Why Is the Blogosphere So Lame?

the internet

the internet

The blog — once full of affinity, originality, and creativity — is now filled to the brim with animosity, mediocrity, and futility. So what happened? What has become of the blogosphere that I once knew and thoroughly enjoyed?

Going back a few years ago, it was not uncommon for yours truly to read hundreds of different blogs in a single day. It was amazing to have the opportunity to read a myriad of unique perspectives that I never had been exposed to before. Everyone had something to say, and everything they said was interesting. As such, clicking that “subscribe” button was incredibly addictive — at one point, I had thousands of RSS subscriptions. Unfortunately, though, something changed.

No longer am I excited by what I see. The novelty of the blogosphere fell through. In fact, I haven’t felt compelled to subscribe to a blog for what seems to be an eternity. With much sadness, the “subscribe” button no longer exists in my mind. The “unsubscribe” button has become my best friend.

How can this be? There must be some sort of explanation, right?

One and the Same

Well one of the reasons is fairly simple and obvious: it’s all the same.

If we read it on one blog, we can be sure that we will read the same thing on another blog. If it’s technology related, from CNET it will eventually end up on Engadget, Gizmodo, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, TechDirt, Techmeme, and so on. If it’s political, from CNN it’ll eventually end up on Politico, DailyKos, ThingProgress, and who knows where else. The same rings true for most other subject matters. In some sense, it is different. In another sense, it is all very much the same.

This makes me feel that all these blogs I once used to know and love are now becoming an epic waste of time. It makes me question if I should remove everything and subscribe to only one or two reliable sources of news. Why couldn’t I be satisfied with less (like newspapers; back when there was no Internet)? After all, it’s clearly obvious that I wouldn’t be missing out.

Quality (or lack thereof)

We all know that page views are what make the Web go ‘round. Unfortunately, though, the desire for page views has resulted in bloggers finding ways to exploit attention. More page views equals more potential profits and subscriptions. Sure, it’s good in theory — we would be getting more of the same great quality that we all know and love — but it doesn’t seem to work that way in reality.

So damn the quality! Quantity wins this race. Multiply post counts, and eventually enough eyeballs will view this content — good or bad — to squeeze out a few pennies from AdSense or click on that subscription button. No wonder why quality has suffered over the years.

But the sad thing is that there is a gem or two hidden throughout this vast complex of endless junk. The problem is that it’s damn near impossible to find them.

Yet some argue that we all must become curators: that people will solve the problem at hand while helping others find new and interesting content. Unfortunately, real-time curation could be a full-time job — just ask Digg, Reddit, Twitter, and others — and that is a job that I don’t necessarily want. After all, I thought that the Internet was supposed to help reduce the amount of mindless work that we were required to do, not add to it.

In the end, however, it doesn’t matter.

An Era of Unoriginality

Not only has quality suffered throughout the blogosphere, originality has been swept under the rug too.

The Web is full of content, sure, but much of it isn’t original. For example: take a look at a few of the largest blogs on the Web — they rarely produce original content. They repackage and distribute someone else’s content as their own. And here we thought that the Web was supposed to promote creativity and originality! Yet what we are left with is rehash after rehash of content.

That is bad enough, but what is even more sad is when these bloggers fail to voice a unique opinion on said repackaged content. Instead of relating it to their own life or experiences — thus showing how it could relate to our own lives — they tend to pick a side that is already prevalent and roll with that. So the whole idea of a blog’s existence (i.e. acting as a media to express one’s own thoughts) is, in fact, nullified.

And then there is the heartbreaking reality that it is so difficult to discover a blogger who produces original content these days. It is these bloggers, however, that need to be discovered to keep the blogosphere moving forward.

Sure, this is the harsh reality that has become of the blogosphere, which is something many bloggers won’t like to hear, but it is this trend that will continue for a long time.

It’s too late for me. The blogosphere, at least in my mind, is dying. Sure, there will always be blogs and big-time bloggers, but the appeal that the blogosphere once had over me (and perhaps others) is gone. My confidence in bloggers being able to restore this appeal is fading. How others will handle this degradation of the blogosphere is also up for question.

Regardless, I will still write, read, and comment on blogs. I will still keep in mind that there are great bloggers out there who are worth reading. I will still leave a little room in my heart and soul that there will be a blogging revolution in the future. But at this time and for the unforeseen future, I am disappointed with what the blogosphere has become.

What do you think?

Avatar of James Mowery

Written by James Mowery

James Mowery is a passionate technology journalist and entrepreneur who has written for various top-tier publications like Mashable and CMSWire. Follow him on Twitter: @JMowery.

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