I have sometimes asked myself why there is one country in the English-speaking world that doesn’t have that many prominent bloggers (and blogs). This country is of course Great Britain. When I started out blogging I read lots of blogs written by Americans and Australians, with the odd Canadian ones thrown into the mix. Never ever did I read any UK blogs until I proactively sought out a blogging meetup in London. The two prominent bloggers I got to know there were based in England but one is actually from Denmark and the other one has now moved to California. Based on their international orientation I don’t think they are very representative of the British blogging legion (if indeed there is one).
What type of blogs are we talking here?
In the industry I operate (recruitment and HR) there are a few really good UK bloggers. I assume that’s the case for most industries, there will be subject matter experts writing blogs but these will be aimed at a narrow target audience. What I am after are blogs that are more general and write about universal themes, such as marketing, business and even social media. A few examples would be the blogs of Chris Brogan, Leo Babauta, Penelope Trunk to name but a few. I have yet to find a blog of that calibre in this country.
So what’s stopping Brits from blogging more?
I think there a couple of reasons the British don’t blog as muh as say the Americans. In fact, if you look at how Americans consume news, it’s by reading local newspapers and watching local news (all the television networks do localised news). This of course makes blogs the ideal place to have a location-independent conversation. Some of the best writers in the US have either started as bloggers or are active bloggers alongside their published work.
Newspapers still get more readers online
In the UK we have a different media scenario. There is a very active discourse happening on a national level, thanks to hugely influential newspapers such as The Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph. On top of that we have the BBC which is the number one news and information source for most Brits on the radio, on television and online (that’s their tagline in fact). The best thinkers in the country don’t blog, they have columns in newspapers or they have a radio show.
A different media landscape can to some degree explain the lack of prominent blogs and blogger in this country. The reason I say some degree is that France, a country with a similar media setup to the UK, actually have a very active blogosphere. Across the channel I have been told blogging is popular due to the French love of the written word – everyone wants to be a writer and blogging is the natural place to start.
Please let me know what you reckon
I would really like someone to tell me what they think of the state of UK blogs, this post is written purely based on my perception so if you have another view please share it!