I've come to the conclusion that blogs are boring. And the comments on blog entries are often worse than boring. Not only are many of them silly, but just like the online guest books of 10 years ago, the software is so
unsophisticated that it allows the same entry again and again and again.
The goofiest blogs are the group blogs where a chosen "elite" get to post and the hoi polloi get to respond with comments. Each of the chosen
attempts to make brilliant posts that will prove s/he is a genius, and each
of the commentators attempt to either kiss up to the blogger (because s/he
is one of the chosen), or prove that they (the commentator) are actually
much smarter and have an even better idea, or just be silly.
However, I'm sure there are plenty of great blogs and great group blogs - but those are hidden from our view. They belong to cohesive communities, companies, friends, etc. - people that communicated before the internet and are just using blogs as one of the many online tools to continue to
accomplish their purpose.
Feel free to agree or disagree or just be silly. And prove me wrong by
pointing to a blog that you rely on and passionately follow (feel free to
include your own).
C y n t h i a T y p a l d o s
Social Software | Software Marketing | Web Communities | Online Content
Founder RealCommunities 1998
Co-Founder GolfWeb 1995
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The above is what Cynthia Typaldos wrote a few hours ago to the subscribers to its discussion list Webcommunities
Here is the informal answer I sent back to her a few minutes ago:
Why don't you share a bit more of what you reading yourself, so that we can all make sense of which you consider boring blogs?
Also, to help us synch in and provide useful answers to your quest for comments (curious it is that you seem to replicate here the same blog pattern that you were demising just above - POST -> COMMENTS -> AGREE/DISAGREE -> etc. please share your way of "detecting" blogs from other news and information sites.
Without knowing your answers to the above I tend to feel that yours maybe a too a generic statement and that blogs as such are one thing to you and a different one to me.
I personally learn a great deal from many online sites, some of them being blatant blogs and some others clearly not. I am not often keen in noticing the difference, as a post, say from Jon Udell on his Infoworld blog, looks like a normal reporting article in many aspects.
I also could not keep up with really valuable insight and news without many of these sites (to you the honor to decide if these are "blogs" or not):
Stephen Downes - OLDaily
Rafat Ali - PaidContent
Dave Pollard - How To Save The World
Poynter Online - E-Media Tidbits
Marcus P. Zillman - Internet Happenings
Chris Pirillo - Lockergnome Channels
Lee LeFever - Commoncraft
JD Lasica - New Media Musings
just to name a few.
If then for blogs you are intending those Web sites where some people publish their own personal diaries in a public way, I would tend to agree with you.
But from there to state that blogs are boring it would be the same as saying that pens write badly.
Do they really?
Is it because most people write badly that pens are to categorized as such?
Re: group Blogs, I think they are a great and very valuable idea. They offer an opportunity for channeling lots of great information and valuable discoveries through a common channel.
I am myself in the process of opening up ALL of my sites (are they blogs?) to external qualified contributors. The work that three or four skilled people can do around any given topic is amazingly more useful than the one that one person alone can do.
Unfortunately I don't dig much the patterns you point to where everyone is trying to show off expertise and coward followers either approve or reject the idea.
I honestly learn a great deal from many of the comments posted to blogs as they provide many times good fact checking and complementary information that would be hard to find.
For me the interest is in the learning I can gain. So, to me, it doesn't really matter if someone is trying to show off expertise or not. As long as it adds up to what we are discussing and helps individuals learn more and take more informed decisions, this is all welcome to me. Let them do it.
One last thought.
Industry people need to have a blog. Whichever professional role you wear, you need today to show transparently to the public where your ideas, credos and goals are. You can't just merge them with the ones of the marketing office of your company. This is not credible anymore and the market is showing to companies who support blogs, how valuable these can be.
Blogs are in their infancy.
Generalizations like this reflect our little knowledge of what is really going on.
Everyone can be a trusted reporter, if only one decides to go seriously about it.
But Yes, after all I do agree: those short stories about how great it was to go take your dog to pee under the snow last night, are REALLY BORING.
N.B.: Don Steiny. Please don't hit reply when you want to comment to this list.
We have 50 extra pages of nonsense code and 100 KB of useless content now in this digest that is way more boring than any blog I have ever read so far. Let's get smart, before getting intellectual. ;-)
...a useful exchange indeed.
What's your take on this?