It’s important to remember that if you’re going to have a rant on your blog and then share that post with a FB group full of your intended audience, you are going to have crap thrown at you. If you give people shit, be prepared to take it. There was lots of bitchiness and personal mocking and “don’t help if you don’t want to” kind of stuff. Which wasn’t the point at all. It’s not about helping or not helping, it’s about taking responsibility for your own learning and using your manners.
Still. I loved the spike in traffic that the last post brought me and realised that I probably should have opinions more often.
Most of the time I sit on the fence, because I figure I don’t know the full story, or I can see the situation from all sides, and, really, I just don’t care enough to have a say.
I do care about blogging. And I care about how vanilla it has become. Hardly anyone has an opinion any more, hardly anyone writes real stuff about real people any more. We’ve all been chastised by GOMI about putting our children on the internet and about revealing too much about ourselves. Because when we do we are mocked for putting our drama out there.
But for me, that’s what blogging is all about – putting yourself, warts and all, out there and making connections with other, real people, who want to see your warts and compare them to theirs.
We’ve been taught to “put the reader first” and to provide “valuable content”. Which is fine for niche blogs. But what’s happened to personal blogging?
Most of the new bloggers I encounter these days write vanilla stuff about vanilla subjects. “10 rainy day activities for toddlers”, “How to make your own sandpit”, “Yet another brilliant cupcake recipe” and “Seven ways to style your jeans”.
Where are the people in these stories? Are they even stories? They read to me like articles in a magazine and, you know what, I no longer buy magazines, because they are full of rehashed vanilla content.
A lot of the bloggers I found when I first started blogging, no longer blog, because they got tired of being scrutinised and tired of the pressure of stats and brands and PR. Others have changed their blogs to be less personal and more content focused, because we are taught “It is all about the reader”.
It may all be about the reader, but let’s not forget that a lot of readers are out there to connect, not just to seek out “valuable content”. They like seeing snippets of our real lives, because it makes them feel more normal and less alone.
Maybe it’s the definition of “valuable content” that needs to change. Real stories about real people are valuable, too, and I would hate to see them disappear.