Friday, November 24, 2006

Time for a Blog Cull?

"There are now 57 million blogs worldwide and mainstream media have jumped on the bandwagon, often with no more thought about why they were doing it.

"Editors are to blame. First for not recognising that blogging requires specific skills and providing training for those journalists they want to blog. Second, for not working out what is the purpose of these blogs. Third for not reading their publication's blogs and culling those that are serving little purpose."

I am not a protectionist by nature, but Grant Campbell-Adamson, writing in Press Gazette's Discuss Journalism slot, is talking a great deal of sense here.

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james higham said...

There is a current debate on the role of the blog on three sites, of which I'm one, Paul. Mine is a case in point. It does not get the huge traffic which Guido, Iain and you do so should it be culled? Is it contributing to thought? I'm updating my post now with your link.

Paul Linford said...

Well, firstly, my traffic is nothing like Guido or Iain's, and that's a subject I might be returning to shortly.

But no, of course your blog should not be culled James. I'm talking here about newspapers and broadcasters which have started up blogs without knowing wtf the word actually means or what they are supposed to be doing. I could name names, but it would be ungallant, and in any case the guilty know who they are.

MorrisOx said...

Time not just for a cull but for a sense of proportion.

Blogs may be influential in the hothouse atmosphere of London media/politics and among the chattering/activist class, but they remain minor league among average Joes.

My suspicisions about the influence of blogs & podcasts is confirmed by a survey reported on BBC News online's technology section yesterday ( which demonstrates that while interest in these mechanisms may be rising it is still small and struggling to hold interest.

Not to say they won't be of wider interest as time goes by, but the hype about the concept is currently running way ahead of its importance on the street.

As you well know yourself, Paul, corporate sre still struggling to get their heads what all this means.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you meant "Andrew Grant-Adamson".

Paul Linford said...

Doh! I've obviously got Campbell on the brain...

Gracchi said...

I wonder if the concept of the longtail is useful here. My blog for instance is really a minority interest- I was just looking at what I've recently written about and Brazilian films, John Winthrop the first governor of Massachussets and Anna Politkovskaya come to mind as things that won't get many people excited but I was provoked enough to write about them and I hope some of my readers were interested. Its the same with blogs I read I appreciate the quirky if well thought through blog rather than the middle of the road I could get this off the BBC blog. Seems to me that someone like me is never going to get Dale or Guido stats but then isn't really aiming for them but is aiming for a small yet quirky audience. Still I think there is a virtue in having these smaller blogs because I hope they spread ideas that till now have remained closeted in Academia or elsewhere and now are accessible to the rest of the world. Judging by lots of the google searches that end with me, there are people out there looking for info which I often through an article written weeks before and unwittingly help supply. I don't know but that might be a justification of us tiddlers in the Blogging fishtank!