If you have read about Why I Blog, you would have known that I stopped blogging more than two years ago because I could not stand the (local) blogging world back then. A blog is originally an online diary, so reading a blog is supposed to be a somewhat personal experience. Then the blog monetizing community became so big that soon, most blogs became sponsored posts blogs. Instead of reading personal stories and thoughts, I was served sponsored posts and paid reviews.
When one wants to run a blog that advertisers want to approach, one has to turn his/her blog into a niche blog and write complimentary blog posts in their niche. For example, if you want to run a food blog, then you need to start writing food and restaurant reviews, raving about how great and awesome each and every single restaurant in your region is. You can’t write negative stuff because no restaurateurs would then dare to approach you to review their restaurants.
What happened was I started to see 100 different blogs reviewing the same restaurants, the same hotels, the same tourist attractions, et cetera. And all of them have the same generic contents: “this restaurant is so cheap and affordable“, “their main dish the lobster is so delicious“, “the hotel has such a wonderful beach view, you must visit here or you will regret for the rest of your life“, you know, this kind of stuff. The blogs were no longer personal.
I couldn’t stand it after a while. In fact, I hated it. I follow 100 different blogs to read about 100 different personal experiences. I do not follow 100 blogs that sing heaps of praises on the same restaurants/places. It was so depressing that I disappeared from the blogging world for quite some time.
Now that I’m back, I’m glad that I am able to find a healthier pool of blogs to read, blogs with the personal touch, so to speak. I think I will hang around for a long while now. But, lately, as I check out more and more blogs, I have also discovered a disturbing blogging trend. And this trend is the opposite extreme of the sponsored blogs trend. I shall call this, the nasty blogs trend.
You see, I love reading blogs with the personal touch, so I sometimes rejoice when I read statements like “I think they can do better in…“, or “the taste of … is not what I expected“, or even “I don’t like this place because …“, because people are entitled to their own opinion. You can like something, or you can dislike something, it’s fine.
The nasty blogs however, write no such thing. How do I define nasty blogs? Well, to me, there’s two main bad things that create a nasty blog:
1. Bone picking
Nowadays, when I read restaurant reviews, I sometimes see statements like: “They claim their fish is always fresh, but I can taste that the fish is one day old. This restaurant is a fucking liar!“.
When I read movie reviews, I sometimes see statements like: “Ironman’s plot is stupid, man in iron suit, what a joke! And Gwyneth Paltrow sucks because when she cry, there’s not enough emotions on her face. The movie sucks!”
You know, I don’t remember Malaysians (or human beings in general) being a highly
complicated sophisticated bunch. I mean, back then, it used to be: delicious or not delicious, I like or I don’t like, entertaining or boring. Now it is like everyone is an expert in everything, and it seems that people get angry more easily. If you want to run a business, you better be 100% perfect or else people will blog or share in social media about your unforgivable flaws.
2. Personal attacks – Sometimes, it is not enough to pick bones, some blogs would go as far as to completely destroy the reputation of certain places that they do not like. A couple days ago, I read a blog post about a restaurant in San Diego. I’m not going to link that blog, but basically that douchebag ordered a steak to be well done and then wrote something like this: “I have never eaten a steak as tough as this. The chef is obviously trying his best to choke me to death with his steak. People, don’t waste your money to come to this killer restaurant!”
First, I think that idiot is, well, an idiot. Who orders a well done steak and expects it to be tender and juicy? And, even if you don’t like your food, there is no need to accuse the chef as a killer. You are entitled to your opinion, but I don’t think it is right to present your opinion as fact.
I suppose I can understand why some bloggers write the stuff that they write. I can understand why they become douchebags. It is all in the name of “driving traffic to my blog“.
I think people love reading disasters more than happy endings. If you write a blog post of the same hotel, but with two titles: My Experiences at Heavenly Hotel and How They Can Improve, versus Heavenly Hotel, Bringing You Straight To Hell, which do you think will seduce people to click it and read it? My money is on the latter.
I read a lot about how people are smarter nowadays thanks to the internet, but I think people have also become nastier thanks to the internet. After all, you can be mean while hiding behind your keyboard and there is no need to pay the consequences. And, no, I actually don’t think people are smarter nowadays. If in the past, we are misled by the mainstream printed media, today we are equally being misled by online propaganda. How many of you who read articles online actually stopped and think of the validity of the articles as opposed to believing them completely because they are from the alternative media?
You can hate me for being blunt, but I think this combination of gullible fools who think they are smarter now + angry people who would prefer to read negative articles to get angrier is the perfect environment for the nasty blogs trend to thrive.
I hope this will change soon. I hope people will become less angry and use more of their brain when being online. The internet is supposed to be a place of endless possibilities. I don’t want anger and stress to be part of those possibilities.
Oh, and, I finally noticed some Chinese New Year decorations around me. And the hypermarkets are stocking up on snacks and beer. The mood is coming~ Happy Chinese New Year, peeps!~