Too Much Blogging?

Seth Godin (the first blogger I ever read) says we are blogging too much and its leading to a tragedy of the commons as we use up precious reader attention.  It’s a theme I have mined myself in previous posts.

I agree with Seth that we are approaching an attention crisis, but I don’t think blogging less is the answer, although I may have other reasons for doing that.  I think we’ll get more bloggers over time, not less, and as we get more content creators and more or less the same number of readers, we’ll need new ways of consuming this content.

Although I use a bunch of feed aggregators (newsgator, bloglines, iTunes, MyYahoo, netvibes, etc), I really don’t read blogs in a feed reader.  I have way too many blogs to consume that way (at least for my brain).

I use tools like delicious, digg, reddit, memeorandum, tailrank, technorati, blogs themselves, etc to filter the noise and give me the best of the blog world every day.  My method isn’t perfect, but its good enough. I don’t miss too much that’s important. 

And then I have blogs that keep me real, like Savage Distortion, Trickster, Chartreuse, Brooklyn Vegan, and Gotham Gal (among others) that don’t seem to pop up on those blog aggregators.  We need a way to incorporate what’s important to us into these filters and I am already seeing signs of that (see Tail Rank’s filter feature for example).

Umair says (in a rambling post where he takes some possibly deserved potshots at the US):

I think Seth’s post is this kind of misuse of economics. The genius of
micromedia is that it blows apart the notion of distribution of a
scarce resource. The whole point is that attention is no longer a
commons; now, it’s about individual expectations and preferences.

I take that as a sign that Umair agrees with me on this one.  I can never be sure.  But in any case, I think Seth is right that there is a ton of blogging going on, but I am not sure he’s right about what to do about it.