Has anyone noticed just how many bloggers blog about blogging? This subject is commonly known as metablogging and it also includes blogs about making money by blogging or blogs about blogs that blog about blogging. Uh, it’s just that confusing.
Now don’t get me wrong; I realize that there is a time and place for everything and I am not completely against this kind of behavior. We just need to keep in mind that a large majority of blog readers probably aren’t bloggers themselves so the information is not as pertinent as you’d think. Also, the type of content I see most often on these kinds of sites is pretty much an echo of something else another metablogger already said.
Just like the age-old question about the chicken and the egg, I honestly cannot figure out which came first, blogging or blogging about blogging. From the earliest days, metabloggers have been satisfied with the notion that talking about their craft through the very medium of their craft is fine and dandy, as long as others are doing the same thing. It’s one thing to add to the topic in a meaningful way and another thing to talk just for the sake of talking. Before you get all bent out of shape reading this, realize that I support the former rather than the latter, but within moderation of course.
In a sense, it seems like many bloggers don’t even write for any particular audience, but rather they do it for themselves. They see blogging as a path to self-enlightenment or as a way to become better writers and more knowledgeable in a particular field. I certainly agree with this view to an extent, because I look at blogging as a way to learn about various subjects in great detail. At the same time however, I realize just how important it is to always remain mindful of your audience and to refrain from producing content solely for marketing or moneymaking purposes.
Maybe I have it all wrong, but blogging about blogging is just a little redundant. I see blogs as a means to an end, not an end in itself. To talk about the method and not what the method seeks to accomplish just seems a bit silly. As the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once remarked, “Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’” We need to apply this logic to blogging; is this or that topic really necessary?
For a while I was worried that the sudden and severe uptick in the amount of content being published related to blogging would make it very difficult to discern the good blogs from all the rest, but in reality that hasn’t been the case. You see, thankfully search engine technologies such as ranking algorithms (Google’s PageRank, etc.) have kept up with the increased amount of data being pushed onto the Interwebs. This means that regardless of how much junk is out there, you’ll probably still be able to find just what you’re looking for thanks primarily to the power of smart search engines.
The other thing that has helped us sift through all this new data is the rising status of the social web. Social bookmarking and social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and others have helped us figure out just how much value certain data has over others, based on the suggestions of our friends, coworkers, family members, fans and those we “follow.”
In fact, I believe that without the effectiveness of the social web in filtering content for us, we’d most likely become discouraged to produce new content because of the surplus that already exists. You can search for pretty much any topic under the sun and someone has probably blogged about it already. How are we supposed to know which articles carry weight and which are just plain garbage? In our time-crunched world, we rely on search technologies and (more recently) social technologies to help us determine what to focus on.
As I mentioned previously, I see the scale tipping in favor of social technologies as of late and we’ll just need to wait and see how this affects bloggers down the road. Until then, I guess bloggers like myself will just keep on pumping out content for the entire world to see, starting with this very article which I just realized could be construed as hypocritical since it denounces bloggers who blog about blogging while at the same time perpetuating the cycle by covering that very subject. Hey, at least I’m being honest about it.