I saw a comment on Facebook the other day that said “Does blogging on the Internet still exist?”
What I think that this person is trying to say is that pure blogging is dying and what qualifies as a blog today are actually not blogs at all.
What is a blog supposed to be? Let’s take a look at a definition from Wikipedia.
“A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the WWW and consisting of discrete posts typically displayed in reverse chronological order. Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often were themed on a single subject. More recently “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited.
The emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990’s coincided with the advent of web publishing, that facilitated the posting of content by non-technical users.
Although not a requirement, most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other on the blogs, and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.
Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal on-line diaries; others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company.”
I’m writing this post for a couple of reasons.
1. Regardless of what my blog subscribers tell me, I don’t believe that I’m one of the Internet’s greatest bloggers. I appreciate and read every one of your comments. You flatter me.
2. You have told me, AND I DO BELIEVE YOU when you say that it’s a trying experience to find a good blog anywhere on the Internet today.
I take exception to Wikipedia’s definition of blogging.
A good blog, one that people will want to follow, should not be required to be on a single theme. What if this website were themed on the subject of blogging? That would be 40+ posts on the subject of blogging. Would you read that? I don’t think that I would.
MABs (multi-author blogs) are not blogs. They are online newspapers supported by a full staff of editors, graphic designers, sales people, and advertising specialist for the sole purpose of reporting and commenting on the news for profit. They claimed the title of “blog” for the sole purpose of attacking more readers.
If a blog is an online diary, it provides no value to its readers and is therefore not worth reading. No one is interested in what Sally is doing every hour of the day. Use Facebook for that type of communication.
Online brand advertising seems to encompass the majority of blogs today. These are not blogs. The Internet is rampant with commercial advertising. Why would someone follow a blog in order to get more advertising? Again, these so-called blogs pollute blogging in order to attract more buyers.
I think that we need to go back to the late 1990’s to the advent of blogging and web publishing and ask ourselves, what was considered to be a quality blog at that time? Wasn’t it the fact that individuals took the time to share their personal experiences and knowledge with others via an online blog, in order to inform others and potentially enrich their lives by sharing something that will help them get over or around the next “bump” in their lives?
I don’t read blogs on other websites. It’s not that I don’t want to. I just don’t have time to dig through all that information in order to find something that interest me. Advertising, news, and celebrity gossip, all get in the way making finding an informative blog even more difficult.
But today, I took a tip from YOU and perused the top fifteen blogs per ebizmba.com on the Internet. These are Huffington Post, TMZ, The Business Insider, Engadnet, PerezHilton, Gizmodo, Mashable, Techcrunch, Gawker, Lifehacker, The Daily Beast, Smashing Magazine, Failblog, Kotaku, and Boingboing. What I found interesting is that the further down the list of popularity that I got, I found the content to be more compelling and worth a read (with the exception of boingboing).
I was speechless. I could not find a quality blog with good content. This is all just my personal opinion, of course. But I didn’t find anything on those websites that looked like what I just described as the primary purpose of blogging.
What I found was news, advertising, and celebrity gossip. I still can’t believe it. News. Page after page after page of news events and what so-and-so thought of the whole thing. Advertising and celebrity gossip.Volumes of it.
If I wanted to watch news (and I don’t), I could get the same thing on TV, without so-and-so’s opinion of it. I hate news. 99% of the news is negative and depressing. I avoid that stuff. You have probably noticed that, except for an occasional rant against Google, I don’t write on anything negative and depressing. Who wants to hear more of that? We already have enough bad news coming at us from all directions; from the radio, the TV, the mail, the phone, the neighbors, the family, you name it.
People who read blogs want to be uplifted. They want to be moved in a positive way. They want to like their lives have been empowered and enriched for having read the blog.
I read my Bloomberg Business Week magazine every week and that gives me all the world news that I need, without having to hear about the blood and gore of daily crime, and whose house burned down last night (a local news favorite topic).
You told me it was hard to find a good blog anymore. You said the majority of blogs on the Web are about news, celebrities, and technology, and that the majority of all blogs want to sell you something.
You were right. I just needed to get out more in order to find that out for myself. Maybe I need to write on something else. Maybe I need to become more techno and newsy with a little bit of gossip added for good measure.
So I gave up on the Top 15 blogs and went looking for some smaller bloggers to see what they were up to. I did a Google Blogsearch on some keywords. I turned up a page rank 6 in my SERPS and thought I had stumbled onto something. Icerocket.com. It turned out to be more news and more celebrities and precious little text. Page rank 6? That made no sense.
I took a look at the blogs on Opera.com, which besides being a browser, is also a blog site like Blogger. The blogs were pretty lame. One paragraph on how a lady in Virginia was cleaning up her messy house. Then another paragraph about a new necklace that she bought for herself. Another blogger had a one paragraph blog explaining that her family was headed for a camping trip near Minocqua, WI. Most of the blogs read like a daily diary.
So, I dunno. I should get out more. I admit that I have blinders on. I’m pretty busy lately. I do CPA marketing online and that takes much of my time. Which is why I don’t monetize my blog. I don’t need the money. Blogging is a release for me. I like to write. And I keep thinking that if I share what’s inside my head, that information may make a difference in someone’s life and help them find a shortcut through the next issue or problem that is facing them.
What is really frustrating about the state of blogging is that in order for me to improve the ranking of this website in the SERPs, Google requires me to find other blogs relevant to mine and leave comments or post an article on those blogs in order to accumulate backlinks to my website, thus improving this website’s ranking. What are my chances of finding a blog website that is relevant to this website’s content? I didn’t find any today.
Wikipedia says that as of February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. In October 2012, there were around 77 million Tumblr and 56.6 million WordPress blogs in existence worldwide. So what’s to be done about restoring true, unpolluted, blogging to the Internet to replace “sales pitch” and “online newspaper” blogging? Only the “Gestapo of the Internet” – Google would have an answer to that question.