Blog Pruning

There are some in the PR field who advocate that every enterprise should embrace blogging. Let your employees blog. Why doesn’t your CEO post? Use blogs to market your products and services. What about internal blogs and wikis? How prevalent is corporate blogging anyway?

Today, New York Times media columnist David Carr visits one of the world’s most successful blogging-preneurs, Nick Denton of Gawker. Mr. Carr’s editorial motivation: Denton’s decision to put two of his “underperforming” blogs up for sale, and layoff some Gawker-land employees. In the column, Mr. Denton sanguinely notes,

“The world does not need more blogs,” adding that if you count all the pages on MySpace, “there is approximately one reader for every blog out there.”

This brings us back to the effusive PR consultants who prod their clients into the blogosphere with abandon. Let’s face it: there are many individuals, institutions and industries that simply should not blog. If success is defined by building an audience (and authority), perhaps there are some subject areas that aren’t worth the time of day?

I mean would people flock to a blog created by even the duckiest of insurance companies AFLAC (especially when its brand is riding high through traditional marketing means)?

“The barrier to entry in Internet media is low,” Denton said. “The barrier to success is high…You have to have the discipline to recognize what isn’t working and put your money and efforts into those sites that are.”

Unlike Gawker, not all blogs are ad-supported. Many serve other important duties. Still, if the blog fails to attract any followers, perhaps it’s time to hang it up.