Are you a Blogger or a Clogger?

Posted by Wolfe
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on Monday, 23 April 2012
in Digital Blogs

My first blog hit the cyber streets in 2006. At first it was fun and the notion that my writing could be set loose on the world generating some sort of fan base was exhilarating to say the least. I dedicated hours writing for an unknown audience, hoping to be a pioneer in the field and make my mark.

6 Years later and all I have to show for my effort is a couple hundred rand, one or two competitions won and endless exposure to the lower end of civilisation....sure, I have "met" some great "people" and have had some good debates...but at the end of the day you can't choose your audience....

That said, I still blog because I enjoy it...

During the MyDL infant years I wrote a post on how to was met with some good review and even got published in the Digital Life I stand by that post, but I fear the blogging community has been split into Bloggers and Cloggers.

Last week I decided to lookup the most popular blogs in Cape Town in the hope that I will find some direction as to where I can punish my liver the weekend.......instead I ended up punishing my brain trying to make sense of what makes these bloggers so popular.

I came across a popular local blog by a lady that refers to herself as CapeTownGirl (CTG). Spending a few minutes on her blog it became obvious that given her "sponsors" she has managed to work up some serious cyber popularity, especially when you look at the events she regularly attends. I read through some of her posts and it soon became clear that what appears to have been a blog born from passion for fashion (and all things social in girly world), has instead turned into a Commercial Slave Blog.....a blog driven by the giant commercial engine, a blog where there was no more room for an own opinion....a blog smeared with unoriginal commercial dribble....a CLOG.

Allow me to explain....

Her posts have absolutely no creativity. The products she promotes are the hottest fashion items around...yet Sunglass Hut makes a prominent appearance on the site....uhm....okay......and so does Vida-e...(fair enough...they make great coffee)....but it is endorsement after endorsement. I have no clue about fashion so my opinion is not educated, but she did a review on a local restaurant / bar....Blakes Bar. Her review sets the mood and describes truly mouth-watering meals..all in all a great experience is promised...until she makes mention of having a chat with the owner.

Why is this a problem?

I went to the hip and trendy Blakes Bar in December last year..sure...the views and decor is fantastic...but when it came to dinner, we were the ONLY people there. The food was horrible. Don't ever order the was burnt, but worse was the fact that it was served with a sauce that I would recommend you pour on your dog pellets to moisten them as it did nothing for the Salmon. Sounds harsh, but when I pay R900 for dinner for 3, I expect a little more. They opened no less than 6 bottles of red wine, all of which were off (as confirmed by the Chef). Later in the evening we sat downstairs in the courtyard and watched as the bouncer ate his takeaways at the entrance....a tad unprofessional for such a supposed upmarket establishment.The best part of Blakes other than the pre-dinner drinks and views, was the waiter...he gave good service.

A few other people had similar experiences....

Although I am savvy enough to say that my experience may not be a true reflection of Blakes, I feel that CTG's review on the place was written as a commercial driver.....not based on a real experience. Was she invited to Blakes? Maybe not....If she wasn't invited, did she chat to the owner to let him know that she was a local blogger with a following driven by a commercial pulse? Maybe me, making mention of the owner, highlighting his name......let's just say I think the CTG brand  and marketing division had a lot to do with the review.....just my opinion....

At the end of the day, I admire CTG for what she has achieved, the brand she created, I take my hat off to her for her successful clog...if you want the latest scoop on fashion items and what's new etc. or if you are a girl that just wants to live through her daily socialite experiences, because you are never going to be as popular......then go there...worth it. If you want genuine opinions, creative writing and words without sponsored restrictions....go somewhere else.

I cannot blame cloggers like her....for example, if I am invited to a restaurant and receive a complimentary bottle of wine from the owner, a free meal, or even just exceptional personal service from the owner, am I really going to go online the next day and say "Due to my blog being popular I was treated as a King, but the food was actually pretty kak"....? No...I doubt it....if Markhams decides to sponsor my clothing or give me massive discounts, am I going to say "Markhams decided to sponsor!!!! do I look like a hip-hop wannabe?" not...

Being someone that doesn't set trends, I doubt my term "clog / clogging" will sustain and catch on elevating me to cyber celeb, but I do feel that a shift is imminent, separating blogs based on honest opinions / reviews from blogs where opinions are owned by commerce, clogging our screens with marketing instead of telling it how it is.

Do I have a point or do I just have sour grapes for not being as popular as blogging trend setters like CTG....probably both, I am still too hungover to care...

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Shiraz has not set their biography yet
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Shiraz Monday, 23 April 2012

clog - clogging - clogger

i love it! i think that the audience can decide. if someone is punting a service OR brand it does come across. i like the new terms and why not, you can be my cyber celeb. cool post!

TruthStrangerThanFiction has not set their biography yet
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TruthStrangerThanFiction Wednesday, 25 April 2012

RE: Blogger or a Clogger?

Excellent blog Wolfe. I agree there is definitely a line between blogging and clogging.

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