Thursday, February 7, 2013

Disturbing Blogging Trends

Let me just start this post off with a disclaimer: This post contains humor, maybe even at your expense, questionable language (and grammar), is the sole opinion of the Queen and well if it’s yours too I will keep it to myself (unless I know your secrets and am hoping to make a dime off you, then all bets are off).  Besides disclaimers make the internet a warmer and fuzzier place.

The internet has been rubbing me wrong these days. Trend after disturbing trend filters it’s way around and I’m not gonna lie a tirade was mounting (not like me riding bareback on the neighbors cat who has been shitting in my yard kind of mounting, you sickos). All it took was reading the word “authentic” one more time.

The Queen’s list of disturbing blog trends (or a long drawn-out tirade, your call):

1:  Blogging conferences, where all your blogging dreams will come true....

The sales pitch: You will learn how to make scads of money and become a mucho snacktastic high profile blogger? Pay us a low, low fee (not including airfare, hotel, meals, outfits that are way cute, cards that are way, way cute, and other travel expenses) but who’s counting because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and we will unlock all the secrets that have been stored in the underground bunkers for years. 

The real deal: You pay gobs of money to sit in on a gathering of high ranking bloggers (or at least the ones the promoters could afford). At this conference you will be given detailed blueprints for the highest powered nukes (or access to all the advertisers you can handle) so that you can achieve your lifetime goal of complete global blogging domination (one caveat, the government is already on to you and besides I’ve been down there and the only thing there is empty skittles wrappers and all the garage sale items that never sold). You will make lifetime friends and tons of contacts (or at least until they realize you have no real way to help them with their evil plans and then they will have no more use for you). Don’t let that stop you though because you are going to hear in great detail (or dazed and confused) how these panelist themselves became internet super stars and how much and how exactly they make their money. 

What’s next anyways, tattoo booths at the conferences where you can get a free tat of your sponsors?

2:  I’m Authentic (winkedy, wink, wink)!

Everyone these days seems to be so much more “authentic” than in the olden days.  I read silly things all the time like, "I’m promoting this lipstick because I really, really, really (did I forget to mention really?) love it, I’m not getting paid one dime."  I’m guessing if that same lipstick company came a knocking with a major endorsement deal that you'd turn them down.  Seeing that you are so altruistic and all. 

Personally Covergirl, Pantene I'm available and I have soft silky lips and long, shiny, and manageable hair.  

3:  A whole lotta whining going on!

A personal favorite unfavorite of mine.  Bloggers as a collective love to whine and complain.  There was a movement not too long ago that was scaring me a tad, I was sure when it was over they were going to ask for a DNA sample and for all of us to join the union.  Luckily that's simmered down, but the flavor of the day seems to be to whine about the sins other bloggers are committing.  May even start off something like this, I realize I give away my work for free, but (always have to wait for the but) all you tea-bags who knock off my work, steal and don’t give me credit really makes me sad. So sad in fact I’m going to write a 10,000 word whine fest on it and “I’m going to tell my mommy!”  If my kid was to tell me such a thing, I’d tell them, “Suck it up, quit your whining and show them how it's done!” 

4:  I’m no longer a blogger; I’m a “Brand”!

Yep, I’ve graduated from the dregs you all refer to as blogging. I’ve invested the big bucks to become a “brand”, so duh; of course this means I’ll make the big bucks. Especially now that I’ve got sponsored posts (for items I really don’t use) lined up around the block. I’m not hurting anyone and I never really needed all those $$$ I threw at web designers, advertising, hosting my own site, logos, high-end photography studio and freelancers, besides my kid doesn’t need college anyways. 

I hate to be the bearer of this bad news but you can spend a ton of cash and still not be raking in the big bucks, especially if what you have to do to make that money clashes with what you think is right for you. Even if you didn’t spend the big bucks, it’s not unheard of that people spend every waking minute trying to achieve their goal of complete world blog domination.

I kind of think my kid does need that education, so if you have extra money laying around burning a hole in your pocket I’d be happy to add my PayPal button to this post for you. As soon as I hear back from the casino and porn people I pitched about adding their links, whoops I mean sponsoring me, I’ll add those too.

5:  Making sure your readers know that your blog is just your way of keeping yourself company and having a few friends and that you are affronted by the mention of money.

This is my best mom advice; real people are found out there in the wild, they like fresh air, sunshine and to occasionally have lunch with you.  They are totally awesome too, because they know when to bring the Vodka.

I’m not gonna front, I personally am only using this blog to raise enough funds to buy a small island, conquer the indigenous people, enslave them to work in my cookie mines while wearing gasp, polo shirts.   

Don't worry though, I'm a lenient Queen and I'll make sure the workers get cake breaks.

6:  Doing what other bloggers are doing down to copying their site designs, posting formats, and photos.

I’m not sure if I find this trend more disturbing because I think the person who does this is unoriginal or that I’m worried about what else this person might be capable of. Do they have a mask fashioned from dead skin of the person they are copying hidden in the closet along with a pair of undies stolen from said victim? Putting these items on and parading around in them while typing away on the computer. P.S.A here, there is treatment available, please seek it before it’s too late. 

7: Hi!!! I liked you on Facebook, Hi!!! I’ve liked you on Twitter, Hi!!! I’ve liked you on 20 other sites!!! Hi!!! I hope you noticed me and how busy I’ve been liking you. Oh silly ditzy me, did I also mention I have a book coming out and wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could like me and help me promote it, then I’ll never bother you again.

I have an auto-response on the ready for such requests:

Oh Hi, I’m sorry I failed to notice your numerous attempts for my attention. I was so engrossed in a program on the mating cycle of fleas I lost all track of time.

Feel free to leave a message at the “BLEEP”!

Where has all the romance gone?  How about a few flowers or chocolates before asking me to get it on?

8: Overly obvious tutorials; such as “How-to peel a carrot”!

What’s next a how-to wipe your ass tutorial. I for one would like to know how do you choose whose ass to use? I mean for instance do you use your own? Or would that be too personal and possibly too lumpy? Do you put out an ad asking for an ass model? Do they even have ass models? Would it be more effective to go with a male ass or a female ass, or perhaps just go with a goat for demonstration purposes? How would one hold the camera while juggling everything else? I hope you know the debate that went on in my head about these questions (for hours and hours) was mentally exhausting. 

I can only imagine how wrung out the poor things were that wrote the carrot posts.  

9:  The Ad Circus is coming to town!

As much as I enjoyed the non-stop parade of ads blaring while watching the Superbowl, I was lucky enough to be able to head to the kitchen for snacks when they came on.  One way bloggers make money blogging is running ads, and some love running them in epic proportions.  Sometimes when I'm on a site that has an ad circus running, I get so distracted I can't even remember why I'm there and if I get up to go fetch snacks to calm my mind, it kind of messes up my work groove.  

I know we all like and need money and would like to be paid for our work.  I for one was devastated when I found out Santa wasn't real (sorry kids, cover your eyes).  For me the benefits haven't outweighed the costs of running an ad circus yet, but I am considered creating my own high-end baby line including teethers in flavors such as Bourbon Buttercream and Iced Mocha Latte, because hello that's where all the money is at.  Haven't you people been in a baby store lately?  Let's just leave it at this, you might as well leave your wallet at the door because your gonna leave all your money there.  As soon as I get all the lead kinks worked out, I'll be sure and put a link up for you.

10:  My book is coming out soon!

Well what do you know, mine is too!  I've been working so hard on it and I can't wait for all of you to get your hands on it.  I saved a ton by self-publishing, using low-grade illustrations, and cheap paper.  It will be available on my blog only for the low, low price of $9.95.  Just to sweeten the deal I'm throwing in a dozen ponies with each order.

Feel free to add to this list of disturbing trends so together we can come up with ideas to stop the spread of s.t.d.’s.

Hopefully I’ll be back to posting about food soon, but one never can be quite sure what will happen around here.

Peace Out!

The Queen


  1. Ha...I love you Gina! All hail the just made me laugh so loud, I'm surprised my co-workers didn't come in my office to see what was the fuss! Keep it real...

    1. Ha ha Wendy, glad I could make you day a little brighter!

  2. Love it, Gina! :)

    After reading posts from bloggers who attended various conferences about their experiences (and I'm talking about the ones who said they had a great time!), I decided that I never want to attend one. Even the ones that happen in my very own city. I just knew I would always have something better to do with my time.

    1. Thanks Kath, might I suggest knitting with all your newly found free time.

  3. I love the humor in this post. Yup, those blogger conferences are a rip-off. I was hoping to get to a foodbuzz one but I understand it's just a medium for food companies to market their products now.

    My daughter is almost 5 now. It's funny because grown-ups should practice what we teach people that age: play nicely, be accepting of others, and apologize when someone gets hurt unintentionally. Instead, adults have attorneys that charge us to get what we want or should have gotten in the first place.

    I guess it all boils down to what you want to accomplish with your blog. Is your goal to make money with it? Become more popular? Advance your career? Sell a product? In this day and age, everyone's got one so it makes it difficult to differentiate yourself from others.

    For me, the answer is to learn about food with my readers so it's not a means to an end, but all about the journey. I have yet to host a giveaway, and don't normally beg for pageviews (GUILTY!-I did once about a week ago). There are also some ancillary benefits that I've gained such as fellow food blogger contacts (such as yourself) and realizing that the stuff served at chain restaurants are a rip off because you can do it better and cheaper at home.

    1. Hi D.B., It was such a pleasure meeting you too. I think we all have done things we'd do differently. Keeping on rocking your tasty creations for us to enjoy, Hopefully we will have another meet up this summer.

  4. Right on, Gina! My blog is for ME and ME alone!

  5. Hi Gina, you are so funny and through this fun post, you sure made your points which I greatly suppose to be fun and not a competition of who gets more ads and money...and I feel very sad that because of greed, there will be less fun.
    Thank you so much for this I know that I am not alone :)

  6. Hi Gina! I hope you're not still wearing your crown around town;-) I love it when you go on a rant like this, ass models ??? We need to get lunch soon!!!!!

  7. So I've been sitting here trying to think of a funny response, but... I got nothin'!! Your post had me laughing out loud. I've never been to one of those conferences, though if I could have found good air and lodging I would have attended the FB Fest just to meet you. You've hit so many nails right on the head here - I'm over the whining. I can't handle it with my kids, and the last thing I want to spend my time online with is adult whining. Unless that whining has something to do with wine?? (Insert something about the big girl panties here!)

  8. Lol, this was hilarious, Gina! Loved it!

  9. Wow. This is why I love you, Gina. You say what's in your heart. I am guilty of so much above. I have gone to those conferences, sometimes out of my own pocket, sometimes not. I have sat in those panels. I have done the blog redesign. I have even done the tutorials (actually got a comment 10 mins ago on my how to peel a grapefruit video). I came very close to writing a whiny post last night on blogging cliques, but something held me back. I guess you're not alone in being irritated with the internet. I am guilty of being part of why you are annoyed (heh, perhaps I helped)...and I have my own annoyances, too. I guess it's one of those weeks, for both of us.

  10. This is another really funny post! You are so good at catching our attention and I try to see if you were talking about me! I guess I'm trying to be on that trend you are talking about because I want to redesign my blog so bad (I'm tired of my own design)... You have a great observation! :)

  11. Liren & Nami, I'm not talking about either of you or anyone in particular for that matter. There are just parts of blogging that just don't sit right with me and well leave me feeling a bit icky! If making your living blogging is your goal, I say go for it, I just wish there were better options for us to make money than the current system.

  12. Nice read, Gina. There has certainly been a lot of whining in some of the blogger forums (not anyone who has commented here, bloggers I don't really interact with)--it does get taxing hearing it sometimes. I was so irritated one night about a "bigger" blogger belittling much newer bloggers that my husband had to tell me that I shouldn't let it get under my skin. I mean, c'mon. We all started out with only our family and friends reading our blogs. That said, I hope I'm not too guilty myself of some of the things you mention here: I want to attend a conference next month and I'm going through another blog redesign (out of necessity because I've decided to monetize my site and it got messy on the layout end trying to install the ads). So far, it's been more trouble than the benefits I expect to get.

    I didn't take a thing you said personally, just so you know. In fact, I enjoyed reading this and I'm going to end my day with a smile thanks to you. :)

    And what Liren said about blogging cliques--that's annoying, too. Well said...all of it.

  13. Haha my friend write it like it is these blogging trends are so weird and sad in some cases!

    Choc Chip Uru

  14. Ah, Gina. I love you to bits. Like Kim, through my laughing I did check marks to see if you were talking about me (I think I came up pretty clean), but it was hard to see with the tears in my eyes. I love your style. Can I copy it?

  15. o Gina..I just had to LOL a few times while reading the 'carrot-peeling' tutorial..that's just hilarious.
    Enjoy your cake break, my dear.

  16. bwahahahahaaaaaaaa ha! Laughing so hard I almost peed a little. You ALWAYS make me laugh just when I need it most, even snort sometimes... oh bella, the world so desperately NEEDS what you have to give. Thank you for being a part of my life. It's so easy to get disenchanted with "the scene" - let's make rebelling against the scene trendy haha...

  17. This post was so honest and hilarious, just like you friend! It was also really nice to read the comments from other blogging friends to know that many people critically examine their blogging in the same vein. Will you autograph my copy of your book the next time we hang out? ;)

  18. Gina,
    You were able to express a lot of the feelings, that I have been feeling lately, but you had the comic vein to bring them to light. Brava for you! I was laughing so hard! I have always told you that you would be a hit in stand up comedy:) There you go, another job for you, lol or jewel in your crown. You know where to send a copy of your book to me, my friend. Having you as a friend has been one of my greatest joys blogging.

  19. Another example why I adore you Gina. And I can always count on you for a good laugh!

    Quite honestly I don't think any of this could have been said better. Blogging is a difficult thing and as our blogs grow we tend to get distracted by stupid things that take us away from the real reasons we started blogging. I think at some point we (myself included) have been guilty of many bad blogging aspects. So it's good to bring them to light and get back on track. I've gotten worked up about the things you mentioned and more. Some times it can really feel like high school all over again. Those are the days when I disconnect from the community and get myself refocused. Really it's all a matter of finding what works best for ourselves. No one should take offense by what you said because it's the truth! That's my opinion anyways:)

  20. Really, really funny. And I agree with everything you wrote. I won't say I'll never accept a freebie to review or whatever, but thus far it's been quite easy to resist the temptation: an awful lot of the stuff people offer is just weird and I'd never use it (although I've been tempted by a few offers of free booze, but I really don't want to go down the road to commercialization). And the ads tend to be beyond annoying. I've been tempted here, too, and it's possible I'll give into the temptation someday, but I hope not - that would turn blogging into a job, and this is a hobby! But go to a conference? For someone to tell me all about SEO and why I should care (I don't)? And why I should never use the word "delicious" in a post? Um, Google is your friend - anything you want to know about is already out there, if you go look. Anyway, really great post - thanks so much.

  21. Fantastic! Your words are so true. I have a couple of ads on my website, in hopes to pay for my own hosting and domain. Then maybe my mortgage - kidding. I hate pop ups, I hate ads that move down the page as you scroll - its too much. Two is enough people. Thanks for this post, it should be a reality check for a few people.

  22. Gina, you were SPOT on, as the Brits would say it; you came across every paragraph with TRUTH, laced with humor...brutal honesty! Love it! So true about those blogging conferences. There's only a handful of bloggers out there that have truly made a huge success out of their food blogs...and we all know who they are.

    No 'beating around the bush here'...right to the point; Atta girl! I love that about you...tell it like it is. Hopefully some 'dreamy eyed' bloggers might wake up to REALITY, reading your COLUMN!
    Great post! xo

  23. Funny enough, you've pegged why I gave up on food blogging for a while. Way too much of THAT in my face. All at once. It gets sorta overwhelming - that's why I haven't wandered around the food blogs in quite a while. I'm actually sick today and thought I'd catch up with some of my favs - glad I did. This post gave me a little restitution. Now that I'm starting up baking again, I've got to make sure I stay away from that sort of stuff, or I'll get burnt out again. PS: WHERE'S MY BOOK DEAL AND/OR FANTASY ISLAND? I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M DOING WRONG.