Ibn-e-Insha in ‘Urdu ki akhri kitab’ said
“yeh daira-e-Islam hai, pehle ismein shamil krty thay ajkal sirf kharij kertay hain”
Same is the case with blogging today. Few years back people used to encourage & welcome others to start blogging, now spend lives proving why they shouldn’t. None of my business though but this tug-war has made things look awkward.
What I knew few years back about the term ‘blogger’ was someone with an opinion, openly expresses it. Then there used to be discussion forums and few notable blogs. Discussion forums had their own charm and limitations too. People started converting from discussion forums to their personal blogs on free platforms due to many reasons one being the liberty of expressing own opinion and experimenting with ideas. The ‘blogging sphere’ started expanding with sophisticated sub-categories like commercial, technical, food, lifestyle and current affairs. Everything was going fine util commercialization happened.
This was the happy-time, when Facebook was still relevant. Twitteratis remember it as ‘golden era’ of Twitter. Used to have fun trends and friendly discussions. As digitization prospered and internet became accessible to more & more people, I don’t know who came up with the idea of using Twitter discussions & trending as a potential platform for promoting brands, giving birth to ‘micro-blogging‘ (that includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat) supposedly the epitome of everything happened to blogging.
Bloggers who used to write reviews usually had good influence over specific category and following. They were asked to ‘casually talk’ about the product or brand with a specific hashtag on their social media profiles so the campaign or message effectively reaches the target audience. Once this idea kicked-off, more & more brands started turning to social media for campaigns alongside ATL. There started the hashtag trending ritual. Anyone with a good following number can participate in the campaign and simply copy paste the “review” respective agency provided for ‘reference‘.
This new trend was inclusive in terms of letting-in all the new comers as well having limited exposure & followers who probably charge less for campaigns as compared to established ones. Doing freebies to remain in the radar, posting PRs and updates from agencies without charging for services in hope to be on good terms. On one hand this affected established blogger’s business who were taking it as full time job and on other hand somehow gave way to sub-standard (biased) content that hushed readers away from review blogs.
This pissed ‘genuine‘ bloggers off big time, they started taking dig on all ‘non-genuine‘ bloggers. Calling them ‘micro-bloggers’ and non-professionals exploiting the market/industry for their few bucks (meanwhile themselves also doing exactly the same). Claiming agencies to be rip-off and brands to be fool spending so much on this and paying ‘non-professionals’ blah blah blah. This is a routine now, daily someone is posting a thread about how ‘others’ have ruined this industry.
I don’t know if I am a blogger or an activist or key opinion leader because I am a part-timer. What I do know is companies aren’t fools. I work for a multi-national, I know how it goes. One simply doesn’t decide and implement a marketing strategy overnight. There are hierarchies and processes and systems to go through. We don’t run a campaign without a forecast and monitor it, analyze towards end of the campaign. We do not simply pay the vendor (agency) whatever he demands for, there’s a whole process for project costing, price determination. Corporations do not give away easy money to anyone without cost-benefit analysis. If KPIs aren’t fulfilled they don’t pay. Some might say digital campaign’s KPIs are trash, fine. Companies don’t invest in anything that doesn’t offer return. If every other company is spending on these KPIs there must be something in it.
So whatever your issue with digital campaigning or blogging is, calm your tits, there’s a thing called co-existence, learn it. No one can replace you without outperforming you, stay positive, stay relevant don’t rant too much that people start calling you names. Just saying it out loud because this attitude is degrading for all those associated with blogging, one way or the other. Thank you. (any relevance to any individual/group of individuals will be coincidental)
Note: This is purely my opinion and how I see things, not intended to demean anyone. Opinions may differ. If you don’t like it or feel butt-hurt, there’s an X button top right, hit it. For haters, here’s a thing:
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