The silence of the blogs

March 20, 2014


I was discussing with a client yesterday why we thought that business blogs are often barren, somewhat windswept discussion forums, even with high quality content and demonstrably robust readerships.

This is in stark contrast to the degree of engagement that occurs on some social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.  We came to the conclusion that they fundamentally serve very different purposes.

Blogs, vital as they are to any modern day SEO strategy, (check out Google, Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird algorithm chats if you don’t believe me) perhaps raise the commentator just too far above the parapet for their comfort.

Blogs are typically written in a more considered, better researched and, I hesitate to say more formal, style, but maybe I have to.

By contrast, more consumer-/friend-orientated social media platforms fly by the seat of the contributors’ pants and consist of cut and paste and top of the head responses than blogs.  What’s more, you’ve probably got a better idea of who you’re sharing with on these platforms.

This post, on Freakonomics, although slightly long in the tooth may have some of the answers;

  • Maybe the blogger has said all that needs said.
  • Maybe the blogger has overwhelmed the reader and risks making them look inferior in their (inferior) response.
  • Blog strings do not always make call and response particularly easy.
  • The admin field may be prohibitive (certainly I don’t bother on Blogger any more because the security is just too much of a hassle)
  • Blog commenters (and many of the writers) are Type A Personalities.  Us Type B’s simply don’t like mixing it up with them.  (You’re not Type B.  Ed.)

This post by Matt Maldre also has an interesting and largely overlapping take on the subject and it’s a lot more recent.

What he adds is that it’s maybe the technology that’s at fault (like me he cites the blogger interface as a barrier).  Facebook and Twitter have made it easy to comment with one tap sharing, whereas responding to a blog takes time and consideration and needs to be written (typed/keyed) long-hand rather than in online spk.  (lol)

In the increasingly mobile world that might simply be too much of an ask.  We’ll happily read – yes – but ask us to talk and it’s all just too much of an effort.

Thanks for reading this far.  Now, what do YOU think?