Are You a Lazy Blogger?

Filed as News on February 3, 2007 8:49 am

Gees, we bloggers have gotten lazy.

Blogging Yesterday

When I first started blogging, over 10 years before the word “blogging” was even invented, all coding was manual. I had to type in every HTML tag and link from scratch in Windows Notepad. Later, I used a semi-WYSIWYG HTML coding program which eventually became a better WYSIWYG HTML program, but it was still a lot of manual effort with little return.

was pretty much the only search engine game in town, though there were hundreds of search engine wannabes and directories. All submissions were manually done, and to some extent, approval for those submissions was also done manually by the search engines and directories personnel. It took months to even be considered, let alone listed.

There were few web pages on the web, and very little, and often inaccurate, information. To find anything online, I had to dig through several search engines. What I needed was often on page 4 instead of on page 1, since page ranking was not available for sifting the more appropriate results to the top of the list.

Search results were based upon Boolean word combinations, adding or removing a word from your search terms increased or decreased the possibilities. The hardest part was coming up with the right combination(s) of words to get any kind of good result.

In 1996, I remember the thrill of encountering an access speed of 4800 baud. That was race car Internet access for me. We were on the road traveling, connecting to the Internet with Compuserve access numbers through an acoustic coupler strapped to a pay phone receiver at the amazing speed of 300-1200 baud. We went through a lot of quarters to keep the connection open. Occasionally, people would allow us to hook up via their phone connections, and we’d dance around with joy of watching email arrive faster than one character at a time.

Stories for my site didn’t come from the web. There was no “echo chamber” for me to echo. My stories came from my life, my experiences, my lessons, and basically from my head. There were few sites worth linking to, and almost no one around to inspire my writing online. I had to go out looking for stories – away from my computer and office on the road.

Blogging Today

Today, CMS and blogging programs like WordPress allow us to blog without ever interacting with code. Search engines are pinged whenever a post is published, so site submissions are really unnecessary. Search engines come to call after an invisible invitation is issued, no effort from me. Information is everywhere, accessible within a few keystrokes. Internet access through WIFI, cable, DSL, cell phone, and satellite is almost everywhere.

Look, ma! No wires! No pay phones!

Search engines now have patented algorithms to guess at what I’m really searching for better than I know myself. The sites at the top of the list usually have the information I need, without turning a page, so my hunting time is definitely reduced.

Through feeds, news and updates come to me, I don’t have to go to them to find out what is going on anywhere and everywhere around the web and the world.

More importantly, I don’t have to leave my computer to find stories to write about.

SCREEEEEECCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHH!

What was that?

That’s right. I don’t have to leave my computer or my comfortable chair to find stories to write about.

This is where I think bloggers are falling down lazy.

Blogging is Easy for Lazy Bloggers

We have all the hard work done for us now. Blogging is easy. The hardest, and sometimes most boring, part of the work is done for us automatically. The only thing we really have to work on is finding content for our blogs. And we don’t even have to leave our chairs to find it.

With all the resources and information on the computer screen in front of us, then why is everyone blogging about the same 10 subjects? Whole weeks go by when I see the same 10 subjects talked about on 1000 different blogs?

I find a lot of people blogging about topics destined to bring in big crowds of traffic, but they really are only offering the tips they’ve picked off other blogger’s articles rather than honestly contributing to the conversation based upon expertise. They just want the traffic, and not the real work it takes to build an audience based upon your skills and talents.

Sometimes, I think the web has become an old fashioned dial radio. Just twist the knob at the top of the hour and hear the same news with different voices as you cycle through the channels.

What are you doing to not be a lazy blogger?

Are you taking advantage of the billions of bits of information and stories out there just begging to be told? Or are you simply rebroadcasting the same old news, just like everyone else?

When was the last time you set a blogging assignment for yourself to go out and find a story. You don’t have to leave your computer and step outside, though it might be a great change, but you do need to set a goal, work out a plan and strategy, research the material, and write the story.

Don’t just sit on your comfortable feeds ready to jump on a story that everyone will be echoing through the blogosphere in their race to be the first with the news. Create your own story that others will jump on and rebroadcast for you.

So, tell the truth. Are you a lazy blogger? Have you got anything new to say?


Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on , and is a long time support volunteer for . Lorelle travels too much and reports about life on the road in and covers family history and genealogy on , and writes for too many blogs, ezines, and magazines.

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  1. By mr.denali posted on February 3, 2007 at 2:28 pm
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    Im such a lazy blogger, I don’t even call myself one. I sort of report things that I am working on, and it’s not exactly news, and it’s not exactly content-worthy. If you were to throw in the design of your blog as well, I’d be right at the top in terms of laziness. I do customize my layouts however, to make them “mine”. Where I make up for the general laziness is user-focused info. It’s not exactly perfect yet, but I have my next project set up so that it welcomes you with your name, and your pic. A Youtube video in my fully customized admin area also awaits you. I took the RSS code from the Worsdpress Admin Feed and resused it in an entirely seperate page to gather news from Digg, Salaon, Newsvine, Reuters, NYTimes, and the Washingtonpost.

    So I guess I’m lazy on the frontend, but am very meticulous on the backend.

  2. By Aaron B. Hockley posted on February 3, 2007 at 4:19 pm
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    The avoidance of being a lazy blogger is one of the challenges of writing for Metroblogging Portland – sure there’s lots of local news to write about but it’s the same news that everyone else is covering.

    Reporting the same thing is boring. We try to avoid it over there by putting some unique spin on things. Last night everyone in Portland was reporting some grannies got arrested in a war protest. I formed an argument and posted that I felt their methods were insulting to the military recruits… that was the unique angle.

  3. By Rugjeff posted on February 3, 2007 at 4:20 pm
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    I know that I am a lazy blogger, but I don’t mind. Programs and widgets make blogging so much easier today than in years past. We as bloggers can now spend more time on content instead of worrying about the technical aspect of our blog.

  4. By Rhys posted on February 3, 2007 at 7:22 pm
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    I’m not a lazy blogger.

    Before I started blogging I thought a lot of what you’ve just written; the blogosphere is so many people talking about what each other are saying. Although I was drawn to the idea of self-driven writing and publishing I decided I would not start a blog until a) I’d found a topic to write about that no-one else seemed to be writing about; and b) wasn’t a dreary account of my day to day tedious life.

    And I think I’ve found a suitable topic in reporting on skyscrapers being built in London. I can quite confidently say that no-one else in the blogosphere is writing about it. I get very little traffic as I don’t write about buzzy things, but I feel satisfied that I’m contributing something different rather than just adding to the clutter and repetition. And it also gets me out of the house.

  5. By Dave C. posted on February 3, 2007 at 11:56 pm
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    I’m still new to blogging, so getting my feet wet, I did what most do and regurgitated a lot of material, but ever since a recent post on Problogger.net about this exact subject, I’ve been a lot more cognizant of not just writing my own material, but looking to other sources outside of my niche for inspiration. It’s not easy, but a lot more rewarding.

  6. By Danny posted on February 4, 2007 at 8:51 am
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    I ussually never read posts this long on blogs, but this kept my attention. I only know blogging since a couple of months, and to be honest, I thought it was something new. I can imagine you must appreciate all the luxury these times have to offer.

    Well, about me, I’m definitely some kind of a lazy blogger at the moment. Half of my content is written by myself, but sometimes I just need news updates from other blogs. Now this is not the end of the world, because its mostly promotional content from a company or service I represent. I have never blogged about myself, or my own experiences, maybe that will be next step though. The reason I don’t do that is because I have no idea yet, how to get people to read my posts. So yes, I’m a newbie, but not lazy when it really matters. I like to write content.

    I hope to learn how I can get people to read my blog, and how to keep it interesting without using actualities or other people’s news updates. Definitely a subject to think about.

  7. Most Bloggers Are Lazy? at PhoenixRealm SEOFebruary 5, 2007 at 5:39 pm
  8. By sujan patel posted on February 6, 2007 at 3:38 am
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    I am a lazy blogger.

  9. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on February 6, 2007 at 4:12 pm
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    I feel like this is a bloggers addiction meeting. ;-)

    So what are you doing to overcome your lazy blogging? That’s what I really want to know.

  10. Are You a Lazy Blogger? : Lance TraceyFebruary 10, 2007 at 6:25 pm
  11. By Ihad posted on February 12, 2007 at 8:32 pm
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    I guess people get lazy every now and then, can’t maintain the same output constantly. I try to blog at least once a week but there’s times when it doesn’t work out that way, shrug. My readers know the next review will come … soon! :)

  12. By Dave J. (Scoop0901) posted on February 12, 2007 at 10:22 pm
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    So the definition of “blogger” goes back to the ancient days when we had regular ol’ Websites, coding the pages manually, adding content daily, thrice daily — or more? Working it like a newspaper? Wait a second, that was a newspaper! My bad.

    Yeah, I worked news sites, but also my own site, which I kept up-to-date with information and rants.

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