Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Guru's Vs. Gossip's

Each new day I fire up my newsreader program, FeedDemon, and cruise through several channels of news and noise generated in the previous 24 hours by bloggers and media. It's not a tough ritual at all... much more productive for me than reading the paper or watching Headline News. I have come to understand though that the main providers of the information flowing into my newsreader, bloggers, can be divided into two groups (is there anything in this world that cannot be separated into two groups?). The two groups are the "guru's" and the "gossip's".

The Guru bloggers generate "first-time" content. When content appears on a guru site it is typically new. It may be links to current affairs (see Slashdot) or information with commentary (see Defective Yeti), new thinking and lessons targeting a particular group of readers (see MarketiningProfs) or simply a personal conversation made public (see Dooce). Most important about this group is that what they publish is fresh and new.

On the other hand, Gossip bloggers are mostly concerned with linking and ranting. Rather than develop new stuff, gossips feed on what others are discovering. In some cases they offer redundant opinions in favor of the author, and in others they shoot bullets and sarcasm at the author or story for being so "wrong". In the gossip group it appears to be all about getting and giving links to boost search engine rankings or simply to be noticed by others. I won't be offering any links to blogs I consider to be in this second group. You'll have to decide for yourself which ones they are.

It was this article at GeekyBodhi on blogger burnout that got me thinking about these two groups this afternoon. My thought, for myself and for other bloggers that worry about the quality of what we publish, is that I hope to be of the first group, not the latter. People I know professionally read my blog. It's part of my reputation and the impression people gather about me from day to day.

I hope when I sound like a gossip someone will send me a slap-upside-the-head email to straighten me out. In the meantime, the other day you would not believe what I heard.... (grinning).