Keep Your Blog

October 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm 16 comments

A recent Wired Article, entitled “Kill Your Blog” (titled differently online – not sure why Wired does this, btw) written by Paul Boutin, discusses why blogging is “so 2004”.

I very much disagree and have posted my response on Wired. Here is basically what I wrote (minus a few typos):

With all due respect, I think you miss the point of blogging.

The goal of most bloggers does not involve “being famous”. A goal like that (just the same as having such a goal as a performer) is desperate, narcissistic (even for bloggers), unlikely and somewhat counterproductive. (Someone wishing to have their own voice and goal for a blog will find themselves changing things to accommodate what his audience wants or avoid any natural changes or developments which might lose him readers.)

For most, blogging is a way of communicating beyond just their immediate social circle. For individuals, it allows them to share feelings, thoughts and experiences. For businesses, it enables them to retain communication with their clients, demonstrate their expertise and present the business more personally to prospective clients. I use my business blog as a repository for research I am doing for my business (social media) and my personal blog for humorous observations I have. The former keeps me organized and allows my readers to learn about the topic and my opinions and the later saves my friends from being annoyed by my repeated retelling of my funny anecdotes.

(Re: “Twitter — which limits each text-only post to 140 characters — is to 2008 what the blogosphere was to 2004. You’ll find Scoble, Calacanis, and most of their buddies from the golden age there. They claim it’s because Twitter operates even faster than the blogosphere. And Twitter posts can be searched instantly, without waiting for Google to index them.”)

To say that Twitter is a replacement for blogging makes me wonder how much time you spend on Twitter. While I am not “following” Scoble on Twitter, and so can’t comment on his Twittering practices specifically, often people who tweet very often become more annoying than interesting. (In fact, the recent “Follow Cost” (http://followcost.com/) which lets you know how annoying it will be to follow someone on Twitter, rates the cost in “milliscobles”) . When I see upwards of 40 posts from someone my immediate thought is “Geez, take it to your blog…”

And so, rather than go on I’ll post any further thoughts I have on this topic on… (wait for it), my one of my blogs.

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Entry filed under: blogging, twitter. Tags: , , .

5 Things Meme Crowdsourcing – Presentation at HTCE

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stephen Rees  |  October 24, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Absolutely right. I cannot deliver my message in 140 characters without dumbing it down. I am not interested in fame or fortune – but I do want to see my ideas take wing. Everyone is entitled to my opinion – and everyone else’s too. Blogging is more about the multiplicity of voices that cannot be silenced by conformity or fashion or mass media in too few hands. Sound bites and 15 minutes of fame are what are “so 2004”. Real exchange of ideas and debate are fundamental. But blogging is even more than that – ot is truly democratic as having the right to free expression is nothing without the means to have that expression heard. And “trivial” expression has a place in that too.

    I use twitter and facebook too – but mostly in the hopes that people will read my blog and get the message

    Reply
  • 2. monicahamburg  |  October 24, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks for that great comment, Stephen (which could not be squeezed into 140 characters.)

    I too use both facebook too, sometimes to get people to my blog, but often to post material that doesn’t belong on my blog, or for quick thoughts.

    Reply
  • 3. Ruth Seeley  |  October 24, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Monica, thanks for this blog post – hadn’t read the absurd Wired article.

    Anyone who actually knows anything about communications knows that individuals have different preferences regarding how they retrieve and receive information. To suggest that any one form of communication is superior to another means you’re automatically limiting your audience to those who prefer that means.

    I’m hoping it was tongue-in-cheek.

    Reply
  • 4. Man of Roma  |  October 25, 2008 at 1:21 am

    I very well agree on all that has been said here.

    Becoming famous, making money, that is not what blogs are for, I believe. People – as Stephen Rees well said – want their ideas to spread somewhat and bypass fashion and mass-media controlled by very few hands.

    Twitter is only a little communication tool (I reached this post thru it thanks to monicahamburg, whom I follow there), plus I use it to promote – very clumsily, I’ll say – my blog posts.

    Well, my posts are the only means I found to really express myself and have well-thought feedback. Hence I love blogging, and surely won’t stop after reading an article like that on Wired.

    Kind regards to all the fellowbloggers!

    Man of Roma

    Reply
  • 5. Raul  |  October 27, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Completely in agreement here, Monica. The funny thing is – sometimes those 140 characters DO give you a lot of insight into people’s minds. But you need the full blog post to expand them.

    Reply
  • 6. monicahamburg  |  October 28, 2008 at 10:16 am

    @Ruth. Agreed.

    Miss604.com and a few others claim it was “flame bait”, written to encourage controversy, posts which will in turn point to them. I guess it’s possible…

    @ManofRoma thanks for the comment & for the follow. I can’t imagine being able to express myself fully in 140 characters or less. Perhaps Paul Boutin can…?

    @Raul Sure, I’m with you on that. And it’s fun to have a snapshot of what people are thinking/experiencing at a given moment.

    Reply
  • 7. Michelle  |  November 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Monica,

    I see that you are speaking on CROWD SOURCING: USING MASS COLLABORATION TO INJECT CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION on Nov 24. I was wondering if you ever read a book by Rick Goossen, e-Preneur- which is about crowdsourcing online.

    If not, I would like to send you a complimentary copy. Please let me know where I can send you the book.

    I work directly with Rick and thought it was interesting that you speak on the subject. Perhaps you may have some synergies together.

    Cheers

    Michelle
    michelle@crowdpreneur.com
    604-685-7784

    Reply
  • 8. Jeremy Lim  |  November 30, 2008 at 4:45 am

    Frankly, I think blogs can be the most personal form of communication. In Facebook, you’re tethered to a name and all of the stigma of employers watching over you.

    In blogs, you can fly anonymous, and you can really speak to niches. While blogs reside outside of the walled garden, that doesn’t mean they are broad in scope. Search engines are distributors of niche traffic. Blogs are the targets.

    For a personal example, if you can find me a female musician with a penchant for eating that lives in Vancouver, I will gladly follow her to the ends of the GVRD. I want that personal connection. I wouldn’t be able to make it on any other social network – not really. Facebook is closed. MySpace is impossible to navigate. Most music social networks suck ass.

    Reply
  • 9. monicahamburg  |  December 2, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    @Michelle: Thanks for the book!

    @Jeremy: Really awesome point. Blogs are totally open, you can speak to anyone and anyone can find your blog (sometimes randomly!) – that’s a serious benefit! As for a hot musician for you, I’ll keep my eyes open.😉

    Reply
  • 10. Bruce Byfield  |  December 3, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    “The goal of most bloggers does not involve “being famous”.

    If that’s so, then why do blogging communities produce their own celebrities that nobody else has ever heard about? And why do so many people hunger for that particular kind of celebrity?

    For that matter, aren’t a lot of blogs a way to promote your business, even (or especially) if it’s just a one-person consulting firm?

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Professional writers who claim to ignore the audience completely are lying so hard through their teeth that they’re going to need dentures before they’re thirty. Of course, that’s not the only reason they write, but it’s part of the mix, and in honest moments, most pros will admit it.

    As for the intent of the original article, I can’t help remembering Flannery O’Connor’s reply when asked if university writing programs discouraged too many writers. On the contrary, she said, they didn’t discourage enough of them.

    Hoping you take these curmudgeonly remarks in the flippant way that are meant,

    Bruce

    Reply
  • 11. Man of Roma  |  December 4, 2008 at 4:46 am

    Bruce, if you were referring to me when I said: “Becoming famous, making money, that is not what blogs are for” I think you are right and that I should have phrased: “That’s not what blogs should be mostly for.”

    Being a sort of a pro-content guy, I don’t see any problem in making money or achieving fame. Why not? We all like them. What I mean is just this: if people are uniquely interested in hits, their content cannot be that good.

    I recently read a blog marketing expert’s advice that sounded like: “Go to search engines, find the most popular keywords or tags of the moment and build your posts around them.”

    It is a general principle, this content thing (related to inner motivations etc.) that applies to both entertainment and arts: Tv programs, literature, movies etc. One of the reasons why once-excellent American cinema is at the moment going to the pot (it is my opinion) is this almost unique desire to make money.

    My best regards

    Man of Roma

    Reply
  • 12. Man of Roma  |  December 4, 2008 at 4:58 am

    PS
    Bruce, if you were referring to me when I said = Bruce, if you were referring also to me when I said…

    You were commenting Monica’s words of course. After 10 days I had lost the focus on the main article (which tho shows how Monica and I basically agree).

    MoR

    Reply
  • 13. monicahamburg  |  January 6, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    @Bruce Your “curmudgeon” comments are always welcome here. I enjoy discussion.

    Yeah, I should actually clarify my point. First of all, I enjoy some of the attention (positive) that comes with blogging. I love people thinking I’m funny or smart (please, please think I’m smart, people). And certainly many business blogs/bloggers, blog to get attention for their brand/product – that’s to some extent what they’re for (also to communicate and converse with clients etc.) And, yes, of course, most bloggers want some sort of attention or feedback. And that’s fine as long as it’s not overboard and doesn’t get to their head too much.

    As for the “being famous” part – that was my conjecture not the words the Wired writer (Boutin) used. He wrote at one point that most bloggers won’t really be noticed as much as the multi-authored bloggers, so they shouldn’t bother blogging. So my comment was that it’s not really about getting as much recognized as the larger blogs – it can’t be about that.

    That said, bloggers do run the gamut – so I shouldn’t have been so black and white in my post. Some really, really, really need the attention – and they need everyone’s attention. And that’s, well… not so fresh. Blogging is great. But it don’t make no one a superhero.

    Reply
  • 14. monicahamburg  |  January 6, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    @Man of Roma – Totally agree with the parallel you made between that kind of overly-strategic blogging and the American film industry. Really good point. I recall Alex Payne, director of the wonderful “Sideways” saying (paraphrasing) that the only thing most Hollywood films seem to say is “We want your $10”.

    Reply
  • 15. Blogging for Rupiahs « Me Like The Interweb  |  April 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    […] the thing. I enjoy blogging – and both of my blogs have very separate purposes – neither of which involves the making money directly from the […]

    Reply
  • 16. Man of Roma  |  April 23, 2009 at 4:05 am

    I saw only now you had replied one month later. We seem like those giants whose questions and answers took years lol. I’m only kidding. It’s interesting to read you and we seem to agree on many points.

    Reply

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