Repurposing Thoughts On Original Content

Jory Des Jardin, one of the founders of BlogHer, on the value of producing original content:

I get bored with blog content that simply riffs off of other content, even though there are content providers who do very well with this tactic. Let’s be realistic: we need interpreters and evaluators of original content, but I didn’t begin blogging with an eye toward keywords to embed, or A-List bloggers to emulate, in my content; I did it to extract ideas that I suspected I had, but that I hadn’t given a chance to manifest. Hopefully, some of these ideas would be needed.

Des Jardin is a smart person and her personal take on blogging is valued by me, and I’m sure many others. There’s no need to challenge her, but I do wonder where the idea of community is in this view of blogging. Where is the “markets are conversations” concept? Is that concept false? Or is it real? If it’s real–and I think it is real in some cases–then the objective is not the production of original content. Rather in community-centric structures the idea is to talk, to share ideas, to learn. Together.
Given her creation of BlogHer, I imagine Des Jardin lives and breathes community. Yet, she is burdened by the need to create original content for her blog, which by its very nature is the solitary work of a writer. As a writer myself, I share her need to create original content. But I’m not convinced a multi-channel interactive space is the perfect home for it.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I think you can have a mix of each purpose.
    I couldn’t be an all-tech blog like some or an all-rant blog like others. I tend to see where my mindset is for that week and let the blog go where it may. There can be pressure to find stuff worth blogging about, sure, (but even YouTube bails me out there, thank God). If it ever becomes constant pressure where I HAVE to come up with something original all the time though, I’ll quit.
    Views and takes make a blog original, no matter what the content is you post, (links, rants, ads/images, news items, etc.). That idea of community and discussion is inherent in the comments people make to posts.
    I wonder too how much this factors into the issue of market are conversations concept: the passive form of blog conversation where people may read, nod to themselves, but not post a reply.

  2. You just beautifully articulated one of the dilemmas in my blogging life. I’m a huge proponent of community and user-generated content, though I love the solitary experience of content creation. I think blogging is helping us make the transition to being content creaters and sharers at the same time. I’m not a sharer by nature, and yet, how would I get my own thoughts read without being part of a community to disseminate them? And where would I get my ideas?