Warning: I got a bit of a ramble going on this one.
I’m in the process of listening to the audiobooks of Seth Godin’s great Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside. So, out of curiousity, I stopped by his blog today and took a look. The writing is excellent, as you’d expect, and the topics look very interesting. One caught my eye, because this is a meme that’s been traveling around lately: The end of candor talks about how blogs are no longer authentic media.
While there has been an increase in “fake” blogs, I’m not sure that it really matters. There are plenty of real blogs. Like Seth’s blog, for example. Here’s a guy with a reputation. Sure, he could have ghost writers and it could all be some big ploy to sell books and speaking engagements. But, at the end of the day, Seth Godin’s blog is gonig to present the public face that Seth wants to wear.
Readers will then decide whether or not they want to listen.
So, that’s the deal for well-known people. What about people like me? (A brown cow for now, but I’m fashioning a much more purple suit for myself). Though I don’t attract the same level of attention as Seth, the fact is that when I’m looking for a job or possibly having any number of other interactions with people, there’s a distinct possibility that I may get googled. When I do, I want this blog to represent me.
This blog is not a commercial endeavor. I was just asked if I was interested in reading a press release for a product and maybe put an ad up for it. I’m more than happy to talk about a product that I like or dislike (I’m a sneezer in Seth’s Ideavirus parlance), but I have no desire to talk about something that is outside of what interests me now.
For people like me, the longevity of the blog helps. The fact that I’ve been doing this for three-and-a-half years and have collected random links pointing in over time is a good sign to folks that I am what i say I am. I’ve been reading Dave Winer’s blog for more than five years. I didn’t know who he was before then, but at this point I’m quite certain that he’s not a fake.
I think that there are plenty of folks like me who blog because it helps them to organize and remember their thoughts. And, sometimes, putting those thoughts out in public will help other people.
For those who have some kind of “fake” agenda, the blogs will ultimately fail because:
1) they’re not interesting because they are too focused on that agenda, or
2) they’ll get caught in a lie. If there’s any significant readership, some alert reader will spot problems. This has happened over and over already.
I just don’t see a fake having any lasting impact or readership. Seth says, “One of the reasons blogs worked so well for so long is that we could believe them.” I think there will continue to be more than enough to believe in across the blogosphere that blogs will continue to work just fine.