Friday, July 06, 2007

How-Do? How-Don't!

After a reading a few interesting features on new NW media site How-Do (buried in among reams of head-poundingly dull pr babble) I was unpleasantly surprised by this week's edition of "The Weekly Wrap", their e-newsletter. Guest editor Paul Carroll writes:

"I bet there’s not been an agency presentation made this week that didn’t propose ‘doing a blog’ for client X, Y or Z. But are blogs really the future of ‘citizen journalism’ or just a load of egotistical, boring claptrap? Venturing onto How-Do’s blog section, there’s over 50 links to entice the visitor. Who has the time to read them? Who, in fact, has the time to write them? Worse of all are the so-called blogs that are thinly veiled corporate vehicles, whose attempts at being ‘street’ are as cool as the Concert for Diana. There are some good, amusing and thought provoking blogs out there (including some notable ones in the How-Do list), but these are the exception rather than the rule. My advice to most would-be bloggers? Shut it!"

And that's exactly what i did... with the email. If How-Do wanted to make it clear that they represent the backwards-looking, tin-eared, grammatically-challenged old boys of the North West media, they've succeeded by enabling this rubbish.

I'm the first one to agree that thinly-veiled corporate vehicle blogs (or, as I like to call them, "flogs") are evil - and there's an interesting and timely piece to be written there, as many web-users still seem blithely unaware of the mercenary element lurking on blogs, messageboards and social networking platforms. Though, as long as they're up-front about their identity, company blogs can be great reads and very effective in many ways. But any interest I had in his line of thought disappeared when Carroll conflated it with the old saw about all blogs being "egotistical, boring claptrap." We've all heard this argument (expressed more intelligently) before, and it was wrong then. Now it's five years out of date, badly written, and still wrong. Nice one.

Of course, I'm sure all concerned will read even this negative bandwidth as buzz for their respective brands. No publicity is bad publicity, after all! Just keep saying that, guys.


Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised at his outburst. With the Internet and 'citizen journalism' starting to have a real impact on print media sales (frequently leading to redundancies in editorial posts), it's a wonder the old boys' network aren't burning bloggers in effigy. Not that the problems journalists face now are the blogging community's fault, but it's nice to have a scapegoat, isn't it?

Though I do agree with him in a way. You have to admit that some blogs are, in fact, egotistical claptrap. Even the best ones have occasional phases of egotism, and there is a tendency to be bitchy at times too.

But that doesn't outweigh the fact that blogging is a good thing. It provides a space for all those marginalised by the print industry to voice their opinions. Success is created not by advertising, immoral businessmen or 3-for-2 deals in Sainsburys, but by writing independently and well, on a regular basis, about a subject that interests people.

No wonder Himself felt the need to attack. Most of the commercial media stopped doing that years ago.

Kate Feld said...

All good points, cs.

And just to be clear, I didn't mean to suggest that all blogs are inherently good. Of course, many of them are self-regarding tittle and an appalling waste of time for all concerned. And yes, many of them are prone to be bitchy (even this one, perhaps even today, mon dieu.) But, as you say, that's no reason to write off the whole lot of 'em.

Anonymous said...

Interesting - just today it would appear that mainstream medaia is picking up storiesthat first appear weeks before in blogs

Anonymous said...

They've been doing that for ages. My favourite bit is how they never attribute their stories to the blogs.