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The problem with blogging is also what originally made it great.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.