Who should not blog?

I was thinking, there has been so much encouragement for businesses and individuals alike to start blogging – and after reading several books, blogs and articles, it is no doubt that blogging is the current wave of user generated content, and virtually anyone who has or has not used a computer can blog.

Take a peek down an Amazon search on blogging, and you will find endless books advocating business blogging, and books teaching businesses how to get online with blogs, or use blogs as a platform where executives can really speak with authenticity and transparency to the stakeholders.

But the real question here is – is blogging really for everyone? Is there a group of people who really should not blog?

I personally feel that blogs may not be for everyone. However, this small population should form the real minority. Here are four groups which I can think of.

#1 People who want command and control

Who Should Not BlogIt is understandable that some people want ultimate control over what is said about them. Blogging, afterall, is about being open, accepting criticism through your comments and addressing these comments in the authentic manner. By starting a blog you are essentially opening your doors to people and saying “hey, I want some feedback, I am open to feedback”.

When feedback (whether good or bad) pours in, there is practically nothing you can do to stop it. Even shutting down the blog does not work, because we know how powerful a medium blogs can be in echoing and passing the message on.

To start a blog, you must first enjoy discussion and dialogue, not command, control and monologues.

#2 Dull people

It is not up to me to say whose content is dull and whose is not, and there is no “dull blog indicator” (at least, not as I have heard of) about rating the dullness of a blog.

However, blogs cannot afford to be dull – they need to be interesting to read. With over 50 million blogs on the blogosphere and the figures rising every second, the instant and reflexive action that people will take when they hit a dull article is “NEXT!”.

Then again, I emphasise that it is really not up to me, or anyone, for that matter to determine if a blog is dull. If you come and talk to me about needlework or cross-stitching, you bet I will say “NEXT!”, but the same information may appeal to the enthusiasts. What is important then, is that we correctly identify our target audience, and make sure the blog appeals to that audience.

#3 Companies working on sensitive issues

I believe not all companies should have a corporate blog. Some blogs may prove to be more detrimental to some companies than useful. For example, I’d be surprised is any military organization, or any company dealing with security related issued would start a blog, and tell people all about their technology.

These companies are dealing with sensitive issues – and not only sensitive, but what could also prove to be a life-and-death issue should any unfortunate leaks of information occur. These companies should not blog.

#4 Employees who have nothing but bad opinions about their employers

While this again is a very controversial topic, I have personally read blogs that are simply “frustration vents” where an employee of a company does nothing but rampant on about the bad stuff about their bosses and the company they work for. Obviously, many of these employees might not be aware that what they post up on their blogs are essentially viewable by the public.

The employer, of course, could tackle this in two ways. The first way is of course, to get the employee dooced, and there has been many cases of such. This can backfire, however, especially in the blogosphere where fellow bloggers are willing to be vigilant and drop the employer another punch of not being open to criticism.

The second and better way would be to tackle the issue at its roots – talking to the employee personally about the content published on the blog, and really addressing the blogger’s concerns. This can not only save the employer the hassle of getting and retraining a new employee, but also earn credibility that you actually listen to your employee’s feedback.

Who else should not blog? Should I not blog? Ooops… Too late! :mrgreen:

Update: Visitors who have arrived from the post at Tomorrow.sg and have found this article absurd, please understand the perspective in which this article is written with the comment response here, and my article here. Thanks!


  1. Hi Kian Ann,

    there are a couple more groups of people whom I think should not blog.

    Firstly, those who are afraid of letting themselves known to the whole world. Well, once you set up a blog, it’s hard to escape all the scrutiny and even criticism by everyone else. Hence, one has to be able to take all these.

    Secondly, those who are unwilling to put in the time. To maintain an interactive blog, it takes time and effort to provide good content as well as to build relationships with readers. So one must be willing to put in time and effort.

    Lastly, those who simply blog with the sole intention of squeezing money out of their visitors. I mean, I’ve seen tons of blogs with lousy content but merely placed with tons of ads all over. These blogs have more ads den content. Unfortunately, I feel these bloggers are simply wasting their time and taking up internet space. 😉

  2. Calvin! You are darn right on the last point! I think blogs should be built to inform, inspire, educate, entertain.. or whatever, but the focus should be on the reader, not money!

    Well put!

  3. I do not think the examples that you have cited are ‘groups’ so much as they are profiles. What you have identified are simply persons or entities that might not benefit from blogging.

    By the very fact of stating that there are people ‘who should not blog’, we are acting no different from the profile #1 – command and control.

    The issue of ‘dull blogs’ is irrelevant as – pointed out even by you – one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Instead, since ‘dull’ is matter of perspective, it is the reader who should discern and not the blogger who should stop.

    I digress that companies with sensitive issues can still blog albeit without revealing that information which is sensitive. There is much to be learnt and understood when such companies discuss general issues notwithstanding.

    Finally, a blog is, in many cases, an avenue that allows individuals to express themselves. Even if they have only negativity to offer, it is their choice. Of course they are liable for their actions and they will invariably face the resulting consequence of those actions.

    I believe that the issue here is not about who should not blog. It is more about the dangers of misuse or abuse of the platform.

    Anyone can blog, just be mindful and careful…

  4. Uh-uh, disagree with you on the “dull people” part. Given that your figure of 50 million blogs in the world, you need to take into account the fact that most of these blogs are one-day, or even one-post wonders, and they are abandoned as fast as they come.

    So far, it is estimated that only less than 20% of blogs are still updated past 6 months. Of course that is still a very big number, but your competition drops by a lot.

    Dull people shouldn’t blog? Nah, if they keep at it, they’ll still establish themselves.

  5. Thought Provoker – I get what you mean. As you mentioned, this post could be better phrased as “people who might not benefit from blogging”.

    Everyone can blog, but I guess these groups of people might need either extra effort, or be more careful with watch they they post, to avoid getting into trouble.

    Thanks for your insights! 😉

  6. Thanks Pkchukiss!

    I guess (like with everything else in life, erm… except the long tail sites :mrgreen: ) a very big portion of the websites and blogs in the world don’t get updated often and don’t receive any kind of traffic at all.

    Most of these sites are really what you would say – one time efforts, or one post wonders.

    I guess these blogs have to exist, for the top 20% to move on, in a sense, it is like a sales process, a numbers game: you won’t know if the person is interested in your product until you give a person an opportunity to be presented to; you don’t know blogging is good for you until you have given it a go.

    So the higher the “50 million” figure, the higher the 20% will be, and so will the remaining 80%.

    Of course, many of these 80% blogs also belong to unethical marketers starting hundreds of blogs a day to get incoming links to their sites. Even though Technorati claims that the figures don’t include these blogs, I suspect that there might still be a good number that leaked in.

    What I meant by “Dull People” are not so much the ones that do not post often, but post content that doesn’t really interest anyone else except themselves.

    However, as Thought Provoker has put it, it is really not up to anybody to say “Hey, you should not blog”, but these group of people might need more effort to get their blogs up the rankings or well visited by web traffic (if they have the intention to do so in the first place)

  7. basically i think this entry is more of one sided, which is, your point of view. end of story.

  8. Thank you Mr Passerby,

    I appreciate the perspective you are looking at this, having read the comments over at Tomorrow.sg.

    The theme of this blog is about business blogging and blog marketing, thus the articles are written in the perspective of such.

    The majority of the blogs in the world are personal online journals which contain ramblings or humorous anecdotes from an individual, and blogs have indeed originated from such.

    Definitely, “blogging” in the sense of personal online journals are for anybody who wishes to do so, and it is a popular form of self expression today.

    However, setting up, maintaining and marketing a corporate blog involves an investment of time, money and other resources. Hence, thought needs to put in if that investment would be worthwhile and if blogging is indeed suitable for that business or individual.

  9. Looks as though being ‘tomorrowed’ for this entry is causing a prickly predicament eh Mr Tan? I foresee you having to defend yourself a bit in the coming few days.

    Of course, I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s no such thing as bad publicity – it’s just a matter of how we deal with publicity (negative or positive) to turn it to our advantage.

    Cheers and good luck…

  10. Thanks Thought Provoker,

    It is certainly an learning experience dealing with comments like this, and you bet it is an opportunity to turn this around.

    Dealing with the occasional publicity is part and parcel of blogging. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Content is king, context is the palace

  12. #5 People with a poor command of the English language.

    Such as yourself.

    “I was thinking, there has been so much encouragement for businesses and individuals alike to start blogging – and after reading several books, blogs and articles, it is no doubt that blogging is the current wave of user generated content, and virtually anyone who have or have not used a computer can blog.”

    I will only bother correcting the obvious:
    “I was thinking: there…”
    “anyone who has or has not used”

    Your syntax is a mess on the whole. Do please proof-read your entries before you next decide to publish them, else just heed my advice on #5 and stop publishing altogether.

  13. Hi “Bored”,

    Thank you for correcting my punctuation and grammar.

    On that note, blogs (even corporate blogs) are most effective written in a conversational and personal tone. While a perfect use of English would be much desirable, what is more important is that the idea is brought across.

  14. “I was thinking: there…”
    It isn’t a must to have the colon there. 😀