Blogger or Blagger?

Blog:   
1. a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. 
or 
2. Blog definition, a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other .
Blogger
a person who regularly writes material for a blog.
blogger
“Oh, you’re a blogger?”
(Insert eye roll or eyebrow raise… )
For the past 4 years, I have indeed been a Blogger.  I own my own website, on which I post my own content, which I create all by myself.
I am a writer; a writer of blogs, a putter-downer of thoughts, and I share my thoughts with the world on my site and on my Social Media Platforms.
My aim?
To have people read my words, to entertain people, to make them think…(and to someday see it in book form.)
‘But what are you selling?’  NOTHING.
‘But who do you work for?’ ME.
‘But why do you bother?’ BECAUSE I ENJOY IT.
The past 18 months has seen the rise of the INFLUENCER… and while many of us boring writing, content creating bloggers might sometimes dip our toes into this world, the blurred lines between Influencers and Bloggers is becoming a problem.
If your Blog has a readership and a strong social media presence, it is probable that savvy marketing people are going to try to get you on-board to help them to promote something.  And if, (like me), you choose to work with or collaborate with certain companies or people, and you are completely honest and transparent in your work, there’s no real problem.
For example, any company with whom I have worked, has had a set of conditions from me.
1. I say and write what I want.
2. I am only honest in my reviews.
3. My links are No Follow and
4. I disclose all partnerships with my Mammies.
If a company doesn’t like any of these, I don’t work with them.  My time is valuable.  This is not my full time job.  I don’t NEED to collaborate with ANYONE, but some fun and fablis opportunities have presented to me and I have happily helped to promote and encourage those who I have chosen to work with.
That’s me.
But am I an INFLUENCER?
I don’t think so.  I would certainly never refer to myself as one.  If people are influenced by what I write or show or use or where I go, that’s a result of my words and my blog; not my “influence”.
Influencers can be wonderful.  Don’t get me wrong.  If someone is having positive ripples in the pool of the WWW, then good for them.  If your favourite Make up Artist declares each validation or promotion as an #ad or #af link or whatever it may be, then that’s fine.
But recently, the Blogger and Influencer pool has been flooded by self proclaimed influencers who set up social media pages and try to get famous (and to try to get free stuff!).
People now refer to themselves as a Blogger after a week of posting images of shoes, or memes, or food, or ladybirds or other people’s stories onto the Instagram page.  I was writing for 18 months and nominated for an award before I called myself a Blogger… and even then, I felt like I was a fraud.
Is there anything wrong with these pages?  Not really.  Each to their own.  If you like to share images of bugs, or shoes, or eyebrows, or weights, or inspirational quotes, or your arse, go for it… (well, maybe not the last one.)
But if you want to be a BLOGGER, here are some basic guidelines:
1. You must CREATE something.  Sharing other people’s content is NOT BLOGGING.  It is sharing.
2. You should have your OWN website or platform from which you can share this content.
3. You should NOT buy or beg for shares so you can boast numbers.  You must post quality content and engage with your readers to try to build a reputable following.
4. If you buy followers, you are not a blogger, you are a Twat.
5.  If you choose to monetise your site, you must be transparent about it.
6.  If you are collaborating or working with a business, you must declare it on every post.
7. Be prepared to write to yourself for weeks, or months.  If you want fame, go on X-Factor…
8. Don’t contact complanies declaring yourself a Blogger so you can get nice things.  If you are doing that, you are trying to be an INFLUENCER, NOT a Blogger.
9. You are not entitled to ANYTHING.
10.  If a company want you to collaborate, it’s not because you are amazing and famous and an expert in any field.  Usually, it is because they see you as a good platform from which to share THEIR product or service.  In effect, you are advertising for them, in a verrrrrrrry cost-effective way. (for them).
Why am I writing this now?  It’s been on my mind for a while.  With the Blogger Bashing that is happening online, many of us are disillusioned.
I recently had a man who set up a blog on a Sunday, message me the following Wednesday asking me to share his “blog” with my followers.  Erm. NO.  Good luck with it, I hope it goes well.  Come back to me when you have some content that I can read.
I’ve also been speaking to fellow bloggers ( actual writers, not insta-bams) and the general consensus is that people are so sick of the influencers or “Bloggers” as they are so often referred to, getting bad press and giving the word “blog” a bad name.
And finally, the whole Blogger’s Unveiled saga over the past few weeks has pissed me off.
While at times the comments and tone on the page were questionable, in general, the page highlighted the level of Photoshop and lies and manipulation and absolute BULLSHIT that exists among a new gang of people who go under the term Blogger or Influencer. BU might have been controversial in his/her approach, but the page highlighted fraud.  It highlighted plagiariasm and it seems to have woken a whole generation up to the fact that it’s NOT ALL REAL.  And people didn’t like that.
Are these people Bloggers if you look at definition?
No.
If someone is selling you something, benefiting from your purchases, and NOT telling you that they are selling, they are an arse hole.
If someone is photoshopping their legs, or arse, or filtering the fandangles off themselves and claiming to be “caught unawares” or “#nomakeup”, they are an arse hole.
If someone is lying to you about products they use, or “just popping on” to show you something (which they are being paid to do) and they are not telling you that they are working for that company, they are an ARSE HOLE.
If someone is trying to sell you magic shakes to make you shit your body weight, claiming that it’s amazing, (but forgetting to tell you they’re on commission), they, my friends, are an arse hole.
And if someone sends a mass card or a death threat or a threatening letter to someone because of something they’ve read on the internet, well, there are other words that we could use for THAT type of person.
And “BLOGGER”, certainly isn’t one of them.
So are all Bloggers (and Influencers) ‘hateful’ and ‘septic’ and ‘toxic’ and ‘liars’ and ‘wannabes’ and ‘charlatans’ and ‘chancers’ and ‘saddos’ and ‘bitches’ and ‘oversharing freeloaders’ and ‘bullies’ and ‘attention seekers’?  
NO.
Most of us are just writers or creators, who were happily paddling in pools of words and images and conversations and sometimes even awareness raising.  But now, we’re swimming against a fake tan coloured tide of BS that is starting to drown us.
Most of us are wondering when the word Blogger became a bad word.
Most of us would love to people to understand that Bloggers and Influencers are not always the same thing.
blogornotyw3

Source unknown but it’s pretty fab isn’t it?

In the current climate, where a woman has to fear for her life because she is being accused (without any real grounds) of being someone else, and where the internet are cheering on a witch hunt, maybe it’s time to start reconsider using both words.
So for the foreseeable, ‘Hi I’m The S-Mum and I’m a Writer…’
(Maybe I’ll be able to use the word Blogger again some day.  Not today.)
Mammy xx

I am She asks the Best Questions Mum

When a 6 year old asks you a question, sometimes, it makes us think. We begin by explaining it to her in the simplest terms possible, and in doing so, sometimes we realise that what we’re explaining, ISN’T as complicated as we grownups like to think it is...

“What is a Bully Mammy?”

“Erm…A bully is someone who needs to make others feel bad to feel good.”

“That’s not very nice Mammy.”

“No it isn’t.”

“Are bullies not very nice?”

“Well some bullies are nice but they’re just a wee bit sad.”

“Why are they sad?”

“I don’t know pet. Some Bullies don’t even know that they’re sad or angry. But they are and so if you are happy or excited, they don’t like it because it makes them feel more angry and sad. And so they think they should stop you from being happy so that they can feel happy.”

“That sounds silly Mammy.”

“Yes. Yes it does.” (Actually Darling. It sounds utterly ridiculous…)

“Why can’t they just be nice?”

“I don’t know Honey. Sometimes they can be nice, they can even pretend to be nice when they’re not really.” (And they’re the ones you need to watch…)

“Why?”

“Because it makes them feel better about themselves.”

“That’s just stupid.”

“Yes. Yes it is.”

“What’s their problem like?”

“I don’t know pet. But remember that if someone doesn’t like you or is being mean to you, it’s not your problem. It’s their problem…”

And there, just like that, I have turned into my father.

bullying1

“Remember who has the problem Darling” he has always said. And do you know what? As usual, he was and is right.

Whether you’re 5 years old in a playground, or 16 years old in a locker room, or 23 years old in a flat-share, or 32 years old in a staffroom, or 43 years old in an office, or 56 years old in a committee meeting, or 67 years old in a group or club… or 87 years old at the bingo, other people will sometimes have issues with you.

Other people will always have problems. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. You don’t have to be.

But remembering that the issue or problem is THEIRS, not yours, helps.

I hate that I can’t protect her or her sister from Bullies. I hate that I won’t be beside her everywhere to show her the false smiles or to point out the ulterior motives of some people. It makes me sick that she might ever feel how I did for many many years in secondary school.

But while I can’t be there and she will of course have to deal with other people’s “problems”, I CAN and I will arm her with the understanding that she is in control of one thing.

girldog

She is in control of HER. Of HER feelings and HER self-worth and HER behaviour. And while she will make mistakes and poor judgement and absolute feck-ups, by God I hope that she will always be kind to others.

She will applaud them for their achievements rather than resent them for her failures.

She will congratulate her teammates even if she lost the game.

She will not put people down for being different.

She will not allow others to put someone else down in her company.

She will recognise that if someone else’s success annoys her, that it’s HER who has the problem, not them and by being bitter, she is gaining nothing but her own downfall.

Other people hold up a big mirror to us.

mirror.jpg

The person who gets to go on 3 holidays a year, reminds us that we don’t.

The person who wins, reminds us that we haven’t.

The person who has lost weight/bought a car/gotten married/been promoted/changed jobs etc., often highlights to us that we want something and haven’t yet got it.

Rather than belittling them for it or being angry at them, try realising that if you really wanted it, you would have it. If you really want to make something happen, who’s stopping you? Because surprisingly enough, it isn’t THEM who has the problem is it?

Bullies are to be pitied. Many don’t even realize that they do it. Many would be broke to the bone to think that their behaviour or comments have upset you.

But then, there are others who wouldn’t give a shit. And they are not worth your energy.

Remember who has the problem. If it’s you, that’s your problem. If it’s not you, why are you wasting your energy worrying about it?

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