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Does Blogger Equal Wannabe?

Does Blogger Equal Wannabe?

Jon Morrow has made an interesting (possibly inflammatory) assertion that the word “Blogger” is being construed as “loser” or “wannabe” over in hist post 11 Meanings for “Blogger” You May Have Never Noticed

Doesn’t the word “blogger” just refer to someone that “keeps a web log (blog)?” After all, that’s what the dictionary says. Not anymore.

Over time, the connotation of a word changes, and its meaning expands. In the case of blogging, it’s taking on an air of failure, almost like being called a musician or actor.

In those fields though, we’ve developed separate terms. We call successful musicians rock stars or pop stars. We call successful actors movie stars.

Certainly amongst bloggers this is not true. Bloggers use the dictionary definition I would say, after all that is the traditional meaning and we don’t think of ourselves as losers.

I do though think there are those in the mainstream media who love to propagate the idea of thousands of slackers in their underwear posting thoughts nobody cares about while sitting in their parents spare room.

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When talking to larger corporate clients I don’t use the word blog until a representative of the company does, even though many leads come via my blog. It just confuses the situation, plus can actually serve to push your perceived value down. Outside of the web-savvy, in large companies the word “blog” is often mistakenly equated with ephemeral and throwaway. It’s thought of as a leisure activity, no more valid than the “content” from AOL chat rooms, just gossip and chatter with no lasting benefit. For those board room discussions I talk about “web publishing”, “viral content” and “articles”. I might talk about Social Media.

I don’t particularly think the phrase “pro blogger” can be used to distinguish between degrees of blogger either, for me the phrase (rightly or wrongly) describes someone who makes money out of blogging, or maybe Darren Rowse as an individual :)

Do you think “blogger” has a negative image outside of fellow bloggers? If bloggers have a tainted name what would we replace the word “blogger” with? Please share your thoughts in the comments …

View Comments (6)
  • I think the comments by Jon Morrow are somewhat inflammatory and somewhat accurate.

    I’m sure there is an element to his post that hopes to draw out the “slackers in their underwear” and bring massive hits to his blog.

    A blogger scorned! A digger scorned – even worse!

    At the same time I believe that the words blog or blogger does “push your perceived value down.”

    One of the local bloggers in our are recently wrote, “With blogging emerging more into our daily lives, it is becoming more widely accepted if it’s done with taste and a minimum of bias.”

    I think this quote sums it up perfectly.

    It will take time for bloggers to establish credibility but blogging done with taste and a minimum of bias will help blogs and traditional media in the long run.

    An argument could be made that bloggers must hold themselves to a higher standard, compared to traditional media, in order to be taken seriously.

    When I write a post on my blog, I try to link to as much as possibly can. I want to let readers know that I have done my research and that I am supporting my position with facts.

  • Thanks for the link, Chris. Glad to see we’re getting some conversation going on this.

    Really, I think we could discuss this forever because there’s no right answer. It all depends on your personal interpretation.

    The reason I’m writing about it though is I think looking at what you’re doing from another perspective can be valuable. And yes, traffic is always nice :-)

  • Isn’t it hard for bloggers themselves to answer this question? I mean all my best work pals are bloggers, I blog for a living, and am obsessed with blogs in general. For me to say that I think blogger means loser or to even assume that people outside of the blogging world think that would make my work sort of depressing and insignificant. Who wants to live like that? To me bloggers rule case closed.

    However, if I were to look at the flip side, my family and friends actually care (and think it’s cool) when my name is in a glossy but I feel like they could care less about my blogs. I don’t get the feeling that they think I suck, just that magazines are something you can hold so they seem very real while a blog is more abstract in that respect. I try not to dwell on the negatives. Honestly, the positives of blogging outweigh what anyone else thinks of me.

  • It’s a great discussion piece, and there’s a follow-up post afterwards, so make sure you check it out before you have an “inflammatory reaction.” :D (and by “you” I mean the general reader, not Chris!)

    I really dig Jon’s blog. It’s one of the freshest things I’ve read in a while.

  • @Gary – Good quote indeed :)

    @Jon – Thank you for starting the conversation :)

    @Jennifer – My friends and family (outside of my wife) are the same. When I appear in print they make all the appropriate yummy noises, in pixels they couldn’t really care. It’s only the fact it pays the bills that they tolerate it at all really :)

    @Michael – Jon is a rare and fresh voice, I almost fear letting others in on the secret ;)

  • Blogging is the same as youtube: gotta sift through lots of crap to get to the real deal. Many, many wannabes. But even successful people were wannabes once upon a time. So it’s probably a good thing. In the long run, most won’t get their big break and the crap will sink to bottom. Yeah, right!!!!

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