Wednesday, March 02, 2005

But you gotta have something to actually link to, right?

Okay, it all started with a recent blog post by a new company called, a consultancy specifically for companies wishing to start blogs and wikis as ways of promoting the company itself. That post goes out of its way to emphasize that it's no longer original content that matters when it comes to building an audience on the web, but merely how good you are at building a network of communication with your site - quality posts to other people's interesting original content, in other words, with a proactive policy towards trackbacks, commenting and RSS feeds.

This in turn inspired a post by marketing expert Joel Cere (Ed: misspelled on purpose, because I can't find the foreign-language keystrokes at this damn internet cafe), in which he brings up an interesting question: What if all writers on the internet take this attitude, and eventually stop producing any original content for people to link to in the first place? The opinions about blogs that Blogging Planet advocate, he offers, may have their place, but ultimately a business must produce a certain amount of original content themselves, if they are to have any chance at building a passionate online audience.

This then inspired yet another post, this time by one of Blogging Planet's founders, Neville Hobson, writing at his blog "NevOn" (but found by me through its reprint at the eZine Web Pro News). Mr. Hobson doesn't deny the practicality of what Mr. Cere says, but does reiterate Blogging Planet's original opinion - that it is the way you present other people's original content, and the way that you build an interactive audience at your own blog, that is much more important to a business blog's success than creating original content yourself.

So what does all of this have to do with underground artists? Simple - just as there are some business people who are better at writing original articles, and some who are better at finding these articles and pointing them out to others, so too are there amateurs, underground artists, and others throughout society that fall into one of these two camps as well. I don't think there's anything inherently better or worse about one of these types of bloggers over the other (indeed, I've made an argument at my main journal before about how important such "editorial bloggers" are for the arts), but a blogger owes it to herself to determine which kind she is. There are too many people floating around out there, I think, who bill themselves to their online audience as "creative writers," when in fact they're contributing almost no original creative content to the world at all, only whatever creativity is inherent in their entries pointing people to other sites. Like I said, I see nothing wrong (and a lot of benefits) to such "professional bloggers," "editorial bloggers," or whatever term you want to use; bloggers themselves, though, would do a lot of good in their lives by determining what kind of blogger they are, and to focus on this idea each time they write yet another entry for their site.