Why do Bloggers think they Invented the Internet?

Im sure it can't be just me that's beginning to find the enormously over-inflated hype surounding blogging somewhat amusing. In fact, i know it's not. Simon Walden of the Guardian recently posted about the niche "industries" springing up around blogs and blogging. I couldn't help but read a little humour in his post. Follow the title link above for the full post.

Why Bloggers think they Invented the Internet

There are a lot of egos out there on the web, you could argue that im one of them, after all, who am I to write a piece suggesting that half the blogerazzi are full of shit?

The hype around blogging seems to come from the fact that blogs make publishing accessable and acheivable to non-techies. You can set up a blog in about 5 minutes and be blogging in about 1/2 an hour and you dont need to know a damn thing about a) websites b) publishing c) business - This is not a bad thing, in fact, i think it's fantastic! The funny thing is that a blog really isnt anything that special, think about it: What makes a blog any different from any other website?

  • The IA - same as pretty much any pre-blog CMS
  • They allow users to comment - well whoopee shit, hardly new..
  • Rapid publishing - yep, but again, same as any pre-blog CMS
  • Trackback - A truly cool invention and yep, that does make a difference, though trackback is now breaking free of blogs and can even be seen on News.com now.

So, the real difference between a blog and any other website is the barrier to entry right? With a blog anyone can publish.

Back to Egos
So, with the barrier to entry set extremely low you now have a whole new set of people in the web space publishing, no bad thing - dont get me wrong here, im enjoying this as much as everyone else... But, the egos, the folks that are either successful bloggers, influential bloggers or otherwise noteworthy appear to think that they have re-invented the internet.

Deja vu
Some of the niche industries Walden talked about bear a striking resemblance to the internet of 6/7yrs or more back, when Webring's were all the rage. Anyone remember the seemingly thousands of schemes and associations where one could join in exchange for sticking a link on their website and displaying a badge of approval? Well, this is happening all over again. And what's outstandingly funny is, bloggers really do think they are the first to have thought of any of this.. sheesh, dont these folks do their homework?

Three such schemes bear a look to demonstrate:

MediaBloggers.org
This group, much like it's historic forbears requires you to get approval from the big boys, then stick a badge on your site that links back to the mediabloggers website - hmmmmm.... They even ask you for a donation on the sign up page

BlogEthics.org
Holy shit, so we have silly clubs, and now an ethics committee? Little more than a self appointed sherif's office for pointing fingers and generally larging it up with ones mates over how big a boy you are in the blogosphere. Jason Calacanis is responsible for this silliness alongside Nick Denton - They remind me of our beloved Doug Heil

The Picks and Shovels Crew
You know the story of the gold rush right? Where the guys selling picks and shovels made far more money than the guys panning for gold.. Well, in theme with the whole "we've invented the internet" thing we now have all manner of companies/sites trying to position themselves as "consultants" on blogging. InsideBlogging provide blog consultancy and have recently proved it's viability by hiring their first staff member. Whereas i dont wish them any ill will, that's hardly proof of viability... There are even blogging bootcamps for journalists and blog optimization services for the search engine clueless - as Waldman remarks good work if you can get it

Do the above remind anyone of anything or is it just me?

The Trough of Disillusionment

Waldman ends with a link to the Hype Cycle which i think is more than relevant with blogging. At the moment we are probably not quite at the peak of inflated expectation and im just waiting for the downward plunge as the overwhelming majority of bloggers find out some stunningly obivious facts that they appear to be deaf and blind to at this moment:

  • 80% of bloggers will never make a penny at this
  • 98% of bloggers will never make enough at this
  • 2% of bloggers will make a fortune at this
  • 100% of bloggers will wish they hadnt been so blind to history and to self obsessed to see the bleeding obvious

So Why am I Anti Blogs?

Im not really, i admin this one for starters :) It's just that not a day goes by where I dont see something about blogging that makes me chuckle. Some of the boys and girls out there busy blogging really do appear to beleive they invented the internet.

Actually, i see blogs as an outstanding furtherment to the internet in general, with a the barrier set so low everyone can get involved in at least a small way and i think that's a wonderful thing. I hope not too many dreams are shattered when these folks are forced to take off the rose tinted spectacles and look at the economics of web publishing - there are some hilarious attempts to find viable business models for blogging but also some very good ones. I think Calacanis' weblogsinc and Gawker are great avenues for profit despite the blogosphere sherif winding me up just a little.

Good luck to them all, just dont let it go your head eh?

Comments

More..

It's also these damn headlines i find annoying im my daily rss digestion. Stuff like:

"FIred for blogging?"

Oh get a bleeding grip why dont you? You're not above the law or your company's rules becuase you've discovered how to publish on the web for pity's sake...

Its an infoblorum extravaganz

Its an infoblorum extravaganza! :D

>99.99% is sh1t

Never understood it! I’ve no interest in it. I'm still unsure how it fits into the Google business model (because it’s their fault, it’s popular ;). Quickly may it become a sad thing to do!

woops

Forgot to say I don't think of TW as a blog more an infoblog OR should that be infolog Yah that's better ;)

Yah

95% of blogs are shite because 95% of anything is shite. Actually, it's probably closer to 99%, but who's counting. We're still in the hype stage, so the silliness is set to continue for some time yet.

What next? An overhyped blog IPO?

Too true

I am generally new to blogging but spend plenty of time developing and marketing most aspects of websites. To begin with I really couldnt see what the fuss was about. I have a blog which I keep up to date and have played with all the tools such as trackback and commenting etc. I feel like blogging is a great medium and Im quite glad its here. There is one thing that I have noticed more than anything however, there are some very large egos who as this blog post points out, think they started the internet - that was a great way to put it :). The whole point of blogging is that its an open medium for anyone to read and become involved in but I see some closed groups on my travels. I think the latest trend of monetising blogs is partly responsible for the 'ethics committee' mentality. Some are trying to own what they believe they started.