Blogging Failure Rates

Album Cover: Diamond Hoo Ha

"I got to get you in my suitcase."
Supergrass / Diamond Hoo Ha Man

Posted on March 22, 2004 10:00 PM in Blogging
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Mark Pilgrim seems to think blogging failure rates are "extraordinarily high." I disagree.

Before going off on a semi-tangent about poor writing, Mark points to Why do people give up weblogs? and goes on to say (I'm slightly paraphrasing here):

"I think that the weblogging community is highly self-selective, consisting of people who have lots of free time, have excellent internet access (probably as part of their job), and who either write well, write poorly but don't know it, or write poorly but don't care."

While Why do people give up weblogs? brings up some interesting points, such as how abandoning a weblog can free up more time, I believe at least a few important points go overlooked. I also think that, regardless of how well they may or may not write, the blogging community is far from self-selective and Internet access really has nothing to do with it.

Half a year ago I might have fallen for the argument, but after realizing, via Feedster really, how many "little people" there are out there writing in blogs and sharing the trivial and personal details of their lives, I've come to realize that blogging has serious potential and has already begun to erupt as a mainstream method of communication. Maybe it's true that there are a handful of "power bloggers" who only consider you a part of the blogosphere if your daily posts get thrown around and debated from blog to blog, but as far as I'm concerned, some of the most meaningful blogs are those that are only getting hit 5 to 10 times a day. I think people are most honest when they really feel like they can spill their guts in their blog and say how they feel...and they don't have to think ahead of how Blogger Friend X might feel or how it might go against something Blogger Friend Y said earlier in the week.

Writing is really a non-issue, as well. I mean, we now live in a world where LOL and LMAO mean things. Spelling isn't a huge deal anymore. Maybe it is to the old geezers who would still rather read the New York Times in their hands than fire up CNN.com on their computer, but if you remember seeing that email that was going around showing how humans can read words fine as long as the first and last letters are in the right place, you see that we are very good at deciphering what someone is trying to say. Isn't it good for us to use a little more brainpower anyway?

Internet access has nothing to do with it, because anyone with an old school modem can fire up their blog and post an entry. People like Robert Scoble scare me because it seems like they have a little too much Internet access. Maybe it would be better if we took all day to think up something really important and meaningful to blog about than to sit at our computer blogging every single thought that came to mind over the course of the day!

Why do people give up weblogs? suggests, in part, that blogs are primarily tools for seeking out attention or for networking. This may be true on some level...I admit that some of the blogging I do is geared toward the people who tend to come to this site (e.g. web developers or Firefox users) in hopes that they'll find me interesting enough to come back. However, I feel like we all have something to gain from blogging, whether or not anyone else reads what we write.

As Mark Pilgrim points out, by writing we become better writers, so that is one bonus. Another bonus is that we actually put something down in "ink" that only previously got bounced around in our head. We see something in front of us that came from inside, something that very possibly never existed before. It's never ever a bad thing to create...and blogging allows us to do that every day.

There are many, many, many people out there who are blogging. Each, I presume, has his or her own reasons for doing so. I find it hard to believe that the reasons for the successes or failures of blogs can be attributed to any one general categorization. To me, writing in a blog is a lot like riding a bike. When you're doing it, it's fun. However, you can give it up for years on end, and never really miss it. But then you can pick up right where you left off whenever you darn well please. Just because I haven't ridden my bike in years doesn't mean that I've failed as a bike-rider – I've simply found better or more important things to do with my time.

I think that blogging in general is thriving, and while there are many more people in the world who don't understand or don't care, the number of people who do care and who do post their thoughts and ideas to the web on a regular basis is significant. Failure seems a moot topic, given that for every blog that fails I'd guess there are twice as many being actualized. If failure truly were an issue, it would suggest that over time blogging will eventually fizzle out...and I honestly do not foresee that happening.

Comments

Arcanius on March 24, 2004 at 9:41 PM:

Ahahaha! That microsoft guy posts like 20 times a day! LOL LMAO

:-)

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henry on December 30, 2004 at 2:40 AM:

I work 10-12 hours a day and find the time to post on my blog, at least ever alternative day.

Good article.

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