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Is blogging worth it? One blogger says no.


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August 03, 2005

Is blogging worth it? One blogger says no.

Stephen Baker

Jack Krupansky, who has been one of the most prolific and thoughtful commenters on this blog, is leaving the blog world. Too much time, he says, not enough return. He's taking his aggregators down, and doesn't plan even to visit or comment on blogs anymore. I was sorry to read this post. I found Jack's message on this Dave Taylor post about the limitations of blogs. Anyone else out there having second thoughts about blogs?

03:57 PM

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Tracked on August 10, 2005 02:56 PM

Stephen,

Jack pooped out at 6 months. He was just starting! I have been blogging for a little over two years now on my blog Stock Picks Bob's Advice and believe after 850+ posts, I am just getting warmed up :).

It is easy to get burned out in the blogosphere. But the joy of writing over an extended time is to see how your ideas, your predictions, and your stock picks turn out. For me investing in a transparent fashion has forced me to acquire discipline that in the past I sorely needed. My own investment results have improved, my strategy has been refined, and I enjoy the comments and questions from readers.

Is blogging for everyone? Absolutely not. I cannot tell you how many times my wife is telling me to "pay the bills" or get things accomplished instead of writing all the time :). However, there is a pride of ownership in a blog. A definite joy of receiving a "hit" from someone far away from you. It is probably similar to the joy the early short-wave radio afficianados experienced when they made contact with someone from another continent!

I am not quite done with my blog yet. Sort of like a long-distance runner, one has to get over the six-month hump, and then things start getting easier once again!

Thank you Business Week for this interesting blog as well!

Bob

Posted by: Robert Freedland at August 3, 2005 05:00 PM

I agree with Bob! The "big boys" in blogging that get a lot of hits have been at it for a quite a while. Like any business, a slow start is often the case.

But blogging won't necessarily bring in much money. If money is the big draw, blogging won't get it done. Blogs have to be pretty significant before they start bringing in good cash.

As far as audiences... I'm like Bob, I get a thrill from seeing that a stranger has read my work. I read my referrer logs every morning, and always get tickled pink when I find people finding my site from a new source.

But it's not for everyone. If you're not enjoying the writing, the small victories, the participation in other blogs... it's best to walk away.

Good luck on your next project, Jack! Even though if it were me, I wouldn't give up just yet. :)

Posted by: Andrew Kaufmann at August 3, 2005 05:31 PM

Blog burn-out isn't new.

Burn-out isn't new.

I get horrified looks when people hear my answer on how much time I devote to writing and reading blogs. On this issue, I've written: "Every day we make time in our hectic lives to eat. And I find I will make time for that which nourishes me." If you use blogs to express your passion then I found that it fuels me. Robert Scoble continuously reminds bloggers that passion and authority are the key ingredients to a successful blog. Oh, and that means a sustainable blog. Too many focus solely on authority, on making impresssions. But passion and expression is the perennial spring.

On my first blog my intent was to put myself out in the tech world as a thought-leader in emerging technology.

I abandoned that blog in less than 2 months.

I started my second blog out of gut instinct. This time everything was different. My intent was different. It's been going strong for over 18 months. When I started few bloggers took notice because (they told me) it's typical for newbies to quit in less than six months. It seemed as if they wanted to know I was in this for the long haul. I didn't get any traction until AFTER six months (I didn't and still don't publicize my blog; it's grown organically by participating in the community and writing original content).

I found writing crystallized my half-baked musings and ideas. I freely shared my ideas as they were forming. My writing and my ideas have improved DRAMATICALLY since I've started.

There is a definite payback to developing your

voice. I'll only touch on the business one. I was in Taos, NM recently. After a few days I was weary of all the art everywhere. Akin to being weary of all the ads bombarding us. Or the 14+ million blogs and growing out there.

"Walking into a gallery tucked on Ledoux Street last week, I flip through a cookbook (the theme: food and nudes). It's R.C. Gorman's early work. More like you might notice in ANY talented art student's sketchbook. If you pay attention though, you can begin to see a trace of his style, his stamp, his voice emerging.

There was a particular painting, Woman in Canyon de Chelley, that struck me. Damn, I should have bought his work 12 years ago. The price tag: $65,000."

I met a would-be blogger the other day that was worried about sharing anything personal on her blog because it might hurt her chances for business funding. I've found the very opposite to be true. I'm not dropping names, but I've met kindred spirits that happen to be execs, entrepreneurs, VCs, publishers and editors from showing my human side. We do business with people we like.

I've never got a contract or a new position from a resume or brochure outside of my first out of college. Reading my blog is like having an informal conversation over coffee at a cafe with me. It's as close as it gets. I don't have time to do that with everyone. Ultimately, in my freelance consultancy you're buying ME and what I bring to the table.

I don't know any word-of-mouth that scales better than blogs.

One of my fav (I believe blogging over 3 years+) bloggers Hugh MacLeod just wrote the other day, "If you can express your soul, the rest ceases to matter." This pretty much sums up blogging - be it personal or corporate - from blogger and author Biz Stone: "A blog is a collection of digital content that when examined over a period of time exposes the intellectual soul of its author or authors."

Referenced Posts:

Life's Too Short to Do Business With People You Don't Want To

http://evelynrodriguez.typepad.com/crossroads_dispatches/2005/01/lifes_too_short_15.html

Signature Voices, And Perhaps What I Learned About Branding From Strolling Galleries

http://evelynrodriguez.typepad.com/crossroads_dispatches/2005/07/signature_voice.html

Posted by: Evelyn Rodriguez at August 3, 2005 05:39 PM

Blogging's at it's inflection point. I won't say "I told you so", but I blogged about this several months ago and it's now smacking folk in the face.

It's a good thing. Not a bad thing. I just wish my post had gotten more play back then as it would have been less painful than what's going on now.

Posted by: Jeremy Wright at August 3, 2005 08:44 PM

I am like evelyn, I started one blog and realized I was getting in over my head, I closed shop on that one in a couple of months at most. But I started a new one that interested me.

If no one reads my current blog, I'm ok with that, I write it more for myself and as a place to keep resources- readers are an added bonus and the pocket change I pickup along the way is a pleasant suprise and goes into my piggy bank.

Posted by: ??Dawn at August 4, 2005 01:02 AM

agree with the comments above - blogging takes time - if you have the luxry of being able to take it. Patience Jack Patience.

After 18 months of blogging I was earning $1 per day. Thank God I didn't give up!

Posted by: Darren at August 4, 2005 04:50 AM

It's not about the blogs, folks...it's about the RSS technology.

Posted by: Saira Mohan at August 4, 2005 06:01 AM

Lots of people burn out on blogging because they simply run out of ideas, and they mistake their blog for a magazine column.

The power of blogs is in the aggregate blogosphere, not in individual blogs, and the loss of high-profile people who need more feedback than they are getting is a drop of water in an ocean of creativity.

I've stopped and started a handful of blogs, watched traffic ratchet up to 1000 a day, and had some that never got beyond 20 visitors. Each was about my conversation with my audience, not my megaphone to the world.

I've benefitted profesionally and personally from my involvement in the blogosphere - but blogs won't replace paying work and social interaction. Blogs have to complement other activities.

Otherwise they'll just drain you.

Posted by: Jim Durbin at August 4, 2005 11:07 AM

NEVER. Blogging is only just starting.

I've been "blogging" for years and every few weeks I see GREAT results and an INCREASE in opportunity for Smallbiztechnology.com.

Blogging (nor Vanilla ice cream) is for everyone. However, for MANY a smart blogging initiative is the BEST way to build an online ecosystem.

Blogging, like any other business thing, really depends on what you want to do and your goals and aims.

If TONS of money directly from blogging that takes more time, if SOME money but money from other things (books, consulting, speaking, advertising, etc) bloggin is the WAY to go.

Posted by: Ramon Ray at August 4, 2005 11:55 AM

Seems to me that Jack Krupansky, like so many others, is simply blogging about blogging.

I remember a newspaper article about ten or twelve years ago that said email would never catch on - because 'most email is by computer users talking to other computer users about their computers'.

Posted by: Andrew Denny at August 7, 2005 09:01 PM


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