Book Review: Blog Blazers

by byamabe on December 16, 2008

If you look at the archives of my posts, you will notice that I’m a sporadic blogger. So when I heard about “Blog Blazers” (Stephane Grenier) I was looking forward to reading it. As luck would have it, I won a copy from Ian Landsman with the stipulation that I write a review. So here is that review.

Qualified Criticism

Let me start by saying that this book has some great insights and tips on blogging. There’s some great stuff about what to blog about and different ways to think about successful blogging. That being said, I don’t think it was worthy of being a book.

No Value Add

For those who don’t know, the format of the book is a questionnaire answered by 40 different bloggers. It’s like one of those memes that gets past around except the questions are more focused and the respondents are more “famous.” A lot of the content can be pulled from the blogs of the respondents. In fact, Seth Godin’s “response” was made indirectly by pulling content from his blog (with his permission of course).

I also think there could have been some value added by analyzing the responses in aggregate. What are the common ways that blogs are being monetized? How many are even monetizing their blogs? etc.

Format Problem

The format was also problematic at times. The wooden adherence to the format made respondents repeat themselves. So there were many responses like, “As I said before…”, “I previously mentioned…” Even Stephane’s response suffered from the constraints of the format. I would have liked a more conversational style, but that would have taken more effort and who knows what bloggers would have had the time?

The format also lent itself to mailing the answers in. Several respondents were quite terse and left me with the impression that this book was just another marketing vehicle for them. I won’t mention him by name, but a blogger that is known as the fake CEO of a computer maker really left me cold.

Read This Book

So after the criticism, I would definitely recommend reading this book. I just wouldn’t recommend buying it. So, borrow it, get it off bookmooch.com or paperbackswap.com, or leave me a comment by the end of the and I might send you my copy.

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