Thanks to Gavin Heaton of ServantofChaos (a top 25 global marketing blog) for the inspiration to this post.
We’re a small country when it comes to media; traditional Australian media is owned by (less than) a handful of companies, and as a result, a relatively small group of people influence opinion and provide the “expert opinion” the public relies on. So you would expect that editors would have access to the best talent, all fighting for one of only a few opportunities to write for them.
Fairfax is one of these companies and they recently offered up a piece by Graeme Philipson “The lost art of blogging”, an article so devoid of “expert” opinion, it makes you scratch you head in wonder. (also read Gavin’s post on the topic).
Here is what is wrong. The man writes an article about blogging, but confesses that he neither reads, nor writes them. His field of expertise is IT. publishing thoughts online is about media, and essentially has nothing to do with IT.
The reason people participate in online communication at the rate they are doing is because the web is now a place where you don’t need an understanding of technology to participate. Only your ideas count, and if they are no good, nobody reads them. Imagine that kind of accountability in the printed press.
I don’t blog. Can’t see the point, when I write this column and others. I also rarely read them – the letters page of this newspaper and the many emails I receive is for me more than enough exposure to the unfiltered opinion of the common man.
I can write a list of 50 people who are certified experts in their field, who write online. Let’s call them blogs. However, they are not “bloggers”; they are experts, who share their expert thoughts via the internet. I wonder if Graeme would consider the Sun Microsystems CEO, Jonathan Schwartz‘s writing “the unfiltered opinion of the common man”.
“a Fairfax journalist told a fellow contributor that they could not promote the work of bloggers because management saw them as competitors.”
So what does it mean?
Nobody will argue that there is a tremendous amount of rubbish being published in the world. I think we all agree that this is not contained to self publishing (or blogging, if you want to call it that). Graeme’s article is a good case in point.