As my fiance and I prepare our Business Blogging Bootcamp, scheduled for Saturday, August 8th, I am rethinking the business blogging performance arena. Who's doing what, and why. Who's writing about it and are they knowledgeable; are their comments worth a moment's contemplation? In all, it seems blogging is creating a lot of press lately. Bloggers, not so much.
Bloglines pings me on a regular basis each day, reminding me I have 68 blog posts I haven't read -- no, now it's 70, then 82, and, if I do not go in and glance at some of them, it goes into the triple digits. Knowing I have so much to read often puts a knot in my stomach. Each and every blog I subscribe to is important to me, for different reasons. Some of them have valuable information on blogging, on business, on the business of blogging, on sales and marketing, on people I consider worth reading in sales and marketing, and some are softer -- discussions on life, on people, on using blogging as a tool. I want to read them all, every day, but that is becoming increasingly impossible.
One particular blog I enjoy is Always Curious, where
"Charlie" regals the world with spectacular photography. His pictures light up my day and offer me a sweet taste of sunshine, no matter what the weather is like outside. Today's post is a Bittersweet Butterfly, so marvelous in its natural splendor that it takes one's breath away. There is such inner peach in his photography that I often save it for mid-day, when I'm feeling so stressed that I begin to wonder why I got into the business of writing, blogging, marketing to women online, and print on demand publishing. A glance at Charlie's pictures soothes my nerves in ways words --- my wonderful companions --- cannot.
The blogosphere, Jane thinks, is becoming overwhelming. The voices are turning to babble because there are so many of them. Within each blog community, there are leaders and followers, folks who make it their goal to advise or inform, writing blogs that offer links and citations from beginning to end. Others, the followers, comment on what the so-called leaders have said...offering their own links. We can almost call this blogging thing: As the Links Churn.
Sadly, Jane is watching the overlap sink into obscurity. Too many blogs linking to all the same people or writers. Too many bloggers forgetting that blogging is a tool...a sociable medium that connects people...not individuals or companies...although that's what some blogs are meant to do...but on the truest plane of connection, giving people a voice in the way their lives are managed, by the community they live in, by the nation they live in, by the world. When all the people are saying pretty much the same thing, or quoting from pretty much the same places (and Jane has been guilty of this herself), the message becomes corrupted. Much like a software product with a glitch -- insisting a certain sentence structure or spreadsheet is correct when you, in your creativity, want it to be different.
Jane is not saying blogs have seen their day. Jane is as committed as ever to blogging, and to her community of bloggers. However, Jane would like bloggers to pause in their writings once in awhile, and, instead of posting articles full of links...which we all know are Google food...post an original thought. Forget to link to another expert. Follow the likes of David Wolfe at Ageless Marketing, whose blog most often contains his original thoughts -- information from his own readings and experience, sans the numerous links from other places to prove his point.
Jane wonders if the links are becoming more important than the message! Even after adding the MEME II experiment to her own blog yesterday, to see if it would increase her own link list! (with another ulterior motive...to give some smaller blogs attention, if that's possible; it's only an experiment, after all.)
From now on, Jane is forgoing the urge to qualify her words with proper citations unless citation is truly necessary. Instead, she will share her thoughts and her research as completely as she can to help readers improve their marketing to women who shop online -- which is why she started this blog. She will continue to read the dozens of blogs in her bloglines, periodically, because she cannot read them all, every day. She will comment in the blogs or in her posts, where she can. Or, she will nod her head in agreement (invisibly) or shake it to and fro in disbelief. But, Jane is officially dropping out of the popularity game.
What's not to like about that?