Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bloggers are like sheep herd

I was absent from blogosphere for past two weeks, not intentionally. Blogging took a back seat while I managed few other projects in my life.

At work, by pure chance, I landed up performing the first field installation of new data de-duplication product. The pressure to not screw-up was great considering the high visibility internally. At home, I made a move from Eastside to Seattle that disrupted blogging routine. Also, as I am settling down in Northwest, moonlighting opportunities are growing resulting in thoughts about resurrecting a moonlighting venture.

Blogosphere hasn't been very exciting either. Most blog posts are starting to look very similar and repetitive. Everyone seems to hop on to latest news. Most posts are nothing more than hashed, rehashed or paraphrased versions of original story. It was amusing to see the coverage, blogger after blogger gave to Intel 45nm processor and the YouTube announcement of paying content creators.

Another annoying trend is promotion of audio and video podcasts through blog posts. I rarely listen or watch podcasts. Why? Because it takes too long to figure out quality and relevancy of podcast compared to scanning a text post in few seconds. And, more often than not, podcasts are nothing more than someone droning on and on about nothing .... It wouldn't be a bad idea for audio and video bloggers to start posting transcripts.

I am subscribed to almost 200 blog feeds through Google Reader. Still, there seems to be lack of original and quality content to read on blogs. Finally, I started axing the blog feeds that didn't have enough original content and thoughts put in to the posts. Quality is trumpeting over quantity in deciding who stays.

Old fashioned print publications and broadcasters seem to be offering better quality content like Z-RAM coverage in IEEE Spectrum. There may be a business opportunity for print publications or another startup, read all bloggers opinions on an issue or news, distill, summarize and print them.

Bloggers are expressing more and more what corporate marketing and public relations groups are feeding them than speaking their own mind and opinions. Bloggers are acting like sheep herd instead of sheep dogs.

4 comments:

  1. I think your comments are just a little harsh, but I get your point. We do need to keep getting original content. But, it's not such a bad thing when some people with sort of similar interests get excited about similar things and then write about them. That's part of blogging.

    I also notice that when I take time off and come back, I don't go into as much depth in trying to follow various stories as I do when I'm staying up to date multiple times per day. Skimming makes some stories appear more superficial, because that extra depth isn't there.

    Can you blame the coverage of 45nm?!?! I don't think there was enough coverage. There was more blogoshpere traffic when Robert Scoble moved from Microsoft to PodTech and that certainly was not nearly as important nor as interesting.

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  2. Toby,

    Getting excited about similar things and then writing about them is fine as long as you are adding your opinions or thoughts in addition to original news/PR. My issue has been with the blogosphere turning in to what looks like PR newswire.

    IMO, the value addition of bloggers above and beyond reprint of press releases is declining.

    Scoble move was significant to blogosphere itself. I personally viewed it as a shift of a blogger from promoting a corporation to promoting audio/video blogging practice. From another perspective, it showcased the limitations on how far, how high can you go as corporate blogger?

    Anil

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  3. Again, I do see your point.

    Although, blogging isn't always about a value add. Sometimes it is just about an interest. It really depends on the individual and what s/he wants to do.

    I don't think Scoble's move showcased any limitations. CEO's are blogging now. There is a whole bunch more proliferation of blogs, in large part due to the work of Scoble and others like him that are trying to show the values of blogging and transparency.

    BTW, I did get your email, and a coffee or beer sometime would be cool. I bet we could chat about several things. It's always interesting to me to learn about new people and new experiences, and it's particularly fascinating to me when that involves technology.

    Cheers!

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  4. Toby,

    IMO blogging is always about value add whether to a topic, to a discussion, to a blogger or to blog readers. How about picking up this conversation over a beer?

    Anil

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