Monday, 4 April 2016

I Want To Read Your Diary | How I Miss Traditional Blogging

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I can’t remember the first time I read a blog. It probably started with reading updates on my friends’ Live Journals, but there was something exciting and comforting about reading their personal posts. A place where they felt free to say more in writing than they ever could in person. Maybe it was fulfilling some voyeuristic tendency of mine, or I just enjoyed being plain nosey, but I enjoyed having a deeper insight into my friends’ personal thoughts.  

And then blogs started popping up. Things cobbled together with template themes from WordPress and Blogger. Where absolute strangers would talk about their days, and discuss the new films they’d watched, or books they’d read, or talk about their friends and relationships. I don’t even know how I discovered them. Maybe somewhere in the half empty room of Twitter back in 2009. Whatever it was, I lapped it up, because it was interesting to read how other people lived their lives. It was honest and raw. In both the content and the layout. And that’s what I miss.

I’ve worked within Social Media/Content Marketing for the past 3 years, so I’ve seen and been a part of the explosion of sponsored content and brand partnerships with ‘influencers’, but as a blog reader - I miss the original bloggers. The ones who didn’t care about rankings and their domain authority. They just wanted to share their stories with a handful of people on the internet, it didn’t matter how many people read it, just that they got a few comments now and again. Fierce friendships were formed between bloggers in the early days. Some still last today, but they were stronger because they were forged in that ‘tell-all’ era.

Maybe they didn’t reveal absolutely everything, but everything was less curated. There weren’t these painstakingly perfect photos taken with a DSLR and edited in Photoshop. The photos were taken on a phone and were slightly orange and misaligned, but they got the point across and that was fine. Between the slightly too big or slightly too small fonts, were real words of confessions. Of ‘do you feel this way too?’, or ‘what do you think?’. Not ‘I really love this product because they’re paying me to write a post on it #ad’.

I don’t begrudge the massively successful blogs who have millions of readers and big brand sponsorships, but to me they’re not blogs, they’re online magazines. Everything is diluted and carefully considered before it’s placed in public view. I miss the blog posts written in haste at 1am, and published at 1:15am, because they just ‘had’ to say something about a topic, or something that had been bothering them all day. Don’t apologize. Give me rambles.
Often when a ‘bigger’ blogger writes a #personal post, they’ll be met with so many comments and messages of support and words of advice that they’re sometimes shocked by the volume. But why? That’s what people want to read. They want you to know the ‘real’ you, and to know that they’re not alone in feeling a certain way, or facing a certain problem.

I still read some of the ‘big’ blogs, but only now and again. They’ve become my version of a glossy magazine. Their aspirational content and perfect photography is ok now and again, but they’re not my favourite. I don’t really connect with them. The sponsored content just washes over me. Especially if a group of bloggers have all been chosen for the same campaign and all of their content is the same.

The blogging world has been on an upward trajectory for a few years now, but it’s only inspiring a certain type of blogger and discouraging others. Budding bloggers might not even start just because they don’t think they have a camera that’s good enough, or they’re not ‘techy’ enough, or they’re not ‘pretty’ enough(!). It’s killing pure creativity. Even some of the new bloggers just seem to be following a prescribed script of how their blog should be, rather than what they want it to be, or be something they’d want to read themselves.

The perfectly laid out lifestyle/fashion shots might be for some people, but they’re not for me. I want to know about the things you’d never say out loud. I want you to feel free to say whatever you want. I want to read your diary.       


If you have any suggestions of ‘old-school’ blogs I should go and read, please let me know! 

2 comments:

  1. I completely agree with all of this! The hard part is, it's hard to find bloggers who actually document their real life and aren't taking the editorial route, but we're still out here! We need a bloglovin' alternative, or at least a category for "personal" bloggers. These "lifestyle" bloggers are all morphing into one big magazine.

    Love your blog, Emma!

    xx Chantel
    www.TheActiveSpirit.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chantel! I totally agree of course. I really do miss some of the old blogs that I used to follow that aren't around anymore.

      I'm going to go have a nosey at your blog now too :)

      Delete

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