Is This Herd Mentality Or Judgmental Decision?

There's a lot to be said about herd mentality. In the Blogosphere, the bane of herd mentality will never go away so long as there's a continuous flow of newbies coming into blogging. If they have no one to guide them such as a mentor, then they will fall in with the crowd and move along with it. That's a general view of what's going on in the Blogosphere.

I guess we have to live with this kind of mindset for as long as we are blogging.
There's no running away from it.

An old adage that comes to mind is "if you can't beat them, join them". But would you join the crowd if it's something that goes against the grain? This is when you have to make your own judgmental decision on whether to jump on the bandwagon or go your separate way.

Being able to think through a situation is not as easy as it seems. We are all human beings and we have tendency to be idiosyncratic or indecisive at times. Some of us undergo vacillation until the cows come home. Others simply take the plunge without giving it much thought and live to regret it later.

However, as pointed out by one seasoned blogger, sometimes you have to take risk because it's better than sitting on the fence and missing the boat. After all, you can always pull back if you sense something is not right. In this case, you can say you're just making a
judgmental decision and NOT getting caught in the herd mentality mindset.

The Rush That's Just A Trickle

An example in this case would be
BlogRush. This widget received one of the most talked about hypes when it was first launched and many bloggers signed up. After the initial euphoria, reality set in and many users started to drop it when they saw there wasn't much traffic to speak of using the widget although others reported an increase in traffic.

I had the widget on my sidebar earlier on but it's now cast aside.
Sure, I was beginning to have doubts about the usefulness of BlogRush.

The Bucks Stop Here!

is another case where it seemed to be the "next Adsense" with many users taking the plunge to sign up. Users were reporting positive results as they saw the dollar signs adding up in their accounts. Then one fine day, the cunning folks at WidgetBucks dropped a bombshell, stating that they were cutting off bloggers from outside the U. S. of A and Canada.

Many accounts were unceremoniously suspended. There were reports of the amount in the account being reduced mysteriously or simply disappeared. Whether those actions were taken because of invalid clicks or not remain as mere conjecture. But the public relation image of WidgetBucks can be said to be severely damaged. Later, they started to do some damage control to get back on the international scene.

Getting Hip With 125x125 Ads

For now the 125x125 banner ad seem to be the trend. Once started by some well-known bloggers almost every other blog started to follow suit. Mostly, they have them plastered on the top right corner of their pages. Wonder when people will get tired of looking at them and start to think of something different to be unique?

Some blogs are so plastered with favicons and 125s at the top right corner it's starting to look like your favourite dumping ground for ads that are "sold" or "unsold". When people first saw these "new looks", they all went "oohs" and "aahs" about the whole affair.

If you look carefully at most blogs going in this direction, would it be right to speculate that blogs no longer look like blogs - more like the traditional websites filled with banner ads?
Remember you used to be told by some gurus to be mindful of banner blindness? But who cares, put the banners on and let the advertising dollar roll in! Leading bloggers have made this move as "politically correct" and the floodgate is now open. Herd mentality!

To Subscribe Or Not To Subscribe?

Subscription to an RSS feed or an email is another area where much discussions have been bandied around. It has a lot to do with herd mentality, too. You might be wondering how some blogs have got RSS subscibers in the hundreds while others are just struggling below the 100 mark. Of course, the usual A-list suspects can boast of subscribers in their thousands.

It seems the herd mentality can play a big role here in influencing the number of subscribers to your blog. It has been said that once you have a huge subscription base, it will become much easier with more and more people wanting to subscribe to your site.

But if you have a pathetic subscription figure, then it's gonna be a forlorn wait to see more being added to your RSS feed.
The same can be said about comments on blogs. It's all a case of herd mentality with a great dose of popularity bias thrown into the mindset.

You may have good, readable content on your blog but that does not equate with a ton of subscribers. It all boils down to numbers. The bigger the number, the greater the attraction. Is that the law of attraction?

Like it or not, that's the make-up of the Blogosphere.
Go with the flow if you can't make judgmental decisions of your own.


GeologyJoe said...

Good post Markk. I actually read it all the way through.;)

I have less than 30 rss feeders but I look at my 'feeders' as people who are actually interested in my postings.

Of course more is better but blogging is not my job. Its my soapbox.

MK said...

> Geologyjoe: Thanks for following my mentality, LOL.

GeologyJoe said...

Well, when mentality is normal it is easy to follow.

Anonymous said...

I've never been a very good herd animal ;)
I also read this post all the way through.I've been struck by how many 'how-to' blogs there are out there. All part of a big herd. I feel the call to start one of these blogs, but just can't bring myself to do it.
On a different note, I would love to leave a comment with my blog address, but you are set up to only allow comments from Google/Blogger accounts. I don't feel like getting an account just to leave comments.

Sueblimely said...

By 125 ads are you talking about the size in pixels - As in the ads in your sidebar?

Dale Ng said...

Just to note that it has been said it's mentally healthy to bend to social pressure and blow with the wind. So, it's not something we should frown upon, isn't it? Except when it comes to something very important, or a matter of principle.

MK said...

> bluebeaverbeer: It seems Blogger have tweaked the comment section recently. Now I noticed it. I remember bloggers from other platforms can leave a Username and URL address before when you clicked on the OTHER button, but now it has been replaced by NICKNAME without making accomodation for the URL address. Sorry about that. I try to leave everything open for comments. Anyone who knows how to fix this?

> sueblimely: Yes, I'm referring to the 125 x 125 pixels banner. And yes, I have them on my sidebar, too.

MK said...

> Dale Ng: Here's an extract from my post -- "An old adage that comes to mind is "if you can't beat them, join them". But would you join the crowd if it's something that goes against the grain? This is when you have to make your own judgmental decision on whether to jump on the bandwagon or go your separate way."

I'm trying to weigh the reasoning that comes with herd mentality or making your own judgmental decision. I do have my own opinion. And is this not based on a matter of principle as well? An individual is entitled to his or her own set of principle. If I can make my own judgmental decision on a social issue, then definitely I won't bend to this kind of social pressure that you're referring to. You also can make your own judgmental decision and decide whether to go with the flow or stay on your own path. Thanks for pricking the mind.

Peter @ Enviroman said...


Thanks for leaving a comment in my post Advantages of custom domain for New Blogger. I have responded to your comment.

Concerned Malaysian Blog*Star
Pray for Malaysia
(proud to be the only Malaysian Blog*Star among a small handful, most in US and 2 in Canada)

Peter @ Enviroman said...


Thanks for leaving a comment in my post Advantages of custom domains. I have further responded to your comment. I think you should read it because if Blogger had not been responsive to requests for possibility, I can get you into trouble.

Peter Blog*Star
Blogger Tips and Tricks

Peter @ Enviroman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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