I have been writing a personal blog, and publishing it to the internet for somewhere in the region of fifteen years now. Throughout that time I have never “played the game”. If you’re wondering what I mean by that, I mean the incessant attention seeking, attempts to attract followers, and seeking of approval that seems so prevalent in the “social internet” space from those obsessing over the number of eyeballs they can possibly get their words or pictures in front of.
It’s not the linking of posts to Tweets, or cross-posting into Facebook Pages that gets to me – it’s the people that watch trending topics and write about them purely to ride on the coat-tails of whatever happens to be going viral at the time. The people that write “list-icles” (yes, that really has become a word), that sell-out to advertisers, or that write advertorial pieces while filling their back-pockets that annoy me. It’s false, it’s shallow, and I don’t like it.
You might have noticed this blog has no advertising in it what-so-ever. It also has no posts that were paid for, and no links to anywhere that cause me to receive any sort of kick-back. You might label me a “leftie”, “liberal”, or “hippy”, and you might be partially right. I can afford to pay for the hosting for the rubbish I pollute the internet with though – either by working like a lunatic, or by not spending the money I earn on frivolous things (the irony that I pay for this blog to exist is not lost on me, before you mention it).
I tend to choose who I follow not because they shout the loudest, but because their thoughts, ideas and opinions interest me, or entertain me. I enjoy reading about peoples lives – not about things they have bought. I do not expect those I follow, subscribe, circle, or “friend” to reciprocate either. If curiosity gets the better of them, and they decide to investigate who this slightly odd Englishman is who is reading and commenting on their posts, that’s enough for me.
I guess it all comes down to a list of emotive words – originality, truth, honesty, independence. I hesitate to use the word “interesting” because I fail to see how anybody cannot be interesting in some way or another. I just know that things you can buy, or things you have been paid or told to talk about will never interest me in the slightest.
I’ll climb down off my soap box now.