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9 things I hate about "blogs"

Posted by darren

I've been doing this "Internet" thing for roughly 10 years now, and I've seen trends come and go. I was there laughing when stocks plummeted in 2000 for online businesses that didn't sell things.

I was there when Friendster lost to Myspace, only to see Myspace lose to Facebook.

I was there for Star Wars Kid and Will It Blend.

I was there!

Trends come and go, but blogs are one trend that I wish would go and die in fire. Here's only a few reasons I've come to this decision. And yes, I detect the irony.

1) Most people don't even know what blog means. Blog means "web log" and can refer to a person following a specific topic in short spurts. However, that's not what most people use it for. They think of "blogs" as link dumps or online columns that rarely have one topic.

Stop calling your online column a blog, it's making all the print journalists confused.

2) The term "blog" became famous by the website Blogger.com. Basically you're now adopting a name for something that is the brand name. That's the age old "Band-Aid vs. adhesive strip" argument, but I usually come down on the adhesive strip side.

3) For every one blog worth visiting, there are 3,000 blogs that are utter trash. However, good luck finding those precious jewels because the likes of Digg, Stumbleupon, and Del.icio.us have allowed them to become white noise on a massive scale.

4) Half of all blogs talk about SEO techniques, and rarely are they more than carbon copies of what you just read at the last blog. Great, you've got yourself a high ranking on Google, but your content is now also about SEO techniques. Way to go.

5) The other half of blogs talk about get rich quick schemes based on Google Adwords.

Guess what, you don't get money if people don't click on your advertisements. When was the last time YOU clicked on a Google ad? Never? Unless you're randomly placing the Google ads in the middle of your content, don't expect Google to fund your living expenses for the rest of your life. It's not going to happen.

6) Blogs always employ the "put number in the headline to get more hits" rule. You'll see "7 ways to skin a cat," "23 drugs that make your taint itch," or "Learn 3000 different languages in 24 hours."

Apparently putting a number in a blog headline means readers will find useful information that can be easily duplicated.

7) Blogs have created Internet memes that never die. Been Rickrolled lately? That meme has been around for a year already. Just saw "All Your Base Are Belong to Us?" Over five years.

Jokes are only funny within the context of their timing and framework. People don't like the "you might be a redneck" jokes anymore for a reason. If Jeff Foxworthy put them on the Internet first, however, they'd still be doing tours on the Internet laugh circuit. I'm looking at you, Chuck Norris jokes!

8) Blogs have become so myopic that the topics aren't even applicable to anyone. Take for instance this one blog I stumbled upon that talks about the day and life of a transsexual character on Second Life -- you know, the online game that is kinda like the Sims except completely retarded.

Who consumes this information? Do people really even care if a non-existent character goes both ways or possesses both a dong and a vagina? Seriously.

9) Companies now use blogs as marketing tools. Think about that the next time you surf to the McDonald's website to read about the fast food industry, only to find yourself eating a Big Mac two hours later. Because the term "blog" has become so mainstream, companies around the world are seeing dollar bills (or Euros for you European bastards) in online publication.

"Hey, let's create a blog that talks about our industry while simultaneously promoting our own brand! Brilliant!!"

Unfortunately there's much more I could complain about the current state of affairs with blogs. However, I will cunningly use one of the many techniques to increase hits by "leaving readers wanting more."

Up next, 30 reasons I won't ever eat squash again. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Morgan just sent me a link to an article on Time Magazine about blog commenting and how it's pretty awful. Yeah, I definitely agree.