Every now and then some ancient blogger will post a world-weary, “been there, done that” missive about how blogging is tiresome, bordering on useless, and so they are giving it up, etc. The implication being, of course, that blogs are a kind of juvenile pursuit, like skateboarding or body-piercing, and that eventually everyone grows up and puts such things behind them. The latest entry in this genre comes from Dee Rambeau of the Marcom blog, which I got pointed to by Student PR blogger Chris Clarke.
Rambeau is apparently one of a number of PR professionals who contribute to the blog and teach PR at Auburn University in Alabama, in the school of communications and journalism. Number one on his list of world-weary reasons for quitting the blog game? Because he was “in early” (he started posting in 2004). Why this means he has to stop now isn’t clear, at least not to me — except perhaps that he has run out of things to say. Rambeau then veers into whether corporations should blog, and says that he has come to the conclusion that blogging “is not a positive thing for business, rather it is a negative.” In fact, he says, for a public company with shareholders, blogs are “useless and irresponsible.” Personal blogging is fine, he says, but they don’t really matter because blogs are primarily “an exercise of EGO.” Then he says:
“I’m tired of blogging. I’m done. What I have to sayâ€¦I’m going to keep it to myself. There is soooooo much noise out there. I’m tired of contributing to it.”
“I will contribute to MarcomBlog in the future but I’ll not be adding to my own blog. My writing is going to be private and I hope to publish a book.”
I have to say this whole post rang false for me in a whole bunch of ways. Should public corporations be careful about blogging? Obviously. But useless and irresponsible? That’s a bit much. I guess it was useless and irresponsible for JetBlue’s founder and CEO to post a video on YouTube apologizing for the way his company has treated customers. No PR value there, I suppose. Or for a company to use their blog as a way of responding to customers, like Dell has — no value there, I suppose. Good lesson.
What it reads like to me is that Dee Rambeau has lost interest in blogging, and/or has run out of things to say, and that what he does have to say he will keep to himself (the point of which is what exactly?) and/or publish in a book — the implication being that doing so is a much more civilized and worthwhile effort than writing a “blog” (and books aren’t about ego, I guess). To which I would say: Thanks for leaving, Dee. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
Please see the comments below for some responses from Dee Rambeau and from Robert French, the Auburn PR teacher who runs the Marcom blog.