Zero Impact Posts

Welcome to the first edition of "Zero Impact Posts"!  Here we celebrate rather than denigrate the contribution of these posts (although I realize the reason for such celebration requires some explanation).

According to Jotter, on this last Friday, there were 289 posts, of which 272 received recommendations and 140 had more than 9 commenters.

And according to me, there were 6 posts that had no recommendations and no comments.  In fact, 5 of them had no tips.  They had absolutely zero impact.  See below for a table with these remarkable posts, whose beneficence is humble but nonetheless magnificent.

Recs Cmnts Hot Tips Impact Post Author EST
0 0 0 0 0.00 The Fox News Point Scheme - Drinking Game Hualapai 20:04
0 0 0 0 0.00 Sign up now for X’s Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Corporate Healthcare monkeybrainpolitics 19:55
0 0 0 2 0.00 Mediation in Syria-Mission Improbable dougnoll 15:28
0 0 0 0 0.00 A Random Act of Patriotism by Big Oil SFOrange 13:21
0 0 0 0 0.00 Dawn in the USA RK2008 09:28
0 0 0 0 0.00 Our New National Anthem Quequeg 06:36
Firstly, I want to emphasize that this post is not for mockery.  In fact, I am the proud owner of one of these zero impact posts.  I've always wanted to highlight their contribution, but I felt like I had to wait till I achieved my own zero impact post, lest I'd be accused of cruelly ridiculing fellow Kossacks.

So, what's good about zero impact posts?

1)  Zero impact means zero harm.  

Which of these planets would you rather be living on right now?

This is Jotter's graphic that he puts on the top of his posts.  (Click here for an example.)
High Impact Posts

Here is mine:
Zero Impact Posts

Of course, I realize Jotter is just being tongue-in-cheek, with a graphic that implies such absurd harm could come from high impact posts, when generally we think of such posts as being beneficial to some less-than-earth-shaking degree.

Yet, it does make you think that "impact" is a neutral word.  It can refer to great harm.  E.g., posts that anger people without purpose;  posts that misinform;  posts that absorb precious time a la vapid TV sitcoms;  posts that obscure more valuable posts that otherwise would get more attention;  posts that lock viewers to their chairs for enough time to harm their backs and general health including loss of needed sleep;  posts that encourage excess time on the Internet that could be better spent on other activities (e.g., books, family, off-line political activities, etc).

2)  "Zero Impact Posts" can be referred to with a pleasing acronym: "ZIPS".

The word "zip" means "nothing", which makes "ZIPS" a fitting acronym for posts that have no impact.  On the other hand, "High Impact Posts" has the acronym "HIPS", which doesn't really make sense, unless you wanted to say these were really "hip" posts.

3)  ZIPS engage their authors, even if they have little affect on their readers.

By engaging one's mind, the ZIP can prevent dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's).  Also, it can help clarify one's thoughts and spark the imagination.  It can be an emotional release, which causes no harm, unlike other forms like "primal screams" which wake the neighbors.

4)  ZIPS illuminate what animates the community, just as HIPS too.

Naturally, we may seek to review HIPS to determine what excites or agitates the readership, but it is also interesting to review the ZIPS to see what doesn't seem to rile people up (or down).  

For the ZIPS I've shown in the table above, I've done a cursory review and found that almost all of them were either humorous or referring to a possible hoax.  Four of the posts had one of these tags: "game", "silly", or "snark".  One of them was only 3 lines.  Yet, there was an exception, which is the one about Syria.  This was a serious post and perhaps deserving more attention, but I think it was a bit lexically and intellectually thick (like tall and firm underbrush) and thus a bit challenging to walk through.  It did get a couple of tips.  (I'm considering it as a ZIP, because Jotter doesn't count tips.)

5)  ZIPS may be an indicator of trends toward more expression and less media consumption.

If you do a Google search on something like "why everyone should blog", you get a lot of hits for blog posts advising everyone to blog.  But if everyone blogged, then who would have the time to read all the blog entries?  Possibly, the more people blog, the more ZIPS there will be.

And arguably, that's a positive development.  Given the amount of time people tend to spend passively drawing free energy off various media sources (e.g., TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, the Internet, etc), perhaps more self-expression would result in a healthier balance.

6)  "Zero impact" is eco-friendly and easy on your joints.  

In other words, "zero impact" is a buzz word, giving good vibrations.  OK, I'm scraping the bottom of my imagination now, but I'm sure that this ZIPS list is just the tip of the iceberg for all the good qualities of such posts.

So, if you blog in the woods and your latest entry falls on the Internet without making a notable sound, then rest assured, your blog entry was not in vain.  Your time was still well-spent and possibly more beneficial to the world than many high impact posts, given that no harm was done.  


Originally posted to Quequeg on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:45 PM PST.

Also republished by Zero Impact Posts.

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