It’s hard to blog when you feel that you should add some sort of value to the ongoing conversation. Simply adding your two cents to a story is perfectly okay, but my firm belief is that the blogs that become influential are the ones providing analysis and insight rather than just opinions. You know what they say about opinions.
Because of this, many people start masking their opinions as analysis – and that’s where the trouble begins. Like I said, it’s okay to have both opinions and providing analysis, but the two should never be mixed up. Analysis often requires prior knowledge of the topic, experience and a good analytical ability do be able to dissect what has actually happened. This is quite rare, and the ones that have it often have reasons for not sharing their thoughts openly. Unfortunately, everyone simply can´t be transparent.
When I read blogs about the media industry I find this problem a lot. People write that old media is dead, that they should stop printing newspapers, that they should connect to the blogosphere more. I’ve written similar things to this myself. Whether they should or not is beside the point, but I would love to read a considerably more insightful analysis on WHY the answer should be one way or the other. And when I say insightful – I mean taking in all of the strategic considerations that are needed to be able to evaluate the situation. Things such as market position, profitability, brand building, competitors, revenue stream breakdown, current contracts that can’t be broken, timing. And many more. The evening paper Expressen made 144 million SEK profit during 2008. Why stop printing it? Sure, a lot of that profit came from DVD sales and so forth, but never the less – the newspaper acted as distribution for this new and innovative revenue stream. Therefore they would kill this revenue stream by stopping to print the paper. This may not be the winning argument to keep printing the paper, but it is a factor that needs to be taken into account when saying that media companies should cut their print editions.
I know I have often been guilty of mixing opinion with analysis myself. But I intend to get better. We need more analysis and more insight. And I, personally, will be cutting the RSS-feeds that have no further depth than just simply being there.