Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Blogging Gold Rush & Its Affect On Community

I can't tell you how many times I have sat down to write this article and then re-write it again. I have so many thoughts, and most are probably still under-developed, but I wanted to talk aout the blogging community (or the lack thereof) because it's something that's been on my mind a lot lately. So with that please bear with me with grace as I try to type down my thoughts.

There's no denying that the blog world has rapidly changed ever since it's start. What once started as a way to connect with people and write down your thoughts, ideas, and daily routines, has evolved into brand partnerships, sponsored blogging, those lucky career bloggers, and marketing campaigns. What happened to the blog world as she used to be?

Click Through To Read More....

Is Anyone Here?

Is it just me or where has everyone gone? Every "successful blog" I read (and for the purpose of this article we will define success by the pure numbers of hits per week and reader subscriptions, although that yard stick definitely does not provide the finite description for a blogger's success) have often posted about the "wonderful community" that surrounds them. They write about how they "couldn't do it without you guys". Who are they talking to? And have people stopped talking back?

How has the explosion of social media impacted this community on blogs? While this is an important aspect to consider when discussing blogging community, it's not my wish or desire to discuss Twitter exclusively in this post. HOwever, IFB posted an article about the relationship between Twitter and Comments blogs which can be read here.

The Gold Rush

It's just my speculation but I think this change in blog communities stems from an apparent shift in the purpose of blogging. At the dawn of blogging, things were much more familial. Bloggers and readers saw themselves on the same playing field, all usually relating to each with a common interest, idea, or theme. Some did this through blogging about personal style, while others chose to write about their families, their loves of all things electronic, or their passion for travel. Since others have since found success in the online world, there's been a massive gold rush toward blogging for compensation. This has inevitably affected the relationships between the author and the readers. Can this ever be reversed?

Now Don't Get Me Wrong...

do not think blogging for compensation is wrong. Let me say that again, I do not think bloggers being compensated is wrong. In fact, I think all of these women and men who have found success in blogging have found it for a reason. All I'm saying is that even though they have every right to be compensated for their talent and time, it still makes things a little awkward in the blogger/reader relationship. Or maybe it's just me? And it totally could be...just putting my thoughts out there.

Is This Simply Nostalgia?

Sometimes I find myself stuck in a rut of nostalgia. I'm the girl who orders the same thing at Panera because I just enjoy the comfort of the familiar. But this doesn't mean I resist all change or would rather things left as they are. I enjoy progress and while change can be tough sometimes, I think it's necessary for things to carry on. Maybe this is just the progress / change in the blogging community that is inevitable. Something becomes popular, then it becomes mainstreamed, and then monetized. That's just how things work. Blogging is hard work, and I'm not against people getting compensated for their time invested in their blogs, but I do think it's taken a bit of a toll on relationships with the readers. What the measure of that toll is, it's hard to tell.

Further Reading

Another interesting article to read about this topic is found here. Jasmine, from Transient Withdrawal also wrote an insightful article about blogger transparency and the blog/brand relationship.

What Do You Think?

And here's the part that I love the most. THE COMMUNITY PART! Please tell me what you are thinking and feeling in the comments! Remember that the comment policy on The Fieldbook is to remain respectful & kind AT ALL TIMES. Any nasty or rude comments will be deleted.

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