Experiment: do finance people care about blogs?

Our Finance Networking Event is tomorrow (big, deep breath) and I was thinking about how, if I go into a room of marketers or recruiters, someone talks to me about blogging...always. I'm just wondering if that is going to happen tomorrow. Hey, I know that blogging took off among the tech folks and the youngsters first (I can say that because I am neither of those). Getting a stronger following in marketing and recruiting (whee!). I haven't seen it *take off* among the finance peeps yet. There have been blog posts about it, but I think accounting and finance bloggers are still a novelty (I hope they stick around and that community grows).

Anyway, here are some people blogging about finance related blogs (talk about navel gazing...I apologize to anyone who has ever known or been associated with me). Blogging about people blogging about blogs...nice, Heather.

So the experiment is this: will blogging be mentioned by anyone but me tomorrow? If so, how many times?

PS: my blog url is in my auto signature

Comments (27)

  1. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, you know, blogging about blogging. You didn’t think I was pulling up my shirt hem to take a peek, did you? I can’t do that term justice, but I love it. Paints wuite a picture. Now everybody do it!

  2. um…ok. Must be some sort of crazy midwestern colloquialism or some other weirdness…I totally don’t get it.

    isn’t blogging about blogging improperly called "metablogging"?

  3. David says:

    The oldest blog-like medium that’s specifically financial is probably Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Letter to Shareholders.

    Maybe if we could get Warren to blog quartlerly, then you’d have more people doing the same.

    Metablog would be the proper term for a blog about a blog, at least in the way that we use "meta" in Computer Science theory, and as used in the words "metaethics" and "metaphysical."

  4. I think if Warren blogged it would be like…the next greatest thing. But also blogging would kind of be jumping the shark. Soon all the big names will be blogging, but really it’s more like press releases, and possibly written not by the guy but by his PR guy, and not in the community nature of real blogs, there won’t be comments and trackbacks, they won’t be responding to the little people…and in essence it would dilute the meaning of "blogs" in the (philosophically not semantically)

    As for the semantics…the way we use it in computer science maybe, as in metadata being "data about data" so in that vein metablogging could be "blogging about blogging", but I’m not down with the term metaphysics in that sense…it’s not "physics about physics", a more appropriate term would be "metaphilosophy". So for metaphysics, metaethics, et al, we have to use "meta" in the non CS sense of "higher" or "above", which would not really fit with blogging about blogs…or maybe it would. Either way, I am now adopting "navel gazing" into my every day speech.

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Scott, are you turning into the colloquial grammar police? Am I going to have to start footnoting my blog posts? I just heard pther people using it that way so it is colloquial as far as I am concerned, but obviously not the only term, just the most fun to say. As punishment, I’d like you to use "navel gazing" 3 times today. ; )

    David-thanks for the info.

  6. Nathan says:

    Navel gazing? Aww, man, I thought I was supposed to be watching the big grey ships.

    I’m still trying to convince people they don’t really want my pique performance, though.

    English. Love it or mangle it.

  7. Link: Heather’s Marketing and Finance at Microsoft Blog : Experiment: do finance people care about blogs?. My answer: No, no one cares about blogs yet… of the 11 million or so, only 55% are active. Now chop that down by

  8. Navel – scar where the umbilical cord was attached. Umbilicus.

    Naval – connected with or belonging to or used in a navy.

    I’m sure she meant navel. I may not be the colloquial grammar police but I will gladly be the homonym police. I still don’t get the usage though. I’m just slow I guess.

    I have used "navel gazing" twice now Heather. Once more and I will have served my sentence. Oh…and I got pretty much the reaction from those around me that you got from me 😛 Bet you didn’t anticipate this kind of comment action from one simple phrase!

  9. Not so sure I understand the comment that no on cares about business blogs. In my aggregator, there appear to be just as many business blogs as there are in other catagories. Further, as a business blogger, I read over 50 blogs daily. They all reference a miriad of other blogs. The numbers appear to be staggering.

    Where do you get the notion that no one cares?

  10. Heather – I’m betting you’ll be surprised. I’m putting my chips on "Yes." It’s going to be a topic – it just follows you.

  11. Nathan says:

    Thanks for the homonyms, Scott. I’m familiar with the phrase, actually. I’m surprised to hear (read) that others aren’t–I thought it was common. My handy dandy book on the origin of colloquialisms doesn’t help in this case, but I did find this explanation:

    "In the mid-19th century the word Omphalopsychic, the name of a religious sect whose members achieved a trance state by gazing at the navels, was translated into ordinary English as navel-contemplators. From this the term navel-contemplation for complacent self-absorption, or a narrow view of things, came into use. By the early 20th century, this had been simplified to our modern navel gazing."


    Come to think of it, I *have* seen or heard the "contemplating" version somewhere.

  12. HeatherLeigh says:

    Nathan and Scott-on a day when I worry that I am the biggest nerd on the face of the earth, I’m going to remind myself to look at this post. But you guys are geeking out over the English language…whee! I am not alone in my nerdiness! Someday when I have more time I’ll expand on the "navel gazing" term.

    David-read the post again. Nowhere did I state the "nobody cares about business blogs"…I *asked* *if* finance people care about blogs. Based on the fact that I have had only one finance person even say the word "blog" to me ever (I’m asking the question, not assuming). There’s a difference between "anybody (or "nobody")" and "finance people". There’s a difference between saying and asking.

    Masked-Blogger…I’ll let you know…since I know where to find you ; )

  13. Heather, you *simply* *cannot* use the asterisk-quote convention on consecutive words! I won’t allow it. I am now the "plain text word emphasis derived from BBS and Usenet conventions" police.

    Nathan – holy cow. a definition! thank you so much! now that I know it’s a real thing I can use it even more, although it does take some of the fun out of it! But now that I know the origins…I’m not any closer to understanding how it is synonymous with "metablogging". /sigh

    Gotta geek out over something eh? Might as well be English. Me fail English? That unpossible.

  14. HeatherLeigh says:

    Scott-see why we like to keep you coming around here? You funny! I’ll try to refrain from the double askterisk quote. Bad enough that I have become a smiley face and exclamation point lover. Used to annoy me so much before but really the only way to let people know I’m not a total butt sometimes ; )

    Anyway, the event was last night, the attendees were awesome, it rocked, fantastic feedback, I’m happy and tired…and 2 people mentioned blogging ; ) So now I know.

  15. D-Wang says:

    So… how did it go? 😉

    BTW: are you officially one of the people that are mentioned in the new MSN Filter that was written about in Red Herring?

  16. HeatherLeigh says:

    D-Wang-thanks for asking. We had a 96% attendance rate (people who RSVPed that actually attended). The hiring managers were jazzed and I still have a lot of follow-up work to do when I am back in the office next week. They noted specifically the quality of the candidates. That makes me happy! I can probably provide more details later…as a recruiting opportunity, we would really measure the event success based on what happens afterward. So more info to come!

  17. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oops, forgot to answer your other question D-Wang. I’m not a "blogger for hire"…just someone in Staffing that also blogs. So I don’t have anything to do with MSN Filter. You couldn’t pay me for my content…I have to give it away! ; )

  18. nate says:

    Some thoughts:

    1. Finance people care about new, internet-enabled communication. Consider the stock message boards at Yahoo Finance or Motley Fool.

    2. Internet Business Strategy: The Aug 13-19th copy of The Economist has an article called "Yahoo’s Personality Crisis" –> you might want to read this. It talks about the future of the Internet portal business for the biggest players. (MSN, Yahoo, Google, AOL)

    3. Blogging changes behavior. Finance people will care about blogging once they realize that it explains aggregate variations (why "actual" results do not match "budget") and make forecasts.

    For example, I rented a Penn & Teller show over the wknd (based on your blog?). I also rented Dr. Strangelove (based on Prof DeLong blog – Berkeley – http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2005/08/film.html#comments). How many other people get ideas from blogs?

    4. Economists (DeLong blog at Berkeley, Becker-Posner at University of Chicago, numerous others, etc) may have adopted blogs earlier than corporate finance and accounting. (key: may – others may have adopted it as soon as economists).

    5. Retaliation – people do not blog because it may not be great for job security. People do not want to risk saying something that could be misunderstood, that is proprietary, or that could be okay to say yet upset peers or the boss and make one’s job awkward or impossible. And lots of people do not want to be vulnerable and prefer routine private activities (vs. writing and thinking). Certain careers such as tenured professors may be more conducive to blogging than others.

    Apologies for the long post.

  19. HeatherLeigh says:

    Nate-good post.

    1. and 2. agree…though no direct relationship to blogs. I read recently that most people that are reading blogs don’t know that they are on blogs and only 11% (?) of people reading blogs even use RSS. Probably good signs that it’s just a matter of time before we see more finance blogs.

    3. Sounds like a blog discussion that may only interest finance folks (or other business folks at the P&L level)…I could be wrong. Suspect that is a blog niche that can be filled easily by a prolific finance blogger…cross-over traffic? I don’t know. I guess the intersection of finance and marketing-new business development, market sizing, etc., good blog fodder but would they be considered a finance blog, a marketing blog or something else? Maybe the need for finance blogs is being met by other blogs?

    4. Perhaps the applications of economic theory are more blog-able than many other aspects of finance. I have always found econ (macro specifically) interesting because of it’s relevance to life…gas prices going up, trade deficit, etc.

    5. I would venture to say that finance people are all about managing risk. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that people are drawn to careers in finance because they are risk averse, but perhaps it’s a cultural norm in the finance field the avoid risk more often than not? I don’t know.

    Great points.

  20. nate says:


    One could at least try to argue that "yahoo" started at Jerry Yang’s blog, and morphed and grew into Yahoo.

    I am not so sure of the history of Motley Fool.

    On another note: do you get your electricity from Avista Corp? What has been your experience with Avista Corp?

  21. nate says:

    One more: blogs are directly related to Internet Business Strategy and portals. People spend time on blogs. I wonder how much time when you add it all up across all people and blogs and platforms.

    Google blogs have google search boxes.

    Google has targeted advertisements (Google AdSense) for blogs. Does Microsoft have something like this?

  22. HeatherLeigh says:

    Nate-that yahoo page doesn’t look like a finance blog to me. If that counts, I suspect that any corporate web page could be considered a blog. Technically, if you want to go back and identify the first blog, it’s likely Netscape’s What’s New page (sorry, I don’t have the link handy), which I think came out around 93. Anyhoo, I’m not the right person to ask about MSN’s advertising product offerings. If there’s someone from MSN our there that wants to take this question, feel free. I guess I was just asking about finance blogs specifically. The larger topics of blogs and search engines is probably broader than I wish to get here. There are others more knowledgeable in that area than I.

  23. nate says:

    I guess this is the kind of thing I had in mind – although as you point out, it is not a blog..


    another thing on finance blogs: if someone is really good at finance, why would he or she be giving away information for free on a blog?

  24. kamal says:

    finance people do care about blogs but only for those who are being run by well known finance sector legends.

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