Which Bloggers Do You Read That No One Else Does?
If you were paying attention to the blogosphere or the conversation going on over at Sphinn this past weekend, you probably heard the rumbling regarding search engine optimization bloggers. There was some heated debate as to what their responsibilities may or may not be to the outlying community, and what their audience has a right to demand from them.
There are plenty of obvious answers to this. Search bloggers have a responsibility to be fair, to get the facts right, to note their sources, to link out to opposing viewpoints, lots of stuff. I think most of us recognize this.
For me, though, there’s one biggie that doesn’t get touched on nearly enough, and it’s this: If you’re an SEO blogger, it is absolutely your responsibility to highlight new voices. To help bring attention to the people who are saying important things but are getting talked over. It is so important to the success and growth of our industry.
This is something that, truthfully, has been on my mind for awhile now. Not so long ago, a thread was started on Sphinn asking that when users submit something to the site, that they identify early on in the description who the author is. The common consensus was that doing this would help readers connect with authors or blogs that they respected. It helps expert content get noticed.
I remember commenting to Susan that the whole idea of this made me very uncomfortable.
I understand lots of things. I understand that there are some authors out there who have reputations stronger than others. I understand that we all have people that we’re naturally inclined to agree (and disagree) with. I understand that people don’t want to "waste their time" on writers with bad priors. I get that, I do. I just wonder if we’re not doing a great disservice to all the new voices out there. I wonder how many great articles are getting ignored because their names weren’t instantly recognizable.
You can argue that, in the case of Sphinn, by putting the names in the descriptions that, over time, new voices are found. If each one of Danielle James’ blog entries is submitted as "Danielle James wrote", then after a while she will gain a reputation for writing great stuff. And that’s true, but in order for that to work, someone has to be submitting it. Someone has to go out there and find that great content and submit it for her. She could do it herself, but unless you have someone like Tamar or Chris submitting things for you, trying to go "hot" is an uphill battle.
As search bloggers, are we doing enough of that? Are we going out and finding the rare pieces or are we relying too heavily on the A-listers? Do you leave your feed reader and hunt for new voices or do you just spend your entire day in there?
I know that I try and find new eggs. And when I do find them, I link to them. Perhaps I could be doing more of that.
And I’m not knocking the system or pretending that I’m doing everything in my power to help others gain more attention, but as search bloggers, I really feel finding new voices is one of our most important responsibilities to our community.
Tell me: Who do you read that no one else does? Who do you think is the best new voice out there is? How did you find them?