JohnChow.com has Jumped the Shark

written by BlogEx on July 18, 2007 in Blogging with 12 comments

Jump the SharkA couple of days ago as I read through my RSS feeds, I came across a post about ExoClick on JohnChow.com that really surprised me. You see, it was actually about a way for bloggers to make money. It was then that it struck me, JohnChow.com, the much talked about website of a dot com mogul has in fact jumped the shark. For any of you who are unfamiliar with the phrase, jumptheshark.com defines it as “A moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program (or in this case blog) has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on… it’s all downhill.”

I realize John’s RSS numbers are at an all time high and he seems to have more and more loyal readers that hang on his every word. Unfortunately, the quality is just no longer there. I’m not sure whether John hasn’t been putting in the effort, opting to rest on his laurels, or whether he has just blogged himself out but either way, the posts have been less than helpful lately. Don’t get me wrong, no blog should be 100% business, and you simply can’t argue with the success John has had, but the signal to noise ratio has gotten out of hand.

Look for yourself! Looking back through the last 40 posts on the site, only a handful (I found 5 in a quick scan) have been about ways to monetize your site. For a site titled “Make Money Online with John Chow dot Com” I’m expecting a hell of a lot more. If I expand my search to include posts about blogging in general that takes the count up to around 10. The rest are all either off topic (about cars or food), posts bragging about his success, reviews, or posts pissing and moaning about Google and Technorati being so unfair to poor old John (who, by the way, openly engages in schemes to trick both sites mentioned). Basically, 3 out of every 4 posts on the site are a waste of time.

To make matters worse, most of the useful posts lately have come from the guest bloggers! I certainly have nothing against guest blogging or sites that allow guest posts, however, when you build your blog around your personal success, your readers are going to be looking for suggestions and advice from you. I personally enjoy Michael Kwan’s posts (in fact I’m subscribed to his blog), but from what I can gather, he’s not made a bunch of money online and certainly not as much as John has. Along the same lines, neither have the 13 year old, nor the cow (If you haven’t yet been to this site, stop reading right now and go. I don’t mind.) that John has had post for him recently. Really though, if it weren’t for those posts, there would have been hardly ANY posts about blogging OR making money online. Bottom line, when a parody site based around cows is more entertaining and much more informative than your site, something is wrong. In the spirit of the new bovine phenomenon, it’s a sign that JohnChow.com has jumped not only the shark, but the mooooon as well (sorry, I had to…).

Fortunately, blogs, unlike TV shows, can easily be saved. If John get’s back into his groove and spends some time cranking out more content like the stuff he shared towards the beginning of the blog (note, this is also the content that led to his success) it will once again be a site worth reading. Unfortunately, I’ve seen no indication things are headed in that direction.