Where are Blogs on the Pecking Order?

Copper Coast, Co. Waterford
Copper Coast, Co. Waterford

I’m getting the feeling that blogs are moving in from the wildest peripheries towards the core of the world of writing ~ from poor relation to ‘acceptable social animal.’

I say this because I seem to be hearing far more interviews with bloggers on mainstream topics, especially on radio.

Is anyone else out there feeling the same?  Or where do YOU see blogs in the grand scheme of writing?  What type of social animal are they at all? Please tell me what you think from where you’re sitting?

Annestown, Co. Waterford.
Annestown, Co. Waterford.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

35 thoughts on “Where are Blogs on the Pecking Order?”

  1. Blogs began having an impact on business and politics years ago, and that’s when they began to be more popular. Then, ways to monetize your blog so you could make some money (a little or a lot) doing what you were already doing came on the scene. Blogs replaced company newsletters pretty much in the U.S. corporate world. And, blogs are also very therapeutic. Authors even use blogs to help sell their books. With the decline of brick and mortar book stores, blogs help bridge the gap to build reader relationships and loyalty. They give followers a feeling of a personal connection with people they admire and relate to. My Sweet Mystery Books blog with book reviews put me on the top reviewers list for Amazon. – Good Musing on the subject. ~Sandy

  2. Lovely photos, Jean!
    Good question though.. and I don’t know the answer. My personal liking for the medium stems from the fact it feels more personal, more authentic than the one-liners of other social media. But it does feel more acceptable… almost reputable…. these days.

    1. Hi Sue, glad you like the photos. I should note that they are among the places where Lone Swimmer (see comment below) swims.
      I’m very much with you about the ‘personalness’ of blogs but I see them as being very, very different, in the main, to other forms of social media, like Facebook, Twitter.

      ‘Almost reputable’ may be a good summation of where they are at present in the public eye!

      1. So do I, Jean… and they vary so much with the character and motivations of the writer, from the personal journal to the showcase.. there is an incredible amount of writing and a real bouquet of opinions and viewpoints out there now.

  3. I have a feeling as a blog author that I’m sometimes seen as a cross between a potential serial killer and a tabloid journalist… but only using the worst traits of each!

    1. Donal, this comment of yours has been on my mind since I read it last night and I can’t but chuckle at your description of your feelings as one of the best known bloggers in Ireland ~ two-in-a-row winner of the Irish Blog Awards!

      I’d love to have seen your expression as you wrote the comment!!!!

  4. The funny thing is, in MY family, no one ever reads blogs and look at me with an almost “oh how cute, she writes a blog…” and other than my sister and occasionally my husband, no one in my family actually reads me! I have yet to make an impact, I see.

    As you know, Jean, I am an avid reader of blogs and I feel I have so expanded my knowledge, interests, subjects of conversations and yes, I agree with Sue that they do feel more personal (and the ones that don’t feel it, I drop)

    1. Hi Dale, I wonder how many famous poets and novelists had/have family members who read their work? I’d say the percentage could be quite low!

      It seems from what you say, though, that you see blogs as a valuable source of information, inspiration and the like. One of my reasons for writing the post in the first place is that a blog post is making headlines here in Ireland at the moment. It’s a long story but it’s the first time that I’ve come across a blog post being at the centre of such attention.

      1. hmmm I wonder indeed! You may be right on that one, Jean!

        I would say blogs can indeed be sources of information, entertainment, etc.

        Intetesting that a blog has captured a nation….would that mine did too! No, not really…

  5. My blog exists because I want it to. As far as I know, it isn’t modeled after anyone else’s except that other blogs did exist at the time I got started. It has no other backing of authority; not from academia’s ordained, appointed magistrates, licensed practitioners, high priests, hall monitors, corporate executives or board members, editors, publishers, think tanks, fish tanks, septic tanks. water tanks, armored tanks, or gasoline tanks, tankuary much. I write about whatever fancies me at the time, and without apology.

    I’ve not experienced, nor do I go searching for, other blogs that are of the same purpose, though I do read several. Some are very focussed on the author’s intended brand, while mine is not. Nor has it been set up to promote any business model. As far as “pecking orders” might be considered, I doubt my blog would even show up on the radar. Further, I’d not recommend others follow what I’ve been doing. Instead, I would urge they take the pathway that pleases them.

    In a recent seminar, the group was shown the format and structure of several “award winning” blogs, all of which bored me to blasphemy. Additionally, I had no personal need or desire to sell widgets, or formulas for greatness, or the secret ticket required to by-pass perdition. Yet the people running the show encouraged us to all do as they were doing, on the presupposition that the awards were all the validation necessary to certify these examples were not only significant and worthy, but choosing such a route would be safe.

    Such as that reminded me of Mark Twain’s advice to youth about the development of character, and find it suits well for those who need to be instructed about the development of much of any other conformity:

    “Build your character thoughtfully and painstakingly upon these precepts, and by and by, when you have got it built, you will be surprised and gratified to see how nicely and sharply it resembles everybody else’s.” ~ MT

    1. Van, thanks for this great response. I’m certainly with you about the issue of ‘THE’ formula for blog writing. What a pain when blogs follow the same format and have no personality of their own!

        1. What you describe Willow is common in general for humanity – you are in good company. Immaterial of your faith, it is interesting to note that Jesus said exactly the same thing in Mark 6:4 – ‘Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.”‘

          See? I wouldn’t worry too much about your relatives or family – the rest of us love your blog and you – and if you need proof look at the number of followers you have.

  6. Interesting. I think blogs are becoming a vital social media platform. Sitting somewhere between Facebook and Twitter.

    1. Hello Alfred, many thanks for commenting. I’m inclined to agree with you about blogs becoming a key social media platform but I somehow see them as being in a different league to Facebook and Twitter.
      Where they fit into the literary world is something that fascinates me?

  7. Interesting question Jean. Of course there has a been a great deal of moaning and groaning from the media and other groups about the growth of blogs – the fact that they produce infomation for free. The best are usually “bought” (or the authors are) by the establishment – typical behaviour in a changing environment : if you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em.

    Blogs give an opportunity for anyone to succeed at writing and for everyone to have their say. A sort of level playing field where every writer can be judged on the quality of their work. I think it has the potential to bring a democratic paradigm to writing – one person, one opinion, with no intervening levels to be negotiated before your voice is heard.

    Where all that goes will be interestng to see. Excellent question Jean – time will tell.

    1. Paul, interesting point indeed about ‘if you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em. It would be a major pity if blogs got swept into the establishment too much as the freedom they allow is invaluable.

  8. I do think most of the people I mention my blog to don’t really know what I’m talking about, yet they use Facebook regularly. I do see the two as completely different. I think blogs are more personal as you say and ‘deeper’ – or rather, they have the potential to be. I may have originally started my blog because I thought it was something I should do as a writer, but now I just enjoy it.

    1. Andrea, maybe that’s the reason I don’t mention my blog to many people at all! I think I maybe did at the start but realise now that I hardly mention it, unless to some fellow bloggers around here.

      I see Facebook and blogging as being very, very different ~ in fact, I find it hard to mention them in the same sentence.

      As someone who didn’t start a blog because I was a writer, I must say I have a bit of a thing about blogs that are about promoting books or, at least turn into same. It can feel like a complete let down when a blog one loved suddenly turns into being all about a book. I’d prefer if I knew what I was dealing with from the outset. I know that some bloggers become published writers along the way and then the book/s creep into the blog. That feels different, somehow.

      1. I agree Jean, I soon get bored it that’s all a blog is about. In terms of being a writer, the way I look at it is that my blog is a platform for my writing by demonstrating the way I write, rather than by promoting all the time – I’d get bored too if that was all I wrote about!

  9. What a great question…
    I like reading blogs because lots of people who don’t write for a living (journalists or content providers to magazines, etc) have great ideas, and write great articles about diverse subjects in their own time. Sometimes people who are paid to write, or who commission this sort of stuff, such as editors, can get a bit jaded. So I see bloggers as entertainment providers who do other stuff besides write, even if they’re authors who are also trying to sell their books.

    Having said that, I’d love to see where blogs fit in to the thinking of readers rather than bloggers, who have a very different view of blogging for obvious reasons. If a reader isn’t a blogger themselves, and doesn’t know any bloggers either personally or by fame, do they think blogs are personal diaries, or entertainment?

    1. Hi Tara, you’re right about blogs being alien territory for many, or that’s how it feels. I wonder do many non bloggers ever read blogs as the interaction that’s associated with them probably makes them a bit cliquey.

  10. I believe that writing a blog is rather low in the pecking order, much like the hugs I give my nephews and nieces. But I wouldn’t trade either one for the world!

    My mother-in-law is my blog’s biggest fan. My own parents, by contrast, don’t read it. Well, at least they don’t admit to it. My father does spend quite a bit of time online, so I sometimes wonder whether he’s been on to me all this time. LOL

    1. Hi UG, Thanks for such an interesting comment. I think there are many writers of all descriptions whose work is little read by their nearest and dearest but loved by the wider world. Do you think if you wrote a novel, short story, newspaper article that it would inspire more interest at family level?
      Of course, the other question about readership is whether or not one wants one’s nearest and dearest to read one’s blog.

  11. Your rock-between-rocks photo is perfect for this post, Jean, since it is the “little entity” pushing its way up/out of the box! Based on my blog’s followers, I know a handful of them personally and all are included in the non-WP bloggers category = 10% of total follow-ship. So there’s a ways to go yet, with regard to gaining the attention of non-bloggers. And yes, it is interesting to notice how TV newscasts are increasing their social media segments, these days. As for fb/twitter/etc, i’d say they are useful extensions to the blog itself. 🙂 ❤ ❤
    Pinned this post @ http://www.pinterest.com/pin/12596073933381994/

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