Incredible or Crap : Story of Banalization

To all you webmasters and blog writers, have you ever noticed that if your article is not incredible, it’s crap?

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Incredible or Crap

Don’t get offended! I say crap because even if it’s not, it will get the same results as if it was crap. By results, I mean the activity your article will generate (visits, comments, links etc…).

If your article is incredible and becomes popular, it will be read by numerous people, linked to, discussed about and referred to in other writings.

If it’s crap it will be read by little numbers of people, no one will link to your post, no one will discuss your article, you will not get many comments and people won’t care about what you have posted.

On the internet, most times, writing an incredible article is not even enough! People need to be able to find it so in addition to spending hours writing your article, you need to spend hours advertizing your work. So many conditions to achieve success! I believe in the future, as search engines become more efficient, advertizing your work will be less important. Your article will naturally appear on top of serps (search engine results pages) if it deserves to be there.

Writing an incredible article is real time consuming! Unless you know exactly what you want to write and are a speedy writer, it will take you at least a couple hours. (Took me 3h to write this article) Anything less would turn out to be crap. Unless you are the only one to write about an incredible story or you are posting incredible news or incredible music, videos or photos.

Your article can only be incredible if it’s better than what already exists. And if it doesn’t already exist, then a lot of people must think it is an incredibly interesting blog post. It’s not enough to write about something new. And incredible means near perfection.

I might sound a little pessimistic, but I speak from experience and I do believe incredible articles will get more coverage in the future as search technology improves.

According to me, the conditions for an incredible article to be considered popular are:

  1. It receives a minimum of 100 visits per day
  2. At least two other sites have linked to your article
  3. You have at least 15 comments
  4. Your article is in the top 10 search results for an important key phrase

One of the main reasons why an incredible article becomes popular is if people link to it. The search engines are thinking since many websites are pointing to this incredible article, this article must be the shit and as a consequence, rank you higher in the serps.

More and more people connect to the internet and spend more and more time surfing. But all the websites on the web do not all get the same traffic increase. Only the top 10 results in Google get a decent amount of traffic. No one clicks to see the second page results.

“It’s all or nothing”
“Too much of something kills that something”

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Relativity

Definition of Relativity:

A state of dependence in which the existence or significance of one entity is solely dependent on that of another.

Good but not incredible articles are getting the same results as crap articles because of relativity. Everything is relative! Some things in life are more or less absolute like pain but most things are relative. Your blog posts are relative to all the other similar content found on the internet! That’s generally a huge amount of articles you could compare your work to. This amount is only increasing. It will NEVER diminish. Unless a part of the internet disappears but I doubt it.

The annoying thing is that people get used to “Incredible”. Because of relativity, the incredible articles become the normal, standard articles. They become the minimum requirements for an article to have success. People have gotten “incredible” and now they only want to see the same level of incredible. Anything not that incredible is not worth their time. Once you’ve dated many supermodels, it’s harder to feel attracted to a “normal” girl. That’s just how things work.

My videos on YouTube confirm my sayings. I have posted some incredible videos which have been seen more than 100,000 times and have a rating of 4.5 on 5. I have also posted some average videos which almost always end up with a rating of 1 out of 5, nasty comments and have been viewed 100 times in 1 year. Those videos are definatly NOT worth a grade of 1/5! At least 2 or 3. But people are used to incredible and that’s all they want to see.

This huge gap can also be witnessed in certain societies where the difference between the rich and the poor is enormous. The rich are extremely rich and the poor are extremely poor. This is generally true in third world countries. But in modern societies, I’m not sure the trend is showing otherwise. Are we heading towards an equilibrium?

I hate relativity! I hate it because I am not incredible! I’d say 95% of people are not incredible.

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Incredible sites that make other sites look like crap:

Lorelle on WordPress
I wrote a few articles about WordPress and SEO and I would always find a similar topic on Lorelle VanFossen’s blog. Always very complete and worthwhile articles. Lorelle must spend HOURS writing her posts! It’s crazy! She is a true reference in the wordpress world and her articles are near perfect! By perfect, I mean that she talks about a topic in full, with references, complete explanations, links, experiences, pros and cons, personal opinion etc… Very complete. Practically all her blog posts are worthwhile and incredible. Lorelle on wordpress is an incredible blog! For this reason her website currently is 18,727th in the world. (Mine is 70,028th ) According to Alexa.
To reach this kind of perfection, you must be very dedicated! I don’t know many people who are truly dedicated. Not even me.

Wikipedia
Everybody knows or has heard of Wikipedia. The one place where all human knowledge is found and indexed. “For the people, by the people”. The philosophy behind Wikipedia is incredible. Wikipedia is an incredible site.

I’ve written what I believe to be some incredible posts but they didn’t get much attention:

My 4600 km Road Trip around the Alps Mountains in Europe
Famous Music Loop Samples Library
Guide to making Voice Over Parody
SEO Secrets to Writing the Perfect Blog Post
Image Hotlinking and Google Search
Guide : Many Me Photo Trick
Quiksilver Pro France 2005 contest

I think these articles did not have much success because my blog, www.xarj.net does not have a real niche topic. I write about all kind of topics, not just blogging, or music, or travelling… You will be more successful if you find a niche for your site or blog and stick to it. I chose not to have a niche and now I must suffer the positive and negative consequences.

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The Media and Banalization

The mass media (magazines, TV, radio, internet…) constantly modify our perception of the world we live in. Those services have the power to banalize facts and situations. People should never get used to violence on TV. You should always feel bad when a bomb goes off in Iraq and kills 20 people. The way people picture sex and violence has dramatically changed in the last 30 years! Back in the days, people were a lot more susceptible. Now it has become totally banal. We see violence everyday on TV, we see homeless people in the streets and we don’t feel bad. Is that normal?

Scary thing is that this banalization is unavoidable because we are stuck in a vicious circle. Your mind constantly relativizes. If you see violence everyday on TV, it is normal to feel less and less. If you watch porn all the time, it will become harder to get turned on! Same thing with your body; if you take too much antibiotics, eventually they won’t affect your body anymore. If you take drugs all the time, you’ll need more to feel that buzz! Your body gets used to it. If your body can become banalized to certain things, then for sure your mind can too! I hate banalization. Banal is boring, it’s neutral.

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The Banalization Rule, a Vicious Circle

The population wants incredible news, they get incredible news, and eventually that level of incredibility becomes banal so they want even more incredible news which they get and so on…
It’s a vicious circle.

Banalization is the process of something becoming banal and boring. I hate to witness the banalization of our environment. (By environment, I mean all things that surround us.) Beautiful things should stay beautiful and horrible things should stay horrible. Article about Paris fighting the ‘banalization’ of the Champs-Elysées

Because they reward it, sites like Digg push the incredibility levels to new heights. Digg is a database of incredible news and stories which only become popular if they are deemed incredible by the voting population. This type of website exists because we are always hungry for more incredible articles. In this media, the population dictates the featured news. I wonder what kind of stories and articles will be featured on Digg in 10 years! The human mind will be immune to all news. More psychological limits and boundaries will have vanished.

The good news is that human beings are profoundly good. Most people raised in a normal environment will turn out good human beings! Unable to harm. Our human nature will save us. If we need to be saved.

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Supply and Demand

In our capitalist lifestyles, the rule of supply and demand applies to the media. The media is only responding to a demand and supplies us with what we want. We are responsible for the featured news and cannot blame the media. Obviously, in certain cases, the media is controlled by governments and powerful organizations but the “peoples” are gaining more control over the media. That’s my opinion.

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Witness the Evolution

The internet has the ability to show which topics are the most popular within a population. Information is not just sent to people, the users decide what information they want to see. One of the most searched topics on the internet currently is “Britney Spears depression”. People want to read about her depression and problems. And that’s exactly what they get. You can read about every minute of Britney’s life on Celebrity Gossip sites.

It will be interesting to witness the evolution of the mind’s banalization. 10 years from now, what will be the top searched keywords? Which stories will make the headlines? How far can we go?

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I figure you might not agree with everything I’m saying. I’d like to have your opinion, leave a comment!