5 Reasons Why Blog Tag Sucks

I’ve been dreading this day for the past week.
Ever since I saw Dave Gale’s post in which he started a new branch of “Blog Tag,” I figured people would eventually run out of cool bloggers to tag and I would finally crack the nod. Well now thanks to Scott, I’ve been tagged.

For those of you now eagerly awaiting, "5 things you didn’t know about Rob Stokes"… keep waiting, I’m pulling the plug.
Instead, here are:

5 Reasons Why Blog Tag Sucks:
  1. It’s insular. The only people who are paying attention to this and care about it are the über bloggers. I randomly asked a bunch of people if they know about Blog Tag and not a single person knew what I was talking about. Sometimes bloggers tend to get so caught up in the blogosphere that they kind of forget what’s relevant in the real world. I’m sorry to say that this is one of those occasions.
  2. It’s like chain-mail for blogs and I hate chain-mail.
  3. It’s a waste of time.
  4. It’s arrogant. I’ll bet that 90% of the time, the only way a blogger knows that he or she has been tagged, is because they have something like a Technorati or Google Alert set up for their own name, (yes, bloggers – I include myself in this one – tend to be a tad… self absorbed).

OK, so while I was thinking of the 5th and final point, Darren (knowing I was writing this post) sent this to me…

5 Things You Never Knew About Rob Stokes:
  1. Rob Stokes hates chain-mail.
  2. Rob Stokes thinks the Blog Tag game is an evolution of chain-mail.
  3. Tagged bloggers act like the friendless fat kid at school, who’s just been picked by the other kids to play hopscotch. Hopscotch is for sissies. Rob Stokes is not a sissy. Rob Stokes is also not fat. He’s just big-boned.
  4. Rob Stokes doesn’t want to tell the whole blogosphere about that one time in Thailand – who woulda thunk she wasn’t quite a she?
  5. Rob Stokes is not going to tag anyone else…

I just thought this was so funny that I had to share it.
So there we go, you’ve learned nothing new about me other than that I might be the Christmas Blog-Scrooge of 2006.

I’m sure that by now you have the distinct impression that I’m not a huge fan of Blog Tag, but to its credit it did start me thinking, and it turns out that I have learned a few things about viral or word of mouth marketing from this process:

  1. Target the influencers. I think one of the main reasons why Dave’s post grew legs was that he tagged Avinash Kaushik and most importantly, he responded. Avinash hasn’t been around in the blogging game for long but his great insight and regular quality postings have fast earned him a good reputation and a large following. Furthermore, many other influential bloggers read his blog and once he tagged someone, they were always going to respond. For a full breakdown of where the tagging went after Dave’s original post, check out this breakdown by SoloSEO.
  2. If you want to catch the attention of a blogger, use their name in a post. As I mentioned above, most bloggers are a tad self involved, so they track themselves online. By using their name in your post, they will find you and if your message is engaging enough, they will hopefully spread it. This is similar to a tactic we’ve used in the past to get the attention of a corporate decision maker who otherwise we wouldn’t have a hope in hell of getting through to. All of these hotshot executives will eventually do a Google Search for their own names, so buy a PPC ad for that name and create a landing page with the message you want them to hear.
  3. Blogging success can often be driven as much by personality as it is by quality, thought provoking content. I think Dave put it quite well: “Maybe it is that despite the regular "meeting of minds" we engage in so often here in cyberspace, we always hanker after something more profound and personal.”
  4. People are sheep, give them something cool to follow and follow they will. The internet only makes this behaviour easier
  5. No one can 100% predict the success or failure of something on the Internet. The only way to find out is to be edgy and continuously experiment.

This branch of Blog Tag stops here. So from a tagged Rob, I bid you good day ;).

PS – I’ve noticed that Seth Godin seems to have ignored his tagging. I bet he won’t respond.

PPS – I kinda hope he does though…It would be cool to learn some things I didn’t know about Seth.

PPPS – It looks like I’m not the only Anti-Blog-Tagger –  Scoble hates the game too.

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