Did I hear an Echo in here?

Chris Pirillo's 10 Ways to Eliminate the Echo Chamber is essential reading for any blogger.

The "Echo Chamber" effect is posting a link or a short snippet of an article without adding any additional content. Thus the same information is mindlessly echoed back and forth across the internet.

If you aren't adding unique information or content to your blog posts, you're essentially duplicating a social bookmarking site like digg or del.icio.us. It's what I call "lazy blogging".

Let's say Apple releases a new iPod, and you create a brief blog entry linking to the Apple site. Hey-- new iPod! At best you've created a news item that someone could read on any news website. At worst you've created duplicated noise, like the 30+ different hits you'll get for identical Wikipedia content that has been copied from site to site.

Whenever you post a blog entry, add some you. Tell us your experience with the iPod. Do some research and document exactly what's different about this iPod, and why you're excited about it. Share some tips on how you use the iPod. Let us know there's a person in there, not a link-generating, press-release-quoting automaton. That's the whole point of blogging!

What are YOU doing to get us out of the echo chamber?

posted on Tuesday, September 05, 2006 4:39 PM by jatwood


# re: Did I hear an Echo in here?

For the most part, this is solid advice. The one excuse I can think of for basically reposting links is if you spend time in multiple worlds that you know for sure are unconnected. As a made-up example, if you know that your family reads your blog but does not read some technical blog, and if the technical blog has some interesting tidbit for non-programmers, you can connect your family (and other non-techie readers) to that blog with a link.

Still, it's always worth adding value. I had a perfect example of that with your frequency-hearing entry, which I expanded on in my blog and which got comments from people I had never heard of before ... quite gratifying.
Friday, September 08, 2006 7:12 PM by mike

# re: Did I hear an Echo in here?

You have a very valid point. I frequently see many blogs just putting a link or copied content. It would be really nice if they say
1. Why am I putting this out there?
2. What is my take on it? Do I agree? Disagree? Reasons?
3. Other points of view
I guess part of this comes from a viewpoint that people want to share something they like with people. But as you said, it is plain lazy if they cannot take a few minutes out to add some context to the links.
Thursday, March 29, 2007 10:14 AM by Krishna Kumar

# re: Did I hear an Echo in here?

I call this a "blog-through", a term which I hearby cast into the public domain.

Used in a sentence: Man, the actual article was masked by three <i>blog-throughs</i> - what a pain!
Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:08 AM by Jim R. Wilson (jimbojw)

# Ecos...

Friday, March 30, 2007 12:05 PM by LA.Net

# re: Did I hear an Echo in here?

Here's a good example of a "blog-through"


Not sure, but I think it's still going...

But yes, quick links with nothing add is actually valueless. I personally use my bogs for more of a dump for myself. Hence, a topic for myself. Unfortunately, I have to do this. Here at work, they block some of the link repository sites along with *** sites, dating, and game sites. They even block some other ones that are slightly objectionable. I could just email things to myself, but then I have to search through emails at home.

But if your blog is for public sharing, please, please, please add some value to the link you are using.
Friday, March 30, 2007 3:32 PM by John Baughman

# re: Did I hear an Echo in here?

Yeah, I believe this is right. At least pour some of your thoughts when you quote on something.

Shouldn't this be a part of some blogging consortium already? (is there already such a thing)??
Sunday, April 01, 2007 6:24 PM by Maricris

# re: Did I hear an Echo in here?

Most blogs exist to sell ad space. Many others exist to promote a company. The problem is that 'echo chamber' posts, assuming they're echoing something good, can draw almost as much or more traffic as original posts, and thus they still produce the same amount of ad revenue for much less effort than writing your own material. Every blog has X amount of faithful readers, and those X people will pass around the link to *your* blog when sharing it with friends.

Sure, Fark.com or Slashdot.org might not link to your blog in particular out of the 200 with the same story/link... but they also *might*, and that's a chance worth taking, considering the cost is practically nil.

In short, it won't change until there's an economic incentive to change it.
Saturday, April 07, 2007 9:29 AM by James Schend