I don’t read more than a handful of blogs regularly – I don’t even pour over my subscriptions in my readers with any frequency.
This confession is a result of having read and agreeing with Jakob Nielsen's article, published today, “Write Articles, Not Blog Postings”. In the article, Nielsen highlights the uneven quality of blogs:
While I like blog’s conversational, personal and generally less rigid, more open style, I also like to have background information and in-depth analysis.
- Sometimes people toss off a posting in a minute. Other times they spend hours.
- Sometimes a writer happens to know a lot about the topic at hand, possibly because they've just spent several months working on that exact problem. Other times people know nothing--which doesn't keep them from voicing their opinions :-)
- Sometimes people are lucky and get a blinding insight. Other times they post more out of duty than anything else.
Too many bloggers feel required to blog regularly regardless of whether they have anything useful to say. Or perhaps blogging is just so trendy, everyone is doing it regardless of whether or not they have anything to add or any writing ability. (I live in a glass house, so I’m not throwing stones at anyone I wouldn’t throw at myself.)
Perhaps my general dislike for blogs is that in many cases blogs are about topics that I don’t care passionately enough about to justify the uneven quality and singular focus. Then there are blogs on topics I thought I cared deeply about, but then upon finding blogs on that topic, (eg. Xena or Shakira), I just couldn’t possibly care about it to the degree that the bloggers do. I also haven’t found blogs on some specific topics I care deeply about (eg. the cultural aspects of the Internet or the Web from a production standpoint – all I have found are blogs focusing on the business aspects eg. marketing, investing opportunities, etc. or are too tech-geek for me).
If considering starting a blog, Nielsen cautions (in his utilitarian way):
To demonstrate world-class expertise, avoid quickly written, shallow postings. Instead, invest your time in thorough, value-added content that attracts paying customers.
But it takes so much time to write at that level of insight and quality. I understand and appreciate the allure of the ease of blog publishing, but it is true that while a blog posting is easy to do, it may often offer minimal return.
I don't promise consistent quality or insightful value-add commentary, so to be fair to my friends and family, you are forgiven, if you, like me, just don't see a convincing reason to read the blog.