Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whose Advice Do You Take?

An interesting topic came up recently, and it didn’t even have to do with bodily functions. Imagine that! You may believe that I am only drawn to crude cartoons, bad manners, off color comments and farts, but you would be wrong. Under this irreverent exterior is a thinker, a feeler!

givingfinger

PENIS! (I need to uphold my reputation)

I wish I could remember where I read it, but someone was dishing about advice given on blogs and whether it should be followed. Unless you have a life and don’t pay attention to this stuff, blogs have become very influential over the past few years.

BlogHer reports in their Social Media Matters Study (2011):

“Women who read blogs routinely trust implicitly the advice and recommendations they receive, especially if it is from a blogger that they follow on a regular basis. 88% of the active blog readers in the total U.S. general population trust the information they get from familiar blogs.”

This doesn’t have to mean that when SUAR says, “Don’t jeopardize that PR! Crap your pants while running!” you do it (although this guy did and he damn well better have won the race).

Maybe for you following advice is using a training plan someone else has used because it worked for them. Or, maybe you read a blogger’s “Favorite Things” list and decide you need to go shopping.

BlogHer’s study made me question how influenced I am by the blogs I read.

Let’s put it this way: if a blogger who I follow and trust recommends a product, a recovery tip, a book or a training tool, I’m probably pretty likely to give it a shot. This is much in the same way I would take the advice of a trusted and dependable friend. The source of the advice is everything!!

I always have a filter, however. I realize that what works for one person does not work for all people. When it comes to bigger issues such as weekly mileage, number of races, marital advice, disciplining children, I am careful to take input, but to always run it back through what I know to be true for myself.

I have gotten burned way too many times by blindly accepting advice or promises (I’ll pull out this one time!) At the end of the day (hate that expression, but it fits here), I am accountable to myself and my values. I won’t compromise just because it makes me the black sheep or the last kid picked in gym class.  I wore my wetsuit in the pool for god sake on a 95 degree day. I only care what people think/say to a point.

Do you take personal advice, product review recommendations, and/or training suggestions from the blogs that you read? Why or why not?

SUAR

PS: The winner of the Subway gift card is Kicking MS One Mile at a Time. Please email me at beth@shutupandrun.net with your address!

51 comments:

  1. I take all the advice in on blogs I follow just as I listen to the advice of my "real life" friends but I agree that it all needs to be weighed against the "I know myself best" scale before jumping into anything more than a cute running skirt just because someone else said so!

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  2. As far as reviews/recommendations go - all I see is reviews for running skirts, so I opt not.

    As for shoes, there are only two people who I trust enough to bother reading their reviews.

    Most of the advice I see (and even the stuff I dish out) I have already read somewhere else.

    Sorry to be such a bummer.

    SQUIRREL!

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  3. I take advice from blogs the same as I would from people - if it's apparent from their writing that they know what they are talking about, I would consider trying something they suggest. I totally agree that everyone is different, and when looking for, or giving, advice, knowing your own body is the best thing you can do!

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  4. Jamoosh...hmmm..I haven't done a running skirt review in almost a year - but have had lots of other reviews in between for books, shoes, fueling products. But, you probably wouldn't read my review anyway b/c I'm not one of the "trusted two". That's okay, I'll still read your beer reviews. SQUIRREL!

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  5. Just to keep things real for you I was going to just post the word 'fart' as a comment. Then I continued reading and saw you kept it real by posting 'penis'. This is why I keep coming back.

    As far as the actual topic of the post, I am generally the same as you when it comes to accepting advice. There are a select group of people I'll listen to, however, I'm willing to do more research on something when people outside of that group suggest something. Unless they don't like fart jokes, then I know there's something wrong with them and I shouldn't trust anything they say.

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  6. I definitely take advice and recommendations from bloggers into consideration, and I think I've actually learned a LOT this way. And then I boycott the blog if it doesn't work out. :)

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  7. I've come to realize that I only accept advice on things that I'm seeking information about. Will those shorts/skirt give me a wedgie? How far and often do you run on an off-season maintenance training plan? What do I make with all of this zucchini?

    I take shoe reviews with a grain of salt because shoes are such a personal thing. I don't seek or accept advice about my kid, my marriage or my political leanings. And whatever you do, don't be such a coward as to send me an email to "advise" me instead of just commenting publicly.

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  8. Brian and I had a long conversation about this in the car the other day. I think many readers who are already full of info and knowledge know how to weigh what might work for them, what might be a fad, what sounds nutty. It's people who are just jumping in to a new workout program who want to soak up everything and try everything and have others to blame and tons of buzz in their heads. When it comes to products, obviously we have different tastes for food and different shaped feet, but I might be more apt to try something or remember a name brand I read about.
    that said - from the title I thought your post was going to be about advice on BLOGGING. coming from the web world, there is a lot of research that goes into SEO, SEM, where items should be on the page, how to sell ads, how to be effective - etc. And readers tend to not have a filter for that the way they would for, say, a new recipe. I don't get that. Because you have little computer or web or programming knowledge you'll try anything?? Educate yourself before any decision, whether it be eating chia pudding pie or testing out WordPress.

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  9. I noticed recently that I tend to take the advice I want to hear. Been trying to work on that one.

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  10. I don't follow anyone's advice except yours. Which is why I am always crapping my pants, farting in public and getting my period during races.

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  11. I am new to the whole running thing...I am taking it all in and then doing my own thing with what works best.

    I am still trying to figure out how to stay hydrated without carrying those bottles around my waste...don't need any extra jiggling stuff on me..so on that note what do you know about gels? I have heard of them but never tried any.

    I am doing my first half in Oct. and want to figure out some thing before then..thanks!

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  12. Well said. I like to read others opinions but only follow it if I feel it would benefit me. Everyone is different. Thank god!

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  13. KJ: the only way I've found to not carry water with you is to plant it the morning of your run (or night before) along the route. Or stop and buy water. As for gels, I do one about every six miles for runs longer than 9 miles. I like the Clif Shots, the Power Bar gels (more liquidy consistentcy) and Hammer gels. I don't mix gels and sport's drink, upsets my stomach, but that's a personal preference.

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  14. Kate you are killing me. I hope you don't do those things all at once. That would be one hot mess.

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  15. I am a lot like you in terms of what I do with advice and information based on what you've written here. Sometimes I will do the opposite of someone's advice or not try a product someone recommeds BECAUSE of who is speaking or writng.

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  16. Hmm, I'm not sure. I think I listen but take it with a grain of salt unless I really think it will work for me. After all these years I'm learning that I should listen to myself first.

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  17. Yes, I regularly take advice given on a blog or forum into consideration (recently some lovely ladies talked me down from machine washing a dry-clean only comforter. Whew!). BUT no one knows everything - you gotta make your own decisions, especially about important life matters (like you mentioned: parenting, etc.).

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  18. I have a very trusted circle of bloggers whose advice I will take but I have to test it out first and don't just blindly accept it because as you say everybody is different.

    Now I can say that there are 3 or 4 people out there who have yet to be proven wrong and so as I continue down my triathlon path there advice becomes more and more easily accepted because of what has proven to be true in the past.

    And at the end of the day aren't I the only one responsible for me?

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  19. Now that you mention it, I do like to gather ideas from folks around the blog world.

    I like seeing what people do running wise, not quite as interested in the product side of things.....but I do check that stuff out as well.

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  20. I do take advice on some things from blogs. Googling to find answers to my running questions actually led me to a few blogs. After reading them for awhile, there were some I started following.

    I don't have a group that I run with or others in my area (who I can stand to be around, anyway)to ask advice. It's good to learn from those who have been there and done the work already. Training tips, fueling tips, injury recovery, etc. I am more sceptical about products and use my own judgement and do some research before jumping on board.

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  21. You said that if I fallow a diet of boogers and fromunda cheese I would qualify for Boston. Well guess what?! It didn't work! Damn you SUAR!!!

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  22. Alecia I said boogers and gouda cheese. you must have misunderstood.

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  23. I think there's so much advice out there and each can contridict one another. I tend to like "proof" when it comes to studies about shoes, etc. I am also pretty picky about what I wear - just cuz it looks cute on other, does NOT mean it looks cute on me.

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  24. I'll def. take the recommendations of bloggers I read regularly under consideration, but I rarely rely on one opinion -- and, as you say, I keep in mind that what works for one might not work for me. I would trust your running skirt recommendations, for example, except that I know that most running skirts have too short an inner short for my liking (chafing...). On the other hand, I might look into a fueling option or a particular shirt because somebody I read loved it. It's always good to have options!

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  25. I've bought a lot of books based on blog reviews, especially cookbooks! I recently bought my Nathan water carrier on recommendations from the BeginnerTriathlete.com forum. As far as training advice, probably not, but I might consider trying something new if it worked with my schedule.

    If we just did what we thought was best all the time we'd never try anything new!

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  26. I do enjoy product reviews, especially when they are done well (not like the way I do mine, blathering and such). I will sometimes look at something that someone is doing and be inspired by it, but I don't typically search for advice that matters a ton on blogs. I asked for advice on my underpants run, and got some pretty entertaining responses. I guess I have a pretty solid group of real people I discuss things with. I am going to miss that crew now that I moved, though.

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  27. You know, weirdly enough, I trust negative reviews more than positive reviews.

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  28. I LEARN from blogs, but I wouldn't say that I decide to just go out and purchase something because of them. Sometimes it'll take multiple posts, on multiple sites (which happens often, since companies typically go on outreach sprees and then you see the same thing 50 times in a week)before I actually consider it something worth buying or testing out. More than anything, blogs have taught me to experiment and be okay with doing something different. Sometimes they teach me what does Not work, and that's just as helpful ;)

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  29. I am allergic to advertising of all sorts. So stuff like how something worked or didn't work is ok if it worked into the fabric of the blog. A photo of you or buddies doing something and something in the pic happens to have a name brand is ok. Mentioning you got something and tried it out, and think it's a great idea is fine too. Once.

    But if it crosses the line and triggers my advertising allergy, I stop reading that post and go onto the next blog. What's likely to trigger it? Over the top complicated contest entries where you have to comment, and like on fb, and twitter, and retweet, and like the product on their page, and submit a photo of you standing on your head wearing the product, complete with many pictures of the product, and testimonials will certainly trigger it. Or if the blog happens to read too much like an ad for a product.

    Since I'm a curmudgeonly old guy, I don't take advice, unless I've paid for it, and even then I run it through my reasonable filter. Free advice is worth exactly what it costs. There are too many people out there spouting all sorts of advice about all sorts of topics that they know jack shit about. Present company excepted of course.

    Now, I love to give advice, but the difference is that it comes from personal experience, and I note that it might not work that way for them. And I usually wait till I'm asked, though it doesn't take much of a hint.

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  30. I'll read the advice and weigh it's pros and cons for my situation and use it if I think worthy.

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  31. The real question is, do you believe a blog that says 88% of blog readers believe advice they read from familiar blogs?

    You know, 78% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

    ;)

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  32. I take into consideration what the blogs I follow suggest. I'm sill learning and trying to become a runner. I have to listen to the pros (that would be you). So that I know what is to come when I become an awesome fit runner like you!

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  33. okay. We are all one big support group. Offering input and experiences for the purpose of sharing - maybe it will resonate, maybe it won't. For example, I don't need advice on ball chafing but I'll listen to your stuff. Now a good running bra, that's a different story. I am going to start wearing one all the time so my boobs don't shake during Virginia earthquakes.

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  34. Advice is why I go to blogs.. all the people I know are fat or lazy. I am the only one that likes to really push myself physically. Sure, I could read books or articles about being fit but I would much rather get a real persons perspective. After that I just filter what works for me from what doesn't.

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  35. You so bought Thermojocks because of me.

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  36. Beth, I will NEVER be able to get that picture of the guy that pooped his shorts out of my mind!!! Thnx!!!

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  37. Ah! I remember seeing that on SR! Awesome to see you read her!

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  38. I'll take advice from a blogger if I feel like that person knows what they're talking about. I'll definitely pay attention to product reviews as well, provided the reviewer seems genuine and unbiased. But the same goes with any review, not just from a blog.

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  39. I agree with you.. If someone I trust or look up to in the "running world" has recommended a product then I am more likely to try it out and see if it suits me.. I try to follow mileage plans but I don't normally stick to what other people do I go off of how I am feeling that day and what is best for me!

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