Opinion Web Exclusive

Excessive amount of blogs keeps actually good blogs from flourishing

In the last five years, I have created and disintegrated at least five blogs in some form over an array of hosting websites. This is partly due to my perfectionism, but primarily due to my indecisiveness about the act of blogging: what it means, what it says about me, what it could offer and what it could threaten.

The appeal is evident: It’s a malleable social networking tool that could potentially be anything from a day-to-day journal to a professional business to a collage about donkeys and GIFs of them doing the salsa. But among the vast opportunities in the world of the Internet, why is blogging so popular? What makes it different from Facebook or Twitter? And why should anyone care?

The origin of blogging is difficult to imagine, considering the phenomenon it has now become. Some say it derived from or around Links.net blogger Justin Hall in 1994. But it is certain that the launch of Blogger.com in 1999 ignited a blogging frenzy that is still blazing today at increasing rates.

From personal, fashion and lifestyle blogs to travel and business blogs, and with a plethora of hosting websites, such as Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress, just to name a few, there are innumerable choices to make when it comes to developing your own blog.

If this wasn’t intimidating enough, 63 percent of corporate and local businesses alike now operate blogs that detail their products, services and other customer care information. Simply “browsing” has become somewhat of a task at this point in the technological sphere, with the number of individually tailored blogs available.

You never know what you’re clicking on until you’re halfway through a sob story, a monologue about feet or someone’s latest trek overseas.

With an Internet overrun with blogs of all kinds, what’s the point in starting one?

According to Tim McKeough at ElleDecor, the pros of blogging are obvious.

“The steps to beginning a blog are dead simple,” he said in an article for ElleDecor. “Adding posts is as easy as sending an e-mail.” He didn’t stop there. “A blog gives an opportunity to add more depth and dimension to your voice.”

But what about more private thinkers? Adding more “depth” and “dimension” to my voice or personal business excursion sounds more put-on than I would prefer. For argument’s sake, if I — being a creative writing major — started a blog, would I suddenly be a theatrical sonneteer, interjecting prophetic maxims to every passing reader?

I can’t help but feel that blogging is some sort of beautifying spotlight, one that growing generations have no need of. If the majority of Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts are considered honest portrayals of individuals, is blogging too honest?

Youtube video blogs, or “vlogs,” are the pinnacle of blogging utopia and the perfect example of too much information. Covering an indefatigable list of topics, these personal vlogs get millions of views, turning ordinary Youtube enthusiasts into famous — or infamous — “personalities” overnight. The more subscribers these vloggers garner, the more videos are demanded of them. This has led to “tagging,” where a specific topic is discussed according to trends online, often as personal as “your first love.”

Again, I plead, why should anyone care? The answer? As an avid follower of — at minimum — eight different blogs, regrettably including vlogs, I have absolutely no idea.

What I do know is that they distract me from starting my own.

 Opinion columnist Alex Meyer is a creative writing freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

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