“Bloggers are writing recipes that aren’t tested, aren’t necessarily very good or are copies of things that really good editors have created and done. Bloggers create a kind of …umm…popularity but they are not the experts. We have to understand that.” – Martha Stewart
Nothing beats a good dust-up to get the heart pumping and the temperature rising. Martha Stewart proved that with her dismissive comments that “bloggers are not experts.” The reaction from the infinite number of lifestyle bloggers speaks directly to this point.
However, one has to pause and ask themselves the question; is Stewart really that far off the mark? I am not so sure.
Now some of you may be wondering why I would agree with Stewart’s smugly harsh assessment of the bolgsphere. After all, and despite the countless articles that I have written that have appeared in traditional print mediums, I am at heart and in practice a blogger.
This immutable truth not withstanding I have, as demonstrated by recent posts It’s the end of the world as we know it . . . at least for traditional analyst firms and bloggers, and SciQuest has the secret sauce for contract management success? Not according to Oregon and Colorado!, raised similar type questions regarding blogging in the procurement world.
Where I do take issue – if you could call it that – with Stewart’s comment, is her definition of an expert.
Expertise should not be determined by a title or company with whom one works. Nor should it be confined to a degree or certification alone. Expertise, as one lifestyle blogger responded, should be based on practical experience in the real-world. I would take it a step further by adding the following caveat; expertise or the recognition of expertise should be based upon the thoroughness of your understanding of the subject matter about which you are writing, and the veracity of your advice in terms of empowering people to make the best decisions. This latter point is particularly important!
Given that the majority of all eProcurement initiatives have failed to deliver the anticipated results, one would have to question the “expertise” of the bloggers – including analysts – upon whom the industry has relied over the years.
Let’s face it, for a procurement blog to move out of the realms of being seen as little more than a marketing tool for a particular vendor or vendors, the insight that is provided has to ultimately lead to a successful implementation for the end user. Otherwise what is the point of a blog?
In the context of the above assessment, Stewart could have just as easily been talking about the procurement industry.
What do you think?