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Originality – Or why blogging is not being taken seriously

May 12, 2010

Originality – Or why blogging is not being taken seriously

 

It would be wrong to say that ‘all blogging is not being taken seriously’. In fact some are being taken far too seriously for all the wrong reason. Other blogs tend to gain attention because they produce quality writing and moving stories. Yet these are often products of professional publishers like news papers who want to branch out and rebrand letters to the editor as something more immediate. If you read any online version of popular newspapers you will often find a category for blogs and online feedback for current stories. They are always strictly moderated to keep off offensive and insulting comments and rarely do they tolerate serial pests. Comments are traceable to email and IP addresses. There are the few rare private sites that have drawn large readerships but are often dealing with specialized issues such as dissidents in China and Vietnam writing until they are arrested. Most blogs are not wonderful endless cash cows or great intellectual pools of academic knowledge.

 

For the greater part we can see in the blog world a collection of ordinary people expressing what they consider to be noteworthy but we can also see a growing number people who see themselves as best selling writers in waiting. Not that there is anything wrong with a little ego boosting and dreaming but reality speaks volumes about self delusion. The chances that all the great intellectual minds finding their big break in blogging is slim at best. So rather than consider the ethos of being an intellectual there must be an actual reason for writing.

 

You cannot help but feel sorry for people who start with a socio political agenda when they create a blog. They have every right to do this but before long their agenda becomes bleeding obvious. They are there to propagate a manifesto and force it down the throats of those who do not agree. For hate groups and radical extremists the web (and now blogs) are a godsend. An established blog site with a few thousand people as an audience is easier to hijack than a radio program or a newspaper. One or two from the same radical group can change the whole tone of a site by engaging in disreputable practices such as cyber bullying; running smear campaigns against individuals and creating a multitude of fake identities to appear more popular than they are. Another method is to organize collective voting for their own posts so that anything they write is magically popular. These are all the old tricks that have been around since printing press was invented, only they have been adapted to a new environment. Yet the agenda is hardly anything new and can be easily investigated through books and the online activist site where these radicals find inspiration. In short they are just echo chambers of someone else and lack any originality.

 

It would be interesting to see what would happen if Digg or Reddit were ever unplugged. They seem to be primary source of for some blog posts. Not that I would accuse anyone of plagiarism. However there seems to a remarkable coincidence that what is in the popular list on those sites transfers into a plethora of posts on other blog sites. Though it would be hard to prove a causal link there does seem to be an associative relationship. I do not fault people for doing this as they have every right to find inspiration from any source that they choose but at the same time I can read the same opinion on the same subject on twenty different blog sites. The real irony is that they usually quote the same questionable sources.

 

Lastly we have the unfunny potshot that turns nasty. Jealousy is a curse and nowhere does it burn more than when someone is deprived of the attention that they do not deserve. If something is clever, witty, interesting or original then it certainly does deserve attention. However if something is just a rehash of an old story then why bother. The bottom line is there are people whose posts get read and read again because they are genuinely worth reading. It is no point trying to sabotage another blogger because they have more talent and skill at writing. That proves nothing.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. similimodo permalink
    May 22, 2010 8:45 am

    Dear Damo,

    It always amused me at writing college how everyone in the class was capable of writing a journalistic article (following the tired, worn-out, piss-easy formula that journos use) but when it came to poetry, short stories, novels, stage-plays and screenwriting, they wouldn’t admit any of the above were higher forms of writing, or a lot harder to master. They’d say things like, Oh that stuff doesn’t interest me that much. I’m really only here to hone my (um, already excellent?) jouranlism skills. (And, um, teach the teacher, instead of learn something?). And write the occasional rhyming doggerel?

    Then, you get on a ‘writing’ blogsite, and the discussion turns to: What is a writer? And you get inane comments like, Everyone who writes is a writer. I write a blog, therefore I’m a writer. (People who can’t write for shit are always going to say that. And find other people who can’t write for shit backing them up, saying, I’m with you on this one. I agree with your opinion, because it’s the opinion, I, myself, personally hold. [One particular blogsite comes to mind, but fuck me, I can’t remember the name of it …

    Did you know I was a builder? I built a reputation for myself based on bullshit. (Rah, rah, rah and la-de-fucking-da. Blow me off with a rubber hose.

    You try to tell people that writing is a profession or craft, and they laugh. They mock you to scorn (I stole that line from the Gospels). They think writing is just something they’re brilliant at, and they don’t need to study any craft.

    And yes, God is looking down upon you with envy.

    I’m glad I don’t blog much any more. I’m so sick of wasting my time on dickheads and morons.

    David & Teresa …

    Like

    • May 22, 2010 9:47 am

      Dear David & Teresa,

      I thought that bloggs were writing colleges if not universities. Damn I must have been fooling myself.

      I must confess I have used the line: ‘Everyone who writes is a writer.’ My interpretation was to show it as being literally true due specifically to the actual action of writing. However in the common conversation it was a delusion. Writing and writing something of substance are two different things. Knowing the difference takes a bit more skill than just getting praise on a blog site. Citizen Journalism? Don’t make me laugh. It is more like letter to the editor where there is no editor to reject the irrational garbage and wild conspiracy theories.

      Unfortunately bloggs have become the white wall of the public square. What stareted off as something clean and fresh is now defaced with graffiti and political posters carelessly glued over each other. Another ugly wall covered in banal crap. No wonder Twitter exists.

      I have to confess I was getting bored with the blog interactivity long before I left the site that ‘shall not be named.’ So little quality, so much banality in such a concentrated amounts. What a surprize we have nother film review site. Good heavens I really do need know what Paris Hilton is doing today. I did not know about alternative science was until it was explained but a cult member. How do mature women enjoy sex, as written but a fridged teenager. How to write, by people who cannot write. Deep philosophy by people who cannot think straight. How make friends by people who have no real friends(The secret is to find fresh corpse). I either fall asleep reading the headlines or laugh.

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

      Like

  2. similimodo permalink
    May 22, 2010 11:40 am

    Dear Damo,

    There’s another film blog? Nooooooooooooo! I don’t believe it! How bloody ORIGINAL.

    If I wasn’t banned from the site for writing stuff of substance, I’d start my own film blog.

    But that would be a bit presumptious of me. I’ve only worked in the film industry for the past decade-and-a-half. What gives me the right to write about film?

    To write a film blog you have to be a person who has no practical knowledge of what screenwriting and film-making is all about, and use flowery verbiage about films, like the stuff you’ve seen other film critics write in free street magazines (film critics who only know how to criticise a film and know nothing about the construction industry …

    Did I tell you I was a builder?

    I think I did.

    But I’ll tell you again, because it’s high-time you recognised my talents. I’m a builder of reputations.

    Would you like my business card? I’ll give you one, when I get some.

    David & Teresa …

    Like

    • May 25, 2010 3:01 pm

      I can only think of one thing worse than another film blog.
      Another blog telling people how to write like a professional journalist.

      Like

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