This is a friend of mine who's a ballet dancer. She started a blog, posted it to Facebook, said she "hated herself" for it, and immediately got 10+ positive comments from friends supporting her and egging her on.
What's up with this?
This is great. Glad you shared this.
My interpretation: self identifying as a blogger carries a whole bunch of negative connotations including being self obsessed. It's opting into being a "online publisher" which means you must think you have something important to say. So people feel the need to diffuse those conceptions by saying "I'm blogging but I'm not that serious about it."
@Jason - Hunh. Were those negative connotations around from the get-go? Did it have to do with the early adopter crowd, or what?
> It's opting into being a "online publisher" which means you must think you have something important to say.
This is interesting, the notion of having "something important to say." The girl who started this blog is 23 — well within the supposedly self-obsessed millennial generation. Are we really not over this hump yet?
This challenge was around from the beginning of blogging. The most often response people would give to why they didn't try Blogger was "I don't have that much to say." Or "I'm not like an online journalist." The notion of "publishing" and being explicitly in public will deter people.
Facebook plays into the self-obsessed or self-documenting desire (which id argue isn't really generational) by creating the context of "it's with your friends." The context of Blogger was "it's for the web and everyone." The context changes how people perceive the activity even if the content is very similar.
I agree with Jason's sentiments regarding the perception of blogging (i.e. you blog, therefore you think you have important things to say and others should read it).
However, I think another take is the pressure you put on yourself once you establish that you're going to blog. The first hurdle is actually setting up the account and maybe writing an intro post. It took me too long before actually getting over this one. The second hurdle is actually continuing to write on a semi-regular basis. Libby's friend might have this sentiment because she senses that she'll have to: 1) regularly pump out some content that is 2) quality enough that others should take the time to read it.
I'm still self-conscious about this stuff. Earlier this week I deleted the Twitter iOS and Mac apps, and decided not to tweet anymore (except for @replies and important Branch stuff), because I realized: (a) I was tweeting more and more but (b) definitely didn't all of a sudden have more important things to say. And if you visit my personal blog, you'll notice there are only a few posts total. But the truth is, I've published and then deleted many posts over the past year because I feel self-conscious about them.
IMHO, publishing monologues will always carry egotistical connotations. And, to be honest, I wonder if they're not partially deserved.
Also, THIS gives blogging a bad rep: johnexleyonline.com
Yes to both. Obviously has many applications to Branch and bringing the barrier to entry to being an online "publisher" down. Or at least making it more of a spectrum between just micro- and longform.
There's something I can't get over with Amanda that she was apparently incredibly self-conscious about having started a blog, and yet she went to Facebook to go share it with every single person that she knows anyway. Why? Simple approval seeking? Or has she been trained to be self-conscious without a network?
I think she subconsciously was seeking approval and support (and perhaps unwittingly trying to drive traffic to her blog). If no one commented on / "Liked" her post, maybe she would have used it as a reason to stop writing. However, her "focus group" of friends gave her the go-ahead to keep writing.
To Josh's point about publishing monologues being inherently egotistical, there are lots of reasons for creating them. For example, I treat my Twitter feed and blog as personal SEO and branding that people couldn't learn about me from my LinkedIn profile or resume.
I think also "blogging" has a lot of the same insecurities attached to liking anything "nerdy" in a lot of social circles still.
More importantly their is something intimate about blogging/creating content on the internet. I think (understandably) this is more vulnerable than most people are used to being. The internet is scary.
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch