Jane Is Boycotting Self-Aggrandizing Blogs And You Should Too

We all want to be heard. We all hope someone is reading the words we put out there for the world to see. We all strive for our own definition of success.

But when a blog smacks of “Hey! Over here! Look at me! I want a book deal! I want a movie deal! I want any and all attention that can be afforded me!” I get a disgusted smirk on my face and I turn away.

Twice, in one day, I saw a headline on Yahoo News or MSN.com about a blog with a gimmick. (I’m not going to give links because I’m not positive of their true intentions – these are only my impressions.)

The first was a blog about a woman who was going to eat on $1 per day for an entire year. This blog reminded me of the couple that posed a similar challenge a few years ago. The woman is of modest means, struggling financially and then (blah, blah, blah) I lost interest. It started to reek of self-aggrandizement so I stopped reading.

The second was a blog that a woman started chronicling her quest to improve our school lunches. She’s going to eat her lunch at the school cafeteria, every school day for a year. It’s anonymous. It will include pictures of the pitiful lunches served. And she’s going to “jeopardize” her health to make her point.

Isn’t there a better way? Surely, for something so important as the food we put in our bodies, in our children’s bodies, you could think of a better gimmick to get your point to the masses. But, no. You’re going to eat food you find disgusting (ala Supersize Me) and it’s all for the children.

Don’t get me wrong. The cause is noble. But the method is stale and old. I’m just tired of running into blogs that attract attention to themselves based on a gimmick. Feed my soul. Inspire me. But don’t pull out all the stops, waving your arms high in the air shouting, “Look at what an original, amazing human being I am!”

It’s all been done before.

So I have a secret…..Shhhhhh….lean in close……..

You’re not that original anymore.


Filed under Soapbox

29 responses to “Jane Is Boycotting Self-Aggrandizing Blogs And You Should Too

  1. I know what you mean. I read about the school lunches lady and did a mental, “huuuuh?” I didn’t see how doing that would really help much, so what was the point, other than to have something to blog about. But maybe her intentions were pure, albeit misguided, imho.

    Have a lovely Thursday.

  2. Steven Harris

    Hey look at me. I wrote a comment!!!!!!! Whoo hoo! Like no-one ever wrote a comment like mine ever before.
    What’s that? They have, and mine is rubbish and totally up itself? Guilty 😉

  3. Gimmicks, right?
    I think the “Julie and Julia” movie inspires people to want to come up with a gimmick. My ex always tries to get me to write a novel based on some popular gimmicky thing. He doesn’t get that the best stuff comes from the things people feel they must do, from the heart.
    I’m with you; I can’t be bothered with that stuff.

  4. angelcel

    I agree but there is a whole swathe of people out there hungry for their fifteen minutes of fame. A little part of me admires bloggers for selling themselves because they stand more chance of rising to the top of the heap. I must admit however that gimmicks like this and even the ‘come visit me I have a give away’ lines are something that I find… slightly off-putting. (With apologies to any ladies here who might do these giveaways – it’s just that they’re just not really my ‘thing’).

  5. suzicate

    I’m not for gimmicks. I’m with Maureen, that the best stuff comes from the heart.

  6. Yeah, Julie Powell did blogging NO favors with her “do _____________ in one year’s time” trick. It really started something, didn’t it?

  7. Ditto Maureen & Suzicate. It has to come from the heart.

    The self-aggrandizing blogs don’t hold any appeal for me either. I’ve been boycotting them all along. Can I join your club?

  8. The thing is, those first few ‘do whatever for a year’ things WERE original. But everything original spawns hundreds if not thousands of derivations, and yeah, when you hear about ANYONE doing whatever for one year now, it’s just a little embarrassing. I came across one blog that openly admitted that she was starting blogging because she wanted to get into writing for women’s magazines and asked for comments because she needed to be above a certain number of comments. The thing was, the writing just wasn’t that good. And it was mostly about how she wanted to get into women’s magazines. Um…writing about what?

  9. I could not agree more.

  10. I totally agree. With you and all the commentors.
    There have been SO MANY blogs I’ve come across lately that I wish I hadn’t even clicked on.

    YOURS isn’t one of those though. Yours I enjoy.

  11. Good call. Shows how slow I am at expanding my blog circle — I haven’t yet come across any blogs like the ones you describe, but now I know they’re out there!

  12. unabridgedgirl

    $1 a day? That is shameless. (And laughable.)

  13. Agreed!!! I just like blogs that are genuine. That’s it!

  14. I’ve been spending some time recently visiting different blogs and I have to say I feel very uninspired by so many. I’m sure they aren’t meant to be inspiring, I think some people just want to talk about ther lives and show pictures of their pets and kids, and that’s fine, but at the moment I’m looking for something a bit special.

    Btw. I’m not saying mine is special either, but I think when you find a good blog, it actually “ups your game” too , if that makes sense? A bit like when I see a great piece of artwork, it inspires me to create something special. So many blogs are just…blah.

    Not yours btw!

  15. Interesting post. I am attracted to blogs that are thoughtful and real. Like LL Cool J, I have yet to run across one of these blogs you mention! I guess that shows how limited my circle is. : )

  16. The couple that did the $1 a day on food for a year thing was one of the motivators for me starting a blog. They really inspired me. I heard they do have a book deal coming out, or it might already be out. They were true pioneers IMHO.

    The school lunch lady may be self-aggrandizing but it is such an important topic I’m willing to cut her a little slack. Her blog had caught my eye as well. My big beef? School systems that won’t say no to the money and allow Coke and Pepsi machines on campus. “Liquid candy” has no place in our public schools!

    The Supersize Me guy had sort of an interesting idea. And he made it into a fair movie. He didn’t quite do it for me, though. Like you and some blogs I wondered about his motives.

    Now everyone please go look at my blog so I can quit my day job. 🙂

    • I agree – school lunch lady’s “beef” is legit. I just have an issue with her method. Surely there is something more effective and original that she could do.

  17. Man, I hadn’t even heard of these blogs. Thank goodness. I would have had the same reaction that you express here. It’s pitiful really.

  18. Well said! I recently stopped reading a blog becuase all she did was try to get attention and sympathy. Very annoying!

  19. Hmmm. I think I fall to the other side of the fence on this one. Not that I think gimmicky blogs are great, they just don’t bother me all that much. I’d not heard of either of the blogs you mentioned and as you described them my response was, “Huh. Nothing to see here. Keep moving.”

    Perhaps, also, I’m feeling a little self-conscious. I am currently in the midst of a month-long vegetarian challenge, which I’m posting about intermittently throughout the month. It is not the focal point of my blog, but a personal exercise I’m doing in an effort to become more educated about our food supply. I believe that this little project is valuable to me, and I hope my reflections upon it will be valuable to other people. I don’t think I fall into the same bucket as the self-aggrandizers. Certainly not my intent. But now I feel like I have a sign on my back…

    • No need to feel self-conscious! I’m enjoying your vegetarian challenge posts – and they don’t appear to be shouting “Hey! Over here! Look at me!” at all! You know those “self-aggrandizing” blogs where you see them – they scream book/movie deal about 3 lines in.

  20. Jane, you’re on to me. I was hoping to have a book deal by now. Damn.

  21. Jane, I heard about that woman who’s eating on $1 a day on MSN and, of course, I clicked on the link and it was kind of weird because it wasn’t a very interesting blog. I mean, she seemed a little startled by all the attention from the MSN story and she didn’t seem to have that much to say other than how expensive fresh fruit and veggies were and how she had to break the budget again because she wanted chips. If that ends up being a book – crazy.

    I guess the real issue here is that when the blogger with the crazy, cool or unusual gimmick gets noticed by the mainstream media, suddenly there are agents and publishers involved. To me that’s the sad thing about publishing now; that everyone’s looking for what’s hot and what can sell, and sometimes that may not be what’s great.

  22. Oh so true, so true. I’m right there with you! It gets old after a while and it reminds me of all those people who do crazy/stupid things in a lame attempt to be a star on reality tv. Lame.

  23. I simply don’t have time. If I had more time I’d do something more urgent such as getting a lip wax…

    In all seriousness though, one of the PPs mentioned “15 minutes” of fan. It’s how ppl figure as a get rich quick scheme. To be fair to these would-be bloggers: at least they didn’t lie about their kid being in a flyaway balloon!

  24. I totally feel you. We all want to be heard, we want to get our voices out there, but I believe in trying to be authentic and supportive of others and hopefully it will come back to be.

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