Months ago, an interesting tweet caught my eye:
“Nobody blogs about feelings anymore”
It got me thinking. Whatever happened to blogs? Aren’t they supposed to be online versions of “Dear Diaries?”
I certainly agree with my friend’s tweet. Gone are the days when entries would be something like an overly dramatic account of a bad day at school, linking a low score in a test to chances of getting hired in a reputable company. Or that bumping into this cute guy in an unexpected place was a sign that you should pay attention to people around you, because he might be The One. Or that you think a certain brand of potato chips is way better than the rest, and you declare it to be your must-have come crunch time because it keeps you up at night and it tastes damn good, you ultimately forget that you should watch your sodium intake. Or just about anything random, say electrically conductive epoxy. You get my point.
Perhaps what I am missing are the small details that gives the reader an insight of how this person thinks and feels. That’s not to say that blogs of today are not reflective of the blogger’s personality. Each person has their own style of crafting a narrative. It didn’t matter if the blogger has a good command of English or if the person is creative enough to engage the reader. What mattered then was self-expression through words.
When I was bloghopping ten years ago, most of the blogs had chunks of paragraphs (and glittery GIFs served as decorative elements). Or really short entries that only people close to the blogger would understand, but written in such a way that a random blog visitor could possibly relate to. Revealing too much may also pose a security risk to the blogger who says it all. But writing about feelings and emotions are different from just enumerating what happened today in an entry. Microblogging may have also overtaken blogging. After all, it’s much more convenient to post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, especially with the privacy settings.
I’d like to think I’m just having a #ThrowbackThursday kind of moment. Or I simply don’t stumble upon blogs that have more copy than art.
Regardless of my editorial/publishing background, I think that pages do look better with images. It’s also important to note that most online users have at least a smartphone that takes decent photos, which probably explains why content is more image-heavy than five years ago. The power of photos cannot be underestimated, but in today’s blogging world, most of it are not spontaneous at all (with the thinking that “Oh, these will go to the blog. This should look good because people are gonna see this!”). I do not like stolen shots, but sometimes, the best photos are the ones taken out of the blue, with the exception of editorials, of course.
(But that is precisely the point. The playing field has changed.)
Blogs have evolved into money-making ventures. Nothing wrong with earning from something enjoyable and therapeutic, but ~*feelings*~ will not sell unless you are relevant.
Blogs are personal by nature, but endless rants about life, quarterlife gripes and petty stories about crushes or romantic dinners are not gonna get online advertisers. However, if the blogger in question is a celebrity, then obviously, endorsements will spill over to the personality’s online presence.
It’s all about relevance.