On most days, Carla and I debate our analysis in private, Skyping with one another until our fingers burn. And this day started just the same. She’d been mulling over the value of reasoned analysis as subject matter for blogs. Then, a TechCrunch post about (I think) why investment in blog media companies will never pay out described the blogging as some sort of word-based Fight Club, and that tipped Carla to action.
Her post today asks, essentially, whether thoughtful analysis has any place in the blogosphere. She quoted one colleague who effectively said that if one writes a solid analysis, then what’s there to say in the comments. The subtext: fire off an ill-conceived “rant” and we can really sink our teeth into that.
I think I nearly busted my gut laughing at the idea of “thoughtful analysis” ever being popular.
To be fair, Cyndy commented on Carla’s post more fully:
. . . I’m still of the old-school that feels like quality should stand on its own without the constant whoring for Diggs and link-backs and attention. . .
The reality, however, is that the squeaky wheel gets the eyeballs in this industry, and the eyeballs get the money.
I’m heartened to see the thoughtful comments being added to Carla’s post, but still I wonder why the (mostly) intelligent people who spend hours each day consuming blog posts don’t demand more from the bloggers they read. Readers reward shoot-from-the-lip bloggers with traffic and attention, and never seemingly feel exploited. Somehow, the opportunity to get into the mud with an A-lister out-measures the value of time and intelligence.
This, of course, is not a new phenomenon. Back when DEMOletter was still published on paper (yes, the Dark Ages), I wrote about attention and time as the currency of Web 1.0, and now, most certainly of Web 2.0 and beyond. Yet still, the social-media consuming public doesn’t understand that value. Too many people have so devalued their time and attention that they “over pay” for “free” content, allowing the value to accrue to bloggers who, frankly, are not always worthy of the page views.
In a quest for readers and rank and authority, too many bloggers have turned the posts and comments into a side show. The only thing that will change that is if readers demand more.