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Blog Clutter

Heather Green over at Business Week Online’s Blogspotting also noticed Jeremy’s call for bloggers and asks some interesting questions about blog clutter:

‘Seems like not a week goes by without the announcement of a new network that’s doing podcasting, video blogging or traditonal blogging startup. And even the mainstream guys, like CBS, are jumping and adding these outlets.

But what do you think? With millions of bloggers out there, can there really be a scarcity of people to sign onto these networks?’

I’m interested in the response to the question Heather asks. Whilst internet usage continues to grow (and blog writing and readership grows with it) there is increasing talk of clutter on the web. New media puts publishing into the hands of the individual which is a wonderful thing – however one of the consequences is obviously that the world is filled with individuals – billions of them.

We’re also now seeing thousands and thousands of mass produced, automated blogs being launched at the moment which further clutters things.

Where it all ends nobody really knows. What do you think – is blogging getting too cluttered?

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Comments

  1. I really don’t think so. The same could have been said of the web in general a few years ago but we’ve advanced search technologies and online communities to the point where it’s clear where the good stuff is and where you’re guaranteed to find crap. Just as a city grows over several decades and gets more complicated the web is becoming more complex. Only the latest boost comes from New Media.

    Once I find my way around even the busiest of cities I tend to like the richness and diversity it offers – same for the web and blogs.

  2. I think it’s like any new technology — once it begins to show any sort of long-term profit potential, swarms of competitors move in. Down the road we may very well see the blogging bubble burst as many of these start-ups find their approach isn’t profitable. But the blogs that provide real value will survive and thrive.

    Personally I see it as a message to bloggers who make some money right now to decide whether or not they want to get serious about blogging as a business.

  3. Tinus says:

    It’s up to Google. Let them organize the world’s information. :-)

  4. Devin Reams says:

    As far as the last comment, I argue that the web IS becoming more cluttered. We’re seeing tons of, as you said, mass-produced and automated blogs generating a lot of mess…

    …but, it’s not like the internet hasn’t dealt with clutter before. It’s becoming pretty easy to forget the abundance of porn and smut out there.

    I just wish services like Technorati would realize that the last 10 posts on _____’s blog are identical to mine.

  5. Tim Flight says:

    I’ll agree that the amount of automated blogs out there ripping off content is becoming problematic at best. Once again it is the cat and mouse game between SEO and SE algorithms. Once SEs build more sophisticated ways of figuring out who produced the content first and which are derivative works things might get better. Just like the whole hidden text revolution a few years back.

  6. Rimu says:

    You could say this about web sites in general. Every day there are more and more web sites being added to the web. Not just blogs.

    But this is not really a problem, because search technology (cheers, google) has become so good that as the amount of content increases, you’re just *more* likely to find what you’re looking for, not less.

  7. Daniel says:

    I don’t think so… the cream will rise to the top. I can think of a better answer that the one posted by Manolo on gapingvoid http://www.gapingvoid.com/Moveable_Type/archives/001501.html I don’t think these guys will ever be affected by clutter.

  8. Daniel says:

    typing to fast… on the comment above I wanted to say ” I can’t think of a better answer than the one… etc” sorry.

  9. You can’t really stop the production side of things (people creating content), so it looks like the filtering on the consumption side will become key in the years ahead. This looks good for search engine businesses, and also for technologies such as “agents”, automated robots that scour the content looking for things that you personally might find of interest.

  10. Vix says:

    I will say that it is getting hard to be heard on the web but search engines make it all that much easier to find things so if you provide relevant content you’ll be okay.

  11. Like someone said earlier, the cream will rise to the top. I’ve said the same thing myself elsewhere: unless you have decent, well-written content, readers will not return.

    And surely with the advent of RSS, if a site provides first class content, then we will remain loyal to it by subscribing to the feed?

  12. Don’t forget Serendipity! I tend to find my fave blogs by sheer chance, or luck, and then stick with them. If you surf out of the good blogs you soon pick up the communities linked to them and that keeps up relevance and, to some extent, quality. Sure, there’s a lot of clutter, but that also ensures that the 5% or so of classy blogs is a bigger bundle in absolute terms.

  13. Funny, I was thinking about this same idea not a week ago. What I think will happen is that people will start to write for different blogs about specific subjects. I might write for blogs about Orange County (where I live), car racing, Civil Air Patrol and politics. Each one would be a group blog of like minded bloggers.

    This has a couple of advantages: it makes information on a specific subject easier to find and it increases pagerank for topic specific keywords. Instead of having five people with personal sites on which they all talk about car racing, among other things, they would be able to all write on one blog about the subject, making that blog have a better signal to noise ratio for people who only want to read about car racing.

    This might not happen, but I think a lot of people will start pushing for this type of thing, both from the supply and the demand ends.

    If you want to see my post on the idea, head to: http://grant.henninger.name/archives/2005/07/18/a_grand_prediction_on_the_consolidation_of_blogs.html

  14. duncan says:

    One persons clutter is another persons treasure trove :-)