Why you don’t, won’t, and quite probably shouldn’t blog.

July 10, 2007

I’ve always avoided blogging about blogging here. Not least because it isn’t usually very interesting, but also because we didn’t exactly start this blog ‘to blog, so much as to expand upon the conversations and issues which were arising within the Facebook group which spawned this.

However, PR can’t ignore social media [much as some would like to try], and so perhaps the time has come for this blog to bite the hand which feeds it. So to speak.

I’m not going to excitedly proclaim ‘blogs have peaked-hurrah-I knew it was all a passing phase’ as someone excitedly assailed me with recently. I’m not going to claim you should all write blogs, rather than just lurking around reading us, with your only shadowy trace being an IP address. Most of you shouldn’t, wouldn’t, and in some cases quite possibly couldn’t.

No-one is defined by the act of blogging, however much they try. Indeed only some people are suited to doing so. usually the very confident, or the deeply insecure who couldn’t usually articulate their thoughts in real life. It’s a theme Hugh Macleod [of Gaping Void fame] has been addressing recently, as he appears to be re-appraising his activities and pl,atforms. I’m a big fan of Hugh’s, and he doesn’t buy into his own celebrity and celebrate his own status in quite the way some of his contemporary ‘a-listers’ do. He is honest enough to note, and enthuse about the current momentum away from blogging, towards Facebook.

His observation that blogging is essentially another form of the traditional capacity to broadcast, is astute when we apply it to our own experience with the PR and Comms Network. Sure we get lots of readers here [relatively speaking-we have niche potential audience], but people are far more inclined to actively participate on the Facebook group. There are many who would run a mile before posting a comment here [even though they could so anonymously], but will send us messages on Facebook about activities we have going on, or posts which have appeared. Individuals will post up on the group wall, but not do the same here. And as Hugh notes, many people just feel more at home inside the sandbox of Facebook, because it is where their existing ‘real-world’ network is. Simply in electronic form.

And that’s great as far as we’re concerned. We need to blog, in the sense it is the appropriate way to explore issues like these. It is where other bods hitting out on extended themes like this pursue their conversations. See Simon, Ed or Stephen for probably our three favourites, although David gets the interest up too. But if it comes to sharing your quicker, more direct and personal moments, I’m going to point you in the direction of Twitter and Facebook, not encourage you to blog.

Blogging doesn’t make you a great person, or supremely interesting. But it does help develop conversations [wherever they are pursued; in flesh, FB, or blog comments].


3 Responses to “Why you don’t, won’t, and quite probably shouldn’t blog.”

  1. Ed Lee Says:

    thanks for the vote of confidence, although putting simon, stephen and myself up as good bloggers rather reinforces why anyone could, should and quite probably would be blogging themselves…


  2. Shucks! Thanks, guys.

    I take your point about the recent ‘blogging has peaked’ meme. But, honestly, I personally don’t think it has yet. Certainly not in the UK anyway.

    Sure, loads of people have tried it and realised it isn’t for them. But these are usually the people who subscribe to “oh, it’s perceived as cool so I must do it” notion. It certainly is a passing theme for them because blogging takes commitment and, let’s be honest, there’s no point doing it if it becomes a chore.

    I am hearing the (so called) A-listers mentioning that their traffic seems to be decreasing which is a point to note I guess. However, I think this is because there is better content available from people who don’t have has a high visibility and people are beginning to find this out. There’s only one A-lister I read on a daily basis and that’s Hugh. Simply because he’s doing some PR/marketing work that’s never been done before. He’s pushing the boundaries.

    And of course there’s the new hysteria better known as Facebook too.

    Facebook is great. It allows me to keep up to date with what my friends are up to and vice versa. But I’ve never ‘connected’ with someone through Facebook. I’ve always made connections through blogging. And as long as that continues I’ll keep doing it. I guess it differs for you guys because you were on the ball early and started the PR and Comms network.

    Lastly, and I promise because I’m rambling now. The PR blogosphere’s slowed down that’s for sure. My theory it’s simply because this time last year we were all preaching the Web2.0 stuff and this year we’re all **doing** it. Companies (particularly the large ones) are all taking notice of the online stuff and all the agencies are scrambling to win online contracts. Everyone’s still figuring it all out so we’re making the rules as we go along. This takes time (blogging time).

  3. David Brain Says:

    I agree . . . . Facebook seems so much more intimate and safe somehow. Conditions which make it much more conducive to a conversation. I still think blogs have a real role, but Facebook has made them seem more the equivalent of walking into a pub, standing on a chair and proclaiming loudly from it. Fine . . . but it’s not really a conversation as I understand it.

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