Last month was quite a negative one in the blogging world and it’s made me ask myself some questions.
During one particular scandal (more on that later) I posted about stats and rankings. Following that post two big shake ups happened – the Tots100 changed their scoring method and Klout changed its already mysterious algorithms. Both of these changes resulted in many bloggers seeing huge falls in rankings and therefore huge disappointment.
Even if we chose to write a blog for ourselves it’s nice to be recognised isn’t it? Whether that’s by people subscribing, comments, tweets or by being a number on a long list of numbers, it’s nice to be noticed and to have some kind of pat on the back for a job well done. Because for whatever reason we write, we all want to be accepted. We all want to know that one person in the big wide cyber world thought ‘hey, that was a good post’. Blogs are hard work. They require love and attention, it’s nice to get something back when you put so much in.
So the Klout and Tots100 drops were a bit of a hard pill to swallow for some. But life goes on. It doesn’t matter really, we still write, we still try to improve. And then something else happened. Something started by a nasty individual and the more people that got involved the worse it got.
Anyone can start a blog just as anyone can comment on a blog. Everyone has a right to an opinion and a right to be able to express it. But once the dust had settled it got me thinking.
The main thing that bothered me about the events that shall not be spoken about was that someone who calls themselves a genuine, honest run of the mill blogger had found something to hide behind. Of course it bothered me that someone who I consider a friend was being attacked. But what about the readers of this persons original blog? Were they not being deceived?
If the original blog was on the Tots100 list or the writer a member of BritMums is that not deceitful? Should someone who has chosen to take an alter ego to attack others be able to have the perks of being included on a list likely to bring them opportunities or the member of an organisation who strive to keep the blogging world free of nasties?
A blog is defined as a journal. As something personal to the writer. That’s how I have always seen blogs, a personal space and the platform to voice opinions and experiences. But what if your so called blog doesn’t fit in that generalised heading? Can you still call it a blog? If you are hosting a platform purely for guest posts and there is little if any of your own content ever published are you still a blogger?
Does it matter?!
So many people, myself included, put a hell of a lot of time and energy into their blogs. Not only that but they have a sense of pride and ownership about them. I spend a lot of time making sure that my pages are easy to navigate, that all my posts are spellchecked and make sense(ish), that i dnt rite hole paras in txt spk mkin thm v hrd 2 rd. If people are subscribing then I do my best not to publish too much dross or too many posts about why I love cake. And that brings me to my current biggest bugbear: people who plagiarise, sensationalise or publish only guest posts yet still claim their website is a blog.
Is it? Is it really?
More and more of these blogs are popping up and irritatingly, they somehow seem to manage high rankings too.
Maybe I’m going against my own here, and I don’t deny that any website needs constant maintenance, upkeep and hard work, but to be honest there are only so many rehashed or brazen copy and paste jobs that I can read.
Don’t read them you say. I tend not to, but every now and again a conversation on Twitter or a sensationalist title will pull me in and once I’m there I can’t help poking about. It’s like picking at a scab that I know I should leave alone.
Maybe it’s only me that gets wound up. When next months rankings are published maybe it will only be me silently thinking why? Not because I’m the best blogger in the world, not because I have amazing stats (or even good ones for that matter) but because I blog. I produce original content, I try to express my own opinions articulately and I never, ever rip any one off. Maybe I’m just jealous.
Am I being really unfair?