Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Blogs Are Really Boring

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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).



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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. ;-)

Thanks Cynthia,

...a useful exchange indeed.

Robin Good

What's your take on this?

Readers' Comments    
2004-09-02 02:15:34

Cynthia Typaldos

Not sure what to say. This particular blog entry isn't boring. Honestly everyone, I was just trying to generate some discussion -- not attempting to say that God is dead. My point was that I'm generally disappointed with blogs, including my own. I think the problem with some of them is that they are not focussed. Robin's blog is different of course. Very focussed. I do agree that saying blogs are boring is a bit like saying books are boring but still, you have to wade thru a lot of boring blogs to find the interesting ones. It seems easier to find a good book.

Now, here's a blog that is right on target with a clear focus and purpose. Yes, I am the ghostwriter but that doesn't cloud my judgement at all!

Cynthia Typaldos

2004-08-29 00:12:59

David Ledoux

GREAT! I struggle for a week to finally figure out how to install my blog, peck out 4 whole entries, and I missed the whole point!

Maybe you're right...

I'm totally open for suggestions on how to make my blog relevant. Is that going to be a future job position one day for displaced Baby Boomers - "Blog Content Consultant"?

2004-08-25 08:53:40


We find boring what we can not relate to.
Which is a good thing because it helps us to focus.
Whey do we need to focus? Because we all have only 24 hours per day. Thus we have have to filter away almost everything.
Cynthia is just spreading the "boring" meme. Which - to discuss - is more interesting than my usual alternative.
My usual alternative would have been:
" I don't listen, I don't even ignore it ".

2004-08-25 06:20:29

Alan Levine

It is refreshing to see a strong conclusion made based on demonstrated research data ;-)

I am only guesssing that Cynthia has read, in detail, most of the X million of blogs out there to make such a sweeping generalization, and ironic that her grand statements are posted... on one of her blogs. Yawn.

I do not have to prove anything to her as I have my own evidence that in the last year and a half of active reading and writing weblogs (mostly regualr reads via RSS), I have been able to stay much more informed of resources and news in my profession than ever before. More learning, more quickly gained. I have been able to develop a new networked set of colleagues that has provided beneficial collaboration.

I have come to the conclusion (based on 1 minute of visit time) that Cynthia is silly.

2004-08-24 19:06:57

Marjolein Hoekstra

This discussion triggers a thought I haven't seen discussed a lot: from a perspective of historical preservation most national libraries in the world collect printed material (books, magazines, journals, brochures, flyers) in huge archives, independent of the intellectual value people assign to it at this moment. The value of the material could be entirely different 40 or 100 years from now.
Now, how's this with blog contents? Due to their nature blogs are volatile. Even the fact that a certain blog entry was removed by a blogger is valuable information. Maybe this whole idea could be explored further and recommendations could be made how this enormous resource can be preserved for future historical research.

Every blog has its audience, big or small. I'm happy someone once convinced me not to worry so much whether what I would have to say would be interesting or not. For me my blogging journey has been filled with learning new tools and techniques, getting to know wonderful people and just a whole lot a fun.


2004-08-24 17:53:42

Bill Flitter

Robin, your blog is so boring (How boring is it?), it's so boring I read it every day. I look forward to your commentary and slant. I can say that about a lot of self publishers or bloggers.

What I find boring are the major news sites with "flat" content. They offer little interactivity. To me that's boring.

If Cynthia thinks blogs are so boring why does she have a blog and a business called ResumeBlog? Is she shooting herself in the foot? Is she saying don't use ResumeBlog because your resume will be boring and will not stand-out to a potential employer?

Keep up the boring blog, Robin!

posted by Marjolein Hoekstra on Tuesday, August 24 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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