Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Is your blog losing its identity?
"Individuality is fine, as long as we all do it together." - Major Frank Burns, M*A*S*H
In Google Reader, I get new posts and articles from over 100 blogs and sites every day. I get dozens of shared items well. For the past few months I've noticed that the majority of the posts fall into two categories:
1 - They are 'Guide/How-to/Steps-to' posts. Here's the formula: The (Celebrity/Fictional character) Guide to Better/More Effective (blogging/tweeting/etc). Or "X Steps to Better (social media term)".
2 - Echo posts. It seems like every couple of weeks, a blogger (usually a popular one) will hit on a particular topic, then for the next couple of weeks, several other bloggers will post on the same topic, usually referencing the first blogger's post.
Now I don't mean to knock 'How-To' posts or anyone that wants to chime in on the topic of the moment. I've written both types of posts many times before and will continue to do so in the future.
But it seems like over time, our blog posts have become less about our individual opinions and feelings, and more about following the herd. Or the formula. Or echoing whoever the 'influential' bloggers are deemed to be.
Which is really sad. When I started reading marketing and social media blogs, back in 2005, everyone had their own ideas and opinions. And some of them were goofy as hell (especially looking back now), but you know what? Every blog was different. Every blog had its own unique voice and tone.
And those blogs, with all those unique and sometimes goofy as hell ideas and opinions, helped incubate many of the top themes and movements that define the social media space today.
I look around the blogosphere today, and although I see plenty of smart people, I don't see as many truly smart and groundbreaking ideas as I once did. Maybe we've all become a bit too worried on following a 'formula' to get more visitors, or more retweets, or whatever. Instead of just trying to come up with original ideas.
Instead of just starting with 'Here's what I think...'
Pic via Flickr user Shandchem