Om Malik asked why fewer people trust bloggers that has been bugging me lately:
That question made me wonder: how much of our social media has become marketing that people actually question something for which you profess your love. I admit, sometimes I have asked myself — so what is that guy selling? I read Medium posts, and one in three are selling something. They are a variation of – my startup flamed, I am amazing, hire me as a consultant. Or look at how amazing my growth hacking idea was for me, so hire me. The “Medium post as a resume replacement” is part of the larger trend – social media as a marketing platform. It isn’t social when you have to question the motives behind “social objects” be shares.
I write for myself and I am employed as a marketing writer so I spend my day moving from one side to the other; between focusing on writing that feels right to me and then writing stuff that promotes my employer and its products.
There are days when the stuff I write as part of my day job is not the sort of thing I’d publish here and that is where the difference between being a blogger/writer and a professional marketing writer. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When I write marketing text, my goal is to speak in my employer’s voice. When I write for myself, I use my voice. They don’t have to be the same and they usually aren’t.
At the same time, it should be clear from the context when I am writing with which voice but with so much emphasis on writing to increase exposure and attract more attention; writing just for the sake of expressing yourself often takes a back seat.
This blog is my space and I write about the things I am interested in. I don’t write for some form of remuneration, for the most part. When I am compensated for something I write here (and I haven’t been for several years) I am careful to disclose that so you can decide for yourself how much credence to give what I write.
As Malik pointed out, not everyone makes those disclosures so it becomes difficult to draw a distinction between self-expression and self-promotion. This just leads to more cynicism. I wonder, is this growing cynicism diminishing how much people trust bloggers, generally speaking? Is it something most people wonder about or is it generally accepted that most bloggers are pitching for someone or something?
Read Om Malik’s post titled “Social media is making us all skeptics & that’s not good”.
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