Do group blogs suck?

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.

6 thoughts on “Do group blogs suck?

  1. Taran

    I think Groupblogs have their place. For example, the Daily Summit ( is doing quite well as a group blog, and is inspiring all sorts of comments, as well as trackbacks. But there’s a lot of interest in the WSIS.

    If there’s not enough of an audience for a Groupblog, then the groupblog sucks. I think the audience should be twice as large as the number of bloggers for a groupblog to be productive. That’s a new rule I just made up. Change it as necessary. 🙂

  2. Tony Goodson

    Very interesting. As soon as I saw Robert Scoble’s entry I wondered if you’d make a comment on it!! I admire your ability to take other people’s opinions into account. Me, I’m right and everyone else is wrong! I guess it depends on who you let in the group blog club. If it’s an open club, then God help you! You only have to look at the level (low) of some of the comments on Ecademy weblogs to realise as my own weblog states, “All People Are Idiots!”

  3. mrG

    You may think what you have posted here is a one-man show of original work, but I have news for you: These words are not original!

    You see, you must confess: I have a facimile reprint here on my shelf that shows quite clearly that most of the words you have used in this post were in fact prior art, almost every one of them (and much of your language structure as well) previously and publically used as far back as 1585 by a London stage director and some-time poet named Bill Shakespeare. The intellectual property lawyers for Mr.Shakespeare’s estate will be contacting you shortly about his heirs’ recompense …

    Lives of great men all remind us

    We can make our lives sublime,

    And departing leave behind us

    Footprints on the sands, of time.

    The blog is the thing!

  4. Chad Chaplin

    ALL blogs suck and are plain moronic. What makes some bozo in Podunk, ID think that anyone in the entire world cares about the stupid little thoughts that go through their head.

  5. craptor

    Ack how true, my life is boring enough and I dont want to be stuck reading about someone else’s crap. I guess the truth is that no one cares what you think. Seriously people that crap sucks.

  6. Jack Yan

    Wow, we have two people who posted to say they don’t want to read others’ words, and yet expect us to read theirs and treat them with more reverence. Interesting concept—but maybe they do not see how they have fallen into their own traps.

       Johnnie, as you know, my experience on the Beyond Branding Blog was good and bad. There were moments where I felt my voice competed with others, and I don’t mean that mine was drowned out. On many occasions I wanted to blog, but felt that another author had a darned good post that was more important than mine, and deserved to hold the top spot for longer. And refraining from blogging, when you know you would like to, didn’t seem to be a good thing to do.

       And yes, on other occasions I thought my posts were better and should have stayed up top for longer!

       I would not go so far as to claim that all group blogs suck. Like you, there is a time and a place for each type. However, I am delighted that the BBB is now an aggregate of many blogs, as it has some of the original passion that was around in 2003.


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