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Beyond Useful


It’s the perfect time of year to ditch the pending items and one from back in October caught my eye. Darren Rowse, the Problogger, espoused the principle of a blog’s usefulness. All well and good, until I got to his examples of useful blogs, where he lists TMZ, a celebrity gossip blog.


I had to run this past José. “Ah, well,” he said, “people have always wanted gossip. Only the other day Weston…” and off he went (Weston is another bear but not a space-faring one.)

So, useful gives people what they want. That means a drug-dealer is useful. I get it now. Today’s fieldfare was useful in pushing my 2010 list on to 39. I got what I wanted – not much use for a fieldfare otherwise, eh?

José finished his Weston tale and checked out TMZ. “Well,” he said, “you’ve got to admire their… chutzpah?”

I’m not sure he meant that exactly: he is only a bear and not even a Jewish one. I think he needed a different word, just as we need another word for actually being of use to people. Beneficial?

One thing’s for sure: this blog does not aim to be useful.

2 comments to Beyond Useful

  • Darren Rowse

    I’m with you on not finding TMZ useful on a personal level – although they do meet a ‘need’ (or at least a desire) in many people which in some kind of sad way makes it useful to them.

    I’m not sure I’d equate it with drug dealing – while gossip can be addicting and at times destructive it’s also illegal and life threatening… but maybe thats just me :-)

  • Andy

    Just taking the dictionary definition of useful to its logical extreme, Darren. As you point out, logic doesn’t always cut it! I don’t know what the telly situation is down under but I’m betting it’s just as bad as up here with shows like Strictly Come Dancing and the X-Factor also meeting these ‘needs’. OK, in small doses, but I weep at the energy they absorb that might be more usefully applied to… famine, stopping wars, global warming, the drug problem itself and whatnot.

    Rant over! Happy New Year.

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