Very recently I got into a dispute with a blogger. Medium is a kind of a blog — in reality I’d rather look at it as an online journal for more or less meaningful things. When I write here I do not consider myself as a blogger, but essentially a writer. As a writer, a creator of content, I have a great responsibility — to deliver a message. A message, which surely can be opinionated, a message which can be critical, a message which can be boarderline inappropriate and politically incorrect, but a message which is correct when it comes to your facts. This is what makes opinions valuable — facts.
I am a photographer. I take pictures of the world and tell you about this world through my pictures. Would it be cool for me to grab any picture — for example — rural Chinese landscape and say that it was taken in the south of Poland simply because I don’t care about the truth or don’t want to put any effort to actually make a bit of research?
So this blogger tells me that she lives off saying what she thinks and that writing a blog is not about facts, but opinions. But what if you say that the whole nation is stupid after spending just four days in the country without a single bit of sarcasm or irony or any witty reasoning behind it — isn’t it pushing opinions just a little too far? I am not too crazy about political correctness anyway… It just pisses me off because I actually quite like that disgusting nation the girl is taking about.
I can see that there is no progress to be made here. I let the conversation go. But she keeps going — she tells me she wanted to be „edgy” — it was for marketing purposes to attract new audiences to read her blog as well as to make her usual crowd more active. Well — success here! New audience, however, was mostly outraged by the article, while her usuals very much supported how brave she was to write a post about something that is not rainbows and unicorns and eternal happiness. People who criticized were called haters, although I found the discussion to be rather peaceful.
All in all, she told me that obviously the article wasn’t meant for me. She was very much correct I don’t care about beauty and lifestyle blogs at all — it might have been the worst one I have ever read. Oh wait! It was the first one too.
Aparently, I have missed a whole decade when writing for web has become a way of making money. I have also been wrong about writing in its very self. I have been idealizing it — I kind of hoped that people write to give the world someting meaningful, revolutionary, controvertial. But most of it seems to form a meaningless pulp of letters and overbearing idiosyncracies. As long as someone is confident enough they can sell canned shit. All it takes is a well constructed clickbait headline and a top 5 list. No need to study — these simple 5 tricks will help you pass every exam. 5 ways to make better travel photography without any effort. Every single thing is supposed to be easy, fun, quick, painless, effortless and at the same time give satisfaction, be meaningful, deep and enriching. Cut the bullshit people. It is not possible.
I recently tried out as a copywriter for a promissing travel photography portal. I got a test — „How to give your photographs better online exposure”. I wrote it, but to be honest with you guys I haven’t got a single clue. I kind of know how to give some exposure to photographs in reality, call me an idiot but online marketing for photography is something I don’t get. Well, maybe this is why I keep failing as a freelancer… And also maybe this is the reason why the company never wrote back to me ( this or the typos). I keep it old school — If you want to be a better travel photographer pick up a camera and go travel. Try to get your work out there, and by getting it out there — I mean in the real world.
Going back to the subject of blogging. Superficiality and lack of depth, but huge exposure over being earnest and trying to construct well informed content for small and specific audiences? I am sure that you already know which one I would choose.
A short disclamer here — I am all for being positive and happy and peaceful. I am all for discussion , I respect opinions and generally avoid being judgemental. But this whole discussion made me a little upset.