Joining the daisy chain... not sure

This, by the wonderful Gaping Void, reminds me of one of my earliest blogs. I’ve said this in the past – I’m no techie. I’m a regular guy who started out on the journey of blogging because I can see the potential in it for me as an individual, as the director of a PR and design company, and as a former journalist, curious about what was changing in communications.

But having looked at a lot of successful blogs – and by successful I mean those with the most links (I have a handful!) - blogging reminds me of the public phone boxes in London. Or for that matter any major city.

For those unfamiliar with the UK capital, in London if you’re looking for some, shall we say some visceral pleasure, the phone box – no, not the internet - is where you will find it. In a good old Post Office phone box on the Tottenham Court Road you can find sexual pleasures for all tastes… Male, Female, Black, White, Chinese, Mongolian, S&M, Anal… the list goes on.
I hasten to add I am not an afeciando in this matter.

No, this is just a torturous metaphor to make a point – on which I would like some guidance – about blogging. As with all websites the point seems to be about getting as high on the Google list as possible, or any blog listing. Now, I recognise my humble rambling doesn’t deserve to be at the top of any list but I do wonder at the mechanism by which the top blogs achieve their status. Is it because of the quality of the content? Or is simply having the chutzpah to request a link?

I look at the bloggers I admire - Gaping Void, Dilbert, That Chap, - and marvel at the number of people linking to their sites. However, I do understand the links are there because of the quality of the content.

BUT – why are so many mundane sites getting such great coverage when their blogs are the equivalent of a teenage onaist?

Which brings me back to the phone box metaphor – am I supposed to prostitute my self and get my card in as may blogs as possible to make my blog a success? I hope not, and to be honest I don’t have that much stamina.

Am I being naïve? Possibly. All views welcome but I would prefer people came to visit me to hear what I had to say rather than how many calling cards I had out on in the blogosphere or in the Tottenham Court Road for that matter. What do you think?


Simon Collister said...

Traditional (ie. web 1.0) sites are static silos of content linked by the internet whereas blogs or web 2.0 sites are essentially connecting nodes in online conversations.

Or how about web 1.0 sites atrophy until they're updated whereas blogs are continually alive.

Obviously blogs have to have decent content to be interesting and handy advice like stay on topic, blog about a niche interest or from a unique position is important. But as blogging becomes popular making the most out of the networks you are linked into becomes important to get a good following.

I could post more but all I would say is read the flippin' fantastic post by Antony Mayfield about the subject:

Ian Green said...

You say atrophy and I say atrophie ... let's call the whole thing off...

I think what excites me about all this is "entropy" - ie the whole thing is going to decay anyway. Something else will root itself in what we call the Web.2.0 compost ( God! Strange metaphor!) that has fermented over the past two years and changed into something very different from what we are working with now.

You're right, content does matter - but not all of the time. A lot of what is on MySpace or YouTube is shite but users are becoming much more self-selective - Lewis 360 are testing it now! And I think something else will emerge. My main interest is that all of this becomes much more mainstrean. Which is good!

I can bet, come the next GCSEs exams, students will have sites dedicated to getting the best results.

Content - ie good writing, intelligent thinking, insight, ideas - will always tell. But at the end of the day, in the world of Web.2.0, we all end up pimping ourselves - will you link to me? - tag, link, RSS, technorati, In the old days one read the book and decided whether it was good or bad.

Now... how do I convince my client?

Or just visit: Elmfield House at

Ian Green said...

This is a new one to me - being attacked by my own members of staff. Unforunately Simon seems to know what he's talking about. Sigh!

Simon said...

It's not an attack, Ian... simply sharing ideas!

The interesting paradox is that web 2.0 won't necessarily give way to something else (web 3.0?)... it is the stage of perpetual beta. ie. web 2.0 just keeps reinventing itself maintaining a continuous revolution.

I think we can get too wrapped up in the detail of what web 2.0 means and presume that it is a stop-over point before web 3.0 but fundamentally the phrase represents a massive shift in our way of thinking (offline as well as online) akin to the invention of the printing press. Indeed since then we have developed in an age of industrial economy but web 2.0 is the epitome of a new age: the 'networked-information' or 'gift' economy. I'm going to buy me a copy of the Wealth of Networks to learn more!