Would the future be forever changed if only I and my cohorts’ brilliant thoughts and ideas could be passively distributed to the rest of humanity?
Does the world need The Mumble Scam?
Deep questions, I know, and I would say yes to all of the above. The world needs one more idiot.
After much contemplation I came to the conclusion that it may be necessary to talk more about the The Scam and what it’s all about, especially with the current staggering amount of useless content already in circulation.
So, for my self-validation for The Scam, and it being more than just another mommy blog (love you sweetie), I looked at what’s currently available on the interwebs and knew The Scam could do better. Better random musings, better topics, better everything; and we could deliver it all gift-wrapped in sentence fragments, confusing pop-culture allegories, and bad grammar that would put the most sarcastic, skinny jean-wearing hipster to shame.
Here are just a few of the reasons that compelled me to fight the good fight and pursue blogging randomness.
Reason 1. I found an obscure online expert saying what I want to hear.
When asked about the over saturation of blogs in a recent Chicago Tribune story, Alan Webber, a principal analyst for the Altimeter Group technology advisory firm based in San Mateo, Calif., said, “That’s like asking, ‘Do we have too many books?’ If someone has something to say, and they can go out and produce it, then no, we’re not oversaturated.”
According to the latest data from the social media company NM Incite, there are an estimated 180 million blogs currently. Over-saturation? I guess it’s debatable, but the real question is,
“Who is this mysterious Alan Webber and Altimeter Group, and are they credible?”
I have no idea and don’t care, he said what I wanted to hear and that’s what the internet is all about. The important thing to remember here, is that there aren’t 1 billion blogs, because then creating another one would just be silly.
Reason 2. There are millions of personal finance blogs written by people bad at personal finance but their sites still make a lot of money…possibly, I can’t back that up.
Using Google blog search, with the keywords ‘personal finance’, there were only 68 million blogs classified as personal finance and, most of which I read, were about people chronicling their attempt to get out of massive debt their incredibly crappy personal finance skills got themselves into.
As entertaining as these train wrecks are, I’m always more interested in quality rather than quantity, so I decided to dig past the folksy-wisdom post titles, like ‘Look For A Fixer-Upper but Avoid Homes with Problems You Can’t Fix’ and peel back the shiny layer of vector logos from Wisebread’s Top Personal Finance Blogs.
I peered into the dark and shadowy world of online personal finance, actually read some content, and was utterly reaffirmed in my belief that public education is horrible.
After the 15th reading of the same recycled nonsense on how to save money by not going to Starbucks every morning, I got the feeling most Personal Finance (PF) ‘experts’ try to parlay their financial blunders/experiences into an ad-supported income from blogging by offering frugal tips, tricks, coupons, and even despised credit cards. Not that there is anything wrong with digital panhandling, but the sheer number of ‘experts’ makes me suspicious. I would compare these inspiring transformation stories to an ignorant person who shot themselves in the foot, and while trying to fix their self-inflicted wound, became a doctor; except without any credentials, training, or education. Maybe I’m a just being too negative/realistic.
Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about, try not to trip over all the advertisements on their sites:
Money Crashers.com - “Back when I was in debt, I was hopelessly in debt to the tune of about $30K. And I was unemployed and living with my parents.”
And Then She Saved.com – “At the tail-end of 2009 I was suffocating from the weight of my $23,605.10 in debt (this amount may be more or less than others debt, what matters is it was bad enough for me).
The 60K Project.com - “The $60K Project is my attempt at making sense of how and why I came to owe so much money and making every possible attempt to get rid of it.”
The list could go on and on but for the sake of mediocre taste we’ll just leave it here. I’m sure everyone can fill in their own headline when we have The Best Personal Finance Blog Intro contest later on.
Reason 3. Everyone else is blogging and there’s a 50% chance we can do it better…and we only have small text ads.
This may be the worst reason but it’s true. Unfortunately the above type of Johnny Expert analysis isn’t found with just finance blogs. Oh no, this epidemic is much more widespread than that and as Mr. Allen pointed out, all you need is content and the ability to produce it; and thanks to technology, production is available to almost anyone (yours included). This collective packaging of ignorance into shiny plastic has proliferated, giving credibility to the fool, creating writers from two-finger typists, elevating microwave users into chefs, and breeding experts from the moron next door. And thanks to lazy journalism and 24-hour cable news, people think these interlopers actually know what they’re talking about because they are ‘published’. One more expert couldn’t hurt… Welcome to the real Scam.
Financial Disclaimer: The Scam has diversified portfolio holdings of approximately 50% documentary, 50% cathartic therapy, 50% hobby, and 50% writing exercise at the time of this publishing. It has achieved a 200% increase in its existence holdings since its creation and should be considered a personal finance success.