Blog, Schmlog: Tales from the Dark Side of Web 2.0

Warning, bloggers:  Zube-gate aside, rumors of your power to change the world have been greatly exaggerated.  This reality check just in from Michael Stelzer of Marketing Profs.This month, Stelzer writes, 1.4 million blog posts were written every day, according to Technorati CEO and founder David Sifry.  "The temptation is to devote increasing amounts of time and mental energy to blogging without realizing that your efforts could be more profitably spent elsewhere," says Robert W. Bly, author of the new book Blog Schmog: The Truth About What Blogs Can (and Can't) Do for Your Business. Amen. I thought of this after noticing the ongoing dearth of comments on this blog, watching the old blog site slowly die (people are still linking to that site, rather than this one) and reading that Pharma Giles, a very witty blogger with an original concept and a quickly growing following, would be ending his blog (a move that many of us hope he will reconsider).   Blogging takes much more energy than one anticipates at the start.  John Mack recently blogged from a pharma blogging summit to say that attendance there was sparse.  I'm not surprised.  In the lingo of standup comics, pharma is a tough crowd.  I took a quick look at some leading IT blogs and compared the volume of reader comments, even to some of the leading pharma blogs.  What's clear is that the IT crowd is considerably more "fired up" and much more likely to comment than pharma. The only site approaching theirs in terms of reader involvement is Cafe Pharma. No doubt this attitude toward Web 2.0 will change over time. Please let me know when it does, though, because this whole "paradigm shift" is killing us editors.  For every article, we now have a potential podcast, video or some other new digital format to develop and, more challengingly, execute. And many of us are still learning the technologies and basic IT involved, while many of our older audience members couldn't care less. ("Why can't you just write out the text?" wrote one in response to our posting a podcast Q&A---that took quite a bit of time for my colleague to edit---in an e-newsletter) Plus there are so many well-executed blogs and other digital media are out there, daring us every day to raise our game.  I may complain but learning about all this is good and the whole concept of Web 2.0 is far too intriguing to give up on.  My colleagues, who have so far wisely refused my ongoing invitation to contribute to this blog will be blogging from BIO 2007 in Boston, so you'll hear some other voices for a change. It promises to be a great show.  Maybe we'll see some of you there?
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