I read a magazine article recently where the writer of the piece was bemoaning the fact that the blogging phenomenon meant that anyone who had anything to say about anything at all, could say it and say it in excruciating detail. Suddenly everyone was a writer. The author of the piece said that it was like reading the most mundane minutiae of someone’s diary. She asked who cared what the person did yesterday or the latest, greatest achievement of their kid? There are literally thousands of bloggers out there who blog about their kids, or about the mundane details of their daily lives. Who cares about that stuff?
The perspective being expressed here is a strange one. It is as if those who don’t blog object to those who do blog publishing details of their lives, their opinions, or their observations of the world for no real reason other than some people may find those blog posts somewhat tedious or just uninteresting. I also have this memory of a friend’s almost violent objection to a couple’s expression of intimacy in public (no nudity or lewd behaviour!) and her comment that that sort of behaviour should remain in the bedroom. Is blogging viewed as a little too intimate to non-bloggers and should that be a reason not to share that information?
I agree with Tertia that the answer to that question should be a resounding ‘no’ and that those people who object to that kind of content being published on a blog should simply exercise their right not to read those blogs. There are 57 millions blogs (give or take a few) and there are many blogs that have that sort of personal content (I have a personal blog which I use to share what is going on in my life with friends and family as well as to create a sort of archive of aspects of my life) and content that is far more intimate and explicit and then again there are many blogs which have the same or better content you would find on any static web site.
One group of bloggers that has really been targeted are so-called "mommy bloggers":
The whole anti mommy blogging movement is hugely interesting. Who or what is a mommy blogger anyway? If the definition of a mommy blogger is someone who blogs about their kids, then that infers that there are shitloads of mommy bloggers out there, including those who seem to hate everything the mommy blogging phenomenon stands for. If you blog about topics other than your kids, are you still a mommy blogger? It’s just a label, and doesn’t really matter, but what does interest me is how much hatred is levelled at the mommy blogger movement. And fair enough, some of it might be deserved.
As Tertia explains, there are some mommy bloggers who use their blogs as an extension of their elitist attitudes towards their kids and other mothers and those blogs simply wouldn’t have a place on your feed reader. So what is the real issue here? Do the members of the anti blogging movement object to everyone and his dog’s (I am sure there are dogs with blogs) being able to publish anything on the Web or is this really just an extension of the objections people have to other people talking about themselves generally? Some people tend to think of the Web and things like blogs as being from a different planet but I believe that these new technologies really just extend our usual habits and tendencies.
Of course, yet another contentious group of bloggers is that group of bloggers who would seek to profit from their activities. When you blog about something, attract enough visitors to make some money using something like Google AdSense, are you just making a buck by exploiting the subject of your posts? This criticism has also been directed at mommy bloggers who have been accused of exploiting their children. Tertia has a pretty good answer to this criticism as well and I agree with it:
They are NOT making money out of their kids; they are making money from the fact that people choose to consume and support the stuff they write, which just happens to be about their kids. Good luck to them. I hope it works out well for them. Hell, imagine not having to work and making enough money to live off your blog! What a win! I would LOVE not to have to work.
As much as I love new media and the purpose behind this blog is to spread the word about the benefits and many uses of new media, the fact remains that it is not for everyone. Some of those people who wouldn’t run a blog or post their content online will criticise those who do and that is hardly a reason for the rest of us to stop doing what we are doing, which is having conversations with wider groups of people and expressing ourselves in ways that we find fulfils that need. By blogging you are participating in a global community, a global village, on a very human level using some pretty impressive technologies. When it comes down to it, the blogosphere is a pretty big and busy marketplace and the members of the anti blogging movement are home, knitting or feeding the farm animals, living their lives without the desire to let others know much about it. There is room for both of us.
(Content from So Close was published with Tertia Albertyn’s kind permission.)