I think it’s appropriate to preface this post and, subsequently, this blog by letting it be known that I think blogging is stupid. Blogs have become so prevelent that having one of your own is as normal as having a Facebook or Twatter. In 2008, research (that I won’t be citing because this isn’t a college paper) determined there were approximately 180 million blogs wasting precious internet bandwidth. Only six years later Tumblr alone now hosts over 174 million blogs. Most people bitch and moan enough as it is. Twatter had the right idea of limiting their public displays of ignorance to 140 characters. The last thing the average person needs is an outlet to pour their unlimited stream-of-conscious out on the world. All of this dilution by the masses has meant at least one thing for certain: blogs are no longer meaningful. I remember before anyone had coined the term “blog” there was the online journal/diary. My friend had one before they were cool, or at least when they were on that trendy edge, early adopter side of cool – like pagers in 1995 (or ecstasy in ’01 for those that don’t even know what a pager is). I enjoyed reading that journal/diary/pre-blog because it was meaningful. It gave insight into her thoughts and emotions. Blogs aren’t like that now. They’re about maximizing page views and shares. It’s a biggest dick contest to stroke egos and generate ad revenue. A blog is no longer about sharing you, it’s a popularity contest. What was once a way to express oneself is now an exercise in online marketing, with the majority of efforts focusing on advertising and promoting rather than content.
The resulting problem of all this is that while most people can’t write, almost everyone loves attention. This phenomenon has further degraded blogging as the masses of social media addicts search for ways to utilize blogs for attention whoring while not having to actually put any thought or effort into quality writing – enter the “list” and “pictured based” blog post. Every time I see one of these cheap, list style posts (“Ten things everyone MUST know about anal leakage!”) shared on Facebook or linked on a webpage I want to scream. There’s a special place in hell for people that “write” list style blog posts and it’s right next to the editors and management team of the New York Post. Lists are easy and mindless. They’re for people that can’t write, which explains their overwhelming popularity in the blogosphere (I hate that word). Just pick a topic, write ten (or 97) sentences about it, publish it, and watch the page views pour in. You’re a hero! Better yet, you’re my hero. If you’re one of those people that only reads books for the pictures, you can do the same thing by finding ten (or 34) pictures, writing a quick blurb about each one, publishing, and watch the page views pour in. You too are now my hero.
I’m going to try not to take any of those shortcuts or utilize any attention whoring tactics here. Quality writing (relatively speaking, otherwise Rolling Stone would be writing my paychecks), at least somewhat meaningful content, and ABSOLUTELY NO LISTS. Feel free to call me out if I ever get lazy and break my own rules. Most importantly, let’s be clear that I haven’t fallen victim to the delusion that all bloggers seem to inherently possess: the belief that anyone else actually cares what they have to say. It’s not about you. It’s for me.