Is it Possible to Blog Too Much?

Josh Chambers, Former Viget

Article Category: #Strategy

Posted on

This morning when I opened my reader I had a few folders that had the nice little "1,000+" number next to the folder. How, depressing. I began to read through the posts one by one and marking them off as 'read.' One hour later I hadn't made a dent in that annoying little "1,000+." By the way, thanks for putting that number in fire engine red because I wasn't already aware how out of control it is. Anyhow, in each of the folders where said number appeared, it's usually just one blog that is the culprit and it got me it possible to blog too much? I decided to ask the Google machine. Well, turns out I'm not completely off my rocker because the first search result was a post by Seth Godin entitled, "The Noisy Tragedy of the Blog Commons." In that post, Seth laments the Tragedy of the Commons in relation to blogging. In a slight twist on the definition of the commons, Godin asserts that we're actually over saturating people because we can. I want to subscribe to blogs that make me wish for more; not blogs that make me wish they'd stop writing. I want a blog that is selective in it's content; not a blog that publishes everything it can get its hands on related to it's industry. I mean honestly, who has time to read 100 posts a day from one blog alone? I know I can tag my information, I know I can just scan headlines; but why not do the tagging for me? Why not scan the headlines for me? Why not produce only the best of the best content, and leave the rest for the pageview & blood thirsty ego-blogger? Obviously there are some exceptions--take TechCrunch or AdAge for example....and there are your friends blogs that you read because you care about your friends. But my favorite blogs are still those that censor information for me and tell me what I need to know. I think the Microhoo situation was a good example. That was the shot heard round the blogosphere. Everyone wrote a post (if not multiple posts) regarding the takeover, but I read very few blogs that actually had something good to say. Perhaps people felt the pressure to write about it so as not be deemed irrelevant. But therein lies the rub for me...A blog should be about it's readers, not about how much stuff it can produce and how relevant the author(s) is. As Godin says,
RSS fatigue is already setting in. While multiple posts get you more traffic, they also make it easy to lose loyal readers. Without friction, without a gate on the clutter, we clearly face a commons problem. Here, though, instead of people taking too much of a shared physical good because they have nothing to lose, the problem is surplus. By writing too much, too often, we're trouncing on the attention of the commons.
Blogs are about readers not numbers. Sooner or later, bloggers need to realize its more about acquiring loyal readers than it is about number of pageviews/subscriptions. For those of you that are producing hundreds of posts a day/week, your not doing anything more than depressing me and making me feel lazy. Am I wrong? Would you rather have a blog that produces massive content? Or a blog that produces less, but more targeted content? Or does it just depend on the blog? Commence flaming.

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