Five Instances why Blogs are not so Super Great Fantastic
This has been quite the year for blogging. While a ton of people were already blogging (and actively acting as evangelists), it was in 2006 that blogging went fully mainstream. Everyone and their mother had blogs. All but one of my employees have a blog. Some people had predicted blogging would lose some of its steam, but there have been no signs of that happening.
At the same time, with all the praise being heaped on blogs, the only negativity towards blogs have been from entrenched people who find the mere idea of blogging revolting. None have actually picked apart (in an intelligent manner) the downsides to blogging. And so you have my …
Five Instances why Blogs are not so Super Great
- Sensationalism for extra hits
Blogging, for better or for worse, includes being an online ‘celebrity’. People have done some very stupid things for internet fame (eg Jason Fortuny’s Craigslist Experiment), so trying to make something out of nothing using sensationalism is very common. Hey – the tabloids do it, so why not blogs?
- Hoaxes spreading with little (or no) fact-checking
My personal issue with blogs is that too many people quickly duplicate what some other blogger has said without doing any fact-checking. A recent case was the spread-like-wildfire claim of ‘Muslim community offended by Apple NYC cube’. It even made the NY Post. Only later did the truth come out – it was just one person on a messageboard. Of course, reading the trail of this story leads back into point #1 – a brief headline was twisted to get more hits (and boy did they get a lot of hits from that story).
- People often miss comments
My attraction to blogging is that it opens up an avenue of conversations for what otherwise may have been mundane information. Yet too often people come in, read a post, and immediately throw in a comment/question, with little regard of the conversation that has already been going on. This really isn’t so bad, but it really grates my nerves when that point/question has already been discussed/cleared up.
- Deference to popular blogs
There is a lot of noise about ‘A-Listers’ and their influence on blogs. I am not discussing that here. My own grievance is more about deference given simply because a blog is popular. A simple example: Person X talks about topic X. A-Lister X finds topic X interesting, links to it on their blog, and briefly expands on it. Because of A-Lister X’s popularity, discuss that ensues links to the A-Lister instead of Person X. A-Lister X himself has done nothing wrong at all, but often time other bloggers will link to the A-Lister and not to the original source.
Not really the fault of blogs, but with all the attention given to blogs, everyone is trying to get into the game. One of the reasons I wrote this post was a digg entry aptly titled “Stop calling everything blogs” (original source). I don’t agree with everything the article states, but I do agree with the general gist of it. Once something cool becomes mainstream, backlash is inevitable. And I am feeling that a bit right now.
- (PERSONAL)Everything is so much more frenetic
Unlikely to be shared by most, but blogging has made my life move faster (and not in a good way). With everyone publishing (instead of hundreds, you have tens of thousands of sources), the speed and amount of data being thrown around is almost overwhelming. As someone who runs a business, having the right information is very important. While blogs provide me more of this right information, the amount of crap thrown in there is up there too.