Does ‘Popularity’ play a bigger role than ‘Content’ ?

I Google for the most random things. That’s how I stumbled upon an old blog post by someone who had ranted about how a popular blogger (a decade back) had been receiving a lot of attention for some badly written post. According to him, the post was one of the worst attempts by the blogger and he couldn’t understand how people (a lot!) were able to appreciate the blogger for the attempt.

What was interesting in the post was the Content vs Popularity that he spoke about. He argued that sometimes when a person is popular, either because of their blogs or because of some other reason, their posts are always a hit, irrespective of the quality of the content. That got me thinking and I paused for a while to see if I had witnessed something similar in the Blogosphere.

Despite what everyone says, ‘Is content always the ‘King/Queen?’

Not always, would be my answer. 

I’m not generalizing, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it was true in some ways.

Thanks to the many blogging forums, I try and read as many blogs as possible when I’m bored. There have been times when I’ve come across some wonderfully written poems or a well-balanced article and there would hardly be any comments appreciating their efforts. Or worse, it would just be a ‘Good one’ comment. You might probably say that the blogger wouldn’t have promoted the post well (apart from blogging forums). I agree. But doesn’t that stand testimony to the viewpoint that content isn’t *always* the king/queen?

Let’s consider the other scenario, which is pretty common. You find an article written by a famous person. The person could have become famous through blogging or some other way. You see hundreds of comments already and start reading it with interest. A few lines into the post and you wonder what the blogger was trying to say. You give the blogger the benefit of doubt and proceed. You reach the end of the post and still wonder what you might have possibly missed. You look at the comments to get some idea and all you see are ‘Good one’, ‘Nicely written’ and so on. And you know you aren’t alone.

I reiterate what I said. I’m not generalizing. It’s just that it has indeed become a trend of sorts. There have been posts which becomes popular even if the blogger isn’t a known face but in many scenarios which I’ve seen the popularity tag has a lot more to do than the content. I agree that there are a lot of other important parameters that have to be taken into consideration, but I’m only sharing my experiences in the Blogosphere.

On a personal note, on any day I’d prefer a handful of genuine comments than a hundred one/two word comments. I have a different definition of what popularity is *wink*.

So, have you come across such blogs that was spoken about in this article? Do share your experiences.

Note: I’m neither popular nor are my posts that great to go viral. So everything written here is just based on observations and interactions with other blogs/bloggers.


32 thoughts on “Does ‘Popularity’ play a bigger role than ‘Content’ ?

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  1. Interesting post. It is all “I scratch your back and your scratch my back”. I rarely come across comments (not just in my blog but also in most blogs) that are disagreeing with the content. Every comment is a “wow” type. To some extent, I comment what I really feel. To some extent only.


  2. The number of comments is not a sufficient index for blog's superior content but the chances of a blog read by many do have some merit with its popularity coming for different reasons,not necessarily the superior content..The merit of the content and the number of visitors are not always in direct proportion though good blogs do attract visitors generally.One must trust the dictum that 'a stone fit for the wall will not be found in the way'


  3. Content is not the king… blogosphere, I see people reciprocating only..and most of the time its friends also…Whenevr i see too many comments on any post of someone, I rarely comment even..
    Personally i like to read good posts which make me think and whenevr i feel like saying something I say so…


  4. Yes and know, I guess.
    The statement that I like the most in your post is that a handful of sincere comments is worth a hundred of one liners and shallow observations.
    Hmm, yet, I cannot agree more that content is the king. There is indeed a lot of trash being appreciated or let m,e say commented upon.


  5. There was a time, when I was new to blogging, I used to wonder, how some people got so many comments, and as you have said, they hardly had anything interesting to convey. However, I soon got the answer, it was more just “you comment on my blog, I too will return to comment in your blog”. Especially the kind of comments that said ” Great blog, keep blogging, nice topic, and so on, just trying to be diplomatic and making it look so obvious that they have not even read the blog, that is really sickening.
    I always felt, if I cannot relate to a blog, it is better to come back without writing a comment. And also some people, feel obliged to agree with the writer's content, even when they feel the opposite.
    I have a very good friend, who also writes very well on topics that are so interesting, but not a single person visits her blogs, and she is happy, for she says she is documenting these thoughts for her own sake, and is not bothered if there are no comments. I also find it funny when people have a line begging you to not to leave without commenting on their post at the end of their blogs (permanently), and these are some of the people who get minimum 60 comments or more.
    Another thing I feel is the genuine lack of interest in some people to interact with their followers, that is also a drawback.


  6. Well said Ashwini!!
    I too had such thoughts in my mind when I visited few blogposts of famous blogging personalities.

    How do we measure it? Indirank, likes, votes, comments, visits what not!!

    I've seen a famous blog telling people how blogger is obsessed with cleanliness and there were 50 comments. I assumed that blogger was able to connect with people of common interest but again, that was my perspective.

    But I must agree that it is true that popularity does override content at times!! (Salman Khan Movies) *wink*


  7. I agree that we cannot be writing essays in the comment section, but now that you have mentioned I realized that there are hardly any comments disagreeing with the author's point of view.


  8. Even I ensure that I visit the blogs of all those who have taken time to comment, but I dont restrict myself only to such blogs. Yes it's easier to have an opinion when we're able to relate to something.


  9. Thanks Anil. I always value quality over quantity.

    And yes, content is important, but when there is this tag of popularity as you mentioned a lot of mediocre work gets appreciated for no reason, I feel.


  10. Well said Rama. If we dont find anything that we can comment on (may be because we arent able to relate to the post) we neednt give a genric comment just because we *have* to. In many blog posts I've seen wonderful comment threads which sometimes is even more interesting than the article. It's only when people read and understand and express their opinion that the converstaion flows.

    And yes there have been blogs like the ones you mentioned too. I respect your friend for that. Though it would satisfy the human ego to find at least a handful of people who read the content with genuine interest, it does take will power to go on without being bothered. But I guess they have their priorities set. They are writing for themselves and not for others.


  11. I think the criteria is entirely subjective 🙂 each person has their own goals and measures.

    And good analogy that one (as long as you did not say Shah Rukh Khan movies) *wink* *wink* 🙂


  12. Popularity has a large role to play, as you've said when it comes to comments/like/share etc. I've also seen some great stuff with hardly any comment.The thing, 'you comment, I'll return the favour” is definitely there but I see it as an extended part of blogging itself, knowing new people and making new friends…..getting acquainted with other cultures, cuisines etc.

    “On a personal note, on any day I’d prefer a handful of genuine comments than a hundred one/two word comments.”- I couldn't agree more with it. You have spoken my heart.


  13. Some bloggers, whose posts I like very much, get zero comments on their blogs. Even I don't comment there, but I will just read for my knowledge/pleasure. It's rare to come across a blogger who is popular (and) good. Generally, bloggers who are good, don't bother much about popularity.

    Destination Infinity


  14. Oh yes, many times I have felt the same. But then blogs are complex. I may read some people's blogs because they are my friends and I've known them for a while. I like to read their mundane stuff too because I like them. Hence, blogging is more than just writing, it is about interaction and maintaining relationships too.


  15. Ashwini, you are spot on… though the sheer number of comments a blog gets might be proportionate to the popularity/marketing of the blog, the number of comments is often not an indicator of the readers opinion on the content and the blog on the whole (which is what a comment should ideally be).
    Someone replying as Nice one or Interesting read it almost equivalent to someone saying “Like” to an FB post.

    The same would apply to any form of writing or even art for that matter, which depends on the opinion/comments of the viewers.


  16. I completely agree with you on the extended part. I have a big network of friends whom I've known only through blogging both in Chennai as well as in other cities/countries. Sometimes it is this obligation (as Rachna said) that makes us want to comment on their blog apart from reciprocating a blog visit.

    I guess, when you've been around for a while it's the quality that matters more than the quantity 🙂


  17. Blogs are complex indeed! Fully agree with that. And yes it's given me a great network too. When the interaction is beyond the posts it feels good to know more about the face behind the posts. But I'm not getting into that here 🙂


  18. Well said Dwiti. Not always (apart from some wonderful bloggers who write great content) does comments reflect on the quality, it might be proportionate to the marketing strategies.


  19. Once a blogger becomes popular, quality “can” take a backseat (I am not saying it always does). Its similar in Bollywood too, right? Top stars dont usually have top story in their movies, but they sell..

    For example, in Cricket, if Sachin Tendulkar top edges a ball for six, people will say he did it deliberately. If an unknown cricketer top edges a ball for a six, he is plain lucky.. 😀


  20. Well written Ashwini and good observations! Bullshitting can take one to the top but to stay there requires much more effort, unless one is looking for momentary comet like fame:)


  21. I think content should be the king. Agree, many blogs get unwarranted popularity (by way of comments) and some deserving ones remain in obscurity. But then blogging is also about networking and relationship building. So, may be that's what gets them comments. Oh yes, a few quality comments are any day better than generic, “Nice/good post” comments.


  22. I have utmost respect for bloggers whose content is top quality and it gets appreciation from fellow bloggers and readers alike. But these are just a handful of them. You are right when you say popular people get more response and viewership just because they are popular, celebs for instance.. That's how it is everywhere I think. A Sachin Tendulkar book will sell like hot cakes whereas a literature student's book will hardly find any takers in the publishing market..


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