The blogging bubble

Blogging is developing into this incestuous industry of bloggers writing about blogging and each other. The resulting spiral has the industry rapidly disappearing up its own fundamental orifice.

Fuelled by the vanity of everyone having their own soapbox, a money engine is emerging where blogging is seldom about anything useful or relevant outside of its own onanistic world. Bloggers are all busy selling advertising and affiliate programs to each other. Their content is on how to blog, or how to make money from the internet which usually involves ... wait for it ... blogging.

The only model offered by 90% of the good advice is to provide content sufficiently interesting to attract readers and thereby generate advertising and affiliate sales revenue. But so often that content is about the act of blogging and the readers attracted are themselves bloggers. Other times the content covers Web 2.0, the internet, and other topics that are really only of interest to those generating the industry. The quintessential example for me is ProBlogger but look at Technorati’s top 100 blogs to see the trend.

The model blog for how it is supposed to work is, for me, Manolo’s shoe blog. The writer had the genius (or good luck) to combine humour, celebrities and fashion shoes, and as a result reportedly makes a good living from it. But the results reported for such blogs are unaudited claims made by those with a vested interest in maintaining the blog frenzy. More importantly there are only a handful of Manolos at the top of a vast pyramid of 15 to 70 million bloggers scrabbling for another hundred readers of their self-absorbed posturing, all chasing the lure of easy money – write a blog and get the cheques.

Clearly this is a self fueling bubble no different to the Dutch tulip frenzy or the dot-com scam. Perhaps the human race will never tire of exposing their thoughts online to a disinterested world. More likely the fad will eventually die away (Who reads this stuff? And where do they find the time? Who actually clicks on the ads?) and with it the revenues, and a much smaller number of sites will remain who actually have a topic to talk about and something to say.

[reproduced in full from my original post at The IT Skeptic]

P.S. yes I know I'm feeding at the same trough. If there is a goldrush on, I for one intend to be part of it. By the time the dust settles and the silly money dries up, maybe one of my more substantial revenue models will actually be working for me...