Is it too late to become a blogger?

Has the window of opportunity closed?

I have a good friend, a published author, who has steadfastly resisted my invitations to take up blogging. This has been going on for several years.

Nothing I said or did seemed to register with him. He was always interested in my blog and was even encouraging about the quality of essays I wrote, but it was the politely detached interest one might show in a collection of airline barf bags. Blogging might be a fine pastime, but it was not something he took seriously as a tool for developing a customer base.

Something has changed his opinion, probably the fact that you can’t read a paper or watch TV without hearing about bloggers and blogging. Now he is wrestling with the fact that he may have missed a window of opportunity.

In a recent conversation, he voiced his concern that it might be too late now to become a blogger. He felt it was easier to get noticed two years ago when there were so few bloggers. He was worried that it might be far more difficult to build a reputation now that there is so much competition from bloggers who have established huge followings.

I tried to reassure him that in the blogosphere we can all be famous for at least 15 people. I didn’t want to grapple with explaining the Long Tail phenomena, or get into a discussion that might confuse him further.

The simplest answer to this question is: The blogosphere is an infinite sum game.

The power and the leverage gained by each blogger increases as he or she exchanges communication with others. There is no limitation on a blogger’s ability to reach an audience except the unwillingness to accept and originate communication.

My personal philosophy that your audience size is a function of your willingness and ability to communicate things that are important to you. I see new bloggers every week that have the ability to connect with an audience. On the other hand, I see highly touted personalities start a well-publicized blog and it is immediately apparent they don’t have a clue about communicating. Their posts read like press releases. Their blogs close down after a few months.

I think a weblog is the ultimate power tool. Here is an excerpt from my December 2003 post:

Through a weblog, a single individual can be connected to and can affect an almost unlimited number of other individuals. … From a practical standpoint, your audience is limited only by the power of your intellect. If you use it, and build with it, they will come.

If you understand communication in all of its aspects, you can reach any audience you choose, given enough time.

If you understand branding, you can hold your audience and make it grow.

If you understand art, you will know how aesthetics can be used as the carrier wave for creating an emotional response and conveying information.

If you understand emotional tone levels and how they affect the receipt and comprehension of information, you will be able to communicate truth at a level which can be understood and accepted by your chosen audience.

I am convinced that the blogosphere still offers infinite possibilities. In almost two years of blogging, I have not seen anything to convince me otherwise. I feel we have barely scratched the surface.

We are building a free-form network that is changing the way the world exchanges information.

What do you think? Are all of the good spots taken?

Is it too late to become a successful blogger?

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0 Responses to Is it too late to become a blogger?

  1. Karen says:

    “Are all the good spots taken?” It seems so sometimes, but everyone has a voice. We are all unique, with different experiences and bring different things to the blogosphere. It’s easy to think that the good spots has been taken, but I don’t think so. Some sites are more popular, sure, it also depends on what you want out of blogging. There are far easy ways to obtain fame/money, if that’s what you want.

  2. That is easily the most foolish thing I’ve ever heard about blogging.

    It reminds me of guys who say, “All the good ones are taken.” meaning all the marriage-worthy women are already married, so why date?

    New blogs pop up out of nowhere and are very successful.

    Old blogs trudge along with a devoted but not really growing readership.

    However, let me contradict myself slightly.

    Paul Woodhouse of Tinbasher blog told me recently that the so-called “A-list” bloggers, if they started out today, would probably remain obscure wankers.

    So there is the value of being an early adapter.

    But many geniuses arrive late at the ball game and still hit home runs in tech and communications.

    Think of rock bands.

    After the Beatles stormed the USA and the world, why even try to form a band?

    Millions of competitors? So What?

    99% of blogs are boring and imitative, even stupid.

    There is always room for one more.

    It’s not a “lost in the crowd” thing. Not at all.

    Start a blog. Post comments of great wit and intelligence at reputable blogs, maybe even the top tier blogs.

    Force others to pay attention to you via quality, uniqueness, etc.

    Karen Ruby told me to come here and comment.

    Excellant post Mr. Ripples.

    I forgot how good your writing and thinking are.

    Please forgive me.

    :^)

  3. Steven,

    Thanks for dropping by. We have missed your delicately nuanced opinions. 😉

    As always, you take no prisoners and leave no doubt of your certainty. I have added you to my blogroll so I can find you again.

    Your latest series of posts are hard-hitting and hilarious at the same time. Anyone who is taking their blogging too seriously should visit Steven’s site, Vaspers the Grate.

  4. What a nice reply to my typically cranky comments…

    …so nice, I will add it to my sidebar quotes, with a link back to this post.

    I regret saying this quote was so “foolish”, because it’s actually a sincere and serious question, not foolish, just the honest expression of a concern.

    Pass on my apology to the friend. I think I went off on him because he reminds me of my best friend from junior high school, who always tells me, “Blogs aren’t important, they’re ancient. Podcasting and internet radio is where it’s at.”

    He deliberately seeks to annoy me, because he thinks I always go totally whacked out over any new thing I get into.

    “Whatever you get into, you claim it’s the Most Important Thing in the World”, he says.

    Since he’s known me since junior high school, and we shared an apartment for several years in NYC in the 80’s, he thinks his opinions about me are omniscient and infallible.

    :^)

    I like your blog, but lost touch with it.

    I still think the debate about dangers of certain personal, financial, employer, and family details in a blog is something to get into again later.

    I’ll even let you clobber me again, because you’re one of the very few bloggers who can manfully and aggressively go against me.

    :^(

  5. Ron says:

    I think that is like worrying about if all the good websites are taken. You just have to be more creative, create a little buzz and keep at it.

    One magical day someone (for us it was Seth Godin) may mention you and you will be flooded with an audience.

  6. Andreas says:

    My 2 cents that I read one time somewhere: Even if you have only one reader, it is your duty to write for this one as if you blog is up for subscription to this one reader.

    On the other hand, you can write for yourself. Be authentic and you will be heard.

    Or: Serve a niche market. There are the big boys and the smaller ones that support the overall development.

    Anything is possible as long as you have fun. Just don’t think that there will be millions of readers over night.

  7. colleen says:

    Blogging is getting popular. When I was in Mass. recently a blogger was featured on the front page of the Quincy Patriot Ledger…mainly because she is a blogger and the media and others are getting intrested…or curious.

  8. Joy Kramer says:

    Have all the books been written??

  9. Joy: no.

    But all the bad ones have been, I think.

    :^)

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