I had heard he Get Off My Internets before, but I rediscovered it a few weeks ago. I’m pretty ashamed for spending about 3 hours looking through the site. It was mind blowing. On one hand I completely understand the sarcasm, there are some ridiculous things on the internet, but when I went to the forum, I can’t even. Guys, people are mean. But I don’t want to talk about how mean people are over insignificant things. I’ve just been thinking about a certain question lately and GOMI has deepened my interest.
Does a blog ever stop being a blog?
Here’s what I’ve been considering the past few months. A Beautiful Mess (ABM) has always been my example for this. (It also just so happens to be a pretty popular subject on GOMI.) Most of us know the back story. Elsie and Emma started the blog together several years ago and now it’s this huge place for DIY’s, recipes, pretty home tours, etc. It’s also a subject of ridicule because the average person doesn’t have the time or possible skills to create a lot of their stuff. They also have this incredible ability to always look great and take amazing pictures. We all know at least one blogger who has the always pretty, way too talented to be real content and photos.
But back to ABM, they are very VERY open about the fact that they have a whole team of people responsible for content. They’ve created two phone apps, released two books, created a line of stationary/scrapbooks products, the list just goes on. So are they held up to the standards of a blog, or have they turned into a business that has a very open relationship with its consumers?
On one hand, they’ve clearly become a business. They employ multiple people and carry products. So are they still worthy of being held to the same blogging rules and guidelines? And what are these blogging rules and guidelines?
To me, the biggest things I think a blog should be are honest, relatable and real.
But that makes it more complicated, those are qualities that are increasingly being demanded from the businesses we purchase from. So if ABM is classified as a business, does that mean it should be held up to the standards of honesty, relatability and realness?
When a user on GOMI writes about how the DIY projects on ABM are stupid because nobody can do it, does that signify a consumer participating in the quality and products of a business or a soon to be not reader who hates a blog?
Does this even make sense? Pretty much, I just hate people bitching about people’s blogs. Many times, the blogs they complain about are running a business. Yes, the blogger will pretty much always look way too pretty in their pictures for the amount of kids they have, but she’s making money off her blog because she has the pretty photos that she either learned to take herself or hired out for.
Facebook is another way for me to explain what I’m thinking. Say an old classmate has a photography business. Will you judge her personal profile the same way you judge her photography business profile? Probably not. If everything she shares on her personal profile is rainbows and butterflies, you get the sense she’s lying and fake. But if she were sharing photos of the good and really bad stuff on her professional page, you wouldn’t like it too much.
I think that’s how one should look at a blog. There’s no reason to bitch about them always looking perfect. For one, nobody likes someone who is mean and complains, and two, many bloggers are trying to build a business. Can you really blame them for wanting to put a pretty, well put together foot forward?
Hopefully I’ve explained this well. I really want to hear what you think. Does a blog ever stop being a blog and just another business? And does being classified as a blog or business affect how much criticism it should/shouldn’t be receiving?