Dutch Rudders For Everyone!

The recent kerfuffle over the circle-jerk that was the 2010 SA Blog Awards raises the question: just how fucked up is the South African blogging community?

With the exception of a few, the South African blog scene is just one huge cut-and-paste job. And sadly, the excellent minority are overlooked by the unwashed masses. South African blogging is really lagging. Where’s the original, engaging content? I have no problem with you uploading a video or an image or whatever but for fuck’s sake if you didn’t take the pic or produce the video, then at least TRY to add your own insight to the story.

Sadly, the persona of the South African blogger falls into two equally dull camps: NIMBY’s and TFK’s (as was evidenced by the winners’ list)  and both of which are using their blogs to blag as much free shit as they can – and conning their sponsors as they go. Has anyone even done an audit on the efficacy of these bloggers’ influence? Probably not, since most brand managers have no idea how to measure it and only care that they’re getting “FREE” advertising. And until someone does something about this we’ll have to continue reading about how much “I really like these sunglasses that aren’t actually sponsored in the true sense of the word and I’m not saying you should buy them but if you do then the brand will give me more free stuff…but it’s not a kickback or anything“.

More power to them…

By the way, can we talk about South African mommy bloggers for a bit? How fucked up are these people? They must to be the most self-absorbed, brain-dead individuals on the face of the planet (after socialites and politicians). “My snooky threw up today”. “Pooky-wooky played with his shit in the bath”. “Nana pissed all over my LV blouse”. In fact, on the landing page of one such mommy blog there were 40+  references to “I” – along with the obligatory incredible holier-than-thou positioning (watch the critics pick up on that one). And then there’s the whole “mommy guilt” thing too. “I went out and had a drink/had fun/had an orgasm – and I left my baby behind. I’m such a bad mommy.” Yes. Yes, you are (addendum: one blogger actually has “GUILT” as a post tag).

It’s almost inconceivable that these people  have the temerity (and the time? Isn’t being a mom a full-time job? Fuck you, popular culture) to take up valuable drive space with the mundane details of their daily lives. And mundane they are indeed (see references to pooky-wooky above). Here’s a clue at no cost to you: stop talking about being knocked up or being emo or your daddy issues or  your failure to understand why everyone’s life doesn’t revolve around your whim.

No-one cares.

Wait. That’s not true. Strangely enough, for every living brain-donating mom out there, there are at least 15 who want to read her tired, boring blog. Yes guys. There’s an army of self-involved middle aged women out there just dying to share their misery with you. Why didn’t I study psychology?

For a master class in parent blogging, head over to Digital Dads (link opens in new window). These guys create awesome, relevant and engaging content on a continual basis. Hell, I’m not even a dad but I almost want to be one just so I can hang out with these guys. Wouldn’t be difficult what with those legions of desperate single women just oozing around the place.

Anyway…

As for the SA Blog Awards, well, it’s clearly just a popularity contest isn’t it (so not my cup of tea)? And since the NIMBY’s and TFK’s are a closed network, the winners were no real surprise (except maybe for WATKYKJY). Did they deserve to win? Of course! Absolutely! Without doubt! No, that’s not being facetious; it’s true. Each of those blogs deserve what they get.

Which is nothing.

What’s the point of having a closed awards ceremony? Even school prizegiving has an audience, you knuckleheads. That’s why something like SXSW works so well! It’s an event! If you exclude the readers and the people who took time to vote, then you’re excluding your free publicity. Oh wait. This is an ass-to-mouth daisy chain, so everyone who “mattered” was there anyway. That’s why it took so long to locate the winners’ list on Twitter. It’s difficult to tweet when you’re sucking someone’s ass.

Hmmm…maybe next time I won’t look that hard.

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13 thoughts on “Dutch Rudders For Everyone!

    • Actually, I’m not shocked or surprised. I’ve been watching it with some interest. Just wondering out loud why no-one has decided to say anything (out loud) about the Blogger Nostra.

  1. “PS: Admitting you have a problem is the first step” lol.

    These awards have been a dissappointment in so many areas. I’m not sure if you read my post on what happened to me? But that alone, is enough for me to rather just close this chapter of my life and just concentrate on what I do and allow the vulchers to pick away at eachother.

    What saddens me most is that for me this was never about bragging, it was about being acknowledged by my peers and unfortunately it would appear that this has absolutely nothing to do with it anymore, it’s just about getting your name aligned with the right people – commercialism.

    And yes, I’m sick of hearing about sunglasses, lmao. I have brands I work with and I have brands that pay me, so I’m not completely innocent here, but sheesh, I certainly don’t carry on like most of them – well, I really hope not!

    • I did read your post this morning, mate, on my BB as I was riding the Metro (neither of which are sponsoring this comment or this blog). I wasn’t able to comment then, so I left the comment there now.

      The difference between you and the other blogs is that you don’t dress a commercial up like content, in the cack-handed way the others do. And that’s the hallmark of playing the game the right way.

  2. Really good post! I don’t know about measuring the “efficacy” of blogs though. Isn’t it meant to be fun? Can a marketing exec not just spend the money he/she chooses as long as they’re prepared to live with the (lack of?) results?

    • Hi John

      Agreed blogs are meant to be fun but when you start accepting kickbacks (cash/product/services) in return for editorialising about said kickback in a positive way, then at some point whoever’s providing the kickback needs to look at the returns and measure it against something. How else are they going to determine if that blog is giving them the publicity (or whatever) they desire? And if brand managers are just giving shit away, why don’t they give us all a little something? The answer is because they’re not just giving shit away. They’re trying to leverage influence in the pursuit of a result.

      That’s why so many bloggers try to use pageviews (as opposed to audience loyalty) as leverage to get advertising/sponsorship to fund themselves. Creating perceived influence is still the best way to leverage shit out of brand managers who don’t know any better.

      And when this is the sole cause of blogging, as opposed to actually creating relevant, meaningful content, the blog is nothing more than a shill, a wolf in sheep’s clothing trying to screw you (and their sponsors) out of money.

      It’s like a celebrity endorsement. Celebs get shit for free so they can tell the public that shit is great. Bloggers are trying to do the same. And when brands catch on to these rats, the rest of us will go down with the blog-reputation ship.

      Don’t get me wrong: if you’re going to shill or pitch, go on but do it openly. Do it properly. Put a banner ad up. Write a “post paid for by” credit. Be transparent about the fact that you’re getting shit for free so you can review it. At least, let us decide if you’re being honest or not. Just don’t try to make it sound like content. And don’t try to con us because you will get caught out.

      Blue skies…

  3. Great little rant there, A.
    I have to confess that I hardly (if ever) have the time to read blogs…. “GASP!”
    (Except yours, of course.) (And my own…. “grin”.)

    So unless someone actually does put useful/interesting content online and it does a summersault in front of my screen…. I just won’t notice.

    Totally hear you about the standards and the freebies and motives etc etc.

    Quality over quantity, people!!

    Y.

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