I attended BlogHer Business (and a couple of BlogHer parties) a few weeks ago. The experience has had me thinking a lot about what it means to be a blogger, who is a blogger these days, and what it takes to maintain one or more blogs.
BlogHer, and I imagine, other blogger gatherings like it has this empowering effect. There’s nothing more fist-pumping awesome than to stand in a room with several hundred other people who do what you do and who are passionate about it. I’m sure BlogHer was founded in 2005 because of that feeling; I felt it when I attended in 2007, too.
Today, however, I know lots of people with blogs. It would not be an exaggeration to say that most of my friends are bloggers. It’s far less special to be a blogger when there are millions doing it. There are standouts, of course; those who have been at it for an extended period of time, are downright prolific and who show no sign of flagging in their efforts.
There are others who blog because they have to — it’s become a requirement as part of their job. Who would have thought that would happen back in the days when Heather Armstrong’s experience coined a term that meant “to be fired for one’s blog.”
We’ve learned a lot since the days of LiveJournal. There are new bloggers, however, who don’t have the benefit of that experience. New bloggers who fail at context because they don’t read many other blogs. Bloggers who, frankly, aren’t really bloggers — they’re merely posting content to a blog, or contributing to a corporate blog as part of their job responsibilities.
I hear people complain about blogging all the time. I hear how difficult it is to continue to produce content for a website; how there’s never enough time or ideas or interesting things to write about.
More than 95 percent of all blogs are abandoned and good riddance, I say! I’d like to rid the internet of all the “bloggers” and turn down the volume of crappy content drowning out all the good, thoughtful stuff out there. For all the people half-assing it out there, just stop. If you don’t feel it, don’t write it, film it, shoot it, record it, etc. and for goodness sakes don’t publish it.
We’ll all be better off if there are more blog readers than bloggers.