A farewell to meaningless clickbait

Recovering some sort of meaning in a senseless world of cLIcKZ

One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot during this transition from Vox Media to Let’s Go Warriors is the articles that I most enjoyed writing during my nine years managing Golden State of Mind. 

These are not necessarily the articles that were the most pristine or the articles that traveled the furthest on social media, but rather the articles that I actually relished carving out time to sit down and write. That, after all, is why I got into the blog game; I fundamentally enjoy writing as a means to make sense of things, and blogging as part of a vibrant community like GSoM provided a platform with which to share all of the joy and pain of being a Warriors fan during a historic decade.

Five articles came to mind for me for a range of different reasons: 

  1. The Wreckage Left by the Conflicted Legacy of Chris Webber. 

  2. Interview with Kirk Lacob, Part 2: The Warriors, SportVU and solving the “communication problem” 

  3. The L.A. Lakers, D’Angelo Russell, and calibrating expectations for Las Vegas NBA Summer League 

  4. Charles Barkley is probably not the right person to host American Race 

  5. Roundtable: Why we are Warriors fans 

I guess the most relevant one now is the Russell one since he has now found his way to the Golden State Warriors, perhaps making all of my fawning over him during the doldrums of summer league a bit more … rational…? Or maybe just a better excuse for writing about a L.A. Lakers rookie on a Warriors site …

He really was the highlight of summer league for me that year. And I was so excited about seeing interesting basketball in Vegas that I woke up the next morning with thoughts still swirling around my head. So, as alluded to in that article, I sketched out an outline on my phone while laying in bed at the SB Nation Airbnb “bloghouse” in Vegas. At some point, I just decided to finish it while lying there in bed away from the hordes of bloggers coming in and out of the house. 

(As an aside, that line about someone coming into the room and interrupting me still sends a chill of frustration down my spine. The SBN publishing platform never worked especially well on mobile and it had inexplicably refreshed just before that person came in, meaning I had to rewrite the remainder of the article. Somehow, I thought it best to just integrate the dialogue in there to get something out of that moment of frustration.)

Regardless of whether the article is any good in retrospect (or if I’m just embarrassing myself by reminding you of my early assessment of Russell), reading it now takes me back to a time when I legitimately enjoyed blogging about random meaningless basketball simply because it actually moved me in some concrete way. And so it comes as no coincidence to me that the last time I truly enjoyed writing something at SBN in a way that I remember was nearly three years ago. 

All those articles above were pieces that I vividly remember writing from start to finish and, in some cases, I can even remember exactly where I was when I wrote them. They were also all very different -- ranging from an interview with a Warriors official to just watching an ad for a bad TV show to the last night I spent with my dad -- but I remember that spark and actually wanting to write just for the sake of writing instead of just throwing something together for the sake of someone else’s invented targets or bottom line. There was something at the core of all of those articles that I wanted to make sense of and, in doing so, it made the process of writing meaningful even if I can readily acknowledge that there’s very little real world meaning to be found in summer league basketball. 

As Apricot stated in his intro here at Let’s Go Warriors, “Working for a place which pushes Clicks Over All wore down my soul.” But to clarify, it wasn’t even “Clicks Over All” -- it was Post Frequency Over All”, which means these pieces that I actually felt something about writing sort of fell by the wayside as we all tried to keep up with posting targets. That not only meant more posts, but also less time to just let my mind wander about basketball until I hit on something that really excited me … which is probably what we should be given time for when being compensated for it as though it’s purely a labor of love. 

What I am personally hoping that we can recover here at Let’s Go Warriors is that focus on writing stuff that holds some sort of meaning to us -- as fans, as community members, as human beings -- even if people outside of our bubble of DubNation can’t understand it. Whether I individually accomplish that task in a way that resonates with others remains to be seen, but I’m hoping that I’ll find more of those quiet moments of inspiration when my mind isn’t consumed with the next form we’re spewing out. 

And we hope you’ll join us on that journey toward recovering some sort of meaning in this senseless world that internet media has become.