Group Blogs

Daniel wrote,

I am interested in your comment about not subscribing to group blogs. Why? Isn’t it a good way to discover new blogs worth reading? Just curious…

I think it’s important to differentiate between two types of blogs. The terms I use (which may or may not be generally accepted) are:

Aggregated blog

A blog that aggregates together the blogs of separate people, presenting them on one feed.

Group blog

A blog with posts written by several people.

I think aggregated blogs are okay, though I tend to read them on their web page to find out what I like rather than subscribe to them. They do tend to be pretty noisy, especially when there are a number of new bloggers, but if you can get by that, there may be some good people to subscribe to.

Group blogs are a different beast. In them, a group of people write articles for the same blog. ABlog is one, and there are a few that are run by Microsoft teams.

I don’t think I’ve come across one yet that was any good. I read a blog to get a specific person’s perspective, not to get the jumbled-together perspectives of a group of people. Group blogs also lack coherence, and most they are normally one-way.

In my mind, one of the points of having a blog is to engage in conversation. I read every comment that gets made on my blog. Sometimes I reply, sometimes I comment, sometimes I write a new blog entry. Sometimes I don’t do anything, but the comment still effects what I do in the future.

That’s because I have a sense of ownership around it, because it’s *my* blog. It’s just human nature to care more about something that has your name on it than something that has your team’s name on it.

The C# team actually has a group blog for FAQ questions. It’s much better than not getting that information out at all, but it has neither the personality nor the interaction of a personal blog. That’s okay if it’s an *adjunct* to other blogs, but not if it’s the only one for a team. I’d read a general Apress blog devoted to new releases even if it were a group blog, because it would have a different goal.

My advice to everybody doing group blogs is to do aggregated blogs instead. Sure, it’s more work, but the result is so much better.


Comments (11)

  1. Daniel Moth says:

    You are right it is important to distinguish the two and yes I thought you meant aggregated blogs in your previous post (while we are on terminology, are these "blog entries" or "blog posts" ?).

    Having clarified that, I tend to agree on your position on group blogs however here is one that qualifies as a group blog and I think is worth subscribing to: Maybe it is the exception that proves the rule 🙂

  2. Vic Berggren says:

    I recently stopped subscribing to the c# team blog for lack of posts…

  3. Daniel Moth says:

    Drew, interesting link, I enjoyed it. "Exception that proves the rule" is an expression of the English language. In Greek, the saying is: "Every rule has its exception". My native language is Greek, so I just found the closest English equivalent. Now if you point to *any* rule that does not have an exception… guess what my reply will be?

  4. josh ledgard says:

    Maybe I’m biased, but I think works pretty well as a group blog and retains personality of the writers. Hence… it is possible, just not well implemented often. josh

  5. Drew says:

    It’s a commonly misused phrase in English (interesting to find out about the similar Greek expression, though). Then again the point is probably "moot" – a commonly misused word in English that means "debatable", but is gradually coming to be accepted as "inconsequential". "Exception that proves the rule" never made sense to me until I found an explanation like the one on the site linked to. I was just trying to share the knowledge.

    "Every rule has its exception" seems equally paradoxical to me. It’s a restatement of Russell’s Paradox, I think.

    Since I’m cluttering up the comments with OT junk, I should probably also contribute to the real topic:

    My group has been debating doing a group blog. I’m one of the anti-group blog faction. Seems like a way to hide behind a group – not expose one’s identity. I thought that the company was excited about blogging for exactly the opposite reason: individual Microsofties interacting with the outside world without the layers of indirection.

    I just wrote "the company was excited". Evidently I don’t quite get it yet. Maybe I should start a blog.

  6. Michael Kale says:

    Not sure if you’re a baseball fan, but the USS Mariner is a great blog co-written by three guys:

  7. Michael Kale says:

    Not sure if you’re a baseball fan, but the USS Mariner is a great blog co-written by three guys:

  8. Michael Kale says:

    Sorry for the double post. (And now I’ve made it even worse with the triple post 😉

  9. MBA says:

    Helpful For MBA Fans.