Blogging is Dumb, Stupid and Successful

Most blogs are dumb, even the successful ones. The ones about blogging. This isn’t because the writers of those blogs are dumb, they are very intelligent. It’s the readers, the ones who want to scan not to read, not to study, not to ingest. The ones who want another quick fix trick, before they have a chance to implement even the quick fix trick they just learned.

It’s why things like Blog Rush have initial success, everyone is looking for that next quick fix. Like a bunch of cyber junkies. Only our drug of choice is knowledge. It’s no ones fault. We are plagued by the seemingly easy success of others and can’t understand why we can’t be as successful. When the reality is, there are no easy online successes, everyone seems to pay some kind of price for it.

But you read most blogs, particularly blogs about blogging. And they offer small lumps of candy floss like posts. Sweet, atrractive but with zero nutrition. I’m not expecting to read huge, analytical posts all the time that need a Masters to get through. But some posts are just not worth the bytes they take up.

The reason this gets me annoyed is usually the writer has a lot more to give and it’s like they couldn’t be arsed or they read somewhere that it’s better to get a post out there and ping than wait till knowledge accumulates in the mental reservoir, allowing a good flow of water to power the generator.

Even if it’s a stream of consciousness, I can deal with that. Hell, that’s how most of my words make it from my brain onto the net. I just type. Editing? Mergh.

I wanna bit of meat on the bones when it comes to reading a blog. I’m passed the quick tip fix phase, maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m outa style. Too be honest, I would love it if everyone blogged like this guy It’s like, bullet point, screw that.

But, we’re in publishing right. You thought you were a blogger or an seo? Wrong, you’re a publisher, you take information from one place, do stuff with it and put it in another place. Peoples’ brains are the target for the information. The problem with people is that they like to read the Sun, or National Enquirer, they like to eat fatty, high sugar low protein foods. They like TV, they like useless packaging, they like…… shall I say it. Shall I say George Bush? It will play well with the Brits and US democrats, but what about my US Republican readers?

It’s not that people are stupid, they chose to be stupid. We chose to be stupid, I chose to be stupid. So when a blogger wants to make some money and be a bit of a success online he writes for the stupid crowd, the morons, the lazy, multi level marketing bullshit crowd. Who like bite sized, easy to swallow pre-digested pieces of information that they don’t really have to think about and can soon forget as there will be another zero nutritional morsel coming by seconds later.

And guess what? Marketing to the quick fix crowd is going to make you richer than marketing to any other group.

But then, there is that very, narrow path. The one where you can keep a little of your depth, whilst still being able to reach the mass market of the the idiots. That way is called the Story. You tell a story.

…and now I’m too tired to continue this line of thought. Marketing is persuasion, is about creating a dream like state which tells a story which seduces a person to act. But I need to sleep and if you are interested I will share my thoughts in a later post.

I hear my readership dripping to 3.5 people. the 0.5 is because one of them is asleep.

Comments

  1. says

    I agree with you here Lyndon. Its the same reason why people like Jamie Oliver and think it was a coincidence that Sainsbury’s brought out a load of garishly branded kids food that is full of shit directly after his school dinners campaign; or that Simon Cowell is not Satan incarnate.

    If you are looking for a bit more of a heavy read, I would recommend: Hamlet Batista (although I think ive already seen your face there) and Bill Slawski.

  2. says

    Well, consider me one of the 3 and I agree with what you are saying. I especially like your “narrow path” point. That is the tricky part for me and it is the narrow line I’m trying to walk as a Blogger.

    I want to write and share useful information, but balancing that thin line of making the information consumable by the masses, yet still entertaining and/or informative is a tough one indeed.

    I must admit, I’m a bit guilty myself. If I don’t get the main point of a post within a few minutes of reading, my mind wonders and I end up clicking off to something with more immediate gratification. That is one reason why I try to express the key points up front and get more granular as the post unfolds.

    Overall, I think popular society is encouraging laziness of the brain. Perhaps, as bloggers, we have a social responsibility to try to combat laziness of the brain by being the “middle ground” between sound bites and larger, more detailed literary works. We are the appetizer to the main course. We can feed the lazy majority with a tasty snack, but if we are writing effectively, we should be wetting their appetite for more. We then show them the way to the main course. If that makes any sense.

  3. Lyndoman says

    I agree with you about Slawski and Batista, sounds like a law firm.

    It’s not all bad, but there is a wide swathe of mediocrity out there.

  4. says

    What you say is true – that we are lazy to an extent… but there are a lot worse things we could be doing other than writing and reading in a ‘lazy fashion’. At least blogging involves using the brain, even if it is only to work out that the most successful method is to write simplistically.

  5. says

    Hey Lyndo… just me or ya got a thing fer blogs this week? I keep a scant few folks in my reader… so I noticed.

    It’s like Bill (Slawski) and Law this week (he used to be in that game..go figure)…

    Anyway, to add something at least, I started writing as a cathartic kind of exercise. I keep actual theory/strategy stuff on my main site in a repository. So I was never looking to provide MEAT… I was simply rambling on as I figured no one was listening.

    I try not to look at it as a publisher, even now that some folks come by. I am simply talking to myself and anyone that wants to listen. For me it’s all about the passion (he he).

    I have enjoyed yer rants this week and hae taken a few points to heart. At the end of the day I will try to make mine what is was meant to be.. a personal space, not business.

    keep it up…

    Dave

  6. says

    Bloggings still a new medium, There’s no much crap out there and people are getting bored with quick-tips, The Signial to Noise ratio will sort its self out as bloggers learn they have to write better content to get there share in the market.

  7. says

    Interesting post, although I think I could substitute the word “lazy” or “impatient” for “stupid” in your post and it would work just as well, if not better.

    “Lazy” or “impatient” people don’t want to learn by researching or doing… they want the quick fix that will make them rich and successful tomorrow with minimal effort.

    And I’ll be the first to admit that I’m lazy or impatient more often that I’d like to think that I am.

  8. says

    Very interesting – might explain why sometimes, after a long blog reading session, I can’t remember *learning* anything. It can feel like a waste of time on days like that. Of course, when I find a gem of a post I feel rather differently. I hope Liam is right about the signal to noise ratio improving over time. I mean, it *could* get worse as more and more ppl learn how easy it is to publish their own content.

  9. says

    You are right, but the phenomenon itself is interesting. Blogging seems to be addictive, and I can hardly see the difference between browsing around tens of blogs regurgitating the same things with a slightly different flavour, and chasing enemies in Quake’s tunnels and catacombs. You only have the sensation of evolving to a new level. The game stays the same, it’s only the walls, the enemies number and the goodies disposal which change.

    However, there is a level of amusement, seeing your dumbest things getting tons of traffic (and one hour ago you were about to hit Delete, because you did not want your friends to read that stuff). On the other hand, I see great articles, state-of-the-art, well researched stories which end up in darkness, because they don’t appeal to “top whatever social network guys”, who spend their lives showing off.

  10. says

    I think you’re right that most high traffic blogs these days are about topics that’s already been said/done elsewhere, regurgitated, and slapped a few ads here and there to gain some money while they’re at it. If bloggers want readers at all, they would write what everyone else wants to read.

    For me, I read select blogs that tell me more about the authors themselves. It’s simple and personal. I don’t want to know what is popular. I want to know what you know! Article like yours, is a good example of stuff that I like to read.

  11. says

    Those that become successful can look at the broader picture when they see the “quick fixes” if they combine the small stuff to one larger thing. But as you mentioned, they usually don’t master each thing individually and have already moved on to the next before they try. Great post!

  12. says

    I disagree. I use blogs for the quick information. I can spend 10 minutes everyday before work and know about all the newest trends, works, ideas etc in my profession. This leaves me more time to do whats important to me…work. If I find one blog topic to be very interesting or important to something I am working on I will do more reasearch on the topic, I’m sure I am not the only one who uses blogs in this fasion.

  13. Joshua Fan says

    You shook me awake when you wrote that I was sleeping. :)

    Right now, readers of Digg are bashing your article based only on the seemingly paradoxical title and the first paragraph. Even given an article with substance, that’s all people end up reading anyway. It’s too late, the masses are already hopelessly inerred in the fast food nation.

  14. Blogg Meister says

    I don’t see what reading blogs and gaining knowledge have to do with each other. Blogging is usually just editorial writing with any fact checking. Nine times out of Ten I feel dumber after reading blogs. It’s almost as bad as reading forums.

  15. Mike says

    President Bush is an idiot – the bytes you wasted talking about him are wasting electricity and hard drive space. Actually so are these words…

  16. Spark says

    “The ones about blogging. This isn?t because the writers of those blogs are dumb, they are very intelligent. It?s the readers, the ones who want to scan not to read, not to study, not to ingest. ”

    That statement is based on assupmtion. Perhaps we blogg because we want to spread our opinion to the informer. Don’t you know that assupmtion is the root of all mistakes. [Ghandi?] xD

  17. says

    OK, I read your post, and I am hoping you could could send me massive Internet traffic. Thanks!

    I am not joking. I am serious. Massive traffic. Cool.

  18. says

    I have to agree with the statement about marketing to the group looking for a quick, easy to swallow piece of candy.

    I developed and launched http://www.hadtosay.com with the expectation (well the hope anyway) that it would generate some interesting, well thought out content from people of mid-upper intelligence. People who would use it to communicate in a creative and clever way. A way that site visitors would find interesting, even amusing to read.

    Conversely most of the content is from the ‘junkies’ who just use it to poke at, and spew on each other. I’m wondering if I may need to revisit the structure of the site to encourage more of what I’m after.

    *Sighh…

  19. Billy says

    I have hard time placing any faith in your assessment of other people’s intelligence when your grammar, spelling, and writing style are so horrible.

  20. Rob says

    Nice content. As narky as it sounds though, I couldn’t pass ‘buy’ your admittedly self-professed lack of editing without comment.

  21. David says

    I find it ironic that you begin your ‘article’ with the statement ‘Most blogs are Dumb’ and proceed to write at length, with flagrant disregard for basic grammar and punctuation. Your points are mostly well formed but its hard to take them seriously if you refuse to take the time to construct them correctly and proof your work.

  22. says

    Fantastic piece Lyndon. You are spot on but that does not have to be seen as a bad thing. You can use the info to create more digestible content for your readers, creating more of it and making yourself an authority on the subject.

    It’s like a combination of “Why fix it if it’s not broken” and “If you can’t beat them, join them”.

  23. says

    “But you read most blogs, particularly blogs about blogging. And they offer small lumps of candy floss like posts. Sweet, atrractive but with zero nutrition. I?m not expecting to read huge, analytical posts all the time that need a Masters to get through. But some posts are just not worth the bytes they take up.”

    Can’t win for losing. All the “advice” these days about how to write for blogs (keep it very short, use small words, edit like crazy, use lists, edit like crazy, figure out what they want before you write it, etc.) is mostly garbage. I personally feel people enjoy wordier, more in-depth posts that get to the heart of an issue or topic like shorter posts never could. I know I’ll take a fully digestible post that actually counts as an *article* on a blog over these casually tossed off and poorly thought out drive-by bloggers that you see just tossing off a poorly written line or paragraph or two these days. Like the world automatically wants to read anything they write just because they wrote it. Well, *hello*, no we don’t. A short post once in a while is fine. Great even. It can add a little twist to the usual. But making an everyday habit of it–or making it your entire style of writing –is usually a mistake.

    After years of studying how to attract and hold a visitor’s attention, I gave up on it. I tried shorter posts, longer posts, editing myself into virtually haiku delivery, writing free and unbridled and posting it like that, not a single word changed from draft to publication, and I’ve decided that nothing works and everything works, so now I just write however I feel like writing. If I feel analytical and wordy then that’s how it comes out. If I feel like writing just one or two sentences then that’s what I do. My style is fluid and unpredictable and I’ve never been happier with it. If people like your writing and your topics they *will* keep coming back no matter how you lay it out. If they don’t, well then, thanks for stopping by, come again…no worries here.

  24. Jeremy says

    I find it a little ironic that a blog entry filled with a haughty tone of superiority, exalting “deep writing” over bullet points is filled with bad grammar, unnecessary punctuation and smacks of a lack of editing. The author spewed out some rant about how most blogs are shit, and in doing so displayed that his writing abilities have not yet propelled him beyond that pool of shit manufacturers that he tries with to condemn in a ham-handed, sophomoric way. Read Elements of Style and try again.

  25. says

    Very interesting post. Personally, as a long time blogger I hate writing short posts. I feel like it’s hardly worth doing. So I try writing long, intelligent posts. Nice to know I am doing things right!

  26. Lyndoman says

    Thanks for the great comments, I seem to have stumbled across something here. I know a lot of the pro-bloggers bang on about short, capsule, easy to swallow posts, but maybe I just like being the contrarian.

    Why do people who expend energy on moaning about grammer always seem to be American. Go read Hunter S. Thompson for the rest of your life. It can’t be very comfortable when your ass is so tight from constipation.

    Writing is about ideas, it’s not about rules. Sure, if you’re writing an academic paper on the Sex life of the Grammer Nazi, you may want to sweat over the puctuation and grammer, but at least it will be a short paper.

    Some writing styles do not follow the rules, my writing style is one of those. You don’t like it? Then you know what you can do. Shuffle off to your own unread blog and go sharpen your pencil.

    This blog is about ideas, original thought. Some people care about grammer, I don’t, not for this blog. If you’re a lawyer or an accountant, maybe it’s important to you.

    Evertime I hear a grammer Nazi squeak, I picture a bald, constipated old fart screaming at his monitor, “How dare they demean the apostrophe.” His spittle dribbling down the monitor.

    But then, that’s just me.

  27. says

    I think for a lot of bloggers many times the goal is not to garner tons of readers (while that may be a great consequence of making a good blog) but instead to categorize an idea they are trying to make concrete for themselves. I personally am interested in creative geeky types who make art, and I see a lot of it. But instead of having a massive list of bookmarks, I can just blog the posts I find interesting. I do this for myself, and I dabble in SEO because it’s fun. Theres a great interview with Drew Curtis of FARK where he says that the big secret is that no one is really making that much money off of blogs today.

  28. says

    I must admit that yourpost has ring of truth in it but the blogosphere is rapidly expanding and people are picking out the “wheat” from the “chaff” otherwise i find most of the comments insincere!Perhaps its those bloggers who frequently like to read blogs on’ how to make your blog make money’

    Shame on you geezers!we need more intellectual content!

  29. BlogsTheme.com says

    IT’s true! Most of the people are just scanning pages thru the internet, and they are starting different projects and just doing a little bit of work, in order to be successful you must go thru a lot of things, you must work a lot, you must use your brain a lot.

  30. says

    Hey,

    Just a quick follow up–once again, well written, and I appreciate your sentiment about blogging.

    Keep up the good work, and the massive traffic to my site.

    Nice!

  31. Photoshop Tutorials says

    “But you read most blogs, particularly blogs about blogging. And they offer small lumps of candy floss like posts. Sweet, atrractive but with zero nutrition.”

    You have mentioned a very good point above. I totally agree with you.

  32. says

    Another agreement here. When I started reading blogs I’d keep 4 or 5 around and actually read them all, but that quickly became a moot point as so many of the individual article weren’t worth reading. Now I process about 100 blogs per day and rip through very quickly, marking a handful of posts per day that I go back and actually ingest. This helps me wade through all the junk to find some gems, but it also has the downside of no doubt missing gems as well. I use google’s reader which allows me to label subscriptions as well, currently I’ve got too labeled simply as “Read” which get a closer look, the rest fall under categories such as “Consulting”, “Leadership”, and the dreaded “Productivity”. The latter being an immense number of blog posts focused around quick fixes (yet some of the gems here have been extremely beneficial).

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