October 20, 2006
Fake Blogs, Bad Blogs and Frustrations
Jim Rapoza has an interesting article in the October 9th issue of eWeek (hard copy, not online) on How to spot fake blogs.
In Jim's experience, when he asks people what a blog is, their response is: "like a website, with a bunch of short stories rather than long ones, and they go down in a list based on when they were posted." Funny, when I ask people outside my Web 2.0 bubbled world, most don't even have a clue OR say, "hmmm, yeah, heard about those - things people write on the Internet or something like that." It all depends on your perspective, where you sit and what lenses you view the world from.
On good blogs versus bad blogs (or fake blogs), he notes a frustration I experience, which is the difficulty in using offline client tools so you can publish right from your desktop and the importance of comments, to ignite the interactive blogging dynamic. Thank god for the new spam filters, which makes it possible for comments to once again prevail. And yes yes yes, a blog needs RSS, but also - make it easy for people to add you to an aggregator or subscribe.
The cool site I recently came across dedicated to women and healthy lifestyles - WiredBerries - didn't have an RSS button anywhere on the site, so while its cool, I'll likely rarely visit. Who has time? Come to me, don't make me manage more 'stuff.'
He also talks about trackbacks and pinging features which have been in Typepad and other blogging platforms for ages, so am not sure what apps he's referring to.
Fake blog or not, in my world, unless you blog full time, make a living at it -- or not -- most won't take you seriously as a blogger, even if your posts, connections and distribution can make an impact on a small community. In a corporate setting, the lenses are different and other things matter more, like security for example. In lieu of the media world, its still about eyeballs, although if the eyeballs don't lead to product purchases or downloads, or increased mind and marketshare for a company, what's the point?
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I just discovered PonyFish yesterday as a way to add RSS feeds to sites that don't already have them. Most sites should already be publishing these feeds, but for those really cool, yet less tech saavy sites that you want to track it's a really neat tool.
I think one of the challenges in the blogosphere is that you've got so many microcommunities running around that often times, people aren't trying to be taken seriously per se. There are definetely those who want to be able to create an impact, but even part time bloggers still have a ton of credibility because if it's only 5 people that are visiting their site, it's highly likely that those 5 people are close friends or family members who respect what they say. With Technorati now tracking over 50 million blogs (Ok many are splogs, but still) it speaks to the difficulty of effectively trying to market to that many people. As a result there are the top 10% of bloggers who get attention, but a really long tail that is remarkably difficult to influence despite there having perhaps even more credibility with their readers.
Posted by: Davis Freeberg | Oct 20, 2006 10:10:01 AM