Good Bloggers Keep Secrets

    February 7, 2005

Scoble says bloggers can and do keep secrets and I whole heartedly agree. He was responding to a claim by Frank Barnako …

… of Marketwatch that bloggers won’t keep a secret.

If you’re a blogger worth his/her salt then it’s a well known fact that you’ve got a bag full of secrets you’re not going to unloose on the public. Why won’t you release these juicy tidbits that would result in tons of traffic and 15 minutes of fame? Because people trust you and when the trust is gone then you’ll not be privy to any more secrets. The relationship between a good blogger and his sources is no different than a journalist’s relationship with their insider informants.

It’s a simple fact of life that some will sacrifice their reputation for fame because the tempation is just too much for them to handle. Others place more value on lasting relationships with people who expand their minds and enrich their lives with intelligent and challenging converesations. I subsribe to the lasting relationship school of thought and have found that single decision has brought me more professional fulfillment in blogging and business than the 15 minutes of fame approach.

Good bloggers are like the old iceberg analogy, the part of the iceberg you see on the surface is just the tip and the vast majority is beneath the ocean surface. If you have the chance to look beneath the surface just once you’ll find yourself captivated by the sheer power of the iceberg’s presence and you’ll want to come back for more. Each visit spent beneath the surface of the ocean exploring the iceberg creates as many questions as it answers and this is the essence of good blogging.

You always want to see what’s going through the blogger’s brain, especially as it relates to the industry and areas they’re interested in. If a good blogger forsakes his sources and starts handing out secrets like candy he not only ruins his relationship with interesting sources but he does his readers a disservice. Because now the blogger doesn’t have the insight he once did because doors begin to close that were once open. Now he’s just an another outsider looking in wondering what’s going on.

As a personal note I’d like to say that many doors have been opened to me with the understanding that I’m not going to disclose the information shown to me unless my sources want me to. Maybe we’ll have some secrets revealed later this week, who knows.

Anyway, Scoble’s spot on and this goof from MarketWatch needs to get his head straight. Honestly, his comments on bloggers is pretty funny and doesn’t surprise me one bit based on the fact he’s from “Corporate America” but wants to be an expert in what’s hot and cool online and today that’s blogs.

With that in mind I’ve got to say that I think Robert Scoble is doing a good thing at Microsoft. Even though Bill Gates gets a lot of flack for being the capitalist we all love to hate, he’s got a good thing in Scoble and I hope we’ll see a lot more from the upper left coast in the near future.

Jason Dowdell is a technology entrepreneur and operates the Marketing Shift blog.