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05 June 2009

Why Crap Bloggers are to Blame for People "Not Getting" Blogging

Ptw  I think I'm going to start charging a fee for every person I have to deal with that just doesn't get it.

Whether it's in life, in work, or even sometimes in play... the amount of time I've wasted trying to get people to understand the web, my work, or how I work is mind-blowing.

As a blogger (because, even though I run my own site, I'm still not a journalist, and am technically  a blogger) people just assume you don't really know what you're doing. I think I've carved a pretty good reputation for myself as far as work and writing goes - but not everyone I deal with knows that.

But all the print people don't know that. Advertisers don't know that. PR people don't know that. 

(I realize that there are print/advertising/and PR folk who really DO get bloggers and the web and are fabulous beyond all belief, but for this post, I'm only talking about the ones that do my fucking head in, OK?)

So when I say, "Oh our readership is like this and like that and will respond to this!" or "People on Google aren't searching for 'periwinkle German flip-flops' so maybe we shouldn't title the post that"..." I tend to find that people just don't believe me.

I'm wrong. I don't know what I'm talking about.

I'm a blogger. I'm a girl. I'm not a journalist, I don't have a BA in Knowing Everything,  surely YOU are the advertiser, YOU are the journalist, YOU are the PR and YOU are KEEPER OF THE GATES OF WEB KNOWLEDGE so therefore I should just listen to you.

And why is this?

Oh. Because there are tons of really, really stupid bloggers out there.

There are people who bung up a blog on Wordpress, get a couple of their friends to write for them, and BAM! They're the "founding editor" of a blog. A web editor. A blogging Jedi.

They pick a username, a password, profile picture on Twitter and then set up FriendFeed and BAM! They're a Social Media expert.

Then those same people are paid £5 to liveblog an episode of I'm a Celebrity On Ice That's Got Talent and BAM! they're a professional blogger.  They are freelance writers.

And HERE, don't you want to listen to all the wisdom and knowledge they have procured whilst blogging and tweeting and editing their way across the web?

The sad thing is is that there are so many people out there who will buy it. They'll listen. This person has a Twitter account and is the editor of a blog! They must know what they're talking about.

And they don't.

But people don't know that. This is partly because they just don't get it.  But also because the web makes it so easy for people to make their own Personal Brand look much better/bigger/faster/stronger than it is.

Obviously, tooting your own horn is much easier online. But it seems once we accepted that Julia Allison has killer self-promotional skills, we just accepted Self Promotion all together.*

We just accept it. People are blaggers and braggers. The level of seriousness in which some people take themselves is truly laughable. And yet, so many people just take it as gospel.

Sure, you have your whistle blowers and bullshit sniffers and those who refuse to kiss someone's ass just because of what it says in their bio, their number of followers and who @s them on a regular basis.

But the vast majority of people simply do not stop and wonder about:

  • Authenticity: Is this person for real? What's behind this persona?
  • Quality: OK so you write for this that and the other. Big whoop. What's the quality of your writing like?
  • -Intention: What is this person's game? What are they after? Networking? Contacts? Popularity? Research? Getting laid?

Some people are all smoke and mirrors.

They want you to believe that they were invited to the Oscars because they're just a fabulous person - when really, they were sent there by the magazine that employs them to see what would happen between Jen and Angie!

Online, you can pick and choose what you link to. What the back story of everything is. Where you got your ideas. You give only what you want to give. And with the way things are now, people will never ask for more.

They see a pretty face, a reasonable design and credentials with nice shiny links behind them - and that's all they need.

The problem comes when these people speak, and those who don't know any better take what they're saying as being indicative of what others of their kind are like.

A flakey blogger gets invited to some swanky press day, does a half-assed, horribly edited video and gets paid £££ to do so - and the agency, brand or PR company that they dealt with are left feeling like, "Holy crap, all those Blogger Horror Stories are true!"

Bloggers who take themselves super seriously and blind you with their over-cooked credentials and hand-outs (for hand jobs?)  and fancy tech acronyms - and then can't write for shit make the rest of us look bad. 

When PR companies and ad agencies and journalists deal with people who their respective online (and IRL) community reveres for their fluffy bios and the number of Geek Men that want to sleep with them - and they don't know shit - we're fucked.

If the seemingly creme de la creme of social media experty founding editor freelance writing bloggers cum journalists can't even get this right...who the fuck can?

This is a huge reason why people don't take those of us who do know our shit seriously enough.

I'm not saying I know everything.

All I know is that I'm fucking sick of - on a daily basis - having to explain to people who I'm dealing with and working with for free why I know what I'm doing, and why I know what's best for my brand and my website.

In most cases, a teacher does not know a child better than its parent. An actor does not understand the meaning of  a script better than the screenwriter. 

Just like PR folks do not know a blog better than its editor. And most advertisers do not know more about a website's readership than its webmaster. 

In this post, I know "PR" and "advertisers" have been gernalized. But I truly know that not every PR is shit. I've worked with amazing PRs that work all hours of the night and will text me at 9pm just to say thank you for the coverage I've given their clients.

And then there are ones who will argue with me until they're blue in the face that, YES, "Periwinkle German Flip-Flops" is the best title for a blog post.

*For the record, I'm not talking shit about Julia. I think she's awesome and knows her shit and is increidbly brave. I know a lot of who hate her, but I don't.

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I always enjoy your writing...

LOVE YOU for writing this post. And for other reasons, but ... love it.

Julia only annoys me because she is handed these incredible opportunities and doesn't seem to do much w/ them. She went to Davros, CES, and tons of other events and her coverage of them is limited to photos of herself at the airport or posing at parties. If you read her very early blog posts from before NonSociety, when she was writing for TONY, it was better to read.

Anyway, congrats on moving on to typepad!

Linda-Joy - Thank you!! :)

Maria - Ha! Thanks darling. Yeah, I know what you mean. There are definitely things that annoy me about her, and I never really thought about the fact that she goes to all of these things and doesn't do anything with it.

I review and write about everything I go to or am sent. But I guess when you get crazy pageviews they Nonsociety, brands and companies are just happy you've mentioned their shit. *sigh*

xx

I found this blog by searching Google for some Periwinkle German Flip-Flops that I've had my eye on. I won't pretend that I'm not disappointed.

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