I had a post all ready to post today, but after reading Reena’s late night post on Monday, I can’t stop thinking about what my version is, so apologies for the bit of word splooge.
I, like Reena, have been blogging since – well, I like to say forever, because it sounds less ridiculous than my actual blogging age – and have watched from the sidelines as the community has changed. Perhaps it is an old lady sort of thing to say, but not everything has not changed for the better.
Blogging has always been a very solitary thing, but it feels like as time goes by, it has become a lot more selfish. What’s in it for me has become the unofficial mantra. Twitter is basically a shouting match about LOOK AT MY LINK LOOK AT IT DAMN IT rather than people passing on blog links they like.
Reena’s post made me sad. Her tales of bloggers “cosying” up to PR people so they would get invited to the next event/press trip/whatever is a little sickening, if I am honest. Would you do this in the “real world”? (Or perhaps, working in finance, I am happily sheltered from this bribery)
There is nothing wrong in reviewing products or writing about items you like. But if this isn’t your passion – if you are reviewing a product you hated positively so you don’t get on the wrong side of the PR, if you are posting press releases to please the sender, if you are publishing posts you don’t care about – it does show, and as a reader, it is dull, dull, dull to read.
The other part of blogging that saddens me is the lack of knowledge sharing. If you know how to write a kick ass letter on how to request payment for something – why hide this away? If you are amazing at writing up a recipe, why don’t you share your tips on that? If you create the best image collages – share that information! It frustrates me when I ask for advice on Twitter and everyone keeps very quiet because – what? Do you think that I will be taking away from you? (I’m putting my money where my mouth is with this one – I promise to tell all soon though!)
Perhaps this is just my age talking. I have noticed that the majority of blogs that made it through my New Years cull were bloggers who were about my age, who weren’t so bothered about the comments, the events or the freebies, but who just seem to enjoy what they do.
TL;DR? This word vomit is me saying that I want to return to the old ways of blogging but with the benefits of the new ways. Sharing knowledge is a good thing – why don’t more of us do it? Oh, and blog for yourself. Obviously ;)
Michelle / Aesthetic Online says
Sharing is caring – applies to cookies too.
But on the whole, I definitely get where you’re coming from. Blogging has become a bit narcissistic and competitive for my liking, and I’m not sure where I stand in the blogging community anymore. Sad face.
Rachel K @MarmadukeS says
Can’t say I like the competitiveness or oneupmanship but there is a sense of community in some blogging circles so I shall keep going :) I realised early that I couldn’t do the whole marketing and PR stuff (having worked my whole life in that industry), it has been refreshing to ignore it!
I really agree with your points Hayley, I have started to wonder why a lot of people started their blogs in the first place as I’ve watched the whole community slowly get saturated and start to resemble a bit of a high school popularity contest. I’ve always tried to stay away from this pathetic popularity contest, both in high school and in the blogging world as it doesn’t really appeal to me. I’ve never been in it for the freebies, but then I’ve also never been much good at improving any of my skills when it comes to html and any of the design stuff either, so it’s never going to be anything more than my basic little corner of the internet. Which suits me fine, but doesn’t make me a lot of help when it comes to sharing any knowledge.
I have only been blogging for 3 years but it has changed SO much in that time and I do sometimes feel like I have been left behind BUT I have made some amazing friends and done some pretty awesome stuff over the past few years so I do feel lucky to be part of the (ever growing) community!
its funny you mention you don’t see the same thing in Finance as I spent this morning at a ‘networking event’ awkwardly talking to clients and potential clients which definitely felt a lot like the blogger/PR relationship!
It got me thinking, and I guess for me it is all about the purpose. The reason I went to the networking event to further my career (got to show that management potential!) even though I felt awkward and cringy, and to further my company’s business. when I interact with a PR and accept a blogging opportunity I try to think ‘will this further my blog?’ first and foremost. The problem comes i think when people are blogging solely for free stuff, rather than thinking ‘would this free thing make a great blog post?’
Great post and one that resonates with me. Something is definitely shifting in the blogging world. As some readers have commented, I think it’s about remembering why you started your blog in the first place and in the last 6months-year it seems like more and more blogs are popping up solely to get free stuff.
On the odd occasion I’m offered a product or opportunity I’m chuffed but I don’t demand or expect things. It’s a weird culture that’s being bred – oneupmanship, popularity contests, blagging… I’m so happy with the friendships I’ve made through blogging but sometimes it does feel a bit like being back at school – cliques, gossiping…
@hayles post sums up how I feel about blogging & why I feel I don’t really belong here anymore. http://t.co/YETMapF4bH