Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Top 5 Reasons Personal Finance Blogs Are Better Than The Media

Over at Problogger they are having a little contest where you can win $1001 in cash for posting your own top five list. Since I won't mind winning and I already had an idea on this post I put together this list on the top 5 reasons personal finance blogs are better than the media.

Reason #5: Reading Level

Most newspapers and magazines are unfortunately written to a grade 6 to grade 8 reading level, meaning that your supposed to avoid big words and break down somewhat complicated ideas into tiny little pieces so your children can understand them. Blogs are not chained to this level and can tackle more complicated issues and provide a deeper analysis of the issues.

Reason #4: Objectivity

Unfortunately in the personal finance world many newspaper and magazine ads are thinly dressed advertisements for products or services. How often have you read an article about retirement where all the people quoted in the story sell mutual funds? How can that possibly be objective? Bloggers are a different breed, we often don't have anything to sell you other than the post you are reading. Also since we are not chained to our advertisers we can be totally objectivity on an issue without fear of costing ourselves revenue.

Reason #3: Discussion

In traditional media it takes days if not weeks for letters to the editor to be posted providing a painfully slow forum for discussion on an issue. Blogs can provide feedback within hours and can take a post in entirely new directions which can lead to new posts by the next day. This provides a truly interactive method of discussing an issue.

Reason#2: Details

Typically in the traditional media you will never see anyone publish their net worth of tell you what they spent last month. Personal finance bloggers can be different. By using a pseudonym a blogger is free to discuss their real numbers so you can really understand the choices being faced by other people just like you.

Reason#1: Making Personal Finance Truly Personal

The best reason by far on why personal finance bloggers are better than the media is they make it personal. They discuss what they are feeling and all the other irrational thoughts that go through their heads about money. A debt blogger will show their progress and discuss their temptations and failures. A investment blogger can provide technical analysis and still post their gut feeling on something. This allows them to truly connect with their readers who can often see bits of themselves in what they are reading.


George said...

CD, I started banging my head against the wall when I read:

...your supposed to avoid big words...

If you're going to complain about the writing level of traditional media, then you're supposed to be cautious enough to ensure your writing is at the same level or higher.

Canadian Dream said...


I said blogs are not chained to that level. I never professed to writing above that level myself.


Canadian Money Advisor said...

Blogs are a huge competition to newspapers. I hate the local newspaper.

I like the unbridled writings of bloggers. They're more honest.

GIV said...

And business journalists who moonlight as pfbloggers? Best of all.


Canadian Money said...

Good post CD!

Canadian Capitalist said...

Personally, I don't think blogs are not better or worse, just different. There are plenty of journalists in the mainstream media who are very highly respected (and rightly so): Jonathan Clements, Jon Chevreau, Scott Burns, Jason Zweig come to mind.

nancy (aka 'money coach') said...

I think part of the appeal is that their is a greater measure of 'money where your mouth is'. It is not theoretical, in most cases, but lived out. I can read how a person is REALLY doing their money stuff, rather than reading about how we 'should' or 'could' be doing our money stuff.

JDJ said...

I know your title says "Finance", but on the Problogger listing your title appears as "Fiance". I initially wondered what an engagement had to do with the media.

Promod said...

Discussion/interactivity are so valuable. You as the author can link to other online information. We as readers can add comments. Thanks for the post, CD.

Outroupistache said...

Maybe it's buried in amongst your other comments but for me a big advantage of the blogosphere is the number of blogs, which means more sources of information on more subjects. There are only a small number of "media" commentators out there so if they don't happen to have written about something of interest to you, that's it, you're out of luck. There's always a blog opinion or two on a topic. Good post, because it is thought-provoking.