Today I want to talk a little about bloggers working together – to talk about the importance of it and to reflect upon whether the blogosphere has become a less relational place.
“After years of being in an offline business I’ve recently decided to start an online business that will include a blog. However as I research the topic I notice something about bloggers and how they relate to one another that confuses me a little – they link to their ‘competitors’. I’ve always kept an eye on my competitors in the past so that I could gain an advantage over them but bloggers seem to be doing something that is counter-intuitive to me yet it seems to benefit them at the same time. I wonder if you could write something on this topic?” – question submitted by Gerald.
Thanks for the question Gerald – you’ve picked up on something about blogging that is actually very important and something that I’ve always enjoyed about the medium.
Rather that write a full post on the how and why of working with other bloggers today I’d like to simply point you to a series of posts that I wrote on the topic back in 2005. It all started with a post called – ‘Blogging in Formation – Lessons from a Goose‘. In it I share why Geese fly further in formation and how as bloggers we can achieve more with a similar approach. I then followed it up with a number of other posts on building blogging relationships.
I do think that being relational as a blogger is an important aspect of blogging successfully.
Have Things Changed? Are Bloggers Becoming More Selfish?
This is a question I’ve been asked a few times lately and one that I’ve been pondering quite a bit.
You see when I first started blogging (it’ll be six years ago later in the year) there was a real community spirit among bloggers and the idea of bloggers helping bloggers was something most people seemed to embrace.
The blogosphere is a different place now in many ways. For starters there are a lot more blogs. There is almost a bigger focus upon blogging as a business tool and the idea of making money online in general.
As a result I do think there’s probably been a shift (a smallish one) to some degree in the ways that bloggers look at and treat one another. For example I hear people talking about their ‘competition’ a lot more and see some bloggers link out to other blogs in their niches less. I also see bloggers developing relationships more out of strategy rather than just because they want to connect.
However if you scratch under the surface you do find many bloggers working together in mutually beneficial ways. Behind most successful blogs you find a network of relationships and stories of blogs getting their breaks out of such relationships.
I don’t think that relational blogging is dead at all, but perhaps it’s just a little harder to find? I suspect this is more the case in some niches than others as I do see some fantastic communities of bloggers in around some topics.
I’d be interested in your thoughts on this
Is connecting with other bloggers important to you? Do you think blogging has become more or less relational?
Update – I’ve updated this post here.