In which our intrepid hero is annoyed that a once-respected journal is paying people to troll.

Via this post at Old is the New New, once-relevant industry organ Wired scrapes the bottom of the barrel with an announcement of the death of the blogosphere.

Approximately two years after the meme began, Author Paul Boutin writes:

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug. […]

The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

Would that be Flickr (an unsorted mess of millions of images, barely touched by human hands), Facebook (where things rarely get more intimate than a gift of virtual beer), or Twitter (which is about as expressive as an SMS—in the days before phone manufacturers realised you could string them together to make longer messages)?

Dearth of intellectual content aside, I’d be willing to lend the article credence if I hadn’t found it via a blog (as one commenter pithily pointed out), if I didn’t subscribe to—and regularly read—about 120 blogs, or if the author himself didn’t proudly proclaim himself “Senior Writer” for a blog with a total of four staff. A figure which includes the Editor, the Intern and a woman who has something to do with a calendar.

Boutin continues:

Scroll down Technorati’s list of the top 100 blogs and you’ll find personal sites have been shoved aside by professional ones. Most are essentially online magazines: The Huffington Post. Engadget. TreeHugger. A stand-alone commentator can’t keep up with a team of pro writers cranking out up to 30 posts a day.

I fail to see the point of this comparison; it’s like telling you to give up exercise because you’re not a professional athlete—or, for that matter, an entire football team.

Most other bloggers don’t want to reach an audience of millions, and neither do I. The administrative overheads alone would eat up all my time.

No, we’re content merely to share thoughts with like minds. It’s a small market, certainly, but a rewarding one.

If Boutin had had any experience in marketing or sales, then maybe he’d understand the concept of targeting. There are other methods to attract readers than by spoofing Technorati’s servers. Facebook friends are predisposed to reading your blog, and that saves you a lot of work drumming up interest.

Maybe he’d write about leveraging Facebook (which, incidentally, still lacks a fully-featured blogging app) to increase readership; hell, I’ve had two Facebook friends ask me about this in as many days.

Or maybe he’d devote his efforts to something other than, to use his Boutin’s words, cut-rate journalism and underground marketing to promote his own blog by loudly—and tardily—jumping on the “death of the blog” bandwagon.

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