Popular blogs suck – IMHO

Over the bank holiday weekend (in the UK) Daniel Bernstein, in a guest column on SiliconValleyWatcher, has created quite a debate by calling for “blogging to be handled by the absolute best-of-the-best’ our industry offers”. It sparked a lot of comments but that original post that interested me. It was Daniel’s response on Bitemarks:

“With a fanatical base in place, is it time to initiate some kind of quality control on PR blogging, possibly to create a standards body that would emulate the open-source community’s meritocracy model? Maybe the top ten percent of PR bloggers (in terms of traffic, page rank, etc.) are given the authority to set standards for transparency, standards for citation, standards for plagiarism, etc.”

No, no, no. Traffic, page rank etc are absolutely the worst way to do this. They are merely an indicator of popularity – not of quality, authority, expertise, knowledge, experience, ethics, morality, honesty or any of the criteria that I would use in deciding who to listen to. Popularity has nothing at all to do with ability to set standards for transparency, citation, plagiarism etc.

In my 40+ ‘must read’ blogs there isn’t one that is listed in the Technorati Top 100. I think there are a couple that are in my c-list. I do read Top 100 blogs but only because professionally I have to. My ‘must read’ blogs are those that:

a) I learn from – people who demonstrate knowledge, expertise, experience or insight

b) Are ‘niche’ and cover topics that I’m particularly interested in

c) Are enjoyable – fun, witty, whatever the reason they appeal to me

d) Are well-written – carefully crafted copy is a joy to read