17 December 2012

What I have learnt from bloggers

It has been a year since I was officially welcomed into the blogger community, when a friendly face named Bee plucked my shy and awkward self from the bar of a Bristol nightclub. MyStreetChic's blogger Xmas party was the first of many meet-ups to follow, from which I have gained confidence, knowledge, new friends and new perspectives.

Here are a few things I have learnt along the way...

Bloggers

Bloggers are real people.

Obviously. But before I had met bloggers in person, they were essentially strangers who I (legitimately) stalked on the internet. Therefore meeting them in real life was arguably a surreal experience. You can follow someone on Twitter or read their blog, but until you have met them face-to-face, they exist to oneself in the same way as somebody on the television, if you understand my meaning.

Bloggers can become celebrities.

As highlighted by Company Magazine's "superblogger" issue, bloggers can become icons and mini-celebrities. They are admired and adored by a loyal following of other bloggers, who look up to them as role models and commentators.

But these famed bloggers are still regular people like you and I. Most started out like any other blogger, and it is through a mix of hard work and fortunate opportunities that they have risen in influence and prominence.

However, I would disagree this infers there is a blogger hierarchy. While some bloggers are more likely to be invited to VIP parties and Burberry catwalk shows, no blogger should ever look down on another, just because the latter has fewer subscribers.

Bloggers are a wonderful bunch.

I have yet to meet a bad blogger. Those who I have become acquainted with at meet-ups and fashion events are genuinely nice people, and it warms me to belong to a community of such welcoming individuals. I feel very privileged to have made so many blogger friends in London, Bournemouth and the South West.

The atmosphere at blogger meets is happy and lively. There is naturally a sense of nervousness upon meeting another blogger for the first time, but everyone appears to enjoy themselves. As a community, we are brought together by a mutual interest, but this is more than just networking - this is building friendships.

But some bloggers can be bitchy.

In complete contrast to my previous statement, I know, but it cannot be denied. While I have found that bloggers are friendly characters, I have also observed that some - not all - can succumb to bitchiness, snobbery and thoughtlessness.

If the #bbloggers discussions are anything to go by, for example, the blogger community is not all fairy cakes and roses. Because Twitter is an open and free forum, there is plenty of room for heated debate, and simple discussions do occasionally get out of hand. These discussions can quickly become arguments, arguments turn into full-on rows, and those rows eventually lead to bitching.

Jealousy thrives, opinions are strong, and sometimes people just do not think before they speak or tweet. Sadly, as this exists within physical communities, so it exists among online communities. Our only consolation lies in the knowledge that, thankfully, bitching and such like is not a frequent occurrence. And we are mature enough to get by it.

Bloggers wear pineapples.

Some bloggers have a fascination with pineapples. I mean, who doesn't? I glued googly eyes and a card moustache to one, then gave it to my housemate as a house-warming gift. Other bloggers just like to paint them gold and bring them to picnics. Pineapples are cool.

Bloggers tend to overuse the word "lovely".

I mean no offence or serious criticism by this, of course. But the PR team behind that brand you collaborated with could equally be "pleasant", "splendid", "marvellous", or "charming". In brief, it amuses me how many bloggers use the word "lovely" too often when describing another person. All I can rightly suggest is: www.thesaurus.com.

Has blogging become saturated?

This my question to you. Blogging is arguably a hype and a trend, and consequently there are thousands of bloggers trying to have their voices heard. But will there ever come a point, if it has not come already, when there are simply too many bloggers?

Miguel, the pineapple

© Joseph Kent / www.unlimitedbyjk.com

All photographs are subject to copyright law, and must not be reproduced without express permission.

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