Home » Archive » Too much noise: Chaos and communication clarity

, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

Seth wants less noise.

Citing the mounting tidal wave of blog posts he suggests that “by writing too much, too often, we’re trouncing on the attention of the commons.”

He’s right if the singular value of blogs is communication to single readers. But there are other perspectives from which more noise looks better and better.

For example, an economist might really like this. You wouldn’t believe the convolutions most economists go through to get a rich data set. In this case, blogs are exactly what you’re after: lots of voluntary indications of preferences.

You might also like the noise if you’re keen on understanding emerging trends. In the world before blogs you’d have to poll hundreds of people in rigorously defined ways to just get a sliver of new information. Now, thanks to blogs, this stuff is lying all over the place just begging to be picked up.

Seth’s a writer and he’s pointing out that vigorous noise generation isn’t doing much to promote one-to-one or one-to-many communication.

I’m wondering if we haven’t missed the real promise here: many-to-one.

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You’re absolutely right. The promise of blogging is not to turn it into a giant lecture hall where everyone respectfully listens to the wise one by one – it’s more like a convention center with lots of booths where everything you could want comes in different shapes and styles.

Clutter means a loss of control – and I think this is what a lot of A-listers are feeling. They want to be able to quantify the blogosphere so they can teach companies how to monetize it. But the purpose of blogging for most bloggers is individual expressions. They want the interaction and the clutter, not the middle ground of communal agreement.

Right, and on top of that … or in that … clutter lives something profoundly rich.

Here’s a [metaphor]:

I am beset by a compulsion to optimize my career but am unable to trust that I can accurately separate my passions from the gravity of other people’s perspectives.

One of the ways to clear the noise is to go back to a time when I was unaware and unaffected by the perspectives of others: my childhood. What was I keenly passionate about then? How can that translate to now?

Now, why does that work? What is the key differentiator? The difference is, I can be fairly confident that I was truly playing back then … not acting (as I sometimes do now).


The clutter across blogs includes opinions, prognostications, increasingly spun perspectives, but also includes a huge amount of playing and passionate expression of selves.

So far, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone really dig deeply into this dimension … what does all this passion (expressed playfully) tell decision makers?