1. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why are bloggers so popular?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by WriterDude, Jun 18, 2011.

    Maybe I'm getting old, but I just don't get it. Can someone fill me in on the chain of events going from "posting a blog" to "making millions as a celebrity"? I had hoped it was a short phase like fashion, but it seems there's just getting more and more of them. And it's not just bored housewives telling everyone who bothers listens about the weather or anything. Now it's anyone from those bored housewives to 14 year old girls telling everyone who bothers to listen about the weather, the new shoes they bougth, what they had for breakfast and who knows what, and they are making tons of money doing it. Did I die and went to Hell? Is this so-called reality an episode of Twilight Zone? Whatever happened to "boring"? Are we so lazy we'll read just about anything as long as it doesn't take any kind of brain activity to read it? (Oh, wait. Audio books?) :p

    So to make it short: Can someone please explain to me what blogs are all about and why bloggers are celebrities now?
     
  2. Suadade
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    Suadade Senior Member

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    Maybe it's a trend brought on by increased fascination with a life of "glamour" and a rising affinity for escapism. I've got no clue, really.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    In the words of Homer Hickam, Jr.: "People love to read about other people's lives."
     
  4. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    What exactly is it that makes posting a blog different than other forms of writing? It's still writing...it still takes creativity and skill to hold people's attention...so why should people not be able to gain celebrity status through their blogs? There are some good ones out there.
     
  5. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seriously? People like to read about other people's lives? "Look, world! I'm going to the toilet to dispose of that nasty spicy food I had last night! Wanna watch?" And people would be intersted enough to pay me for it? Seriously? :confused:

    hiddennovelist: What sets blogs appart from any other writing is any other writing has something to say. I write a book because I want to tell a story. I write newspaper articles because I have something useful I want to share with the world. But an online blog about shoes or what you had for dinner?
     
  6. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    Really, it's basically 'reality TV' just in the form of writing.
     
  7. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    ....have you read any blogs? Because I read lots of them, and I have yet to encounter one that is nothing but "hey, this is what I did today." There are blogs about everything...roller derby, fitness, politics, art, knitting...you name it, you can find a great blog about it. Any serious blog writer posts to their blog for exactly the same reason that you write a book--because they have something to say. To dismiss blogs as something that doesn't count as "real" writing seems really elitist, close-minded, and uninformed to me.
     
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  8. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I'm with Hidden.

    In fact, WriterDude, I think you should start a blog about why blogs suck. You obviously have something to say about it, and maybe you can be a celebrity too! (Of course I have to also say that most bloggers are followed by very few and come nowhere near celebrity status - though I hate to play Captain Obvious, it has to be said.)
     
  9. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    This being said. I think blogging is truly an art form. To get to the point where millions are reading takes A LOT of work. You really have to understand the dynamics of things such as promotion, advertising, publicity, and in someways it is the study of human behavior to see what gets a reaction and what doesn't, what appeals to people, what doesn't. The life of a blog entry in ways is time sensitive - for a very popular blogger, it has high peaks and low peaks and it's also being able to keep up with the current times and and how to work on a deadline.

    There are many successful blogs that do what other writings can't do. Blogging's main additive is the fact that it applies to everyday life in ways that other forms of writing can't do. Because it is free, easily accessible, and delivered fast with opportunities to respond, reply, discuss - it is practical writing that impacts directly.

    One of the most famous blogs that is extremely popular and has become culturally accepted as a 'reliable' source of information in the U.S. is the Huffington Post. Most people don't even consider it to be a blog but an actual news source these days.

    I don't think blogging is ridiculous, it's actually ingenuous in my views. Just because it's short, and anyone can do it, doesn't mean it's any less valuable and creative than any other form of writing.

    It's where people can keep in touch with family members when they are oceans away. It's freedom of expression for things you don't agree with or do agree with. It serves as a form of communication, political rebellion, the difference between realism and idealism and so much more.

    Most bloggers don't want to write novels, don't want to write essays etc., - they want it to be real-time, what is happening to them, or what is happening currently in the world and they want to tell you about it and how they think it effects them and/or the world at large.

    I don't personally like to blog. It's not medium I enjoy writing, but I do see the value of it.

    ... oops, replied to someone that wasn't talking to me.
     
  10. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my opinion, blogs are wonderful things. No longer are interesting writers and/or hobbyists stuck with sad rejections for their arts and crafts articles, or their cooking columns, or their opinion pieces on politics.
    They are now completely in charge of the ways they show their support and knowledge about quirky things you don't get to read about every day. It's all about getting access to new perspectives - readers aren't limited to stuffy, regimented publishers' choices anymore. We can choose what to write about, who our audiences are, and what we really want to read about.

    Your argument is the same principle as those who complain about singer/songwriters on Youtube, because it isn't brand-name stuff, and it isn't always of top quality. The fact is you've clearly not seen the beauty of blogging; just like Youtube, you can find some amazing, undiscovered writers out there who were brave enough to put themselves out there for the world to see. More importantly, though, you've not yet tapped in to all the great information they can bring to you, and the sense of camaraderie you can get by following these independent sources along with others of similar tastes.

    The abundance of choice we have today shouldn't be critisized; our parents and grandparents were force-fed what articles to read, and what music to listen to. We should be enjoying the freedom the internet has given us, not snubbing it. My advice to you? Go on Wordpress and search some of your favourite topics; I guarantee you'll find something interesting, and it may just inspire you to get started on a blog too.

    P.s - Blogs are also great ways to promote yourself as a writer, where you can log events you're attending, or even just your progress as a novice. People do want to read this stuff, probably because they want to be inspired by you. Also, never underestimate the delight of surveillance - sometimes I love reading about peoples' everyday lives, for the same reason I watch documentaries..It's a new perspective. I'd never be against that.
     
  11. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Alright, what about that Perez Hilton guy? Not sure if he's still a celebrity, but "everyone" knew who he is or was. Here in Norway, we had a two-page article about two bloggers in a national newspaper, and there have been bloggers in other magazines as well. All of them were women, for some reason. Not sure why.

    Of course I know there are different kinds of blogs. The ones in newspapers are often useful, or at least a bit interesting. But blogs about nothing? They not only exist, but a lot of people read them every day, and a lot of people know who the bloggers are. I'm not saying the bloggers are celebrities like movie stars or music stars, but they are just as big celebrities as people from reality tv-shows. What I don't understand is why.
     
  12. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I have no idea who Perez Hilton is... I don't know if I should be ashamed or what but I certainly feel a little left out :p

    The thing I think you're missing is that, as Sundae said, it's a way to communicate your feelings about things, some people have them as kind of online scrapbooks, some people as advertising for themselves, some people for venting.

    Sometimes people make a strong impact, hit a nerve (in a good way or bad) go viral and become a household name. It's not much different than being a novel writer. Some people will like you, some will hate you, some will be completely uninterested, and you just might be skilled and interesting enough (or lucky enough) to get some fans.

    EDIT: Ashleigh sums it up pretty well.... didn't see hers up there somehow.
     
  13. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't believe I just looked him up. I'll go sit in the corner feeling ashamed of myself. :p But anyway, from the description I found on google about his blog:

    "The blog is The go-to source for daily happenings in Hollywood. Written by the internet's most notorious gossip columnist, Perez Hilton (Mario Lavandeira)."

    First of all, like a diary? Second, why put it onlne? And third, who could possibly want to read it? And fourth, why are so many people interested in a random person's thoughts that he/she is a celebrity?

    But a novel writer usually has something to say. We don't write an entire novel about the weather outside or what we had for breakfast? Unless you write about a cereal killer, of course. :p Darn, now I'm double-ashamed of myself. :p
     
  14. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Ah, that explains it. I don't really give a rats furry ass about Hollywood. That's apparently just me though.



    1. Some, but not all.

    2. Because it's convenient, because you can, because you don't get writers cramp, because it makes people laugh, because you can.

    3. Apparently people who like to read diaries. I find it fascinating that you're a writer and you say that. I don't mean that to be rude at all, just an observation, because, as a writer, that's what I do. I observe. I watch people, I listen to people. I learn things by how they relate to each other, how they feel about things, what sets them off. People are so different. It amazes me. I LOVE blogs. I WANT to know. Do I want to know what your vomit looked like when you drank too much sat. night? Not particularly. Do I want to know how you reacted when your mother-in-law called you your husbands exes name for the 5th time at your one year anniversary party? You bet your sweet ass I do. We're all voyeurs at heart. At least most of us are.

    4. Refer to 3.



    Heh. Neither do they (or actually "we". I find myself in both categories. Interesting). They/we write about what is important to them at the moment, or political views, or their kids, I already covered this.....
     
  15. Domino
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    Domino Active Member

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    I've never really read any blogs, but judging from the amount of people who get a kick out of reading about other people's lives (I'm guessing the same kind of people that like Big Brother?) it's really no wonder they're popular.

    I could probably be swayed into following one if it made me laugh enough. I like funny. :)
     
  16. Venusian31
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    This is exactly how I see it. I can't understand how anyone, especially a writer, wouldn't understand why someone likes to read blogs or diaries. As a writer, I am an avid people watcher. I love to read what people have to say, even about mundane things, for the same reason I love to sit in public places and watch people. People are fascinating and every detail I see or read about may some day end up as pieces of my characters. Even an odd eating habit can end up being a character quirk in one of my stories.

    Besides, I have yet to see any blogs that are about nothing but the weather or what someone eats for breakfast, unless the weather blog is about meteorology, which is actually quite fascinating to some people. Even bloggers who are writing an average diary online usually write about a variety of topics and issues from their life, not just what they eat. You can learn a lot from bloggers. Some of the best writing I've ever read has been on blogs.
     
  17. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Trish and Venusian31 have said what I'm thinking pretty well. Regarding reading someone's diary--if you met an interesting person and wanted to know more about them, their diary is one of the most potentially intimate ways to get to know them. Why the hell wouldn't you want to read it??

    Also, you seem to be very attached to this idea you've formed that all blogs are nothing but "blah blah blah, I ate oatmeal for breakfast. Then I drank a cup of coffee." If you really, truly believe that this is all blogs are, then you need to go out there and read an effing blog. Because they're not. Bloggers can say just as much as novelists--I don't think that one medium being provided via the internet automatically makes it inferior to the other, which is what you seem to think.

    Seriously. Read a blog. Read several blogs. Know what you're talking about before you start a thread talking about how blogs are a foolish waste of time and you don't understand why anyone likes them.
     
  18. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    Do hou know any good blogs that you'd recommend hidden? I've never really come across many that are worth following, but I wouldn't know where to look!
     
  19. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends on what you're interested in. Most of the blogs that I follow are roller derby blogs, because that's what I'm obsessed with. I could recommend you some of those, but I don't know how interesting they'll be to someone who doesn't follow derby.
     
  20. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    Wouldn't be my forte if i'm totally honest lol.

    Do you know any good ones for politics or comedy, or films??
     
  21. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not off the top of my head, but I can look around. Matt (Banzai) blogs about politics, and he might have some other blog recommendations on that subject. Also, I believe Ashleigh writes movie reviews, so she might have some other recommendations for you there. I follow a blog that does book reviews...close?
     
  22. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I don't really see the allure of blogs, and I've never understood the fascination with whatever popular one at the time. :confused:
     
  23. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    My personal Tumblr blog isn't a work of art, certainly, but it makes it a lot easier to keep up with news personalized to suit my interests. I follow some excellent blogs on biotechnology, drug policy, photography, humor, psychology, college, alternative lifestyles, EDM, and strange news. I also follow the blogs of my favorite slam poets and two of my favorite authors.

    I like blogging because it is a very relaxed way to write and a very relaxed way to enjoy the news and hear other people's opinions without them being shoved down your throat as it is in any other medium.

    And, in many ways, blogging can be very intimate. For example, a lot of my friends "follow" each others' blogs now that we've all left and started school in other states. It is very interesting to read... Some people post entries that seem more like pages from their diaries; others will post links to news articles along with their viewpoints or photos that they've taken. For example, a friend of mine is in China right now visiting family and learning more about his heritage. It is very interesting to look at the photos he's taken and to read about everything he's experienced. Even if it is just day-to-day activity sometimes.
     
  24. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you need to read popular blogs to understand why these guys are making money from them. The kind of blogs you describe would not be among the money-making kind. The ones that do well have a niche. Check out lifehacker (productivity), ericdsnider (movies), whatever (John Scalzi's blog), zenhabits, perezhilton (celebrities), boingboing (cool crap), hannahmosk.blogspot (Hannah's blog)... I could go on and on. I'm sure there are cooking blogs that are run by bored housewives that do well. These bloggers can write amazingly well and have a niche, which then attracts the readers, which attracts the advertisers, etc, etc.
     
  25. Suadade
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    Suadade Senior Member

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    As far as I know, the most famous and well-read blog in Sweden, BlondinBella, is just about this chick who lives in Stockholm and what she did that particular day, what she wore and who she met. A pretty disheartening read. So... apparently in Sweden a blog doesn't need to be about anything in particular. It's just this girl.
     

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