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?

 

 

  • I think the problem here is, most people are complaining about blogs they used to LOVE and now LOATHE because the person behind it has changed. Money changes everything when it comes to blogging, and anyone who says it doesn’t isn’t being honest with themselves. Blogging is a completely different ballgame when it’s your main source of income – compromises need to be made and changes happen.

    The issue a lot of people on GOMI have is, previously they adored these blogs that were relatable, funny, interesting, and helpful. As soon as these blogs grew big and realised they could earn money, things changed and in the reader’s eyes that was for the worst.

    We can’t deny that a lot of the “big blogs” post content, which previously they wouldn’t have and it’s all because it brings in the £££ – and that’s fine too, but they need to realise that A LOT of readers are going to be annoyed and feel betrayed by this change.

  • Sorry that I was the one who introduced you to GOMI! It’s a super scary place. I much prefer the SOMI forum – Stay ON My Internets – and that’s pretty much how I populate my Feedly.

    You do bring up an interesting question, though. Bloggers change over time, and their money or their business could be the reason for that. For die-hards (and hipsters), it’s hard to see someone change. But ultimately, I’m usually proud of the bloggers I’ve followed for years for making it big (like ABM).

    The one exception would probably be Gala Darling, for me. I followed her in high school, but now, she’s more about living the ~perfect~ life and being ~magical~, posting a lot of coven stuff. She also wore a headdress for a photoshoot, and that really turned me off. I miss her simple “How to Be Happy” articles which listed 200 ways to make yourself feel better, on a normal, you-can-actually-do-this scale.

    Love the post though Katie!

  • I think you’re totally right that there’s a difference between “personal” blogs and blogs that are or turn into businesses. I try to stay away from GOMI but I do get a kick out of it when they congratulate themselves because a blogger seems to be “responding” to their criticism. Like “haha, she’s reading here and we got in her head!”

  • I admit it: I love GOMI. I don’t agree with some of their opinions (I rather like some of the blogs they don’t) and they can be too mean sometimes. However, I agree with Sophie. I dislike when a blogger i really enjoyed reading turns into the face of a business.

    I was actually just discussing this last night with my husband. I couldn’t hire people to write posts, or take photos for me. My blogs are MINE. They’re my creative outlets. Handing over creativity to someone else nullifies it as being a blog, for me anyway, even if I have the final say.

    I want my readers to say, “I could totally do that.” So I post content that the “average” person can do – no advanced knowledge of painting or woodworking, or hundreds to spend on clothing or makeup, required. I have to wonder, for blogs that post advanced or expensive content – who are they writing for? Who is their audience? It’s not me, or anyone I know.

    It’s certainly food for thought. There’s no official definition for being a blog, but I think many blogs have crossed the line from “blog” to “business website.”