produce more content and preserve the purity of the Castle and their A-listers, there was a mighty thunder.  Lord Jarvis rose up against Ted Murphy and challenged him to a duel on the spot for the honor of the lovely Princess Robyn, who Lord Jarvis claimed had been hijacked by the evil Murphy and prostituted to the Greedy Corporate Interests of AichPee. Brandishing his sword, Murphy accepted the challenge, beckoning Lord Jarvis to come forth and bring his best.

The din grew louder, whispers turned to shouts, shouts to accusations, when one small voice cried out over the din:

Wow—–THIS IS FABULOUS!!! That mom pimping out her kids for — what did you call it — “cheap shills” — That was me! That is so great that it got some great exposure! We had a TON of fun making it! It was to win the big ‘ol camera prize –but it couldn’t–you see–I’d already won the whole camera package by being involved in Postie Patrol 3! So really, I made the video-after I’d already won a camera–and not really eligible for another “cheap shill” as you would call it! But thanks for letting me know my video was seen by so many! I’ll have to let my boys know that they are famous!!! Sha—-Weet!!!

The Knights returned to the Table, determined to slay the dragon that threatened their Kingdom. They leapt upon their steeds, brandished their swords, readied their spells and attacked furiously. Calacanis first declared that he would be the victor of the spoils:

“Note: I’ve got dibs on PPP in the deadpool!

While Frederic furiously cast the ‘stupid spell”, invoking the Great God Techmeme:

Their users (Posties as they like to be called) are usually people with a low technical knowledge who don’t read TechMeme.

In the meantime, Denton gathered together the A-Listers against AichPee, the Corporate Corrupter,  with a bit of picture voodoo and the Valleywag spell:

…the venture, which is backed by Tim Draper of DFJ, has roped Hewlett Packard, a legendary Silicon Valley brand, into its latest nauseating stunt,

Despite the sword-brandishing, teeth-gnashing and heat, a murmur was heard in the distance, which grew with each passing hour. It was The Chorus of Reason, rising up with their own incantations to bring balance back to The Land. I heard Mathew’s voice first, asking

“What makes Ted Murphy into Satan all of a sudden?”

Just behind him came the dulcet tones of Jeneane Sessum, saying

“…while Ted Murphy has some annoying qualities, Jeff Jarvis tips the obnoxious scale by a long shot with his continual techmeme-gaming pseudo-rants that serve to boost his own ad revenue.”

. More voices arose until they became a chorus of many. As they grew louder, light overcame the darkness across the land, defeating the true evil that had penetrated the Pure Blogosphere, knocking the Knight-Defenders off their high horses and leaving them in the dust.

Friday AfternoonAs all adjusted to the light, there was an astonishing discovery! It IS possible for all to live in The Land of Web TwoPointOh in Peace and Prosperity, each tending their own little plot of the Pure Blogosphere in their own way, attracting their own readers, viewers and followers, choosing their own ways to peacefully co-exist.

And they all lived happily ever after.

(Author’s Note: Although this is obviously a fairy tale, it is a true wish for the Knight-Defenders of the Realm to dust off their butts and learn to listen to the Voices of Reason, who are at least open to allowing us all to live in relative harmony. No monetary spells were cast in the creation of this post — it is offered purely as commentary, contribution to the Pure Content, and fun)

Update #2: Robert Scoble will be the keynote speaker at the PayPerPost conference to be held June 8-9. Scoble is unique: An A-Lister AND part of the Chorus of Reasonable Voices.

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