I have been thinking, and this is usually a Bad Thing.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about Rants.
- What makes a good rant?
- What makes a rant more interesting?
- What makes a rant more valuable to the general web-populice?
- Why rant at all?
Let me tackle those earth-moving questions in reverse order:
Why rant at all?
We rant, therefore we are. Perhaps that is not reason enough. Perhaps I rant to share my experiences and thoughts and try (in some backwards way) to make the world a better place. Maybe somebody will pay heed to a rant and that somebody will have the power to affect the issue at hand. After all, it seems that Manic Panic has finally started making their hair dye thicker and I would like to think my ranting about it all these years had an impact. Or maybe I rant for the same reason I yell “echo” in a canyon….
What makes a rant valuable?
Having read dozens of rants, it seems there are a few things that separate simple angry tirades from intelligent ranting.
- The Rantor should have had significant experience regarding the Rantee. This implies firsthand use of a product or devotion to a service. This implies firsthand knowledge of the workings of the device. This implies more than a casual “beef” to be aired. This implies some thought given to the subject at hand. Third hand rants are no fun.
- The Rantor should have been harmed or let down in some way by the Rantee. Some of the best rants come from disenfranchisement or general abuse dealt by a product/service. When simple and easily met expectations or simply not met in a glorious fashion of “don’t care”, a rant is born. Classic examples of tired (but true-to-form) rants include any/all rants about all-things Microsoft. Additionally, rants about outsourced customer service calls meet this criteria.
- The Rantor should actually care about the Rantee. This is the most sick and twisted of the things that make a good rant. A good Rantor will actually make an attempt at suggesting reasonable alternatives in a humorous manner. A good Rantor is actually trying to affect change in spite of the odds and outsourced individuals stacked in his/her way.
What makes a rant interesting?
This one is easy. Humor makes a rant more interesting. Rants work well as vehicles for humor because they require no exaggeration. A well-thought-out rant already has the absurdity typically found in the raunchiest of jokes. Rants sometimes contain the unexpected twist that simply drives those fingernails across the chalkboard even further.
What makes a good rant?
Well, if you can waste a couple minutes of the workday reading it, it is likely a good rant. If you laugh at least once, or (heck) even finish off the rant, then it was likely worth your time. The truly illustrious rants become forwarded millions of times like so many viral advertisements.
And so I leave you with a commitment:
From now on, my rants will be on those items/services I have had firsthand experience with. I promise to have received first hand abuse or disappointment from said items/services. And I promise to care enough to wish the gosh-darn item/service was better!