In a recent article in Wired, Paul Boutin of Valleywag writes “Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.”
Not sure why I decided to discuss this over a BLOG. However this might be my only outlet with which to discuss it. I do not write for a big-name blog or contribute to an established magazine, Paul.
In the article he brings up a good point: the personality and intimacy that once drew now-famous bloggers to the activity is now gone. At least from well-read sites. He references a typical day on Technorati where the top blogging activity doesn’t highlight the personal prose of the individual, but rather sites that boast many well-known, uber-Tweeting contributers and thus mass readership and exposure. They no longer capture the discourse of an individual, but, more often, as is the case with the Huffington Post and TechCrunch, a releasing and rehashing of recent news. A professional outlet, rather than personal.
This is a problem, for sure, for PR professionals who are now including “Company Blog” as a tactic in their PR plan strategy for clients. Will it get read? Will it be taken seriously? Is it still a resource? These are the stakes in Boutin’s assertion.
I guess what I’m wondering is where this is stemming from? Why should blogs be a stagnant model for logging daily (semi-monthly, in my case) activities and thoughts and not evolve and transcend into a mass consumption outlet like ALL OTHER MEDIA?
Yes, there exist some big names that tend to monopolize the attention of he masses, but there exist many blogs that are personal and not professional. This one, for example.
The Unbride blog – A wedding blog that gets tons of readers, but is just one girl’s log of how she’s planning her wedding. Yet many people see it as a resource for their own planning.
The Cool Cat Teacher blog – Vicki Davis’ personal thoughts on education and technology. Widely read and an incredible force in the Edu-blogosphere.
Howsed – A home improvement blog written by a guy in Colorado. Gets tons of comments because he offers his personal “two-cents” on Do-It-Yourself projects.
These blogs continue to uphold the essence of the activity – a conversation, a discourse while still retaining the original charm of one person disclosing their ideas on a topic.
This whole situation reminds me of when a friend said, “You know Facebook is over when your mom joins it.” I disagree. I think that means it has become a commodity. Just because more people are starting to understand it and see its potential doesn’t degrade its value to those who originally and successfully invested in it.
I think what it comes down to is that I like my blog. I like being able to write and publish my thoughts without having to condense to Twitter all the time. Essentially, I want be able to keep blogging and not feel stupid for doing it.
Is there any hope for me?
* Image courtesy of http://www.asa.org.uk