Is the blogosphere just one big echo chamber? Yes? No? Maybe? So What If It Is?
As individuals, our opinions and ideas are more findable than ever. And, while we find commonality – by our nature, we’re probably attracted to this commonality – we often find subject matter echoing across several blogs we read.
Larry Hendricks and I have been discussing this in email and in comments from the SMO post a few days ago. Rather than keep that conversation below the fold, I thought I’d bring it up to post level.
So let’s think about the possible answers to "Is the blogosphere one big echo chamber?":
YES: Think about it, how many Snakes on a Plane posts have we seen? The challenge for me as a reader was that I stopped reading anything with SoaP in a headline. In some cases, yes – the "blogosphere" is an echo chamber. Is that a bad thing?
NO: I believe that a majority of content published in blogs is quite original, and if it takes a previously shared thought and expands upon it, it’s of value. And even if it doesn’t add anything new, does it still have value?
MAYBE: Lots of people publish "daily links" and I would love to start up Whistle Stops again soon. But herein lies the value of these posts: By doing this, the author can become a trusted resource and the author becomes a source of information and reliability. But isn’t this constant regurgitation of links just noise across the Internet?
SO WHAT IF IT IS?: Before blogging, we shared our opinions offline just as we do now online. These days, we have a larger potential audience. Our audience may not be reading everything we’re reading – though because of commonality there will be crossover. Should that slow us down – or even stifle us from sharing our thoughts?
My take? I can only think of one immutable law in business blogging. Each author chooses what to write, each reader chooses what to read. Know your target audience (and be open to the possibility that your target evolves and changes as time goes by).
What’s your take?