Commercial blogs entering Finland

My my, what an interesting week this has been: First, Blogilista goes commercial, and now Pirkka-magazine has launched a number of commercial blogs. The Finnish blogosphere reacts with violent distrust and confusion.

I see no problem. These are clearly blogs, simply because the only meaningful definition for the world blog is based on form, not content. They're not lying about their affiliation. They publish polished content. In fact, I find it wonderful that a media publisher dares to go and try and embrace the new media. They even publish Atom feeds for all blogs! Way!

However, entering the blogosphere may be more difficult than just dumping Movabletype on your magazine web site: people will look at these blogs. They will discuss. They will find crap on them (if there's any). They will write about it. And it's difficult to ignore them, if you want to keep your credibility. Other bloggers will call your bullshit - and very likely, someone in that bunch is at least equal in writing skills and more knowledgeable on the subject than you. And they know it.

Now the question is how much integrity Pirkka wants to have: do they just want to publish news articles in a blog format - or do they really want to go full out and really try to embrace the dialogue that comes with the format?

You see, whatever else blogs may be, they work best as a personal media. You need to let people write with their own voice, not just copying material from others - even if you have all the rights to do so. It's the power and bane of the format; a personal touch creates reader loyalty, but it also means that you have to get involved in your writing - "laittaa itsensä likoon", as the Finns say. And that is not easy.

Welcome to the crowd! I'm happy you're here, anyway. People will grumble, but there's always room for one more in the jacuzzi.

(A quick hint to Pirkka writers: Read http://www.corporateblogging.info/, and Scoble's Corporate Blogging Manifesto. Understand. Internalize. And stop posting articles from one person under the name of another... That simply takes away credibility from the author.)

(And a quick other hint to people who complain about these being on blogilista.fi: get a clue. Really. Would you stop using a phone book simply because it contains company phone numbers, or stop using Google because it's *gasp* a profit-making company? That's exactly what Blogilista.fi is - an index of blogs, nothing more. It ain't your personal blogospheric community where people live happily and go to the woods to get undressed and hug each other in a blogoslavic überbliss. If you don't like the direction they're taking, learn to use RSS and site feeds, and make your own personal bloglist.

Blogging in Finland is finally growing up. The hype around blogging will cease in a year or two, and hopefully we then can better understand what the media is and what one can do with it. And then we can get back to the really important thing: writing. Writing about your dog, or your political views, or celebrity divorces, or company products, or food, or your sex life, or whatever pleases you. Some bloggers will gain prestige; some bloggers will become influential; some bloggers will make many people laugh; some bloggers will make many people weep. Some will be completely ignored. Most will just form their own community of their twenty close friends or family or whoever, and just happily live in their own microcosmos.

It's just text. In the end, it's all in the way you arrange the letters of the alphabet - blogs, through their simplicity, are just a way of letting everyone play in the game.)




Comments

Funny thing about those complaints of commercial blogs being on blogilista.fi is that everybody can have their own personalized list. One doesn't have to subscribe to them. Samikki sure as hell isn't putting them on anybody's lists.

--psi-, 09-Apr-2005


Good points and nice attitude, thanks.

We actually do know the sites you mentioned - and a couple of others. We even had our own trainingcamp: http://kirjoitusopas.blogspot.com/

Petteri / Pirkka

--PN, 09-Apr-2005


Very good... Just remember the importance of transparency. :-)

--JanneJalkanen, 09-Apr-2005


Very nice. Olipas siinä todella hieno kirjoitus, visionäärinen ja filosofinen, intellektuelli ja maanläheinen samaan aikaan. Tää pitää laittaa jonnekin linkkinä. Jep.

--Wilhelmiina (http://minavon.blogspot.com), 09-Apr-2005


Wow, I was just about to write something about this stuff, but it seems you already said it all, and more. Guess I just have to link. :)

And the mystery of kirjoitusopas: solved! I can't really explain it, but I was somehow really confused about that blog...

--Jere Majava, 10-Apr-2005


If people are really that concerned about having a "corporate" blog list, I'm sure we'll see an "alternative" blog list quite soon. The software is simple to design and finding a list of all the Finnish blogs will be a sinch!

--Phil, 10-Apr-2005


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