Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

Back in the days when I first started blogging (anyone out there remember Yahoo 360?), most of the people you encountered in the blog world were people like me: wfie/mother/working at a noncrafting job/hobbyist. It was still socially acceptable to use a dollar store glue stick in your paper crafting, and you folded your cardstock and creased the edge with your thumbnail (today, those in the know use something called a teflon bone folder, which for a mere $22 will ensure that you do not "leave a sheen to your paper when folding it." Well gosh, how on earth have I survived without that?!)

These days, so many of the bloggers I discover online are anything but hobbyists. They love papercracting, to be sure. And each and every one seems like a truly friendly, lovely person. Talented, without a doubt. But their blogs are crammed with ads,  not only in the sidebars, but within the posts. That's because they are, in essence, employed by a variety of companies to promote their products or online stores. These wonderful people are not like me. They are professional bloggers. Proggers, if you will.

I'm just jealous, you say? You'd be right. But only to a point. 

I appreciate the proggers, truly I do. They do beautiful work and I get lots of ideas and inspiration from their blog posts (and their Instagram feeds, and their YouTube videos). But everything has become so commercialized. At the end of every post is an equally long section with links to each and every product used to make the card, often links to not one but two shops where these products are available. Naturally, they use quite a number of different items to make just one card design.

A friend recently admired a card she saw on a progger's blog. Just for the heck of it, she added up the cost of every item listed. Ready for some sticker shock? $200!! Now, those of us who paper craft probably already have the basics, like adhesive and a paper trimmer. But still!

The videos are especially insidious. You hear the progger's voice (am I the only one in love with Jule Ebersole's chuckle? I think not), sometimes you see their faces, too. You get to watch them create something wonderful, and learn tips and tricks you might not have thought of yourself. Of course, the video descriptions are also jam-packed with links to buy the products used. It's all made so easy! And if this lovely, talented, creative gal - this friend (!) of mine - tells me she can't do without her $25 gadget to round the corners on her cardstock, wow then I'd better click on over and get one! Some of the videos are straight up product reviews, little or no no crafting involved. It's like willingly watching a 20 minute commercial! 

Okay, I know this is a long rant. Luckily I don't do them often. But the truth is, I miss the real bloggers, amateurs like me who just like to make things and share them with others, with no financial gain involved. If you've followed me for a while, you know that most of the time I am using products so old they haven't been available for more than 5 years. If I include the name of the company that makes something I've used, it's because if I were reading the post I might want to know how I could find the same thing. But no one pays me to do it, or gives me free product in exchange.

So where have all the regular bloggers gone?


TWeber said...

LOL! As a new blogger, I live this!! No ads, no gimmicks and no goal of becoming a professional!! Thanks for the encouragement!

Stefanie said...

Good thoughts here. I have a love/hate of stylized. It looks wonderful but it's so much pressure to do all the freaking time. I guess we amateurs are busy juggling our day jobs and life. Proggers may partly about hustling that dime a day.

Joansie said...

The days of Yahoo 360 were so much fun. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to read blogs anymore much less write one. There are some that are just filled with "advertisements" and I gave those up a long time ago. I notice that my favorite talk shows now have a segment with a star on a product on a regular basis. Sick of all of that.

Claudia Carolina said...

Dear Amy and friends of "amisamindotblogspotdotcom", I have started my blog two months ago and sincerely I've also noticed that so many professional blogs are full of advertisements and that isn't nice. It doesn't make me feel at ease. Hope to visit your blog more frequently. Have a nice week, a good ending of 2014 and a better beginning of 2015. Claudia