26 June 2007

REPOST 8/15/2006 Blog posts

Why is it that people think you don't feel strongly about an issue or don't know the issue unless you blog on it? Or...conversely...why do people think that blogging on it means you know jack about it?

Let me give you an example... Recently, a rather respected personality posted extremely erroneous information about Amazon's new policy on e-books to a Yahoo group list. I corrected her, purely in the interest of getting the correct information out there.

It's not that Amazon hates e-books. They are simply maximizing their own profits by choosing who they will take e-books from and in what formats. In short, they won't list e-books that are distributed by their competition. You see, they recently bought two e-book distributors and want the money from the distribution AND the sales on all books they carry on the site. They are the 2000 pound gorilla and can make policies like that. It's very old business practice to do these sorts of things.

Neither is it true that ALL e-books have been removed from the Amazon site. Those that already conform to what Amazon wants are notably still there.

The person in question attacked my reporting...not on the basis of any FACTS, but rather on the basis that she had blogged on it and I hadn't, so she must be the expert.

Okay...This idea really floors me. There are tens of millions (or more) blogs out there. Does anyone actually believe that blogging on a subject makes you an expert on it? Or that not choosing to blog on it means you're clueless?

As president of
EPIC, I have seen the entire Amazon deal discussed in great detail, complete with the details of the companies Amazon has purchased, the companies they want to reap the benefits of purchasing by way of these new policies. In fact, I've seen it discussed on every publisher list who was affected by disappearing books, and I passed the same information I did to that "personality" with quite different results.

You see, most people realize that seeing it discussed in great detail on so many lists means that, just maybe, blogging on it is a general waste of time. Those who need the information or want it are asking in those forums and getting it directly.

I only did it this time to illustrate a point, and that point is that blogs do not prove one way or the other that you know the subject matter you're blogging about intimately. If you blog and give faulty information, you're just another hack with a blog. If you blog only what you feel the need to blog but consistently give good advice and solid facts, you know what you're talking about. Having a blog or not doesn't mean a thing, in the long run.

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