On Influence and Bad Blog Posts

I like differing opinions, thoughts and comments. I think it’s good to have a variety of thought. No one likes a yes man right? Except maybe in the social media world. Then sometimes it resembles a quid pro quo type of environment. I’ll promote your stuff you promote mine. The thinking is well illustrated by David Armano with his depiction of influencer ripples. If your content can be promoted by the right people than it can reach more people. It’s why companies are so hot on the influencer thingright now-find the influencer and get eyeballs and sell product. Look, I’m down with helping my friends out but…

Today’s online influence is overblown, overrated and diluted and can be gamed.

Here’s why. What if the content sucks? Yet because you and I are friends and we read and promote each others stuff we’ll retweet and share content sometimes sight unseen.  That’s kind of jive isn’t it? Yet it’s effective.  That’s not really fair to the reader is it? But it works. What if the reader is someone on the outside and is trying to “get in” to the world of social media? They might share and promote your crappy content too. Add the element of two people with very large networks of followers and subscribers sharing content and you can see how this can all be affected. Crappy content always has a fighting chance with a killer post title and a supposed influencer sharing it.

How about these 2 scenarios? The first one I’ve been sucked into a bunch of times. You see a compelling blog title tweeted, you click on it and it’s end up being something that you might wrap your dead fish in. The second, I will refer to this definition from Wikipedia.

A spam blog, sometimes referred to by the neologism splog,[1] is a blog which the author uses to promote affiliated websites, to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites or to simply sell links/ads.

We’re all suckers for a great blog post title. Why? Because we’re hoping for fresh, we’re hoping for a different POV. We’re tired of repetitive thoughts, posts and comments without any backbone.  A lot of people have ceased writing for their audiences and are writing purely for search, link juice and hollow authority. Unfortunately there’s no end in sight and we’ll continue to be influenced into clicking on and reading. Hoping.

6 thoughts on “On Influence and Bad Blog Posts

  1. Thanks for sharing that image. I had not seen it before and it certainly does show the potential of the ripple effect. I am a sucker for a title every day of the week. Because I too have been burned (so to speak) by bad content from a great title, I have been more skeptical to see who the source or author is before I make my final decision to read. Reputation management is very important – a true ripple effect of your content! Thanks for the post.

  2. That’s indeed an interesting problem you raise.
    If a friend writes a sucky post, I am not sure I’d tell him, or not promote it at all in my little.
    I don’t really know how to approach this problem to find a solution, maybe it’s a matter of being more honest and open to your friends, but that’s also true that sometimes people you meet through blogging are called friends without being REALLY friends, so they may not take good a “mmm your post isn’t that cool you know”.

  3. @Gabriele, call it blind adulation. The problem is akin to a referral system of people that do bad work, yet because you are networked together, and a level of trust has been created, you assume that trust is naturally transferable. Sadly it’s not. We have to build trust from scratch, it can’t be assumptive.

  4. @Pam You’re quite welcome. The problem with titles is that a lot of us understand the SEO impact of a good title i.e. link juice and a lot of us know what readers want in their titles. Content issues aside, it does come to sources. As I told Gabriele, you almost have to create a level of trust with the first blog post you read and then go from there.

  5. If a blogger is focusing only for search engines then only search bots will visits it. Even if he write a clever title with no useful information, visitors are going to simple skip his page resulting in huge bounce rate(so no SEO benefits)! Also, there can be couple of other disadvantages with this kind of motive. And again there are bloggers who are genuine in delivering good content but because of their distractedness, they stop blogging for long time which is also a bad experience to him as well as to his visitors. I think these can be the two reasons why readers are sticking to only popular blogs like Mashable, Readwriteweb, Engadget etc.. or to the blogs which are popular in their niche. As number of bloggers increases on daily basis, competition & dilution both grow correspondingly. This is where you have to bring out your skills to stand out of the crowd!

    Your point on “Yet because you and I are friends and we read and promote each others stuff we’ll retweet and share content sometimes sight unseen.”, reminded me this; I follow you and you follow me back = No USE.

Comments are closed.