So, this topic has been gnawing at me for a while now and quite honestly, I don’t think I can just let it slide anymore. I’ve been wondering if I should say anything about it lest it garners me some unnecessary haters. Then I remembered the quote by Janis Ian from Mean Girls.
I shall remain silent no more.
The blogging scene in Malaysia (yes, only in Malaysia) is a farce. There, I said it.
I read a lot of blogs, some I check every once in a while, others I religiously follow to the extent of refreshing it every five minutes in the hopes that the author would have updated sometime in the while I went and took the shower or something. Unfortunately, probably only a couple of those are written by Malaysians. Why?
I’m not going all un-patriotic here. No. It’s just that the blogs written by most Malaysians are not what I’d call a blog. Heck, they’re not even blogs by nature!
Blogging used to something someone engages in because the author is truly passionate about writing. It’s a great way to share your thoughts, express your ideas and read what others have to say in return. Blogs used to carry truly substantial content that were actually worth reading. These days? I cringe when I come across yet another one plastered all over with nothing but camwhore pictures of pre-pubescent girls flashing their non-existent cleavage and doing the peace sign. You know what I mean. Worse yet, most are simply captioned by English so atrocious, I’ll bet Shakespeare is just rolling about in his grave trying to claw his own brains out, which these “writers” simply pass off as posts. That’s not blogging. That’s wallpapering whatever little digital space you have with your face.
A lot of bloggers in Malaysia? Yup, that’s what they do. They create blogs for I don’t know.. some sort of vain gratification is what I can closest describe it. Since starting my internship with a publication house, I’ve seen for myself the kind of respect true writers hold for our nation’s so-called bloggers — none. In fact, when I took a peek at my evaluation letters after my interview with them (Sorry A, it was too tempting not to! Hehehe) it said (and I quote word for word) “Candidate also happens to be a a blogger, but miraculously, she’s one of them who can actually write.” I’m contemplating just completely leaving out the fact that I blog in any future job applications from now on.
Here are the top five things that irk me most about supposed bloggers in today’s arena:
1. Bloggers who have utterly no grasp of the English language.
It’s OK if English is not your first language. No one ever faults someone for trying. In fact, I commend you for it. I wouldn’t think of starting a blog in say… Russian if I weren’t completely fluent in both spoken and written versions of the language. Kudos to you. But it’s not OK when you try to sound all intelligent by using big words beyond your level and then painfully string them together into a horrific misshapen Frankenstein of a sentence. It doesn’t only make you appear more stupid than anything, it also paints you in a pathetically pretentious light. The food was good? Great. Say the food was good. You only get in my bad books when you try and go all fancy by saying “The food was really super mouth-wateringly scrumptious and I have loves it by lots and lots”. You’re fooling no one, honey.
2. On the other end of the spectrum, we have bloggers who don’t write at all.
These are the species who lets all the photos do their talking. Now I’m all for photoblogs (this is one of them in fact!) and I love me my visuals. Everyone loves photos, that doesn’t make them a bad thing. But there’s a difference between a photoblog and a camwhore blog, just as how there’s a difference between taking a photo of yourself in front of the KLCC Twin Towers, and taking a photo of only your face and all its hundreds of pores. (Don’t think I didn’t notice that you also tried to hide those pores with some 5 inches worth of make up!) It’s OK if you have like a bzillion and one photos of you from your vacation to the Maldives, you know like shots of you frolicking in the powdery white sand and splashing about in the jacuzzi, but please, spare us a post that consists only of some 20 same pictures of only your face, neck-up. We get it. You like how your skin looks tilted to different angles under different lighting. Some of us do not share the same enthusiasm, thank you very much.
3. Bloggers who copy and paste.
This really fucks with me. Last I checked, copying something directly off another person and pasting it directly to your blog and claiming it’s yours is called plagiarism. Why is copying and pasting off press releases any different? I’ve seen so many commercial blogs (that’s me being nice) who just take the info off the press release and use it as material on their blog because they’re probably too lazy to come up with something to say. I don’t get it. Then why maintain a blog? The whole idea of a blog is to write your own opinion on whatever the subject is and be honest about it. If really the subject disinterests you so much that you can’t even think about something to say, then leave it out of your roll. Nothing peeves me off more than people who maintains a blog just so they get invites and free entry to some events. Then they come up with a half-assed copy-and-paste post to justify their being there. I’ll say it, you give the rest of us a really bad name.
4. Bl0gg3rz who Th!nk wR!tin9 l!ke thi$ Mak3s +hem appe@r cu+e
Holy cow just writing that sentence took me something like five minutes, I don’t know how some bloggers do it for the whole entire post. First it was the whole rainbow coloured fonts fad, which was already super annoying enough but still tolerable. Then this came about and I almost gauged my own eyeballs out just trying to make sense of what they’re trying to say. First of all, no it does not make you look or sound cute, it makes us want to hammer your skull in with the nearest hard object we can find. Secondly, speak and type in proper for God’s sake! Leave the fancy-shmancy shit to your gel nail art or handphone-case pimping. It makes my blood boil like nothing else to see such sacrilege committed to the English language. Often, those who type like this are also most likely the ones to post 1001 photos of only their faces — coincidence?
5. Bloggers who whore the links back to their blogs worse than a Thai hooker.
I understand that you want to get your stuff out there, and you want as many visits as you can to your site. Nothing like the power of the word of mouth to get news circulating, right? I do it, too. No judgments passed there. Share the link once, that’s ideal. Twice, cool, maybe some people might’ve missed it, who knows? Three times, starting to get annoying but still understandable — I’ll just ignore it. But once every fucking hour for the next five days or so?? If by the third share you still haven’t achieved your targeted visit number, maybe that’s hint that people don’t find what you write worth their time. Even more annoying are those who badger you to visit their site by tagging you and all your friends and family in it. How shameless can some people get?? Please for the love of God, save yourself some dignity and the rest of the world, some peace of mind. If we’re interested, we’ll go by ourselves.
There’s much more that annoys me about so-called bloggers today, but I try to be objective. We all commit mistakes every once in a while. See, I’m not completely driven by rage.
This doesn’t refer to all bloggers of course, there are still some really good bloggers out there whom I personally follow and laugh along with as they write about anything and everything. It’s just so sad that the new wave from this generation measures no where near these older few I read.
Writing has always been a part of me that I hold really close to my heart. It really gets to me when I see so many who can hardly speak in proper English, what more write it, go around selling themselves as bloggers. Not only does it make a fool out of themselves, it gives the rest of us who do it seriously a bad name too. Worst is when they do it not because they really enjoy it. I can name a whole list off the top of my head those who do it simply for the glamour and well… free invites.
I hope this doesn’t deter anyone from trying a hand at blogging. It is a wonderful hobby if I may say so myself. But do it only when you truly have the passion and intention to share substantial thoughts. Don’t be yet another who does it just for the sake of being called a blogger. That’s pathetic.
I think the basic consensus is that to be a blogger, be at least able to convey ideas in decent grammar, no matter what the language. No one’s gonna read you if they don’t understand you. And by all means please do not start a blog if you can’t refrain from blatantly plagiarizing press kits. We all get the same kit. We know who copied and who didn’t.
I can already foresee this post garnering quite some negative response (it’s true, Malaysians simply cannot handle criticism LOL). All I have to say to that is, if this post stepped on your tail, you must be either guilty of something that I said (if not all), or just not open-minded enough. After all, you know what they say. That which doesn’t concern you, shouldn’t affect you.