A few things have come up in the blogosphere today that are worth mentioning. I’ve been saying for some time now that “blogging” these days, is anything but. It appears that others are also coming around to this idea too as there are more and more articles talking about the content of blogging.
Today, ProBlogger had an article called “What Do You Miss About The ‘Good old Days of Blogging’?” I left a lengthy comment:
“i miss actual blogs.
or rather what i miss is actual blogging: original content that catalogs goings-on of interest of individuals in daily life. web-logging is hardly that these days. blogging has become a free web hosted wasteland where everyone who can type (and some who cannot) can now talk like an expert on everything. in the old days we used to call these “websites.” now they are called “blogs” for some reason. i’ve seen many blogspot.com sites that certainly were not blogs.
another bad side effect is that bloggers who don’t write about social or political issues are no longer considered to be “real” bloggers and often find themselves shunned by the new generation blogging community. the number of sites where the articles are based on the author’s personal experience with social issues are extremely few. typically, the content is the usual regurgitated professional news media article with personal commentary. that is fine if the person is an actual expert. most are not. the truth is, if free blogging sites did not exist, the vast majority of those “social consciousness” sites would disappear overnight. “serious” sites are self-hosted.
but the community itself is not very healthy. as time goes on we see less and less original content, as now, blogging is all about readership numbers. so backtracks, linking and virtually cut and paste re-publishing of the work of a limited few seems to be the easiest way to get something up on a blog that will generate numbers. people who ordinarily wouldn’t get involved in a pyramid scheme are doing just that by playing the numbers game.
i’ve been blogging since 1996 when i had my first commercial website. i wrote the exact same kind of articles that i do now, more than 10 years later. that doesn’t make me better. it also doesn’t make me any less either.
i miss the days when i could cruise blogs and read original content about what people do, and not have it be about the blog itself. i miss the time when blogging was just about having fun and not about changing the world.”
Weekly Articles about Blogging had an article called “The Sexy Girls of Tech and Politics: The Unbeatable Trio” that really drove home the point that in order to “make it” in the blog world, which according to them is hooking “into the minds of the people who vote for your articles on social media sites” one must appeal to the baser instincts of a male dominated blogosphere. To me, blogs that have the goal of high rankings miss the goal of connecting to the readership. If your readers are cruising around looking for sexy photos, they are not interested in interactive commentary on the blog where they found them. They just want to leech those photos off your site. Our goals at TheNHBushman.com are very different.
So I have come up with the definition of the perfect profile for a successful original content blogger:
A porn film director, running for local office
This profile meets all the requirements! S/he could write articles about creating erotic films, replete with all the required photos of sexy women in compromising poses. The director’s articles would also appeal to the techie crowd, with hot topics about the technical aspects of erotic film making (I can just imagine the titles!). Controversial articles on local politics and the interaction with the erotic media would appeal to the political junkies.
I’m sure that person would be a huge hit on Digg. But, truthfully, what is the value of such content?
Now by this time you’re saying “But there isn’t really anything of value on your blog either.” Technically that is a true statement. The value is in the perception of the individual. At least one thing is certain, we strive to bring our readers a product that contains original content that is designed to connect with the readers. Through our blog, people get to know us and our friends and learn things about our lives. We’re not talking about what other people do – we’re talking about what we do. We show you where it all took place through the use of photographs and geotags. Our readers have more of a connection to our blog and the owners than they would ever experience by reading a blog comprised of articles copied from the news media.
Recently we’ve done a few things geared towards branding, and added commercial advertisting to the site. We’re content with the fact that (barring another 5371 type incident), we’re never going to be high on social networking and ranking sites. But that means our content is not going to appeal to the baser instincts of sex, or controversy. Yet occasionally I do post a technical article. I have an upcoming review that should appeal to the photo gear techies.
So, that’s my comment on blogging. Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think!