PC Advisor Accuses Bloggers of Navel Gazing

Posted on August 17, 2006

We have spotted another good article for our blog pessimism category. PC Adivsor has an article called I blog, therefore I am that says blogs are primarily about "navel gazing."
But those, I think, are the exceptions. Not wanting to risk unleashing a digital posse on me, but most blogs are pure noise. If you blog, you'll have to forgive me, but they can be the equivalent of the kind of white static hiss that your TV makes you reach for the off button. According to Pew's research, most bloggers (84 per cent) do it as a hobby, and 74 per cent do it based on a personal experience. In short, navel gazing.
Most blogs are personal blogs. However, there are also blogs that cover a specific subject or industry and there are bloggers who are experts in their field. These blogs often provide detailed analysis that goes far beyond mere navel gazing.
Okay, it's easy to be skeptical of bloggers because so many aspire to the title of 'citizen journalist', yet fall short of what reporting means. Sure, your life is interesting. To you, perhaps, but unless you get caught up in the extraordinary, then it's really much like many other people's lives.

Surely an odd stance for an editor who spends his professional life writing about and experiencing the latest in digital trends? True, but bloggers will need to evolve from preening themselves in the mirror if they really are to become a force that rivals newspapers and TV.

News is what a CNN helicopter sees when flying over a shattered landscape - not the fact that someone on the ground got mud on their shoes. Bloggers have the numbers - a vast army of opinion formers. If they can now look beyond their personal bubbles, they might just change the world. Now, that really would be news.
This article is another one those articles in the MSM vs. blogosphere debate that attempts to denigrate blogs by lumping them all into one type of blogging. The blogosphere is a very diverse place full of people blogging for a wide variety of reasons. Some even argue that blogosphere is a word that should not even be used or that there are multiple blogosphere. The argument that all blogs are focused solely on the individual blog author is wrong.

PC Advisor also said that personal blogs are boring "unless you get caught up in the extraordinary." Extraodinary would be times like the recent Israel-Lebanon War when some individuals caught up in the war blogged personal stories and provided videos. However, regular life can be interesting as well to people who are going through similar shared experiences. That's why you have growing communities of mommy bloggers, personal finance bloggers, etc. These personal lifestyle blogs are certainly not going to interest everyone but they can obtain a large following within their niche and they could change the world and if idea develops within one of these communities and then spreads outside of it.