Excuse me; will you please visit my blog? No thanks. This is the tacit response you’ll get invariably for your invite if you’re an individual blogger. Believe me; nobody is interested to read your blog posts except you, yourself. As you’re always looking for a few eyeballs, you’ve to virtually drag and drop visitors to your blog.
By Rakesh Raman
You’d have heard the term ‘blog’ (short for web log) quite often and many of you would have ventured into the blogging world, but there’s no new rocket science involved in blogging. Rather, blogging is just another herd phenomenon on the web like you’ve seen for social networks.
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As now you get free blog space on different web platforms, you always had free web space on services like GeoCities to post your write-ups. Blogs are nothing but small websites in the shared domains.
Although it’s as difficult to count the number of bloggers on the web as it’s to count the number of crows in a town, by some ballpark estimates, for every 10 Internet users in the world, at least one is a blogger. As there are about 1.5 billion Internet users, you can expect around 150 million blogs, including active and sleeping ones.
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In fact, bloggers are like stars, stars in the sky – now they exist; now they don’t…when you open your eyes. And like stars, they keep appearing and disappearing. So let’s not get into the numbers.
While most of these blogs are in a state of deep coma, the blog hosting sites will keep counting them to ostensibly show their own strength. There are others, which hardly get visitors.
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You won’t believe, some bloggers would visit their own blogs a dozen times a day to see their posts that they write at the rate of one or two per week. If they’re lucky enough they’ll get their wife’s, son’s, granny’s, or neighbour’s support to read their items.
And all these supporters would look at everything on the computer monitor except the blog write-up to which they’re specially invited. If there’s no other ray of hope, the bloggers won’t hesitate to tell about their new pursuit to even their washerman, milkman, or even the housemaid.
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Some proponents argue that blogs give voice to commoners. Yes, agreed; but mostly their own ears are ready to hear that voice. Don’t think I’m exaggerating, but it’s easier to conquer the Mount Everest than getting some meaningful pageviews for your blog.
For most individual and corporate bloggers, it’s extremely difficult to survive in the blogosphere. Nobody is interested to read them because they lack discipline, their sources are shady, they don’t have control on language, they’re irregular, and so on.
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Writing is an art, and writing for the masses is a scientific art, which all can’t master – even after reading the books. To succeed, you need a lot of patience, passion, practice, deep subject knowledge, and plenty of reading. Only then you can hope to become a good writer to attract some readers.
After uploading a small video clip created with your personal camera on a free hosting site like YouTube, you can’t say that you’re ready to become a Hollywood director. Similarly, you can’t get the qualities of a professional journalist by writing a few posts on a free and freewheeling blog.
As this so-called “social media” has become a kind of “chaos media,” it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the serious readers to cut through the clutter and get some genuine information.
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So what’s the lesson? The mass social media in its current form just can’t challenge the traditional media. There are only a handful of blogs that get regular visitors. You can call them blogs, but they’re actually full-fledged websites run by groups of professional journalists or writers.
If people are reading Reuters’ or Businessweek’s blogs, for instance, they’re not reading them because they’re blogs, but they’re interested in them because they’re created by well-known media companies. That way, tomorrow if a popular media property decides to write on flying balloons, people will fly in the air to read those reports.
That’s the power of content. If your content is strong, people will come to read it. Then you don’t need any “social” support to get noticed and heard.
So by equating the naïve social media with the established traditional media, you can always hoodwink the gullible aspirants, but you just can’t teach them how to create readable content. And that is the whole point.
I had written this article for my technology blog: My Techbox. This is an updated version of that article.
You can also read: More Articles by the RMN Editor, Rakesh Raman