Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Blogs to Riches – As it should have read

So blogging makes the cover of New York magazine. Wow, hey! I’d be impressed except I’m from Australia and so don’t get if New York magazine is a big deal or not. But it’s all over memeorandum so I guess it must be. From my perspective the big problem with the story is it’s not about me. I’m not on the cover. I’m not even quoted for God sake.

Anyway I thought I’d rectify that, with Blogs to Riches as it should have been told…

Blogs to Ditches

The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom.

Two months ago, Phil Sim was a dot com wannabe in Australia, who was, as he confesses, “totally bored.” So he did what any wannabe dot com wannabe/journalist would do these days: He started a blog. Sim started scouring the Web for people who seemed to be making a lot more money than he way and then posted stories about how crap they were to his Website, Squash. (Sample Headline: Web 2.0 is a load of poo). “My dog got a chuckle out of it, but it didn’t get really big or anything-maybe a few visitors a day,” he said.

Then one day Sim took a good look at the Scobleizer, a geek site owned by Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble. Scoble had pioneered a distinctive blogging style which comprised of bagging out his employee and praising his competitors and earned a large following in the Web 2.0 world. What really go Sim’s attention, though, was Scoble’s banner. According to the WordPress Gods, Scoble was so important that he got his own WordPress.com template when everybody else had to make do with a standard set of sucky designs.

Not bad, considering that Scoble was not nearly as good looking as Sim.

“And I was like, I can do that,” he says, laughing.

So in February, 2006, Sim packed up his life and parked it down in front of his shitty, old no-name laptop. He then began taking the piss out of everything Web 2.0. He’d start each day whenever he woke up, trolling the Web for over-hyped crap. (“You gotta have something posted before people drop dead,” he explain, “because my audience is people who don’t want to drop dead.”) By the end of the month, Sim’s website was steaming along nicely. He had almost everything Scoble had: Except a cool job at one of the world’s most powerful companies, a book deal, speaking engagments, fame, invitations to Mike Arrington parties, etc, etc)

The other thing he still didn’t have was a custom WordPress theme. Even with a WordPress.com #2 rating, that disgustingly young WordPress kid had yet to drop Sim an email to ask him if he wanted to use his own theme. Then he stood up and hit a glass ceiling and it like hurt like crazy.

By all appearances, the blog boom is the most democratized revolution in media ever. Starting a blog is ridiculously cheap; indeed, blogging software and hosting can be had for free online. But you still can’t get your own theme like Scobe on WordPress.com. It doesn’t matter if your a 21 year-old Brit who links to the episodes of the IT crowd or a fan of some Puerto Rican rapper no-one has ever heard of, there’s always that theme issue separating you from a really successful blogger. I can get my own theme? No you friggin can’t…

Clive baby, this shit is gold. Why didn’t you call?

Filed under: Blogs, Piss take

One Response

  1. Nice, great blog great post! Don’t worry at this rate, Matt Mullenberg will give you your own theme in months, if this is your aim in life.

    Your articles are excellent btw!

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