The post focuses on this study/report by the Wharton School of Business. Basically it's just several faculty members giving their opinions on blogs. As expected, the instructors that read and write their own blogs, love them. What is suprising, is that the members that see no value in blogs, are the ones that don't read them.
"Blogs are the latest forum for people who have nothing to say that others actually care about," states Wharton marketing professor Xavier Dreze. The mode of a distribution, explains Dreze, "is its highest point. What this means is that there are more blogs with 0 subscriptions than blogs with one subscription or two or three or four. There is a reason why the modal number of subscriptions to a blog is 0."
He doesn't read blogs because "I don't see the point. It's a bunch of people writing their opinions, and those people have no credibility. The information content is very low."
Here's another gem:
Management professor Saikat Chaudhuri is also skeptical of blogs. "I actually don't read any blogs because I am still trying to demystify their value," he says, adding that he thinks their relevance "lies in receiving informed opinion by experts on a topic as a reader, developing one's reputation for such expertise as a contributor, and providing a focused discussion forum in general. However, there are many such blogs to choose from, so I find it difficult to distinguish between genuinely useful ones and those merely exchanging or relating social experiences."
Shockingly, they are both completely wrong. You can't measure the value of blogs on the content published. The reason why blogs are so important, is because they give everyone a voice. And perhaps more importantly, they let everyone find their voice.
Perfect example: In graduate school, I was exposed to several branding and marketing authors by my instructors, my favorites were probably Al and Laura Ries. The instructors brought their books to my attention, but thanks to blogging, I was able to communicate directly with Laura through her blog. I've gone from reading the books of top marketing authors, to reading and communicating with top marketing bloggers.
Communication is the difference. My voice can communicate with your voice.
Not every blog is a treasure-chest of wonderful content. Likewise, not every book is a great read. Would these instructors tell their students to stop reading books, simply because some are bad? Would they encourage their students to read The Origin of Brands, but to avoid reading and commenting on Laura's The Origin of Brands blog?
DA adds this:
Xavier is certainly entitled to his opinion. And there is of course a lot of trash out there in general—not limited to blogs. But I have to say, this reinforces the stereotype that places of academia can become insulated. Get out there people! Go out in the real world and see things from different perspectives. Lots of professionals are out there blogging. People who PRACTICE what they do for a living. If we can't learn from them—who can we learn from?Exactly. Who should I listen to, the marketing blogger that is PASSIONATE about his profession, or the marketing instructor that slams blogs, and admits that he's never read them?
Blogs are an incredible empowerment tool. Personally I would steer clear of anyone that tried to teach young and impressionable minds that they shouldn't be empowered to find their own voice, and to hear the voices of others.