Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blogging is a waste of time

"Blogging is a waste of time" said the taxi driver, as he delivered me from JFK to NYC for BlogHer12.

I laughed a little nervously, unsure how to respond. Truth be told, it is not as if I haven't had the same thought myself.

There were many sessions at BlogHer12 focusing on the nuts and bolts of blogging and maybe I will make room for some of these in my schedule next year. But this year, more than anything, I was looking to be inspired and even reassured that blogging matters, that it is about more than the statistics and brands and revenue streams; that giveaways and sponsored posts and ads are a sidenote, that they haven't taken over to such an extent that blogging is just another way for 'brands' to reach consumers. 

Attending panels such as #blogging4change and #IntActivists put any such thoughts firmly to rest. These bloggers showed how blogging can be a radical act, especially for those that belong to groups whose voices and perspectives are often ignored or marginalised.

I frantically tried to capture the words of these bloggers and send them out into my tweetstream. And over and over again, this diverse group of women conveyed a similar message:

That taxi driver, the one who informed me with great certainty that blogging is a waste of time, wanted to know if people make money blogging. I sensed that if I could show him that blogging had economic value then I may have been able to change his mind. And after the conference I could have shown him some pretty impressive numbers, the sort that bring the brands to events like BlogHer in droves, the sort that are necessary but leave me cold.

I am proud that I could have just as easily introduced him to a diverse group of women for whom blogging is about something bigger than numbers; women who challenge the rest of us to strive to make sure that our blogs actually do matter.


  1. Giving voice to concerns of girls and women who are silenced or marginalized can never be a waste of time. It is a radical political act at a grassroots level. Congrats to the feminist bloggers at the blogher conference in NY - especially to Mamabook!!

  2. it is interesting that I have been told blogging matters when you make money. I think a lot of people think that, and yes, it can be great to make money, but blogging is so personal and not everyone is in it for that reason. I took the session "I love my small blog" and we were given badges that said "I am a big deal" and it cracked me up. Funny thing, I had a lot of people asking why I was a big deal. Made me chuckle. I was so inspired by the ladies who are helping others with their blog by bringing social change, encouragement, and others who just blog because they love to share. I wonder if your taxi man would have enjoyed the Open Mic night where I thought some great writers shared so much of themselves. It was my favorite part of the conference.

    1. I missed open night but loved voices of the year. And I think that small blog session might have been good too although I could not have worn that badge!

  3. Hi Michelle,

    I attended all those sessions about SEO and "how to" information and I left them feeling a little I don't know, underwhelmed, disenchanted because I got the overall feeling that that blogging is only worthwhile if you are making money.

    It sounds like I should have attended the sessions you did.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

    1. Are you coming next year? You should definitely attend at least a few of these and I might attempt to learn some actual skills ;-)

  4. What a great lesson you've taken away from BlogHer. Please never, ever shut up. x