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Does popularity moderate bloggers' tone?

I came across an interesting commentary about how bloggers get bureaucratized by their popularity.The posting comments on a chapter in a book called Making Online News entitled, "The Routines of Blogging".
Written by Edwin Yapp on

I came across an interesting commentary about how bloggers get bureaucratized by their popularity.

The posting comments on a chapter in a book called Making Online News entitled, "The Routines of Blogging".

Here are the relevant passage:

"More than one blogger said a key turning point in the way they practise blogging was the moment they felt the gaze of the public eye. Realizing that people are paying attention...has led these bloggers to adopt a more careful, dispassionate approach and tone."

One blogger is quoted as saying this has led to less expression of opinion, and more reporting and thoughtful analysis. "I was more creative when I started, now I'm more deliberate... I started trying to be more professional... Once I got to 100 readers, I started to get more organized and started to take more responsibility for what I posted. Then I started to restrict what I put up there... I've ducked a couple of issues recently...because I wanted to be better informed. I didn't want to be wrong...so I just avoided the topic."

When I look at the evolution of say, Jeff Ooi, as a blogger, I find that the observation above to be true. When he started out, Jeff used coarser language and was not averse to making personal attacks. As his blog grew in popularity, he tempered his language and basically became more professional.

I guess this is just a natural progression. When you first start out blogging, it's usually for yourself. Then, when you develop a following, you start writing for others. This will naturally affect the way you write and what you write about.

Is this a good thing? On the whole, probably more good than bad. It's hard to argue against being more professional.

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