Before you all shout in unison: “DAMN RIGHT YOU ARE GEEK BOY!” allow me to examine the evidence. Barely a week goes by without a reference to an influential blog being mentioned in the media or top bloggers such as Perez Hilton being interviewed as if they are experts in their chosen field. And maybe some of them are. But despite this, sometimes I feel embarrassed to admit that I have a blog as I can just see people’s poorly hidden reactions, based on their preconceptions. They think that I’m either a geek with delusions of grandeur but nothing interesting to say, or someone who probably sits at home stroking a white cat whilst planning cyber-world domination.
But do they have a point? Six months on from the launch of this blog which started with Online Hating, a rant against the pitfalls of online dating, plus my round-the-world travel diaries, I’ve taken a look at the blogging community to see what this relatively new medium is all about. Anyone can start a blog on a whim, so for every well-planned, insightful or entertaining blog, there are always likely to be countless others that struggle to inspire.
Too often the authors feel the need to post their most personal thoughts, rather than saving those for Twitter or Facebook updates, which is arguably where they belong. At least on those forums, your one line comments are viewed only by your closest ‘friends’, rather than anyone who stumbles upon them. Knowing what you had for lunch today or reading that “Today I thought I would post something, and here it is… a post about nothing” doesn’t really float my boat. Nothing is always less interesting than something, in my opinion.
Maybe there is an argument for keeping blogs for a youthful audience in a separate area to those for a more mature audience? I guess that when I was a kid, I may have found it interesting to read an alphabetical listing of things that a stranger likes. Although maybe not. By the time I get to the end, only to find out the writer likes zebras, I feel more like it should be ‘Z is for zoned-out’. And why would you like zebras anyway? They are basically just horses dressed as barcodes anyway. But wait… maybe I should try it?
A – apples. Yes, I like them. Crunchy, tasty, healthy.
B – breasts. Because everybody needs a bosom for a pillow. Like them a lot.
C – Ooh… I think I should stop right there and drag my mind from the gutter. I’ve lost interest already anyway.
It does even get worse than this. How about some word association to while away your life? Oh, come on now, give it a try!
Does please-kill-me-now count as one word if hyphenated?
Or how about some bad poetry?
Oh! My darling has left me
I sleep alone with my woe
All I have for comfort
Is self-love down below
Or cryptic proverbs?
A wise monkey will always swing through the tallest trees.
Hmm… Deep. And I made those up on the spot. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe. I jest of course, but you get my point? The ‘blogosphere’ is like life itself; full of interesting and varied individuals, with the occasional gem hidden away. And just as you would hopefully brush off any real-world encounter with life’s fruitcakes or anyone with muppet tendencies, so you should do likewise with similar people in the cyber-world.
The internet is a vast resource, with a worldwide audience, so why shouldn’t there be niche blogs for every (legal) interest, no matter how insignificant they may seem? And who can say that today’s youth bloggers, won’t develop their talent to become the future’s celebrity bloggers? That’s the beauty of the internet as a medium for free expression. Minority interest sites sit alongside majority interest sites. In fact, the minority sites may even be more accessible via natural search criteria in Google or Bing, as they have less competition for placings.
All I know is this: blogging has given me an outlet to express my opinions, attempt ironic humour and share my experiences of this little thing called life; an outlet that wasn’t available until relatively recent times. And for that I am thankful as the site continues to grow month by month, which gives me immense satisfaction. I believe that over time, just like the general perception of online dating has changed to become less judgemental and more accepting, so too will the perception of blogging.