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 Starting December with a Smile Mum

It’s December!

It’s officially Christmas and I’m officially back on my heels after 3 days of horrid flu.  It’s a long, long time since I’ve been forced to my bed for a few days, but I am up and ready to rock once again!

december

And what better way to start the final month of the year, but with an email from the prestigious eumom.ie with a link to their featured “Writer of the Month”… who just happens to be little old ME for the month of December!

Read my piece here 

I am so excited to be featured by eumom.ie and even more chuffed that it’s this month.  I am taking it as a sign, a sign that after another crazy year of writing and blogging, I am on the right path.  Where it will take me, I still don’t know, but it’s fun and it’s going somewhere… And I am ready to walk it, bumpy or not!

Here’s the link to my post.  I hope you enjoy!

hello december

 

I am Slightly Excited and Super Nervous Mum

 

I’m off to Dun Laoghaire tomorrow for the  Maternity & Infant Awards 2017.  I’ve made it to the final 10 in the Parenting Blogger category and I couldn’t be happier!

I’m looking forward to it, but truth be told, I’m bricking it. 🙂

Why?

I have noooooooooooooooo idea.

I suppose a part of it is excitement. Actually, most of it is excitement.  I’m going to meet bloggers and writers who I have admired and followed from afar for quite a while. I am quite proud to have even reached the top 10, to have my blog named alongside these writers is such an honour for me already.  To meet them and put faces to the virtual characters will be fab.

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Still can’t deal with my name in this list 🙂

“On a scale of Mum to Marilyn…”

What does one  wear to an awards ceremony? The whole “What to wear” issue usually doesn’t bother me too much.  I’m one of those people who will decide what I’m going to wear and even though I might change 389 times, I will end up back in the first outfit I’d chosen anyway.  But this event has had me slightly stressed this week.  Maybe because I don’t know any of the people I’m attending with.  Maybe because I had a dream on Tuesday night that everyone else was dressed in chic jeans and blazers and I was dressed like a 1980’s toilet roll cover…   (Could happen!)

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“On a scale of Mum to Marilyn, how glam are we going?”

There’s NOTHING in my wardrobe you know? Nothing!

So off I toddled to my buddy Rosie in Pure Boutique in Letterkenny .  I was looking for something to fit into the dress code on the invitation, but then I spotted a dress and had an “I need that” moment, so although it is quite possibly way too dressy, I bought it.   I may be closer to Marilyn than my usual Mum uniform, but it’s not very often we get to dress up during the day is it? And any excuse to be Glammy Mammied must be grabbed with both hands, mustn’t it?

I tried to convince my hairdresser Ciara in LK Hair Design to do my hair at 5am.  Instead, she had a genius plan to make sure my hair looks less Worzelled than usual, so I’ve been summoned into her this evening to have curlers/rollers put in, like the glamourous wans off the tellybox. (I never understand why they have the curlers in but end up with straight hair? But it looks the part, so I’ll pretend I know what’s going on and go with it.)

I’m dragging The Him away from Jim for the day and he is coming with me. I needed a driver… and Himself to myself for a day. When we’re getting the chance to have a day of We-time, we’ll take it. The awards are taking place in the  Royal Marine Hotel which looks amazing, so I’m looking forward to some chill out with him.  It’ll be an early start on Saturday morning however as I have to hightail it back to Letterkenny to host the Donegal Youth Service fundraiser, the Afternoon Tea in Castlegrove House with my Buddy Joanne.

Sunday shall be spent on the sofa, watching The Polar Express and asking The Him if it’s too early for a Chilli Shaker every 15 minutes from 10am.

One of the other glammy Mammies tells me that there is food, fun and wine, so I’m sure than after a wee slug of rescue remedy, a slap of lippy and a glass of grapes, I’ll be grand.

If I win?… well I can’t even go there…  We might need to have a party Mammies!?  It would be such an achievement.  But honestly, to even get to be at that table tomorrow and see my name in the top 10 is a huge personal achievement for me and “The S-Mum” already.  I couldn’t be happier and it’s all because of you lot; My Mammy squad, whose comments and messages remind me every day to write and keep smumbling.

It’s going to be a busy one. Tonight will be spent packing bags and cleaning and organizing the whole world.  I’ll be posting on my Instagram story tomorrow if you want to see what’s going on throughout the afternoon.  Nerves aside, I shall pull up the big girl knickers and take a breath and drag my Donegal Backside to the Big Smoke to meet some Fablis bloggers tomorrow… There’s nothing else for it really is there!

Wish me luck! xxxxxx

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I am Stupid Christmas Cards Mum

​Oh it’s time for Grapes…
Tonight, S-Mum did something really stupid…

Like, REEEEEEALLY fecking stupid!
“Would you like to write your Christmas Cards Mini-Me Dearest?”
I bought the cute little packet of cards weeks ago, thinking it would be so cute to let her write the cute little cards and give them to her cute little frineds.  And the first few cards were indeed cute.
After No. 4, she got bored.
By No.6, her writing had gone from “impressive” to “WTF?” 
By No.9., she’d decided she no longer needed the word “from”.
No.10 required 3 attempts because she feel out with the letter K and defaced each card in utter frustration.
Trying to write her teacher’s full name caused utter MELTDOWN at No.11 as it wouldn’t fit on the card width and so she now has the last 3 letters vertically down the side… (My eyes are bleeding… but there was more chance of Santa leaving Mammy a Chanel Handbag than there was starting THAT again!)
We eventually made it to No. 20something and she is now away to bed, only DELIGHTED with herself. 😅The cards are packed in her bag, ready for her to forget to give out tomorrow…
Mammy learned a few things also.😈

These are:
1. I don’t know how to spell some names.

2. Some Mums may be offended at how I think their Minion’s name is actually written.

3. I know we have forgotten at least 6 names, given that there are not the same number of cards as kids in her class, but I am not psychic, nor do I remember names anyway, so I don’t really know how to get around that one.

4. The handwriting genius that I smugly THOUGHT I had here, is NOT ACTUALLY a Handwriting Genius.  In fact, as I opened some of the cards from her classmates this past week, my inner Soccer Mom was beginning to bubble and boil in a fucked up combination of jealousy and annoyance… “Why is her writing so neat? This one looks like one of my 5th years wrote it? Wtf is wrong with my Mini-Me?” Her lovely, and I thought accomplished, scrawl that I’ve proudly shown to Grannies and Aunties and anyone else who stands in front of me, in some cases looks like the signature of a shitfaced orangutan beside the BEAUTIFUL script of Miss Annabelle* or Master Simon*…(obviously I’m changing the names here!😂)

5. I need to work on her handwriting.

6. I should really get a list of the class names from somewhere.

7. Some children have better handwriting than my daughter.

8. But I bet their Mums spent 3 weeks drafting and redrafting their cards with them.

9. Or maybe, the mums actually WROTE the cards, just making them look a bit messy ajd childlike to pass them off as the handwriting of their minion to make other Mums like me freak the fuck out.

10. It’s time for wine. 🍷🍷


How was your Chooseday?

Did you choose red or white? 😚😚😚