It’s strange how fast blogging was killed off by social media. I was never a blogger (obviously I’m giving it a try now, a bit late to the party), but I did peruse a number of blogs back in the mid noughties. They were interesting and entertaining, giving a reader a direct link to an author in a way more topical or fictional writing struggles to do. Nowadays there are a few Vlogs that I will occasionally binge watch but overall the author as a determining factor of what content we view is becoming a much rarer occurrence.
Blogs are essentially diaries / journals with a change in structure and perspective, so for instance 30 or 40 years ago where you may have found the diary of a relative that read something like this:
“Dear diary, I don’t know who to turn too, my infatuation has become too overbearing, why won’t Mary-Ann reciprocate my feelings towards her. I’m afraid if this goes on I may lose all rational thought. Last night I dreamt of taking her against her will and leaving her body in the woods for the wolves… I wonder if anyone in the township would suspect me.”
Then came along the internet and with it bloggers, now we have a diary that’s audience facing, putting a unique spin on traditional journaling for deeper reader engagement. Remember the reader has never met Marie-Ann, in a diary or journal written as a sort of human external hard drive the reader is expected to already have a certain set of previous knowledge. Blogs don’t have that lxory, so instead of the above we’re given eloquent articles like:
“Top ten reasons to rape and murder your co-workers” or “You won’t believe what one man did when rejected by a colleague”.
I’m obviously just being facetious, there is a world of difference between the blog-o-sphere of the mid noughties and the click bait pool of mouldy jizz we inhabit now. A good blogger would gain a connection with their audience in the same manner a good talk show host or comedian would, they may or may not be playing a character but their a genuine approach and inviting writing style allowed readers to feel involved and get to know the author through their writing.
It is interesting (to me at least) how the blog died out so quickly, the individual voice disintegrated so rapidly against the monolithic corporate powerhouses of Google, Facebook and Twitter. Rather than writing on a blog and building a readership who responded well to your particular tone and style, you now give your writing / videos / images away to one of a handful of mega corporations who sort it by topic into their colossal databases and people search for what’s ‘trending’. It’s such a sad state of affairs. Earlier this week I wrote a page and a half about sharing a house with my in-laws. No it’s not particularly great writing or topical or hugely relevant to most people’s lives, but if someone enjoyed my writing they might find it fun to read and that allows writers of all kinds to blog about whatever interests them and not just what is popular right now.
Obviously blogs aren’t ‘dead’ if you’re reading this then that’s still the case (unless it’s scrawled in excrement across my cell wall). Blogging is still popular and as a genre I’m sure they make up a great deal of daily internet use, however it’s like saying Yahoo isn’t dead. Just because your grandma doesn’t know how to change her search engine doesn’t mean it’s still thriving. It just seems that as technology and its usage has grown we’ve reached a stage where a simple reverse chronological list of articles just isn’t the ‘trendy’ way to release content anymore.
Now to blatantly contradict myself, I’m going to write about something that’s currently trending on Facebook. I am aware that essentially nothing I have written about so far since my first post has been in anyway topical. I wasn’t sure what my intention was when I started ,whether I would try to appeal to more people by adding something of a social satire angle or if I just wanted to ‘chat shit’. After a week of writing I think it’s clear which way I’m leaning.
That being said, I do think one of the unique opportunities I have writing a diary style blog of musings is the ability to at least mention important goings on in the world on the off chance that anyone reading can reminisce on the good old days before Trump’s imperial war machine clashed with the Chinese red dragon army and wiped out 2/3rd’s of the world’s population.
Today my prime minister (I didn’t vote for her) Theresa May became the first world leader to visit the Whitehouse and hold Trump’s tiny hand. From the news coverage it looked more like a delusional tyrant holding a princess against her will who had to pretend she was there of her own free will to protect her people from his almighty wrath (never thought I’d compare Theresa May to a princess…). I imagine if you defeated Mike Pence his dying words would have been ‘I’m sorry the princess is in another castle’.
Reading the various articles around the internet I half expect to see a video clip of Theresa May nervously laughing whilst Trump kicks a Muslim and invites her to take a swing, “oh no, I couldn’t my shoes are far too expensive, but you carry on. Britain approves”. What’s worse is I’m not sure I blame her. I didn’t vote for Brexit, I don’t support the tories and I wouldn’t have voted for Trump, in fact I serve as quite a strong indicator of who not to vote for if you want to be on the winning side of an election. I have no love for May or any of the players in the current political climate (both at home and across the pond), but saying that. If Brexit is going to go ahead and if Trump isn’t about to be assassinated by an exploding piñata then one of the few silver linings for Britain is that despite how much we hate him, Trump likes us as a people and he has the least impulse control of any world leader since Henry VIII.
I think despite how disgustingly two faced and pathetically weak it makes us look to the world, sucking up to a man like Trump when we need a new trade deal is probably worth it. We just need to get a little flexible with our moral integrity and I’m way ahead of the curve on that one.