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When Did Blogs Sell Their Souls to the Devil?  

:: Friday, December 02, 2005 ::

I began the Cre8pc blog over three years ago. Back then, in 2002, I had published two blogs. One covered search engine optimization and marketing news. The other was a personal blog where I could invite people to get to know me better as a person, rather than a usability consultant or forums owner or retired SEO.

A short time later, I dropped the personal blog because I learned that my readers liked it when I combined a bit of the personal with the news briefs in the news blog. This was in the days when a blog was still considered an online journal or daily diary.

I could write, send it to the server and that was that. Back then, since there were a handful of us with SEO/SEM news blogs, (Andy Beal, Kalena Jordan, Peter DaVanzo and a year later, Barry (RustyBrick) Schwartz, to name some popular haunts), we were respectful of one another. We had this unspoken "rule" that we wouldn't duplicate the others' blog posts, but if we did write about something we saw in a peer's blog, we acknowledged them via a "hat tip" and link out to their blog.

Hat tips or a friendly shout out are rare finds nowadays. Competition has made the playing field too wide and unfriendly.

When so many other SEO News blogs cropped up, I lost interest in news reporting. With the advent of RSS Feeds, the same stories were repeated everywhere and I had no wish to feed off the frenzy or bore everyone to tears with news they'd already seen.

I switched over to reporting and informational writing from the user centered design industries and focused on the relationship between SEO and usable, persuasive design. Since I'm an article writer, my blog became my outlet for shorter style, off the cuff writing that didn't require an editor or submission to the columns who publish my work.

Enter Comments Feedback

When I started this blog, I did not ask for comments on what I wrote. The idea wasnít popular then. Having been the public victim of nasty remarks said about me on other people's blogs, I can't find a reason in my heart to give hateful people an outlet on my web site property. I donít link to blog posts that allow me to be publically ridiculed either. I wouldnít want my own blog to be used to cause anyone public embarrassment and it always surprises when others permit theirs to be used that way.

I guess if you can make money off of somebody elseís suffering, all the better.

I have the exact same expectations at Cre8asiteforums, which I own. It's the other reason I don't implement comments in my blog. I hear from an entire Internet community every day. I get a copy of every single post made to the forums. I read comments every time my computers are booted up.

My blog is my quiet place.

And for that, apparently I have broken the first sacred rule for blogs. I have become blog scum. In fact, after reading comments and blog posts from the new generation of bloggers, I am not welcome in blog-land.

The new blog owner must accept comments. They must generate revenue from their blogs and in their blog feeds. Those who do not succumb to these two laws, I have learned, can not possibly call themselves a blog.

Earn Money or Be a Worthless Peon

I generate very little revenue from this blog and up until recently, hadn't thought it was important.

However, this is the new age of blogging for business and business blogs. It's the age of blogs that report on forum threads, which I, for one, appreciate. It's a different type of a reporter blog. I don't think its wrong to ask for some ad money in return for the hours of research and time it takes to report news and forum threads. Those blog owners deserve to be compensated.

News blogs offer a service too. Some wanted to be labors of love, while others obviously never intended to be. There used to be a choice.

Blog spammers, however, throw up blogs that steal content from "real" blogs and are packed with ads. They don't deserve to be compensated for being unoriginal parasites. But, they're being rewarded in search engines and RSS feed readers for it.

So, I Have Entered Blog Hell

It was never worthless to me to have this one place where I felt I could write and share, one on one, with my readers. But, as some of you noticed, I havenít been posting that much anymore. Iíve lost my sense of purpose - because I literally never had one for this blog. It just was.

The news, both SEO and Usability, is now covered very well. My purpose wasnít to generate conversation here. Rather, I pointed to an entire forums after introducing a topic here. I didnít think about the money aspect, since my energy goes into three other web sites. This was supposed to be the fun one.

The place where you could find Kim if you had wanted to.

(Discuss this topic.)

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 12/02/2005 03:10:00 PM

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