About a week ago I was in a discussion about a popular conservative blogger. This discussion bloomed, as many things often do, into a discussion of the current trends in blogging.
A simple understanding of people is all that is required to realize many posts are just attempts at getting attention. You don’t need to understand SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, tags, hits, or Google’s set of rules for these things in order to recognize that many posts are titled purely for their shock and awe factor that will get you to click on them. Current popular methods in conservative circles (I wouldn’t know other circles. It could be similar but I’d guess it is bigger in conservative circles) include:
– writing a title that seems immoral and contrary to conservative values. Example: “couple spots man on date with someone not his wife, leaves note.”
– writing a title full of conflict and drama. Example: “this man follows his wife to work every day. The reason? Tore my heart up.”
– sharing or promoting the above stories within conservative circles to make more conservatives, who normally wouldn’t dare read such a thing, curious “why their good conservative friend would ‘like’ such a thing.”
Simply put, I’m not a trend follower. I’m tired of seeing these things in my feeds. I don’t want to read them and usually ignore them. The grammar is regularly poor, depending on what site you eventually find the story on. The writing isn’t thorough, and in reality there isn’t usually more to the story than the punchline that follows the title. It’s like a very long typed out joke. And I’m not laughing.
Regardless, a conversation like the one I had causes me to evaluate, again, why it is I blog. I don’t blog for the attention. I have three current titles in my head of modern relevant issues that would be good to hear and the titles would be sure to deliver the “shock and awe” factor. But I don’t write for that. I don’t want to manipulate like that. That really bothers me.
(And I’ll try to be clear, I don’t shy from trying (doesn’t always happen) to make my titles accurate yet appealing. Isn’t that learned in high school English? If I’m going to write I should do so for others to want to read. I’m not opposed to SEO and the diligent work of gaining readership. That is often wise stewardship and I could learn from some of that. But manipulation and false pretenses do bother me.)
So, why do I write? 1. I write because God has given me the ability and the desire to do so. I believe that I’m responsible for that and so I write. 2. I write because there are things that need to be said. There are all sorts of things going on in our families, churches, government, and world and they need to be talked about. 3. I write because I should be one of the people to deal with all these things that need to be addressed. I have a sphere of influence and within that sphere of influence I’m going to do my part to convey the things God lays on my heart. 4. Because this media belongs to my generation. Sure, not just my generation but I went from dialup to FIOS. I recall taking 30 minutes for five queries. I’ve seen and been part of the evolution of the Internet and I get it. This is the media of today and I’m going to engage in it.
That is the point.
So, what about you, the reader? Maybe I’ll address your responsibility sometime. But for now, I’ll just say I hope that you gain something from reading anything you are reading – here or elsewhere. Finally, let me add what is referred to as a “shameless plug.” But in reality it could just be informative information. Often my posts get linked to Facebook. Sometimes they do not. If you enjoy reading or think you could profit from reading from someone who writes for the above reasons I recommend you subscribe. This is the best method to guarantee you see the posts. Facebook is unreliable and you could miss it in the feed or it could glitch on this end and never make it. Many different ways to subscribe, but you might want to consider it.