Has blogging been wrecked by commercialism?

15 pts.
Web development
Web site design & management
My neice went to South Africa and kept in touch with the family by using a blog. It got me all hopped up on the idea of blogging. Then today I came across this article on Wired saying that lots of businesses are filtering out blogs the same way they filter out other "inappropriate" Web content. http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,69298,00.html And to top it off, today's word of the day is splog -- a fake blog put out there to get some site better returns in search results. https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci1137059,00.html I haven't even gotten around to creating a blog of my own. Did I miss the boat? Has the blog wave come and gone and I missed it?

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The first thing that crossed my mind is that your formal “Subject” and your actual question in the posting are at odds with each other. Fair warning – I’m going to wax pedantic.

But to address your comment about blocking…Internet access by many employees (don’t have a clue as to the actual percentages) has been proven to be a significant productivity drain. People sitting at a desk are NOT being paid to surf the web, etc. A certain amount is tolerated (amount depending on the employer or supervisor).

Your subject however wonders if “commercialism” has wrecked
blogging. That implies to my mind that blogs are about commercialism. End of minor rant.

As an independent consultant, my surfing the web on a customer’s time would be a serious breach of trust. I bill the customers based on how many hours I’ve spent at their facility, or spent on their behalf at my desk.

Web surfing would be an egregious breach of that trust, and would be viewed as the moral equivalent of theft unless it was directly related to the job at hand.

Long term employees aren’t under quite as strict controls – partially because the trade-off of full-time employment includes a certain amount of goofing off which a contractor/consultant is not entitled to – partially because of the higher per-hour cost.

Back to your primary question though. Your second point (about splog) is quite valid. I wasn’t aware of it until you mentioned it, but that does lend validity to your “Subject:” question. If that becomes prevalent, then you may well have a legitimate point (as opposed to a question at the moment).

I do thank you very much for bringing up the subject though! It is certainly thought provoking.


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  • NoFX39
    Bob, I guess I was just disheartened by the idea that something as cool as Lisa's blog...a concept that seemed exciting and useful and just plain cool (forgive me for saying that twice) would already be tainted by commercialism. I received a private message letting me know in no uncertain terms that I was naive and late to the world of blogging to begin with and I guess that's so. I don't use an RSS reader so I really have no idea about this other part of the internet (maybe Bush was right when he said referred to the "internets" -- I'm completely unfamiliar with podcasts and blogs and that type of push technology). Am I the only one in the world who doesn't use RSS?
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  • Mrmobile
    Remove the hype around blogging to realize what it is: a tool. It is a tool that makes it still easier for anyone with an idea, opinion, or something to say to 'publish' it. The fact someone can publish something (whether a blog, an editorial, or a book) does not have much to do with quality. I believe that blogging is still early and people will adapt to it as we adapted to pen and ink, printed newspapers, and the Internet. As to commercialism, it seems to creep in everywhere. Suppose there is an exceptional journalist who blogs. If the journalist is unable to commercialize his/her blog, they will not earn a living. In this case I think commercializing it is a good thing. I have a 'daddy blog' so my extended family can keep up with my kids. No need for that to be commercialized and I'm not trying to earn a living off of it or win any awards. The tool (blog) simply makes it much easier than writing everyone letters or emails and making reprints of photos. Will some people find a way to abuse blogging for their own purposes? I'm sure they will and are. It's unfortunate, but that happens in life. The truth is that a lot of junk will be published (just like there are poor books and poor newspapers and poor web sites). The fact that people can communicate freely and quickly is a good thing; it's no longer just up to the big media companies to decide what we can read. The downside is that the quality will degrade in many cases. From a tech perspective, I hardly read any trade journals anymore. The bloggers get the information out quicker. As to your question about being the only one who doesn't use RSS, there are plenty of people who don't. If you get outside of certain demographic groups, the term is virtually unknown. I work for a software application provider and I would guess less than half of the people here are even aware of RSS, and maybe only a quarter use it. Outside of technology and the media, I would guess the takeup is lower. Again, blogging is a tool. Decide if it is a tool you want to use. And like all tools, some will abuse it.
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