Saturday, December 17, 2011

How many pageviews is your good name worth?

This post is light on links because it's about linkwhores--and who wants to give them the satisfaction. In case you don't know, a linkwhore is someone who wants links; but I'm particularly interested in those who go ahead and write inflammatory material in order to get attention.

Recently, a writer at Forbes named Gene Marks wrote a ridiculously dumb piece about how, if he were a poor black child, he would overcome all his difficulties just by working hard and being better and using technology. And he rightfully got ripped all up and down the internet.

Now, there's a chance that Gene Marks is an authentically dumb person on the topic of race and opportunity. But there's also a chance that he wrote a dumb piece in order to get attention (i.e., links). After all, many contributing writers get paid according to the number of pageviews, so it's not impossible to think that our outrage is his financial gain.

Unfortunately for Gene Marks, things that happen on the internet tend to stick around, as teenagers on Facebook learn to their regret every day. So, how much do you think he'll ultimately pay for this?

Unfortunately, as Alex Pareene recently noted in his hacks of the year list, most hacks still have a job  being hacky--maybe because they're hacks, not despite that.

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