Blog Buzz Can Be Misleading

    August 26, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

When I step out of the office at the end of the day and rejoin the pedestrian masses, I am quick to notice that nobody’s talking about blogs. Just using the word “blog” in conversation is greeted with blank stares, or at best, a squinty “I heard something about that on the news.” End of blog conversation, on to P. Diddy’s name change and how much we hate [insert fashionable annoyance here].

Is the adoption of blogs into the mainstream overhyped? Discuss in WebProWorld.

In fact, for a large percentage of those I meet, the Internet in general (much less its various nooks) is still a novelty-even now in 2005. At happy hour, just try telling an accountant or a mechanic that you work for a Dot Com without them looking at you as if your job is something imaginary. I assure them it’s as real as the money I’m using to buy a drink for them.

When you spend eight hours a day or so in cyber space, your scope of the world grows increasingly walleyed. The condition is intensified in Geekdom, as the best and brightest work continually to build and simplify this great new realm, even if it’s still way ahead of collective awareness.

Just yesterday, as I tagged along with a real estate rep friend of mine as he hammered his signs into lawns around town, I gushed about using a blog as a marketing strategy, as well as the importance of search engine marketing and how he should look into both. It was like telling a fish to try walking.

This why I take issue with the blogger buzz we hear so much about. We’re still on the fringe here, I think, pioneering our way into the mainstream, living in whispers.

So 80,000 new blogs are set up every day, most of which are turning out to be spam blogs (splogs), and a huge percentage of the 15 or so million are abandoned or rarely updated.

This isn’t to say that we’re not witnessing a phenomenon, only to say that online buzz and real world buzz are two entirely different things.

Duncan Riley at BlogHerald has already outlined three generations of bloggers spanning just seven years. The first four years are the exclusive property of uber-geeks, the realm where all great tech waves are born. From 2002 to 2004, according to Riley, we saw the second generation of bloggers polish up their bullhorns, adding political, marketing, and philosophical pebbles into the blogocean.

But I feel Riley may be jumping the gun a little by claiming we’ve graduated to yet another blog generation after just two years. Riley’s 3G, the consumer bloggers, is the mainstream blogopolitan (it’s enormously fun to make up words anymore).

Though it may be that blogs are no longer the exclusive property of geeks, it is still primarily a geek realm that the rest of the world is just beginning to catch on to, at least from what I can see. As techies are always ahead, there is the illusion of wholesale adoption, but we may not actually see the spread of 3G until 2006, maybe 2007.