Is Blog Evangelism Cruel?

Much debate on Nick Carr’s latest stab in the a-list face today. Im not going to spend a huge deal of time on it, but I do want to say that I love it, and no, I don’t think Nick’s a troll, I think he just hit’s a nerve with some folks — and I thank him for doing so, somebody should.

Whether you agree or not, it’s a pretty funny read, and I Particularly liked the Epilogue, it hit the proverbial nail right on the head. Also, this quote from Seth Finkelstein:

“Blog evangelism is very cruel, as it preys on people’s frustrated hopes and dreams.”

That quote was what actually got me to write this post. Because like some others, I did see that Nick missed a large part of the people that make up the so called “blogosphere” — though I think in both of those cases the writers were taking an easy target (the post would have been 3 days long if it had covered every conceivable angle) and that they clearly have a vested interest in poo poo’ing the idea of an innocent fraud in the ‘sphere.

Apart from the people writing for collegues, a few friends, just their family or like one blog I write, purely for oneself, the part of the ‘sphere that’s missing from Nicks’s article for me, is the working blogosphere. The bloggers that make up a large section of the Performancing community. Those bloggers not as interested in whether a popular blog will link to them as how much revenue they’ve made that month, where it’s come from and how to increase it.

I suspect for those bloggers, and certainly for myself, the arguments, name calling and circling of wagons over Nick’s piece is simply amusing.

Just another day in the echochamber heh…

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9 thoughts on “Is Blog Evangelism Cruel?

  1. I agree this is a matter of expectation. Thanks to the aggressive, probably more appropriately hyped blog evangelists, businesses frequently set too high of an expectation. When I see Performancing and Nick Carr’s blog, I can’t help myself but amazed at how a blog could help build a group of loyal readers that not only lurk but also participate in the conversation.

    But, surely not all of the blogs will have this kind of success.

    For some, it maybe having an increase in referral traffic of which because they are referred by others who they trust, already possess a positive feeling about them.

    Selling value works, but balancing with the right expectation helps achieve the goal easier.

    This is why as Raj blog in another post, packaging becomes important. Afterall, any blog consultant or service provider should not promise what they could not deliver. Being realistic about what to deliver is critical.

    But, the problem is, how we should lower clients’ expectations without being seen as incapable.

  2. Actually I think they don’t even put that much thought into it. It’s the equivalent of getting noticed through graffiti. “Spammer Woz Ere”.

  3. Why is it that these people always think they’re smarter than everyone else, and that they can get away with such amateur spamming?

    You’d think it might occur to them that a community like thi s wouldn’t have any trouble smelling a rat, but no, we’re obviously clueless morons, and billy no links there is a genius.


  4. Since you’re obviously hoping to be a blogging evangelist yourself, John-Paul, here’s something to think about:

    These days, it’s easy to click through and see that you cut and pasted your comment directly from a recent post (you even missed the same typo twice). I know it’s a pain, but why not just speak to us like you’re a real person?

    Your site is filled with strong copy, but you’re talking *at* people. You’re an old school copywriter who doesn’t get that things are moving towards “real” conversations.

    It’s simple to check Technorati and confirm that just about no one links to you, and yet you’ve been holding yourself out as a “business blogging expert” at that URL all year so far. Certainly an *expert* would be doing better than that after 7.5 months?

    It’s also easy to see that you have no community — the only comments at your place are your own trackbacks.

    So, who’s telling whom about “lies,” JPM?

    You’re pretending to be something you’re not, and you don’t even seem to realize how easy it is to detect and call you out on it. You may fool a few “real business owners” at first, but just remember — the rest of us are still out here.

    Try demonstrating that you understand blogging with your own blog (you know, so we can all see your results in real time) before you start trying to sell people your “expertise” products.

  5. Thanks for bringing attention to this topic Nick!

    Maybe it’s because my partner and I are business owners, or because we exclusively work with business owners every day, and have the focus of bogging for business (not for readers) — but the points Nick Carr makes seem obvious when viewed with a capitalist eye.

    Yet it’s the obvious that can often be the most dangerous. Lies can be lived for a long time before a person comes to the realization that they’ve bought into a lie.

    From my vantage point, this is the problem with the blogosphere — bogging evangelists have bought into their own lies. And their still trying to pull others down into their time-sapping pit of lack and unfulfilled desires by laying out a host of unrealistic rules.

    The business owners on our subscriber list and even many of our clients are incredibly confused with what advice they read from pro-bloggers and other bogging evangelists. That fact is what has made us decide to take the gloves off and reveal the lies scaring off business owners in a new multi-part article series [link removed].

    (Would love to hear your comments and/or contributions on the thoughts put forth since you’re running a real business.)

    The bottom line is (at least for business owners) is that bogging is a very powerful tool for marketing, but it’s only powerful when combined with a broader New Media focus and a complete click-and-mortar marketing strategy.


  6. I did laugh at his “royals vs. peasants” metaphor. Amusing, and probably accurate. For all the blogosphere’s talk about democracy and empowerment, in some sectors we’ve successfully revived the caste system.

    Still, Carr’s on my RSS feed ever since I stumbled across his anti-corporate blogging post (rule #1: don’t do it). I’d largely forgotten it, but given our recent discussions here, I thought it might be good reading…

  7. I think it’s a matter of expecations. This is a situation where typewriters became presses, and the assumption was that attention would follow along. Many voices singing at the same time aren’t a choir. Blogs aren’t doomed, but people’s collective attention to blogs, I believe, is. I wrote about it at my site, which is yet another standalone voice, until such time as I build a multi-user platform like this one.

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