What is blogging?

What is blogging

When you manage to have a weekend that is relaxing and productive, it’s the very best feeling. I feel so rested and I got more sleep this weekend than I have in a while. I caught up on Scandal and The Mentalist, two of the three TV shows I’m trying to watch regularly (the third is Grey’s Anatomy), and I feel productive because I made some good progress on decluttering my house for Operation I’m Hosting a Christmas Party in Three Weeks Oh My Goodness!!!

Speaking of TV, can you explain to me the psychology behind spoiling TV shows on Twitter or Facebook? I know better than to go on social media when I’m a few weeks behind on a show but I accidentally read about the latest episode of Scandal on someone’s Facebook page and it was just a statement. There was no analysis, no “OMG can you believe [insert spoiler]?” it was just “[insert spoiler].” So tell me, what’s the point of that? Am I asking too much for people sharing spoilers to have a reason for doing so other than ruining things for the rest of us?

But where are my manners—how are you? I know it’s been a little while and I miss blogging whenever I’m away from it, especially when I have things to say. Today I want to talk about blogging, which is perfect since the Nigerian Blog Awards are in the voting phase—go vote by the way! I put up a couple of tweets about the Awards and I thought it might be interesting to talk more about them.

The first was

I’m excited every year to see who the nominees will be, because of the guarantee that I’ll discover new blogs and hopefully others will too. Blogging makes the world smaller and that’s a good thing: your next business partner or new best friend could be just a few blog posts away! Even so, I like it when the same blogs are nominated in the same category one year after the next because I think it says something about the blog’s staying power and fan base, which I feel is directly related to the blogger’s consistency in delivering content. This doesn’t meant that bloggers who are never nominated aren’t awesome or consistent, and it makes me cringe that I even have to say this. It’s also important to note that the Nigerian Blog Awards can’t and don’t claim to have a complete list of all the Nigerian blogs out there.

The nominees for the Awards are selected by those who take the time to nominate blogs. So if a blog receives a large number of nominations and it fits the description for the category it’s being nominated in and meets the eligibility criteria, it will be named a nominee. If there’s another blog that also fits the category but doesn’t receive as many nominations as the other blogs, it won’t be named a nominee. This is why the nomination process is so important—there’s zero chance that a blog that receives zero nominations will be named a nominee.

As I was going through the nominees, I had in my head ideas of which blogs would receive the most nominations and in almost every case I was wrong. It just shows how much the Awards have grown because I was introduced to plenty of blogs I hadn’t read before.

How to make sure that all worthy blogs receive due consideration has been on my mind. One idea is setting a minimum number of nominations that a blog must receive to be considered, maybe 10 nominations. Then, every blog that has that threshold number of nominations would be considered on the same plane, no matter how many total nominations are received. So a blog that receives 10 nominations and one that receive 200 nominations would have an equal chance of being named an official nominee. What do you think of this?

My other tweet was

This is my biggest gripe about blogging! In my opinion, blogging should be about creating original content that resonates with your readers and adds in a positive way to their life. You can educate them about living with natural hair, help them with their self development, share funny things that your mom says and make them laugh. It doesn’t mean you have to have a personal blog where you regularly spill your secrets but please, please show a bit of who you are in your blog posts! Even if you’re a tech blogger, you can bring a personal touch to a phone review (for example) by developing a style of reviewing that’s your own and not just copying press releases or information from a product website and calling it a blog post. And if you can’t create original content then add to the information you’re reposting: share your personal opinion by responding to the material you’re copying, do something other than post it and add the source at the end!

I came across a blog last week that, like many on my “Ugh” list, only reposts existing articles—it doesn’t add value or a commentary, it just copies and pastes. The worst thing is to copy and not source a post. This blog sources the post but doesn’t link to it, meaning that if I wanted to read the article on the source’s website, I’d have to go there and do a search. This almost bothers me more than not sourcing the post because it feels like the blogger doesn’t want you to see that they really just copied and pasted!

Nigerian gossip blogs are very popular and some of these bloggers are making serious money from their websites by re-sharing news about the entertainment industry or news about horrible happenings in the world; there is nothing original in the content and the goal seems to be a race to be the first to share information that is already out there or grab your attention with gory details of an incident. Not all gossip blogs are like this, but unfortunately the majority are. And there are non-gossip blogs that copy and paste entries so the problem (as I see it) is widespread. The bloggers aren’t entirely to blame though: if readers weren’t devouring this content so rapidly, the bloggers would have been forced to reevaluate their blogging strategy a long time ago.

Right now, the Awards does not require nominated blogs to produce mostly original content, but if I had my way that would be a requirement. To me, getting to know the writer behind the blog is such an important part of what appeals to me about a blog, and if the blogger is just copying posts, I’m not learning about the blogger. However, I don’t know if my opinion is in the majority and since the Awards aren’t about me (alas, haha!) I’ve tried to be as inclusive as possible. That being said, I’d love to know what you think:

Does a blog have to produce original content to hold your attention?
What blog do you read the most?

4 thoughts on “What is blogging?

  1. I’m a lifestyle blogger who primarily writes about fashion and food. I am acquainted with many of Toronto’s top fashion bloggers, whom I see at Fashion Week, seasonal previews (we are currently in the height of Spring/Summer 2014 previews – I have three this week and another three (or was that four) next week. It’s incredibly insane and I have had to turn some events down because I need to spend time with family – and to write, of course). Most of the writers produce their own content (though some like to rehash press releases), but what bugs me is that many are just too positive about everything. You don’t have to love it all. I don’t believe you love everything, in fact. Be critical. As a short, small-framed woman, I often comment on how collections might or might not work on petite ladies or how it just won’t work, period, on anyone who isn’t 5’8″ or taller and smaller than a size 6. I don’t really see that in the fashion world very much, not even from bloggers who aren’t model-sized (most of them). I don’t think you need to go out of the way to please PR. You need to be yourself. That’s the point of blogging.

    Another thing that bugs me about fashion/beauty bloggers? How sometimes, their sites are so shiny and sparkly. That look is really dated (I had a shiny, sparkly page for a while….in 2001) and looks worse when you realize that the owner is pushing 30 or older.

  2. Bless you for this post! I have stopped reading some blogs that I used to religiously due to some of the reasons you listed here especially in the second to last paragraph.

  3. I think blogs should have original content. There’s a reason why I don’t read Nigerian entertainment blogs – because 98% vomit out what Linda Ikeji and Bella Naija have already posted.

    I do think it’s okay to reblog every now and then, but only when something catches your eye/attention that you must share with your readers. And you must ALWAYS state at the beginning, end, and title of the post that you’re reblogging. I made a mistake once, and had to answer 5 million questions that I wasn’t the one that wrote the original post.

    Lol @ the NBAs. I didn’t make even one category – sooooo humbling :p But I don’t know quite a number of the blogs posted…

    Yay to decluttering and throwing a Christmas partay!

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