Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Blogging and Content Creation, Digital Media, Social Media Marketing

Why Blogs Will Kill Dissent

blog strategy dissent 300x265 Why Blogs Will Kill DissentWhile newspapers and magazines make increasingly Draconian decisions to try to escape their inexorable spiral of decline, the very future of publishing comes into question. Will life as we know it stop once the Grey Lady and her sisters cease to exist in their historical form? No. Even without papers and mags, Britney will still make comebacks, athletes will still take the needle, and Congress will still specialize in the art of accomplishing little, with great effort.

The people – the collective we – will take up the publishing mantle, and will continue documenting the vagaries of the planet. Millions of blogs already exist, with millions of other micro-bloggers using Twitter, Tumblr, and 12 Seconds as their publishing medium.

Will Blog for Love

The vast, vast majority of these do-it-yourself publishers (like me) are unpaid, and are committed to producing content for some combination of enjoyment, point of view, business development, and narcissism. Because there aren’t advertiser and subscriber dollars at stake (and because most published content is from a first-person, individual perspective) bloggers and micro-bloggers adopt a narrow topical and/or perspective focus. The theory goes: “If I’m doing this for free, I’m going to write about what I like, and what I’m interested in, period. Further, the best way to stand out in a sea of blogs is to go narrow and deep, not wide and shallow.”

It all makes sense, which is why you have hyper-targeted blogs along the lines of “Left-handed Vampire Circumstance” that you wouldn’t find in newsprint or magazines. I’m not more pro-vampire than the next guy, but if the future of publishing is for consumers to curate their media and cobble together their own morning read from a series of Kindle-delivered RSS feeds (and it is), is there a future for dissent?

I Read This, So It Must Be True

The attraction of self-fulfilling points of view is longstanding and obvious. You need only look at the described political leanings of Fox News and MSNBC viewers to understand this phenomenon. You know who reads Guns & Ammo? Hunters. (and possibly mercenaries). You know who reads Convince & Convert? Marketers, interested in social media. (and possibly mercenaries). As a publisher, this ability to hyper-target to my audience is exciting. As a citizen, it scares the crap out of me.

What I’ve always appreciated about newspapers, news-oriented magazines, radio news, and even (gasp) television news, is its collective ability to tell me things I don’t already know, about things I don’t necessarily pay attention to, with a point of view I don’t consistently share. Because traditional, trained journalists and editors are in the business of providing a broad spectrum of information (whether by creed or because they have a lot more space/time to fill than bloggers), they incidentally introduce their audiences to information that they wouldn’t necessarily seek out. It’s passive education, but it’s education nonetheless.

blog strategy sneeches 231x300 Why Blogs Will Kill DissentWithout this type of broad journalism, when we subscribe to only the information we want and vote down or unsubscribe from the rest, don’t we create for ourselves an echo chamber, disguised as information? If the only perspectives we’re exposed to are those that we’ve personally determined are appropriate and desirable, what happens to dissent and discourse? The interconnectedness of the world is exhilarating and amazing, but we’re unwittingly creating a Sneeches scenario whereby those that read the same blogs and participate in the same social networks are good and righteous, and those that do not are wrong and wicked.

I’d rather be informed than correct, and if there is scarce broad journalism, and no editors, who will make us take our informational medicine?

  • http://vsuw.org/ Chris Rogers

    Thank you, Jason. A much needed conversation.

  • http://vsuw.org/ Chris Rogers

    Thank you, Jason. A much needed conversation.

  • http://vsuw.org Chris Rogers

    Thank you, Jason. A much needed conversation.

  • http://www.ddmcd.com/ Dennis McDonald

    The number and type of “what comes after newspapers” blog posts continues to grow and mutate. This one belongs to the “Professionalism Matters” genre. Which I agree with, by the way.

  • http://www.ddmcd.com/ Dennis McDonald

    The number and type of “what comes after newspapers” blog posts continues to grow and mutate. This one belongs to the “Professionalism Matters” genre. Which I agree with, by the way.

  • http://www.ddmcd.com Dennis McDonald

    The number and type of “what comes after newspapers” blog posts continues to grow and mutate. This one belongs to the “Professionalism Matters” genre. Which I agree with, by the way.

  • http://budurl.com/vxpm Kory Kredit

    Great points Jayson. As I have become almost exclusively dependent on blogs and online news sites for my information, the more I narrow my focus and begin to lose the broader perspective on the world around me outside of online marketing and Arizona sports teams. Oh well…Go D-Backs!

  • http://budurl.com/vxpm Kory Kredit

    Great points Jayson. As I have become almost exclusively dependent on blogs and online news sites for my information, the more I narrow my focus and begin to lose the broader perspective on the world around me outside of online marketing and Arizona sports teams. Oh well…Go D-Backs!

  • http://budurl.com/vxpm Kory Kredit

    Great points Jayson. As I have become almost exclusively dependent on blogs and online news sites for my information, the more I narrow my focus and begin to lose the broader perspective on the world around me outside of online marketing and Arizona sports teams. Oh well…Go D-Backs!

  • Meaghan Lucas

    Your Message
    Wow, thats so true. I am doing a post grad communication masters and so much of what I am reading says the internet and blogging will work for democracy by allowing everyone a voice. However you have highlighted the need for everyone to have ears as well. For a democracy to be effective people must not only have an informed opinion and voice it but also be heard by those who may not agree or even be interested.

  • Meaghan Lucas

    Your Message
    Wow, thats so true. I am doing a post grad communication masters and so much of what I am reading says the internet and blogging will work for democracy by allowing everyone a voice. However you have highlighted the need for everyone to have ears as well. For a democracy to be effective people must not only have an informed opinion and voice it but also be heard by those who may not agree or even be interested.

  • http://YourWebsite Meaghan Lucas

    Your Message
    Wow, thats so true. I am doing a post grad communication masters and so much of what I am reading says the internet and blogging will work for democracy by allowing everyone a voice. However you have highlighted the need for everyone to have ears as well. For a democracy to be effective people must not only have an informed opinion and voice it but also be heard by those who may not agree or even be interested.

  • http://www.gosmart4u.com/blog/ Candis Hidalgo

    Jason, you’ve packed so much intelligent insight into this one little post, I will definitely have to go back and re-read. With regards to your point:

    “when we subscribe to only the information we want and vote down or unsubscribe from the rest, don’t we create for ourselves an echo chamber, disguised as information? If the only perspectives we’re exposed to are those that we’ve personally determined are appropriate and desirable, what happens to dissent and discourse?”

    Totally agree, but isn’t this the same with the TV news stations we choose to tune into, or the newspapers we choose (or chose) to subscribe to, or the magazines we choose to read? It is up to us, as it always has been, to “subscribe” to dissenting points of view in order to keep us out of that “echo chamber”. It is the responsibility of the consumer, whichever medium they’re consuming their information from, to value information over correctness.

    Candis Hidalgo’s last blog post..The Perfect Candidates are Ready, Willing, and Able for Employers to Find Them Online

  • http://www.gosmart4u.com/blog/ Candis Hidalgo

    Jason, you’ve packed so much intelligent insight into this one little post, I will definitely have to go back and re-read. With regards to your point:

    “when we subscribe to only the information we want and vote down or unsubscribe from the rest, don’t we create for ourselves an echo chamber, disguised as information? If the only perspectives we’re exposed to are those that we’ve personally determined are appropriate and desirable, what happens to dissent and discourse?”

    Totally agree, but isn’t this the same with the TV news stations we choose to tune into, or the newspapers we choose (or chose) to subscribe to, or the magazines we choose to read? It is up to us, as it always has been, to “subscribe” to dissenting points of view in order to keep us out of that “echo chamber”. It is the responsibility of the consumer, whichever medium they’re consuming their information from, to value information over correctness.

    Candis Hidalgo’s last blog post..The Perfect Candidates are Ready, Willing, and Able for Employers to Find Them Online

  • http://www.gosmart4u.com/blog/ Candis Hidalgo

    Jason, you’ve packed so much intelligent insight into this one little post, I will definitely have to go back and re-read. With regards to your point:

    “when we subscribe to only the information we want and vote down or unsubscribe from the rest, don’t we create for ourselves an echo chamber, disguised as information? If the only perspectives we’re exposed to are those that we’ve personally determined are appropriate and desirable, what happens to dissent and discourse?”

    Totally agree, but isn’t this the same with the TV news stations we choose to tune into, or the newspapers we choose (or chose) to subscribe to, or the magazines we choose to read? It is up to us, as it always has been, to “subscribe” to dissenting points of view in order to keep us out of that “echo chamber”. It is the responsibility of the consumer, whichever medium they’re consuming their information from, to value information over correctness.

    Candis Hidalgo’s last blog post..The Perfect Candidates are Ready, Willing, and Able for Employers to Find Them Online

  • http://twitter.com/jeffjulian/status/1788503472 Jeff Julian

    Reading: “Why Blogs Will Kill Dissent” at Convince and Convert. http://tinyurl.com/pj5ofo. What do you think, journalists?

  • http://twitter.com/Genuine/status/ Jim Turner

    RT @tweetmeme Why Blogs Will Kill Dissent | Digital Media | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/xDAIT

  • http://www.vistasad.com/ atul chatterjee

    Jason I agree with what Candis has to say. What is required is some sources to tell us about the various different types of information available. On the other hand consumers of information seldom change information sources. So one part is to present different information or data. The other part is to provoke them into thinking and searching for views.

  • http://www.vistasad.com/ atul chatterjee

    Jason I agree with what Candis has to say. What is required is some sources to tell us about the various different types of information available. On the other hand consumers of information seldom change information sources. So one part is to present different information or data. The other part is to provoke them into thinking and searching for views.

  • http://www.vistasad.com atul chatterjee

    Jason I agree with what Candis has to say. What is required is some sources to tell us about the various different types of information available. On the other hand consumers of information seldom change information sources. So one part is to present different information or data. The other part is to provoke them into thinking and searching for views.

  • http://twitter.com/candees/status/1789962218 Candis

    RT @jaybaer: What happens to society when the newspapers die? Why blogs are the enemy of dissent. http://bit.ly/Zwaak (GREAT read!)

  • http://twitter.com/skfpr/status/1790121174 Sue Kern-Fleischer

    RT @jaybaer: What happens to society when the newspapers die? Why blogs are the enemy of dissent. http://bit.ly/Zwaak

  • http://twitter.com/helenanm/status/1792440390 HelenaNM

    RT @tweetmeme Why Blogs Will Kill Dissent | – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/xDAIT

  • http://twitter.com/mparent77772/status/1798212966 Marc Parent

    Will Blogs Kill Dissent?
    http://bit.ly/XqTo1

  • http://www.stevenbshaffer.com/ Steven Shaffer

    Very valid points. I believe that for the ‘lazy’ reader, one who isn’t dead set on maintaining at least a partially open mind, the echo chamber theory is true. Sadly, I believe most of the general public is lazy. We only want to hear what we want to hear, and the extra effort it might take to discover alternate viewpoints may simply not be worth the time. Sad indeed.

  • http://www.stevenbshaffer.com/ Steven Shaffer

    Very valid points. I believe that for the ‘lazy’ reader, one who isn’t dead set on maintaining at least a partially open mind, the echo chamber theory is true. Sadly, I believe most of the general public is lazy. We only want to hear what we want to hear, and the extra effort it might take to discover alternate viewpoints may simply not be worth the time. Sad indeed.

  • http://www.stevenbshaffer.com Steven Shaffer

    Very valid points. I believe that for the ‘lazy’ reader, one who isn’t dead set on maintaining at least a partially open mind, the echo chamber theory is true. Sadly, I believe most of the general public is lazy. We only want to hear what we want to hear, and the extra effort it might take to discover alternate viewpoints may simply not be worth the time. Sad indeed.

  • http://twitter.com/rjleaman/status/1873231835 Rebecca Leaman

    reading @jaybaer Why Blogs Will Kill Dissent http://ow.ly/8lBB

  • http://setandbma.wordpress.com Udayan Banerjee

    It is like inbreeding.

    Lesson to be learned – spend some time reading stuff which you may not be interested in.

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