I stumbled upon a couple of tweets from the people I follow – they tweeted soliciting feedback from their followers on what they liked in the tweets, what they’d like to see more of and other generic feedback on how they utilized those tweets. This came across as a bit jarring to me.
Is blogging/ tweeting such a controlled activity that we worry about target audiences and their needs? Target audiences…perhaps yes, because we choose to write on a topic and stick to it, without going all over the place (there are exceptions, of course!). This is in a very personal interest – to build our own competence and be associated with that particular topic. But, given audience feedback, does one change writing style/ tone/ content?
Jason Lee Miller recently did a piece titled ‘A-list bloggers hanging up‘. That piece has got so much of passionate comments that he has a new write-up just to sum up the comments, titled, ‘Why we blog‘. Most comments say the same thing – that we blog because we like to. Its hardly about who’s reading it (well, it is, but that is not the primary intent) or what they want from the blog. Its about communicating our thoughts and engaging in a conversation based on similar/ differing opinions.
So, when I read that A-listers are quitting because there’s no money, my first reaction was, what happened to their day jobs? Besides, Beast of Traal, I have been managing a website (ItwoFS – Inspirations in Indian Film Songs) since the year 2000 and started a 100 word music review blog (Milliblog) in 2005. These three online avenues (ventures?) are not my primary source of employment – I’ve always had a day job and don’t even assume that I’d be able to live off these. Its just my interest in these topics that keep me going – updating ItwoFS every weekend, Milliblog and Beast of Traal, almost every other day, as soon as a thought strikes and as soon as I have the time to articulate it.
Just because one has advertising enabled in the blog, does it mean he/ she’s more responsible for what is written, how much is written? And, are they answerable to their ‘audience’ – for the lack of a better word?
I don’t think so! I’m of the opinion that we blog, because we have something to say. The readership is entirely incidental. The ensuing conversation is a fantastic bonus. In fact, airing our opinion through a blog could help our day jobs – I’m sure enough has been written about this. Isnt it the equivalent of a section in our CV where we list those publications where our write-ups have appeared? Just that, creating a blog is so very easy and is truly democratic – no entry barriers.
On the other hand, a blog can definitely be used like a TV show – pandering to audience needs and supported by advertising. Just one thing – do not complain that its not working, because the medium was not intended for that purpose, IMO.