I’ve been having a conversation with Alex recently about the role of the internet, social media, and blogging in our lives – the good, the bad, and ugly In her case, its internet behavior – she channels Emily Post like no one’s business.
For me, it goes back to who owns the story. If many bloggers are writing about their lives and are marketing themselves (which many are) and if consumers own brands (which I believe heartily), then well who owns the story?
No one owns my story – at least now. My three regular readers (I love you guys!) includes probably my sister and others that I’d tell the same things to, email the same pictures to, who are invested in the story but only because the story is ‘me’.
This hasn’t always been the case. A long time ago, in a land far away (LiveJournal), I was involved in a clique. For the people I knew, ‘the’ clique. It was a ratings community, choosing its members by their writing, power struggles, and whim. There were expectations of us, to write certain things and ways, to lord, just a bit, over those who didn’t make it but tried and tried again to get our approval. And to some extent my story stopped just being about me but my performance. What would ‘sell’ in Peoria, in LA, NY, and hundreds of computers in between.
I’m sure this sounds ridiculous to you, but what I was doing wasn’t so different from what a lot of other bloggers are doing now – tracking which posts get the most hits, comments, track-backs. They do it for the potential cash (and yes, there are really that many people trying to make ‘it’ whatever that is from their blogs), and I did it for the ego rush during a bad time in my life, but at the base it’s the same. We work on our marketing, packaging, and PR to sell our product (our stories) to the consumer. And once it’s sold, well that’s where the problems are….