Left Bay’s Musings on the Media

Searching for answers in sales and marketing

The Blog Age

I blog, you blog, we all blog. Here’s a blog about blogging.

Who doesn’t have a blog? Technorati, blog search engine, currently has 71 million blogs indexed. I am surrounded by feed fiends, blog bookmarkers, and (recently) Diggers of social content. I call it The Blog Age.

The Blog Age is marked with the saturation of user-generated content. People have always been creating the media we consume, but that once elite group has now transpired to become…anyone with a computer and internet access. Welcome to the blogosphere.

Before they are anything else, blogs are diaries. With the introduction of the world wide web in the 80s, diaries moved from paper to cyberspace, and have grown (and grown) ever since. In the early blogging days, they existed as open forums or personal homepages and usually were manually updated parts of a website. They were called online diaries before blogs came to be. The word blog was officially adopted when Peter Merholz broke the word “weblog” into “we blog” on his blog, Peterme.com, in 1999. The Blog Age begins.

Several online diary sites began to launch in the late 90s, most notably Xanga, still a leader in the industry. It was quickly followed by Open Diary, LiveJournal, Diaryland, and Blogger (later to be bought by Google). It was shortly after this time that current blogebrities like Andrew Sullivan started to gain popularity. The blogosphere has since kept snowballing, and the hill seems endless.

The concerns vary with the huge presence of blogging on the web. How do you gain blog visibility? How will companies incorporate blogs into their marketing mix? Where do you draw the line between personal blogs and business blogs? When does time spent writing/reading/searching blogs become too much time? They’re slowly consuming the web, and with what benefit? Sure, communication, amusement, selective news…but at the cost of hours upon hours of time? Worth it? I guess that’s your call.

For now, we can’t escape it. There is a blog for everything, even a blog about nothing, or a blog about blogging! We’ve even developed a blogging language to further niche-ify the community. It seems a forever-growing trend (a là iPods and Hybrids); so pervasive we choose to keep feeding the fire.

So go write another blog.

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2 Comments»

  Mike Krigel wrote @

You ask the right question — where do you draw the line between personal and business blog?. I like conversational writing and opinions, but business bloggers lose me when they tell me too much about their personal lives. I’m already overloaded with information; I don’t need more fluff thrown at me.

  Mike wrote @

Although I would add that I’m all in favor of blogs that are painfully honest as they show the inner workings of a particular business. See the write-up in Wired on Redfin, an online brokerage company and how they fought back against traditional realitors. “Radical Forms of Transparency.”

As the article notes: “Not long ago, the only public statements a company ever made were professionally written press releases and the rare, stage-managed speech by the CEO. Now firms spill information in torrents, posting internal memos and strategy goals, letting everyone from the top dog to shop-floor workers blog publicly about what their firm is doing right – and wrong.”


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