Skip to content

Blogging and the Problem of the Echo Chamber

November 30, 2006

As I indicated in a comment in a post  I read today over at Kian’s blog,  I had to make my own sound in the echosphere. Yeah, I called an "echosphere" for a reason because Kian is experiencing something I have also experienced and continue to deal with like the feeling of having my eyes pried open with toothpicks and forced to watch I Love Lucy 24/7. I can only read Scoble’s take on a topic, or Winer’s thoughts about this and that, and what Doc told me today, so many times before I start to think about jumping out my office window.  In this case only 3 feet off the ground but nonetheless, totally whacked.

**Please note that I am completely  hypocritical in that statement 1. because I am envious of their traffic readership, and 2. the reason they are so easy to link to is because all I have to do is Google there last names, or in Doc’s case the word "Doc" and I get a first page search response.  This is a result of the echo chamber I complain of and using blogs to my preached point about SEO.**

With that said, let me explain the blogging echo chamber dilemma.  Blogs are real time.  As fast as something can be typed and the publish button pushed, words can be transmitted to readers all over the world.  When you have people that are gurus as I have mentioned above, everyone is excited to report what exciting thing they read today over at this popular blog.  If they are excited to report it, and you are also excited, and both of you blog it and make me click to go read it, you can see where you get caught up in that echo chamber or the "blogging fissure" (my phrase).

Now throw into that recipe a dash of RSS.  Many of these gurus and leaders in their respective industries, all like to get their message read and have many vehicles to publish within.  I’m going to single out specifically a site I have had this problem with, not necessarily to pick a fight but because they may actually read this and take it as feedback. WebProNews is the vehicle of which I speak.  I have nearly every single author or columnist they have in their stable in my feed reader.  Meaning I can read what Scoble (I’m not picking on you Robert it’s just your name’s easy to type and to remember) said in my feeds in the morning with coffee.  I really don’t need to read that same article in the afternoon published word for word on WPN.  I’m afraid it does not end there.  For whatever reason, Bloglines (my main feed reader) picks up this feed again and again, publishing the same feed again, with possibly a new feed thrown in once they have cut and pasted an article from another WPN author. This can go on throughout the day, causing a dozen "unread" feeds.  I’m sorry, it still does not end there.  Now throw in that bowl and fold, the fact that I have search feeds with search strings I follow related to the industry, and for clients, and for metrics.  Due to having these feeds, a search tag may be related to "Business Blogging", which means that every article that is tagged business blogging ends up sent to me as "new content".  In reality it was that same Scoble article I read in the morning.  We professional bloggers that like to stay on the lunatic fringe of blog consulting, blog marketing and blog advertising (oh man this is a keyword feast!) have now read 20 articles written by 50 different authors, sent to us 5 times, and thrown on our windshield again by our own need for information.  You can see how the echo chamber is suddenly a recipe of disaster.

Powered by Qumana

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Janet permalink
    November 30, 2006 10:57 pm

    Hi, Sounds like blog echo hell!
    You left a comment about professional blogging on my site today. It said to contact you. Am I blind – I’m not seeing a contact form or link…
    Email me at

  2. December 2, 2006 9:36 am

    Hi Jim!

    I see where you’re coming from, but you could always argue the same point about your daily trip to the supermarket.

    You walk down each isle, lots of different products all with basically the same content, or at least purporting to offer the same contents.

    However, it’s up to you as a consumer to apply some trial & error to these products to determine which is best for you…


  1. » The TechMeme Effect: Why the Blogosphere has become an Echo Chamber
  2. PlagiarismToday » The DMCA on Social News Sites
  3. Maria Langer, the Official Web Site* » links for 2007-05-06
  4. About Blah, Blah! Technology…
  5. Wayne’s weekly wrap-up: the Echo Chamber
  6. Information is a weapon
  7. TigerTwoTiger » Blog Archive » Contemplating the Echo Chamber: Just Who Are You Talking To?

Leave a Reply