Over the weekend, I purposely avoided reading blogs written by women in order to explore the world of male blogging.
Here are a few of my insights:
1) Too many men write about too many boring subjects — like computer technology, politics, gadgets, business news, and management styles. Ironically, these are the most popular sites on the web and make up most of the Technorati 100.
2) Blogs are getting BIG in the business world. Companies from Microsoft to Tivo all want to market their products with a “human” face by having a “blog.” Some even suggest that Walmart should start blogging.
IBM is getting into blogging in a big way. According to CNN:
IBM thinks blogging is the next wave in marketing, and it’s preparing its employees to ride that wave, according to a published report.
With an eye on blogging’s potential to influence future employees and business partners, the technology bellwether began offering blogging tools to its workers six months ago, according to AdAge.com.
“Other companies have fired people for blogging, but IBM is encouraging it,” Christopher Barger, IBM’s unofficial “blogger in chief,” said in the report.
According to AdAge.com, IBM employees who blog are advised to follow the company’s business code of conduct, respect copyright laws and to not reveal proprietary information.
The report said IBM now has 15,000 registered internal bloggers, and more than 2,200 of those workers publish external blogs.
My childhood friend, Tuck, works for IBM in New York. I asked him today what his IBM blog was going to be about.
“I have no idea. LAN administration?”
“Can you show pictures of your cute son on your IBM blog?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Do you know if any hot IBM women will be blogging?”
“There’s a really good-looking redhead who works in financial services, but her blog is mostly about accounting software.”
“Any photos of her on her blog?”
“Well, thanks for the info. My readers will appreciate it. I’m looking forward to your first post.”
3) Some bloggers are making money. Did you know that if you have some specific skill or expertise you can pitch your blog idea to one of the blog networks? This will get you a lot more exposure — and maybe some money down the road.
Unfortunately, you have to have some expertise in something. And you have to write about the same subject every day. And if your blog is supposed to be about “Sports Equipment,” you can’t decide to write about, say — your wife.
4) Because of the growth of blogging, the concept of a “blog” is changing. Readers are expecting a blog to be about “something.” IBM employees will write about IBM products. Defamer and Gawker will write about celebrities and the media. Engadget will write about gadgets.
So, where does this leave bloggers like most of us who write mostly nonsense? You know, those of us who write about what we had for breakfast today?
When I started blogging several months ago, this is what I thought a blog was. Now, I see that blogging is being usurped by those who want to say something, market something, or sell something.
Soon, a BLOG will have a whole new meaning, one associated with real-life issues.
That’s why, from now on, I don’t consider “Citizen of the Month” a blog anymore.
From now on, I will think of “Citizen of the Month” as a “Shpritz.”
shpritz: a short spray of seltzer from a seltzer bottle
Every day, I will write a daily Shpritz.
And like a shpritz from a bottle, a literary shpritz will spray you in the face to get your attention, but it will never, ever stain your clothes.
Good-bye, blog. Hello, Shpritz.