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.




8 comments:

  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!!

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  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.

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    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!

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  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

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    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 ;-)

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

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