” I don’t know what it is about the culture of professional writers, but they seem to have a hard time with transparency and citation of sources.” -Gardenbloggers, Disclosure and Trust Written by MrBrownThumb in May of 2012.
I read that in a post that discussed transparency in blogging, etc. and the controversy that has been stirred by two bloggers I respect quite a bit. This post isn’t really to comment on the controversy per se, but a bit of a lament over the garden blogging scene… in which I suppose it was inevitable that it follow the rest of blogging down a rabbit hole.
Blogging isn’t what it used to be, and that isn’t all bad, but I think it mostly is…
There is little privacy, let alone any anonymity, among bloggers now; the internet has changed.
I found joining Facebook to be my own watershed moment. It forever merged my private life and my online activity. But it isn’t the loss of privacy that is the demise of blogging in its pursuit of expression, and unique voice. Like the rest of blogging, the materialism has usurped the creativity and art. Just like in the rest of American society. there is a balance between the goals of capitalism and the tenor of social interaction (including media), and we seem to lose our bearings pretty easily.
The influx of pro writers into blogging has forever changed the landscape.
It didn’t start with difficulty in citing source, etc.; it began, more, with the territorialism that strangled the free give and take of links. The internet was more of a sharing place, a linking of minds and cross fertilization of thought and ideas. And sure, there was exploitation of intellectual property, and it was going to require some pressures to corral that, but along with those efforts … as is so often the story of human history… bureaucracy and martinets proliferated.
Encouragement to “make it” in blogging is centered more on giveaways than raising the bar on writing (or just being interesting), and there is a loss in that.
And everything is more”pro” now. Not necessarily in the meaning of expert or excellent.
While not immune from having lost my own way in the sweep of change, I do mourn certain things that independent bloggers used to bring to the table.
Real Person, objective reviews or enthusiasm for things- whether a book or a new gadget. Excitement about something another blogger had written or created. Camaraderie. In the blogging world before the blight of spammers there could be found some very intelligent, or at least interesting, exchanges in the comments, and an etiquette that indicated a comment should include a thoughtful addition to the conversation.
No, it wasn’t all good, but there are some things about a more individual way of blogging that makes me a little nostalgic.
Just my own opinion.
Something else that changed in garden blogging, especially… the absolute need to become something of a photographer to create photos for a blog. You really have to have a digital camera and a photo editing program.
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© 2012 written for Ilona’s Garden Journal. An excellent blog.