There’s been a noticeable shift in the blogosphere over the last few weeks, and I’m really not sure I like it. We (and I use the term loosely) seem to be reversing up our own bottoms at a rate of knots. Whether it’s the MD of a PR agency sulking after he gave up his blog because he “rarely had anything to say and couldn’t find an audience” or whether it’s a hugely respected blogger listing out seven blogging heroes who don’t care what you think, it’s all getting a bit holier-than-thou. And it sucks.
With the former, said MD goes as far as to conclude that writing a blog probably isn’t worth the effort for PRs. What a load of absolute cobblers. Blogging teaches any PR an awful lot about social communications and is a major part of the modern PR arsenal. How out of touch do you have to be to think that a PR can’t learn anything about social networking, SEO, writing styles, engagement, Twitter, relationship building, analytics or numerous other facets of modern PR by learning to blog? As Steve Earl said in response to me on Twitter: “PRs are communicators. Blogging is part of communication.” It’s quite simply shockingly bad advice.
That all said, it’s the latter (the bloggers who don’t care what you think), posts of this ilk and more specifically, the comments that go along with them, that’s really starting to annoy and to disappoint me. I don’t think anyone would argue that there are an awful lot of duplicitous and superfluous social media/PR blogs out there (this one probably included). But does that mean we shouldn’t bother or voice our own opinions? Of course not. Rebecca Woodhead said within the comments of a post on SpinSucks: “ I’m a bit peeved about the narkiness of the network. Can’t people stop being snarky and just be interested in each other?” And, though I’ve used that comment slightly out of context here, I couldn’t agree more.
No matter how it’s evolved, blogging is essentially all about sharing personal ideas, opinions and beliefs. Sure, some are better than others at doing so and some do seem to regurgitate what others have written with little original input, or to write about the same old topics. But whatever happened to tolerance? Why do we feel the need to put down what others are doing? If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Simple.
With specific regard to not caring what others think, I sincerely hope that isn’t the case. I have a lot of respect for some of the people on that list and am friends with a couple, but if I thought they didn’t care what their readers thought of them I’d unsubscribe right now (although ironically of course, they wouldn’t care). Being bold, controversial, challenging and original is one thing, but being arrogant would be quite another. Aside from this, however, posts such as that one (and there are several others recently) together with the LiveFyre plugin that tweets or Facebooks everyone to know that X has mentioned Y in a comment are a little unnecessary and self-congratulatory. It smacks of a high school in-crowd that’s exclusionary to the other kids. And maybe, just maybe, that’s why guys like the PR agency MD I mentioned beforehand develop such poor opinions about blogging and pass those on to juniors.
So how about we cut the pious and sanctimonious rubbish before it changes the blogosphere for good, and focus on making what we write relevant, interesting and original, rather than putting down others or blowing smoke up the arses of our peers?
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