Why I Hate Bloggers


Here’s something you may not know about me: I hate bloggers and I hate blogging. And if you want to know why, the New York Times did a pretty good job illustrating the point yesterday. The medium is thankless and the people who do it…oh my goodness are they some of the most whiny, annoying and vapid people on the planet. Bloggers need to be locked in an Internet-void room and kept there. And their leader Robert Scoble can go with them.

Every few months we see these articles posted in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or some other Prestigious IRL News Outlet about the thousands of abandoned blogs scattered all over the Web created by boring people who weren’t loved enough as children. People who jumped on the blogging bandwagon in the mid ‘90s thinking it was their ticket to widespread validation, head pats and where they could unload their drama about how traumatic high school was. But (SHOCKINGLY!) no one cared. No one commented. No one offered them a book deal. And they weren’t even cast in a movie with Brad Pitt. So they abandoned their blog, all whiny and disillusioned. Cry me a river.

And sadly, hundreds of new boring ass blogs are created every day by more whiny ass people. And what’s great about it, is that it’s always blogging that is blamed for their failure. Listen to the NYT explain the “serious letdown” that most face from “the blogging hype”:

“No longer would writers toil in anonymity or suffer the indignities of the publishing industry, we were told. Finally the world of ideas would be democratized! This was the catnip that intoxicated Mrs. Nichols. “That was when people were starting to talk about blogs and how anyone could, if not get famous, get their opinions out there and get them read,” she recalled. “I just wanted to post something interesting and get people talking, but mostly it was just my sister commenting.”

The problem is you didn’t post anything interesting. It was only your sister commenting because you were boring. You provided no value to anyone outside of your immediate family. You weren’t writing a blog. You were writing your Christmas letter to Aunt Millie. Not even your family is interested in that letter. That’s why it’s crumpled up the kitchen drawer right now.

The problem with blogging is also what originally made it great. It’s that anyone can do it. Unfortunately, most people shouldn’t. Because they’re boring. And they have nothing to say. So instead of using the Web to be interesting, they just start talking about their day as if people care. And they do that until they realize that no one does cares and then they blame blogging for their failure.

And I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the whiny lifestyle bloggers. I’m tired of hearing all the excuses for why you suck. I’m tired of being lumped into an association of “bloggers” when I resent the term. Being called a “blogger” is an insult. Not even Google takes Blogger seriously.

And I understand why.

Blogging is kind of like the film industry. A fraction of the people who move to Hollywood with big dreams and stars in their eyes actually deserve and achieve real success. The rest of the wannabes take jobs as waiters and continue to call themselves actors. They’re like the Nancy Suns of the world who get interviewed by the NYT and say crap like this:

“To be honest, I would love a book deal to come out of my blog,” she wrote. “Or I would love for Salad Days to give me a means to be financially independent to continue pursuing and sharing what I love with the world.”


I hate bloggers because their “hobby” gives my profession a bad name. We’re not doing the same thing. The thousands of words I write for different blogs on the Web each week is not the same as Molly writing about her day, attracting comments from her sister and her two best friends. But we’re lumped into the same category. And that’s why blogging is a joke. Because 95 percent of the people who blog treat it that way.

Most people start blogging thinking it’s a magic bullet. It’s not. Even if you started in the early ‘90s, it wasn’t. A blog can absolutely help people find success. But it’s only going to make you successful if you were already going to be successful. That is, if you’re an interesting person. If you have something interesting to say. If you have a story. If you can do something with your blog. Those are the people who have become “famous” from blogging. But most people aren’t interesting. They’re not special. And they’re not pretty either. Your mother was lying to you. So is your spouse.

Here’s the simple truth: A blog won’t make you less boring, it will just emphasize the fact that you are. That’s why most blogs fail. Not because blogging is overhyped or because people “lose interest”. It’s because you treated your blog like your family newsletter and no one cared. If you’re going to start a blog in 2009, for God’s sake, be interesting. Find a niche that you can stand out in and where you can offer something valuable. Otherwise, do all of us a favor and create a Twitter account instead.

Your Comments

  • seo consultant

    Nice piece of controversial link bait!! ;)

  • Vince Stevenson

    To blog really well, you have to be 100% focussed. I have noticed in recent months that the quality of blogs is diminishing. I suspect that people and their companies are overstretched and perhaps they have neither the time nor resources to do it well. Rgds Vince

  • Chen Daniel

    very interesting point of view

  • Joel

    I do not entirely agree on all specific points, however the overall idea that you are talking about i do agree with.

    I think to many people have somehow gained the false illusion that blogging will be a quick way to make a fortune. Which it 100% guaranteed is not the case. I would be as bold to say that not one person has made a quick fortune from blogging. Yes there are some professional bloggers that make good money from their blogs, but it is because of hard work that has created that for them.

    I do believe it is unfortunate that blogging does lump everyone together, as bloggers. When in reality there is nothing even remotely the same between someone using a blog as a tool to share information as is the case here, and someone who chooses to use a blog like they would have previously used a diary.

    Great post.

  • James

    Don’t hold back, Lisa, say what you really think.

    There seems to be a very clear distinction between people who blog about what they had for breakfast (cereal btw, not bad but the milk was a little…suspect) and people who write articles on blogs. Whilst the former can easily be labelled bloggers, the latter seem to be trapped in a grey area between blogger and journalist (kinda like Sean Hannity being wedged somewhere between reporter and ‘commentator’). If someone is trying to discredit your work, you’re a ‘blogger’ [normally accompanied with a dramatic eye roll] and unworthy of being taken seriously, else you’re an online journalist/columnist/other title deserving of respect.

    I think that as the medium matures, the distinction between blogger and online journalist will become more readily accepted and all y’all bloggalists will start to get more R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

    Unfortunately, I dont think the boring lifestyle blogger phenomenon is going anywhere anytime soon.

  • Heather Solos

    I keep a personal blog, I have no aspirations for that. It is my Christmas letter, but it’s too myself and if friends and family members want to peek in, fine, that’s why it’s on the web.
    I also run two other sites. One began as a blog, but other than being published in a chronological fashion, I’m not sure it’s a true blog. Lastly, I co-run a community hub where we highlight content from local blogs. At times I get frustrated with some of the same complaints you mentioned. Yet, mixed in with the Christmas letters and whiners, there are some gems that don’t get the attention they deserve.

  • The Style PA

    Please don’t include me in the ‘bloggers you hate’ pile. I work extremely hard to keep my blogs current and provide value for my readers. Blogging continues to open doors for me and provides a fabulous networking opportunity. More importantly, it is a way to be part of a wider blogging community.

    Also, what is wrong with someone creating their own public diary for those who DO want to read it. Those who are not interested can simply go somewhere else. There is plenty of room on the web for all of us. I do agree though, that if you abandon a blog, delete it. Useless clutter is of no benefit to anyone.

  • BarbaraKB

    We are not all called to blog… amen. But tweet? Oh yeah, we all should be doing *that*! :-)

  • JoshPerson

    Good article and I agree with a lot of it.

    I don’t know who I despise more, boring/whiny bloggers or 14 year-olds with tech blogs who basically copy and paste everything from engadget.

  • Matt Davies

    Lisa, do you have to edit out ten hate filled comments to every gushing one you approve? I just can’t see how, as a blogger yourself (whatever you say, you write primarily on blogs) you can appoint yourself judge of the rest of the internet. Not everyone has the luxury of being paid to spew “content” out to the internet, or the connections or know-how to make sure they have an audience, so of course it’s not surprising that some blogs are left to go fallow when most people have other, more productive things to be getting on with. Take, oh, I don’t know…. the blog at http://www.kneesockz.com/blog/. 5 posts in 6 months and no updates since March. I mean, here’s a blog that the you obviously have a passion for, and are an authority in. I’m guessing you also recieve next to no renumeration for it, and so you’ve done very little with it. Just like the rest. It must be difficult to live with such self loathing.

  • jlbraaten

    Ever since I found you live-blogging SMX, you’ve quickly become one of my favorite internet personalities. So feisty and oh so right about a lot of things.

    I don’t care if this post was directed at me.

  • MikeTek

    You can take the “diary” style route – but nobody will care unless you’re already remarkable and popular. There isn’t a drip of novelty left in this medium.

    For everyone else, it’s either A) start putting out remarkable content and get the word out about it or B) recognize that your stuff isn’t interesting to anyone other than you and your immediate family.

    The same goes for Twitter. There’s no barrier of entry, but if you’re just adding noise and no signal people will ignore you.

  • Lisa Barone

    SEO Consultant: I’m not deleting your anchor text because its too early and I’m tired and I’m waiting for my coffee to brew. You’re welcome. Next time please don’t spam our blog.

    Vince: To blog well you need to focus on a niche that you can bring value to and then constantly deliver. However, that’s not what most people think blogging is. They think blogging is Livejournal. And writing about their lives. And then they get emo and sad when no one cares. I don’t think it’s a “time and resources” thing. I think its a “people don’t understand what blogging is” thing.

    Joel: Agreed. Blogging is not a “get rich quick” scheme and how it got that tagline, I’m not entirely sure. Thanks for the comment!

    James: I completely agree. I hope that in time there will be some sort of distinction between Cereal bloggers and those that just use blogs as a medium, but I think it’s a long way out. And in the meantime, you’re exactly right, I’m tired of the discrediting eye roll everytime someone wants to put me down. When they have nothing else to rebute, the “you’re just a blogger” line is very easy to throw out. It’s become a weapon.

    Heather/The Style PA: And there’s nothing wrong with Christmas letter blogs. They serve a purpose for you (generic you) and your circle. It’s when the NYT starts interviewing “bloggers” for their “real news pieces” and talk about how these folks were victims of the blogging hype that I want to start poking people in the face with forks. Blogging is not at fault for

    Matt: For the record, the reason I haven’t updated kneesockz is because I no longer own the site. Someone else does and they’ve chosen to leave it as. As for the “connections” and “getting paid” jab, it’s not as if I showed up on the Internet one day and was awarded a job. I earned the fact that I can support myself through these little blogs I write for. Any connections I have are connections that I have built. By myself and for myself.

    jlbraaten: Thank you sir. :)

  • Jill Whalen

    You could substitute “blogger” with “SEO” and have the same problem.

    There are professionals in any field and there are the rest who give them a bad name.

  • Lisa Barone

    Jill: 100 percent agreed. But people are allowed to stand up for the valid SEOs. Because that’s worthy of respect. However, us “bloggers” should just be quiet and go back to whining about our lives on the Internet.

  • Rae Hoffman

    Matt, my personal blog, Sugarrae.com hasn’t been updated in months. Cause I haven’t had anything I really felt like saying. Posting to post is not different than talking just to talk – and about as many people feel like listening to it.

    As for Lisa being “paid” to blog. No, she isn’t. She is primarily “paid” because she owns 1/3 of her own company, she eats what she helps kill by building the brand and visibility of HER company.

  • netmeg

    OK, now I get it. Blogging is like cocaine. No wonder I’ve been tempted over the years to start one, but always pull back. I am put in mind of that routine from Bill Cosby’s movie where he asks the user why he likes cocaine;

    user: It intensifies your personality!
    cosby: But what if you’re an asshole?

    The world could do with a whole lot less navel gazing.

  • Matt Davies

    Re: kneesocks… you might want to get on that then, you can see how I (and perhaps others) might have jumped to conclusions given that your name and face are plastered all over the site.

    Re: Having connections and getting paid. You took it as a jab, I wouldn’t myself. I didn’t say or imply you owe anyone anything, just that not everyone is lucky enough to work online, get paid to blog and at the same time gain exposure. You no doubt worked hard to get your foot in the door and get to where you are today, but your career as blogger-for-hire will help you with any personal blogging endeavours you may make, and this is an significant advantage that those who blog exclusively in their spare time, for free, do not have! If more people could mix their “hobby” and professions like you, I’m sure there would be far fewer dead blogs.

  • Kaytii

    What may be boring and uninteresting to you may be exciting and useful to others. If everyone blogged about the same thing, the world would be a boring place. Yes, some blogs are filled with nothing more than what one has done all day but I believe those posts are more for friends and family of that particular person. My blog isn’t top notch, but I have helped several people with the information that I’ve posted. It’s also great therapy for me. If someone doesn’t like it or think it’s boring, they don’t have to read it.

    Perhaps you should be rename what you do as online journaling like the above comment mentioned. This would remove you from being pooled together with us who blog as a “hobby.”

  • Matt Davies

    Rae: I was making the assumption that Lisa doesn’t do all the blogging for Outspoken in her own free time, it was part of her daily “work”, and so what she is getting paid for. No doubt Lisa also contributes lots of other stuff to the company that we don’t hear about.

  • Lisa Barone

    Matt: I totally understand the kneesockz point and I’d love for my name, face and association to be removed. I’m working on it. Because yes, it does look like I just gave up on the project when that’s really not what happened.

  • Lina

    All bloggers do is whine, she whined.

  • Jon Buscall

    I like to think of personal “my cat is an angel” blogs as online journals; blogs might have started off that way but problogs are now highly niched online content.

    What the NYT did yesterday was very lame and clearly shows they have no grasp of quality internet content creators. Unfortunately, they probably don’t read blogs like this one – although they should!

  • Rae Hoffman

    >>>Rae: I was making the assumption that Lisa doesn’t do all the blogging for Outspoken in her own free time, it was part of her daily “work”, and so what she is getting paid for. No doubt Lisa also contributes lots of other stuff to the company that we don’t hear about.

    Matt, her “work” is branding and visibility… so the blogging isn’t her “work” – it is simply a part of her overall branding and visibility strategy :) — she has metrics to meet just like any other member of a promotional team.

  • Cocles

    As a working professional screenwriter and a working blogger… I can doubly empathize. If you’re bored of the eye-rolls, you really do have no choice but to describe yourself as something else, “Blogger? Oh no, I’m a ‘Web-Writer”. I write ARTICLES that get published on the internet.”

  • Lisa Barone

    Rae: You forget about all the other stuff I do at Outspoken. Like making the coffee, getting Rhea lunch, taking your phone messages and the circus tricks I perform every day at 3pm on the street corner. I try to thank you guys for letting me into your company by making myself useful in all sorts of ways. :)

    Cocles: Oh yes, I never identify myself as a blogger. Because either I get a “that’s cute, and are your parents waiting for you to move out?” look or how I have to explain what I blog is. And as my mother would say, I don’t have enough spit for that. I tell people I’m a writer. And if they ask what I write for, I tell them the marketing company. That I co-own. :)

  • Matt Davies

    I LOVE a good semantic arguement, thanks Rae! Personally, if I was at my place of work, working, getting paid for my work, and my work at that particular time was to write a blog, I’d consider myself to be getting paid to blog. Rather like, I guess, I’m getting paid to write this comment as I’m sat here doing so on my boss’ coin. If commenting on this blog was something I did for a decent portion of most days I doubt I’d balk at the suggestion that I get paid to comment here.

    Hey look I made it through a comment without any quotation marks.

  • streko

    Lisa makes a wicked cup of coffee.

  • Bejan A.

    The easier it becomes to publish online, the more Internet pollution and idiocy will emerge. Yes, twitter proves this. Information cascades that lead nowhere or to the same place. Collective effervescence that will nauseate you. I want it to mean something, but so often it doesn’t. I’m tired of it too.

    At the same time, I find inspiration and consolation in the fact that the Internet “levels the playing field” and can possibly enable otherwise disadvantaged talent to compete and to realize enormous opportunity.

  • Rae Hoffman

    It’s not a semantic argument – it is you implying Lisa is simply “paid to blog”. You clearly lack the understanding that the blogging is a tool for her real job and that she isn’t paid to blog. She is paid to brand. You’re citing one SLICE of her daily activities as her entire career. But considering you’re pissing off on someone else’s dime, I don’t expect you to understand those “bigger life concepts” even with “the quotes”.

    Hey, look at that! I made it through a comment without calling a moron an asshat. :)

  • Rhea Drysdale

    I’m hungry… can you get me lunch? And by lunch I mean, let’s go to a mutually agreed upon location, pay separately, discuss the PILE of client work and proposals we have to take care of and make fun of blog comments. I’d like that very much. k, thnx.

  • Matt Davies

    Hehehe, okay Rae. Dig your heels in and get defensive, question my intelligence then end on a nice passive aggressive smiley face. When you’re done with that, go check my posts and realise I never said those things, regardless of what you inferred.

  • Lisa Barone

    Now, now, ladies, please go back to your respective corners and play nicely. #momeye

  • Rae Hoffman

    I only get defensive if I think I’m playing with someone at the same level and feel insulted by someone I respect. You’re mistaking condescending for defensive. Additionally, a passive aggressive person avoids confrontation. Ask around. I’m no where feeling the need to avoid confrontation. :)

  • Jeremy @ BuzzStream

    Another reason to hate the folks who treat it as a ‘joke’– when it comes time to extend journalistic priveleges to professional bloggers, the clowns weaken real blogger’s case.

    Imagine what happens to O’Grady’s PowerPage if they get treated the same of some blog with “random musings” in the subtitle.

  • Lisa Barone

    Matt, I want to thank you for the constructive comments. They’re appreciated and we welcome them. :)

    Additional nonconstructive comments, even from Outspoken co-founders, will be deleted. Rae.

  • Rae Hoffman

    Yes ma’am. [innocent look]

  • streko

    Its 11:30 – you know if you don’t Rhea’s lunch on her desk at exactly 12 you get docked salary…

    I’d go handle that.

  • Yoshimi

    This is just what guest blogging was invented for…for those of us who only have 3 interesting things to say a year!

  • Ian Waugh

    “Anyone can post messages to the net. Practically everyone does. The resulting cacophony drowns out serious discussion.”
    — Clifford Stoll, Silicon Snake Oil, 1995

    I suppose the good thing about bad blogging is that it’s very easy to ignore. Nobody gets hurt, do they?

  • Joe Hall

    Has anyone ever considered pushing for a new term? Let bloggers be bloggers, and folks that draw a paycheck they could be something like Online Journalist? Content Developers? Professional Word Monkeys? Branding Support Specialist?

    …hey, I just noticed the green footer on your site, I like that color…

  • Mark

    Great rant, Lisa. Love it. Everybody, out of the pool!

  • Michelle Robbins

    Loved this article Lisa – and I’ve felt this way since the inception of blogging. I think writing is a very specific talent (one you’ve got in spades) and not everyone has it. And that’s ok – if you want to keep an online diary. But there are many talented, professional writers publishing exclusively on the web. Problem is, right now, all are painted with the same (blogger) brush.

    I think that once more traditional print publishing moves exclusively online and the signal to noise ratio is improved by journalism really arriving and taking hold here – the professionals and amateurs will be sorted – and you’ll have writers, journalists and bloggers identified as such, instead of all online writers being called ‘bloggers’.

  • Carlos Miceli

    That article from the NYT was way too tweeted. Is it really groundbreaking news that blogging is not for everyone? Heck, is it really news that blogging is only for 5% (or less) of the people?

    I remember a post about Seth Godin that really stucked with me, a couple of years ago. It was the death of personal blogs. It’s not that you can’t have a personal blog, but if you blog about yourself, well, you’ll die. Or stop blogging, whatever comes first.

    The only way to blog in a personal way and still succeed is not only to have passion and authority, but also to talk about anything but yourself. Because we don’t care. It’s boring, and most of the times also stupid.

    The whole idea of a blogging title makes no sense. That’s like saying you’re a skirt or t-shirt wearer just because you have them. We should just stop using it, it’s an ugly word and it’s not respected outside social media.

    Last random thought: I truly believe that there are no rules when it comes to social media. Maybe there should be, but there aren’t. And that’s when I can’t stand all the attention that we still give to stupid articles like the one from the NYT. A traditional slow newspaper will only talk about what makes hype, what sells. They are just manipulating the data, because we all know that those 95% blogs don’t matter. That 5% provides enough value to counter the boring ones.

  • chris

    Thanks for wasting my time and blogging about this. I think I’m supposed to hate you now!

  • Rob Woods

    To Jill Whalen’s point above … you could replace blogger with almost any skilled profession and the article would still be pertinent. In almost any endeavor that requires skill and hard work, many many people are simply going to suck. Sorry, that’s the way it is. There’s a reason that one out of ten thousand people make it on American Idol (I’m not admitting that I watch it). It’s because the other 9,999 suck at singing, even if they don’t think that they do. I’d say the ratio for writing is likely at least as high. To be a skilled, intelligent, entertaining writer is a rare skill and not everyone who has a blog should be judged together just as every fat armchair quarterback isn’t going to win the Superbowl. I agree that 99.9% of the people blogging shouldn’t expect any recognition. Truly quality writing that I’ll take the time out of my day to read is pretty rare…

  • Jennifer Tran

    I see your point although – really, you could have said the same thing for twitter as it’s filled with even MORE people broadcasting more of their thoughts at a much higher rate, if no one cared about their everyday lives then why the big twitter blow up? Is anyone really going to say that Ashton Kutcher is *that* interesting? Did that deter him from success? I read a lot of blogs (small time and big time) because it gives me insight into other people’s opinions. A bit harsh on the commentary. (But, bad content is bad content I’ll give you that.)

  • Ken at HCG

    LOL … looks like the controversy worked well. But perhaps we have all gotten off track of what a blog is:
    Defined Blog: Short for Web log, a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.

    blog (a shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies)

  • Kieran Hawe

    So what if 99% of the millions upon millions of blogs out there are useless dribble? Someone writing their first blog about their cats dietary intake has every right to call themselves a “blogger” as does the best who have been doing it for years. Great thing about the internet is that you CHOOSE what sites you visit and what blogs you read,

    Personally I could care less about what someone is called – journalist, writer, blogger…who cares. It is about the content you produce now what you are called.

    Hey, but great buzz / link bait – got me reading and commenting.

  • El Santo

    Down with blogs!

    I’m with ya. Blogs are the downfall of Western civilization.

  • Alan Bleiweiss

    I like @James comment :
    “kinda like Sean Hannity being wedged somewhere” Yes, me too. Like between Rush Limbaughs butt cheeks. But seriously – I digress. Isn’t there a saying about “If you don’t have something worthwhile to contribute..”

    Except at various times, we all think what we want to say is going to be worth saying. It’s like the fact that there only used to be a half dozen television channels.

    No. Seriously. There were! But then Cable TV came along. And now look at the mess of crap out there on the tube. Oh yeah. It’s a flat panel now, not a tube.

    Anyhow – most of the time the stuff on TV now more than ever is just regurgitated story lines from past movies or TV shows, or it’s re-runs – the same crap being played out over and over.

    That’s why I love when the rare show comes along that’s truly interesting. It’s rare, and it’s a gemstone among pumice rocks. Kinda like the rare distinctly fascinating voice among all the shrill shower-singing wish-they-were voices.

    Sure the majority of it pollutes the air. Yet just think of how many great writers online that just might have got their start stumbling and bumbling.

    And as for main stream 20th century media ragging on the whole lot of us, in a stereotypical way, well that’s just cause they’re fighting to hold onto their old world life.

  • virgo27

    thx for telling us how you really feel. lol. i, personally, enjoy blogging, but that’s not to say that everyone should read my blog. it’s up to you to continue reading a blog where the author is whiny or boring. readers have to choose and be very picky; there are good writers and bad writers, but as you mentioned, everyone has access to blogging, that doesn’t mean that they should be locked in an internet-void room, just don’t read their blog.

  • lonniebhodge

    Yes, perfect link baiting…

    I started a blog many years ago at the urging of a friend who thought I should my weekly musings about life abroad would be best served on a blog where friends could go at will to catch up with me as I stumbled from one cultural exploit into another….

    I am a professional writer, but I am a blogger as well. They are not the same. A blog by definition drives off those for whom the information is uninteresting. A blog is a personal Web Log of activity done on a website, not an op-ed piece for the Huffington Post (which is no more a blog than the National Enquirer is a newspaper) or the NYT.

    Get over yourself. You may have an knack for controversy, but you are a mediocre writer and not someone I would include in my circle of friends as you are someone likely to judge everyday people by some fabricated subjective standard.

  • Alan

    Hey the comments are pretty interesting than the post…..Got a good start for the day :)

  • Daniel Sevitt

    A little harsh and a tad elitist. I’m not sure we have yet more than a handful of blogs that have elevated the medium beyond the realm of the smart-aleck.

    The average quality for blogs is still far below the average quality of print journalism (or print journalism that is published online). There are blogs that have risen above, but I think it odd to include the self-promoting, blogging-for-business types in this group. Apart from, perhaps, Mr. Godin, most of these kinds of blogs are skimming the intellectual surface at best with lightweight insights into a world that would function just as well without them.

    I think of blogs as kind of reading the side of the cereal box. You have to put something on there and it might as well be readable, but let’s not imagine it’s more than it is. Lots of people buy cereal, very few of them exercise any form of quality control over what they read.

  • rishil

    To be honest – one of the biggest and most repetitive question I get asked is why I dont have a site or a blog. Two reasons: 1. I dont think I can regularly keep adding interesting stuff – I refuse to simply regurgitate the current trend or what someone else did. 2. I just dont need one. I have plenty of connections in the industry now – so I am pretty sure if I feel the need to blog, it will be pretty much taken on by someone :)

    I took Lisa’s parting advice – Otherwise, do all of us a favor and create a Twitter account instead. way before. I simply replaced the need to blog with my twitter a/c and to be honest, I enjoy it very much.

  • Maiko

    Re the kneesox site, nice legs.

  • Mark

    @Daniel Sevitt’s , very much true

  • Matt Davies

    This is some incredible timing Lisa but in just the last 24 hours, kneesockz.com seems to have been redirected to a 404 on kneesocks.com, which is a pretty NSFW domain so be careful! However your blog is still visible – could lead to some, erm, confusion. How bizarre.

  • Lisa Barone

    lonniebhodge: Why is blogging and professional writing any different or held to different standards? Because of the medium or just because you say so? I look at blogs as the medium, not the type of content that is produced. The standard definition of a blog may have been a “personal web log of activity” but I’d like to think that definition has evolved. Maybe it needs some pushing.

    Thanks for the writing critique. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.


    The average quality for blogs is still far below the average quality of print journalism (or print journalism that is published online).

    I think you need to expand your blogroll if that’s the crap you’re reading. Most of the blogs I read far exceed what I’d be reading in print journalism. Enjoy your cereal boxes.

    Matt: Yeah, funny how that happened, isn’t it? All I can is that I’m not involved with the site and its a shame how it’s being handled.

  • Kay

    An alternative title might have been “I’m the most interesting blogger in the universe and everyone else should go away”. Is this is a tongue in cheek rant?

    Reading the whole post it appears to be aimed at self labelled bloggers who dont write well and think they can make money from it? The problem is that it does come across snobbish with the message that nobody else should blog unless they have a particular flair, are easy on the eye or have a following of a few thousand.

    The overall message is reminiscent of the popular girl at school who delights in doing down other people who might not do something as well as she does, dress as well as she does, have as much money as she does.

    Referring to “I hate bloggers because their “hobby” gives my profession a bad name.”

    The beauty of the internet and all the tools that are available is that it isn’t all about doing business and making a profession. Who said that blogging is meant only for interesting, beautiful people who have the drive and acumen to make money from it? Plenty of people use blogging (and have done from the start) to diarise their lives, share thoughts with family and friends, record their personal projects, etc. and I don’t think that its yours or anyone elses place to tell them they aren’t clever or pretty enough to do so.

    I think I get the point, was amused and cant disagree with some points you made but perhaps it was put across a little nastily and condescending.

    One more point, I come across a great many ‘hobby’ blogs with great content little or no participation (from their sister) that rank well and make it harder for ‘business bloggers’ and commercial websites to move up the ranks for target terms – and they wont let you add a link either!. They are the ones that p*ss me off! ;)

  • Lisa Barone

    Kay: Heh. I think the tone you hear is me ripping my hair out when people find out I blog and then I get patted on the head, followed with a “so you write about your life? That’s cute.” Perhaps it’s frustration that there’s not a division of terms for hobby blogs (and I don’t use that term offensively) and news blogs or niche blogs. Because I think they are very different.

    It’s not about popularity or writing ability, to me. My frustration with articles like the recent on in the NYT is that they always blame the medium for why people can’t find an audience. The reason these hobby blogs don’t find an audience is because they’re only meant to be interesting to a handful of people. That’s their audience. It’s like saying the reason I’m not a brain surgeon is because someone lied to be about the effectiveness of the tools. No, the reason I’m not a brain surgeon is because I don’t know how to be a brain surgeon. I didn’t learn how to do it.

    If the post was a little condescending to people who write about their lives and then marvel at the AUDACITY of the world not to care…I’m okay with that. :) I think it’s a little condescending that the job I spend 70ish hours a week doing gets no respect, too.

  • Therese


    I agree with what you have to say, I think i get the point she was trying to make, but it did come off not so nice. I actually felt so much of what you state above that I felt compelled to right a post about it in my boring personal blog. :-)

    Lisa, I think I get what you are trying to say, is all just a bit pretentious.

  • Kay

    Therese – I enjoyed your post, you put it across far more eloquently than I!

    Lisa – I admire that you have the guts to blog openly about things that p*ss you off. I don’t dare because I can get hugely passionate and challenging if something irks me and if my emotions get the better of me I could write something that the next day I really wish I could take back because some people might assume that one post represents all of who I am. So instead I comment on others blogs from time to time ;)

    I have many of those hair ripping out moments. The head patting you get is similar to some reactions when I tell them what I do for a living “bless – she builds little websites”. I don’t build little websites I do online marketing, successfully. They can’t comprehend the level of my service because all they know is how to switch the PC on use Facebook. But the display of ignorance wouldn’t make me want to slap down everyone who doesn’t do things as well I do because it’s not their fault some people don’t know the difference between the address bar and the search bar and others who assume if I work in IT I must be one of those virtual assistants (not doing down VA’s btw!).

    I think its cool to be pleased that you might have condescended the prime target but its not cool to be pleased at, unintentionally or not, hitting at a heap of innocent bystanders in the process.

    I very much doubt your 70hr weeks work gets no respect. You clearly have a following that hang onto your every word ;)

    Peace and love to all!

  • Stephanie

    No, no, no! I want my success and I want it now! Give it to me!

    Huh? It’s not that easy? Oh well.

    I see that attitude so much when people talk about blogging or really just about any home business. They think it’s something easy that will make them money or make them famous. I’ve never understood that attitude. If it were easy, we’d all be famous.

  • Therese


    Thanks for the response, I responded to your comment on the post and updated the post referencing your comment.

  • Paul

    You got respect where it counts, to myself, and many others, your a modern day logarithmic wordsmith. I hate blogging about seo, marketing etc… throw me a bone and let me loose on a clients site about some mundane topic and i’m having kittens.

    Personal blogs are just that ‘personal’, to be paid for your efforts is a different bedtime story completely, it’s one where the happy-ever-afters are followed by some big fat zeros on the cheque you receive.

    You are a ‘blogger’ Lisa, just a very.damn. good. One, that’s all.

  • Marc

    Great post!
    You’re a bit hard but that’s why it feels so refreshing to read your words! :p

  • Berlin Berlin

    I disagree, OK, that is a little harsh. I am all for freedom. If you want to start a blog, start a blog. It doesn’t matter who you are. If people don’t read. Then people don’t read.

    And who knows, someone may find it interesting. I agree with some parts, that yes some blogs are boring.

    But I wouldn’t say, “Don’t blog”.

    I am a web developer, back from the golden days in the late 90s. I could say, “I hate the Internet” I could say that the web has been polluted by blogs and useless websites that aren’t technical in nature. That don’t serve a purpose. Kind of like this post about bloggers. But, I won’t go that far, because freedom is a good thing. You have the freedom to write this post just as anyone should have the freedom to start a blog. Boring or not.

  • abilitydesigns

    Long live the digital narcissism / hobby bloggers..

  • Chaalz

    @sec consultant – “Nice piece of controversial link bait!! ;)”
    Couldn’t have said it better myself. This is like page 2 of the How to Blog and Get Comments Handbook. Whatevs.

    The following isn’t directed at the author (but if the shoe fits…)
    Whats the big deal with personal blogs anyway. Is it taking up too much internet space for you? It’s not like more trees are being cut down every time I post about my day. LOL. What’s the real problem here? Is it that…no it couldn’t be…that your “professional” blog is just only a hair’s-width better than my personal blog and so your blog is drowning in a sea of blogs? Instead of hoping for less personal blogs, how about making your’s stand out more.

    Lisa, blogging is like the film industry, but not because many blogs are failures, its because many “real” blogs are FAKE. Everyone’s reading the same “How To’s…”. Nothing is original. How is this post about hating blogging any different than the 16,400 blogs I found while searching for “hate blogs”. How is a blog about me complaining about the red lights on my way to work any different than you complaining about hating bloggers. lmao. Like I said….FAKE.

    I’d like to submit that “professional blogging” heretofore be considered an oxymoron.

  • Mark van Laere

    I can’t say I agree with your idea about what a blog really is. My opinion, and there we go … is that the web-log-book was concepted and is mainly a digital and public form of diary keeping. Since people who are web-logbooking are aware that the content they publish will be available to a world audience they scrutinize their thoughts and add opinions about whatever they touch. Getting it off their chests so to speak. All in all, a weblog was meant to be and still mainly is one’s personal soapbox.

    Your suggestion to pick a niche and write about that is the commercialised form of blogging we have all come to know so well. In this case a (selfproclaimed) copywriter, journalist, opinionist or what have you, writes his or her niche-piece to be read by many, to influence and in too many cases to promote some product or add to their personals stature. In other words,now the blog has become a digital and personal advertorial/editorial medium.

    Your suggestion that writing down and publishing personal thoughts is cluttering the web (this is just the taste I got while reading your piece) and taking away attention from all those focussed and (semi) professional blogs has devaluated the “blog” as such is in my opinion a complete 180 degrees turn from the originally intended concept. But hey, I could be wrong ;)

  • Egger

    You got paid to write this?

  • Bill S

    Wow, are your time scales off. Blogging in the “early 90s?”. Sweetie, what are you 23? It hasn’t been that long.

    Turn down the bitch a little and it’s not a bad article, but it does come off as a tad whiny and boring itself. I’ve seen this topic covered better by Merlin Mann, but he’s just a blogger. What could he have to say? There’s a lot of crap employed “writers” out there too.

  • Lisa Barone

    Chaalz: Wow. That was an excellent analysis. Thank you. Thank you for highlighting how fake you think the world is.

    Mark: I don’t think personal bloggers are taking attention away from the professional bloggers. I think if you’re going to blog about your trips to the grocery story or about the adventures of your 3 year old, you have no right to complain to the NYT that you’re not making money off it or that blogging is just hype.

    Egger: Yep. I got paid. As part of the company that I run. How you doing?

    Bill S: Blogging has actually been around for well longer than 1993, I just threw out that year because it’s recent enough that people like you may still remember it. But I guess not. [head pat] I’ll go back to smacking my gum now. Damn youth.

  • Yawn Webmaster!

    Thank goodness I didn’t read this.

  • jackie

    I do enjoy a bit of intelligent irony. Nice one.

  • Justin Parks

    I cant help smiling

    @Lisa, if you ever venture towards Ireland, let us know, we would love to have you in the pub one night, feed you full of drink and have you go on a rant with a few of the locals. Would make for one hell of a post later on. We could even write a song just for you. Made my day reading this.

  • Dan Hutson

    I’m coming to this party a bit late, but I have to add my two cents’ worth of advice:

    1. Don’t be a blogger, be a good writer with a point of view and a personality.
    2. Don’t be afraid to piss people off if you feel strongly about something.
    3. Share if you have something worthwhile to contribute; don’t if you don’t.

    Now … how ’bout that Michael Jackson?

  • Rob Sellen

    Should I blog write about this?

    I like it…both side of the coin, so… I have an opinion on it. :D

  • James

    I think a surprising majority of American’s cannot even write, let alone have access to a PC. So to some extent the fact that there are so many ‘Blogs’ is remarkable. But what is clear is that nearly all Blogs are unremarkable – but I do not think that should stop people trying. Most are learning and trying to improve their ‘Blogging Skills’ is it to a level or will it ever be at a level that draws the masses to read – I very much doubt it, if they could write that well, they would be earning money writing books – Harry Potter or interesting news worthy articles, or even writing music lyrics. Writing is a skill I sadly do not have – I cannot even write this small article here without having to cut and paste it back through word to check for spelling errors. I am way to ‘wordy’ and get lost on what I am trying to say – apparently my mind operates faster that I can put the words onto paper. Funnily enough I communicate verbally exceptionally well – but writing has me completely foxed – I believe this is down to my poor reading list as a child – only about 7 books, terrible I know. But your writing is excellent – I like it, very interesting and flows well, regardless of the content – you come across as the Simon Cowell of Blogging – maybe a new fox show – or a U-Tube show. I will keep trying to do better, maybe you will come across my Blog one day and find how it links back to this article and you can be proud of the catalyst you created in my efforts to write a better Blog.