The future of blogging and the loss of honesty - Lemon Curd Tartelettes to help you muse
I have been recently reading about how some bloggers feel disapointed by the blogging community and what it has become. The fact that nowadays every blog post is mainly an advert to something, and how the naturalness that used to come with blogging seems to be lost somewhere in the last ten years. I cannot say I disagree with those voices, as blogs seem to have become so fake lately, so much like some sort of a vanity fair where all that matters is making money, or other types of gain. Numbers are all that seem to count, in detriment of content and of interest, let alone quality...
I still remember the first blogs I came across, back in 2004 and 2005, full of everyday anecdotes, common stuff, daily life. Full of the person behind the screen, I'd say, or at least full of a so well constructed character that you'd believe it was a real person. I remember vividly Belle du Jour's posts, and the uproar around her, that it was all a pack of lies, that it was all made up, that the author was even a man - if you don't know what I'm talking about, jeez, I feel old!! - but still, the writing was delightful, the content was interesting and it always felt like there was a real person there, with ups and downs and everyday life that is just common stuff.
I also remember Petite Anglaise, who was so candid with what she wrote of her life it got her fired from her job. She had my favourite blog for years and years to come, after she shut it down there was never another blog that has made me laugh out loud and shed a tear like hers did. She was a very real human being, and what she depicted on that blog was a very real life, a very real person, with her fears and her doubts and her worries, and her struggles and her happiness and her joy. And she wrote wonderfully well.
Then there came those crazy photologs, and people started uploading photos of themselves, and there was this amazing brazilian girl, Annechan, who was a cosplayer back in those days and she always uploaded her looks and her cosplays and the crazy outfits and looks she created. It wasn't fashion blogging, it wasn't even style blogging, it was just someone being so creative and fun. In between the pictures she would share bits and pieces of her life, of herself, her worries and her victories, her daily life, and it was as if one knew her, who she was, as a person.
But blogging evolved, and the rise of the fashion blogger changed the whole game, I think. Most people who start a blog these days they do it for the exposure, the fast fame, the goodies they hope to get, the sponsorships, the spotlight. There's no thought to the writing part of it, the sharing, the gathering of like minded folks. There's always a desire to gain something out of it, something materialistic in most cases, and then they get swallowed by their own success and they have contracts that force candidness and honesty out of them. It is what it is. The world is what it is, and I think it's only natural that today's society is ruled by a desire for fame, for instant recognition, for living in the spotlight: we brought this on ourselves as we deified people like the Kardashians or the unknown participants of Big Brother and the likes, people without any substance to them.
I hardly follow any fashion blogs nowadays - and I used to follow a lot of them, but there was substance to those blogs, once upon a time, besides being presented with what the blogger wore and how they styled it, there was a window to their lives, their thoughts, the way they perceived the world, their struggles. One would feel sad when something less good happened, one would rejoice with their victories. Nowadays there's only clothes an hauls and gifts and sponsored posts. It's become boring and empty, so I stopped following those blogs. Some I maintain because there was not a huge change and there is still a lot of substance to them. Some of the blogs I still follow feel like I know that person, like I can relate to that person. So I still read their posts.
But the thing is, it's not real! Think about it, it is so easy to just create an online persona! How can one say "Oh I feel like I know you just from following your blog and reading your posts." ? We don't. We really don't. What we read we interpret as we want to interpret it. I some times feel very furious at people telling me it's like they know me so well from reading my blog. They don't. I don't post my whole self on this blog. There are so many things, so many parts of me that I do not let you know or see. And this is real to all people whose blogs are more on the personal side, honest and raw. Notice how most of those bloggers are not afraid of venting, of sharing thoughts on their frustrations and angers. Because they know that's not all they are.
I do love an honest, raw blog, where the blogger is not afraid of stating their minds or sharing their thoughts. I hate blogs that are empty, soul-less, higienic. Blogs where every post is "What I bought", "What I was given" ,"What I got", "So lucky", "So thankful", "So blessed". Feels like there isn't a person behind that blog but a team of content managers, you know? It irks me, so I don't even bother. I love a blog where the person writing it shares a little anecdote or some memory or other from their lives, their past. I love the texture it brings, it's like old books, it's like delving into a story one has't yet read or thought of. It's a window into another type of living, another type of feeling. For someone who claims to be an author, this is gold, precious gold.
So, does blogging need to go back to what it was? Do bloggers need to become real people again instead of fame monsters? I have no idea. I still like to people gaze and see what they're wearing and how they have styled it, but most times it feels like either they go for the most outrageous combos they can think of so they can get noticed, or either everyone is wearing the same pieces and styling them the same way, over and over again, like clones. And bloggers have become some sort of clones of each other, mimicking those who "have made it", mirroring their own blogs on the blogs run by bloggers who have suddenly become household names in the blogging industry. There's no self identity, no ingenuity, anymore, it seems, it's all a copy of a copy of a copy of what they think is a winning formula. There's no soul. There's only numbers.
Because sometimes, easy is the easiest way to go. The mere assemblage of what someone else has made is sometimes a recipe for success. And sometimes, there's nothing wrong to it. We can't all come up with something new, some sort of groundbreaking creation whatever the area. Sometimes we just make do with what's already out there and adapt. I'm all for adapting, when it comes to food, I am always tweeking recipes and changing stuff so I can make them more my own. More to my taste. And I am not averse to picking up what's already been done and just mix it all together to come up with something, well... not quite new, not quite different, not quite unusual, but quite, quite good. Like these tartelettes...
Every Christmas we receive from a family member a tin box of Danish cookies. At first sight it might sound like the stupidest gift to offer people who bake their own cookies and never eat store bought ones, especially when none of us like Danish butter cookies all that much. But the tin can! See, I colect tin cans, and some can be real works of art, so I always go for that gift with a look of antecipation on my face, wondering if it will be one of those beautiful cans or just a plain one... as for the cookies, I usually save them for these: Lemon curd tartellettes that are so easy to make, because they only use ready made stuff. You grab your cookies and you pulverize them with a rolling pin - so good to vent off any sour moods you might have been experiencing! - and then you add enough melted butter to make a dough out of it, you roll that dough onto pie baking moulds, small ones, you refrigerate them untill the cookie dough has set, cover them with lemon curd and scatter a flurry of flaked almonds over them! Instant dessert, and even if the cookies are not homemade, the lemon curd was! So yes, sometimes an existing formula is a good way to go, because it can lead you to something new, to some sort of innovation, but copy of a copy of a copy... sounds way too boring for me. Do you think blogging has peaked and needs to revert to what it originaly was?