Have you noticed how blogs can give a person more authority just by virtue of the fact that their thoughts are “published”. In some circumstances this can be pretty bad, at least for the gullible. How many times will people make decisions based on advice or reviews that basically comes down to acting on the opinion of “some guy on the internet”?
For some reason the same person could post the same thoughts in a forum and not get noticed, but publish a popular blog and all of a sudden they seem to be an expert. No additional qualifications, no visible change in talent, experience, wisdom or clarity of thought. No, just the same thoughts published in a blog.
It seems in a certain segment of the online population a blog is like having a book published. The act of publishing bestows some veneer of authority. Having been published and technical edited/reviewed others I know what a fallacy even that is but at least with print publishing there is some fact checking, at least with the good publishers a modicum of quality control. Nothing stops a blogger spouting absolute complete offal and having it taken as gospel.
OK so most of the time the blogger has to build up some sort of following before this takes place but I actually believe it is that very following that causes many bloggers to think they know better. “10,000 rss readers can’t be wrong”. After this happens comments they make that would be taken as trollish in other media becomes dogma for their followers. Just look how disproportionately influential some blogs have become, say, in the web2.0, tech or marketing crowds. Yes some of them deserve to be popular, but do they deserve to be followed blindly? I would say no-one deserves that. A healthy level of cynicism is worthwhile while reading anything on the interweb.
The good news is this affect can be used to your own evil advantage if you want to generate consultancy work, attract writing and speaking gigs or just become internet famous. Just remember wise words from Spiderman; “with great power comes great responsibility”.
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