Do group blogs suck?

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Robert Scoble reckons that Group Blogs Suck. It’s a good thought including this point:

The thing is my visitors are coming to see me. Me alone. If I am interesting the numbers increase. If I’m not interesting, they decrease. It’s a very visible feedback loop.

But, in a group blog, my traffic goes up based on how interesting the GROUP is. In other words, if there’s 10 people writing a blog and I’m an uninteresting member, my traffic goes up because of the other nine. Yet readers are stuck reading me, even if I’m boring.

But I think there are other ways to look at this, as I do both my own blog (here) and am in three group blogs – Beyond Branding, Mutual Marketing and Mutualist Manifesto.

I guess I use each blog differently, and it’s always a compromise of a kind. I put whatever I like in this blog but I do tailor what I write in collaborative blogs so that it coheres with other writes. You could say this amounts to self-censorship; I prefer to think of it as a structure that makes me think more.

Sure, group blogs may tend to average out opinion, but I like the challenge of collaborating which sometimes means sublimating my ego a bit more than I do in my own space.

Scoble worries about the “owner” of the group blog being in control, but in the group blogs I do, no-one is in control, somehow we just get along. Sure, some of what others write I don’t fully agree with – but I can live with a measure of dissonance. I find it thought-provoking. Anyway, I quite often read stuff Iwrote a while ago and disagree with it.

So I guess I’m saying, it’s not an either-or choice. At least not for me.

Also, so what if sometimes others get credit for “my” thoughts, and sometimes the other way round? That’s ok, I think the idea of owning ideas is a bit twentieth century; ultimately that’s the mindset of SCO in their miserable lawsuit against IBM.

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