I read with some amusement, and some small amount of guilt Ken Yarmosh, editor of the Corante Web Hub talking about snoozing in the blogosphere and the the whole “noise” thing this morning. He was talking about yesterdays tech blogosphere headlines:
- FeedBurner acquiring Blogbeat
- 100 Million Daily Videos served up by YouTube
- New Yahoo! Homepage Launches
He asks: “Do bloggers really think their numbers are going to go down (or up) if they donâ€™t cover these stories? Do they think they are reporters? Thereâ€™s only a few blogs that truly offer â€œscoopsâ€ and newsâ€¦the rest just become noise in my opinion.” and it’s a good point. Yesterday you couldn’t move for those 3 stories, and it was indeed repetitive, boring and somewhat time consuming to wade through the dozens of repeat posts in my reader.
Finding Unique Stories
Some news is indeed hard not to cover, particularly when your blog is focused in tech, but there are also ways to grab the smaller, possibly more valuable and definately more interesting stories.
Here’s a few off the top of my head. Do feel free to add to the list:
- Use del.icio.us to mine for links and sources
- use technorati, google blogs, yahoo news and other Search services where you can get to good blog posts to find the smaller, niche blogs to link to
- Use photobucket, flickr, youtube and other video/photo sites to find images and video to either link to, or just for inspiration
- Try yahoo answers to find out what people really want to know about your topic.
- Find forums on google with a query like this (just exchange “your topic” for keywords related to your subject) and see what less blog-centric folks are talking about within your niche
And there you have it, if you have other ways for finding less “me too” stories to post on your blogs, drop them in the comments….
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Excellent tips as always, Nick!
I started quite a few blogs but have recently batten’d down (before Denton did). Most of the time, I started blogs with a good idea and a thirst to find more knowledge on the subject matter. But some of those blogs turn out to be one repost after another, one rehash after another. Hearing my voice among the numeours echos was not my idea of blogging fun.
I still do reference a few hot topics now and then on the blogs I’m actively writing. But there’s a lot more unique content and content of my own voice on those that I chose to continue.
Ultimately, the blogger’s insatiable desire to emulate success of others by posting frequently (which is a tip that has been given by Performancing as well) is partly the cause of this phenomenon. The other cause being thtat the idea of blogging, blogger community lends itself to such a treatment
Excellent advice on how to be unique, after all regardless of how mainstream we all think it is, blogging could be 10x where it is if it REALLY hits mass market, like email and general surfing.
…when Techmeme was seemingly 80% stories about Amanda and Rocketboom.
And no, I don’t jump for joy when it’s 80% stories about a single Google product, either 😉
Balance, dammit, balance!
..the rest just become noise in my opinion.
Excellent point – it gets too boring to read the same news item in every other blog.
In such cases, I try to setup a Watch folder in Feeddemon so that all news items containing particular keywords are collected at one place. Then I can just read the main story which everyone is linking to and then shift+delete the rest items in the watch folder.
Saves me lot of time.
Somehow I missed that Yahoo got a new home page.
Thanks for the news! Ha ha ha.
And for the record, their new home page is just as busy and confusing as the old one. But it is prettier.
Bloggers who don’t know what to blog about should simply stop blogging.
I am sitting here, it is summer, on the news front not too much is happening … should I start to copy stories just to post an entry?
My stories are literally laying on the streets. I walk around half an hour, stare at posters, read the newspaper and a new subject is jumping right into my face.
There’s a wealth of information that you can apply to your niche in the millions of published books — both current and past — out there. IF you can’t blow tons of cash at Amazon, head to the local library.
It’s not “news,” but most news content doesn’t add as much value as people think. Everyone has access to what’s already online, so do an end around and go somewhere else.
If your site has a definite focus, this becomes less of a problem. Either you know what to cover and what not to, or you have a different angle when you do touch the “me too” stories.
For example, if you’re trying to be yet another attempt at TechCrunch, you report on “Yahoo’s new home page” and have trouble adding anything interesting to it. You’ll have to work really hard to compete with their quality, and even if you do, there’s a good chance nobody will notice.
On the other hand, if you have a weblog about web design, you’ll have a designer’s take on the new site. If you have a weblog about investments, you can write about how it might affect Yahoo’s stock. If you have a weblog about dogs, you can skip it entirely.
Nick and I have discussed this a few times and I think we are all tempted at one point or another to “me too”. I think the easiest remedy is as Nick says to find quality stuff that isn’t already being reported on. Another thing to do is to provide your own angle or your own thoughts. Then you are commenting rather than reporting. It is funny though that every niche has a few copycat blogs that simply repeat what the leaders post. A good way of getting ahead is to not follow the sheeple and do your own thing. The best way of doing your own thing is to create content but obviously that is so much harder, which is why so few do it.