Blog Is A Four-Letter Word

So please don't call me a bl***er

A blogroll by any other name...

A blogroll by any other name…

Blog is categorically the ugliest four-letter word in my entire list of ugly, four-letter words.

As a noun, it conjures up images not dissimilar to the product of an unmentionable bodily function. Indeed, to be  accurate, some blogs aren’t far short of that …

Which is why we need blog rolls … to tell everyone about the blogs we do like, of course!

As a verb, once again there’s a whiff of lavatory humour: ‘You should blog regularly, preferably once a day’ is salient advice for newbies to the ‘blogosphere’.

Does that make me verbally constipated, as I blog less than once a week? And could it lead to irritable vowel syndrome?

Furthermore, when partnered with another ‘nerdic’ word like niche (as in, ‘It is important to find the right niche to blog in’), the connotations are faintly obscene.

But the real obscenity is that, after nearly 40 years of promoting the poetry of language through my work, I’ve had to paraphrase my prose and castrate my content (a short post, Beckett, not a five-page mini-series). Not only am I now expected to understand and refer to this uncouth geek speak (often) in my articles but to become its very personification in my day-to-day life.

Well, you can call me a journalist,  a writer, I don’t even mind ‘scribbler’ but, as one who appreciates the sensuality of semantics,  I refuse to be referred to as a bl***er!

So why, exactly, am I b****ing, you may ask? Largely because,  just as Bogart and Bergman always had Paris (in Casablanca), I believed I’d always have my writing to stave off the bailiffs.

I was so wrong!

So I did a ‘U’-turn and developed my Four Guiding Principles of Blogging:

  •  Every other blogger says there’s money it
  •  It seems marginally more attractive than a) dying before I’m broke or b) becoming a ‘bag lady’ 
  • Blog ownership = kudos. It tells people you’re hip to the trends.
  • People think you’re weird if you don’t have one (the two-blog family is already the norm)  

There were going to be Five Guiding Principles of Blogging but you live and learn. I’ve had to scrub the one that stated:

  • A writing career translates into a blogging career at the stroke of a computer keyboard.  

It doesn’t.

The technology left me completely Google Non-Plussed and my launch was delayed for months. Almost daily I’d Stumble Upon some new, must-have widget/app/plug-in (do you know the difference?) that I hadn’t been the slighted bit Pinterested in, until I was spammed into believing it was Linked In to my success.

Twitter? I chirruped once but I fell off the perch.

Today, sadder, wiser but at least officially launched as a miniscule mote in cyberspace,  it is now as obvious as the dark circles under my eyes that I have merely swapped one demanding boss for another … except that the Internet doesn’t offer sick pay or a guaranteed monthly salary.

Do I hear smug laughter? My ex-boss must be reading this.

From being at the top of my game as an ‘experienced writer’, I’ve been ‘born again’ into the nightmare world of the ‘techno-newbie’. From being invited to review restaurants on Marbella’s Golden Mile and sip Bollie at press conferences in Puerto Banús, I now spend my days in a dressing gown along with all the other so-called ‘mouse potatoes’, interacting with robots.

Of course, the Internet is an open source of rags-to-riches success stories. But I just don’t get it. How come that dooce® woman in Salt Lake City earns $50,000 a month from a blog that, at one point, repeated one solitary word for days on end:
She’s made it into a category now, of one-liners (some are quite funny). Check it out! (I’m not giving you the link because she doesn’t need free clicks).

We could all do that if we wanted to but we’re better than that (though poorer for it) …

To say nothing of her abusive treatment of that poor dog she calls Daily Chuck and dresses up in stupid clothes…

Although, thinking about it (the thinking is catching), it’s quite clever and maybe I’m a little envious.

In fact, to be totally truthful, I’m sort of thinking of copying the dog thing with cats. Cat pictures are an internet ‘fur’nomenon and I have three, so it’s less abusive. They can each take a turn!

Today it’s Blue’s turn. (She’s wearing a mortar board because she just got her ‘Mouse’-ters degree!)


Could a daily dressed-up cat picture boost my blog?

I think it could work…
Thanks, dooce®!

Oh, alright, here’s a link then:

If you enjoyed this post you might like to read Giving Birth to a Website




  • Rod Younger January 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm Reply

    Love it Belinda – so true so whats the next plan!

  • Mo January 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm Reply

    I too shit on blogging, (me cago en el blogging), though I absolutely adore it, not having had the chance to publish much before. However, I do cagar on the extended state of impoverishment in which it is currently leaving me. My take on this four word “profession” is that it´s (a) not about writing and thus about social media-ing/marketing, (b) the most competitive activity on the planet and (c) has as its most salient quality utter inaneness – if that´s a word – an approach many of us who like to think about issues can´t or won´t stoop to. Even the Leo Babautas of this world end up or indeed even started out writing predictable stuff that anybody with an ounce of common sense would figure out for themselves. And the brilliant Jon Morrow´s hardsell mails are even starting to piss me off (sorry Jon). Jon stresses that many people “aren´t complex thinkers” and that the blogger has to do their thinking for them but to my mind he spends more time writing marketing copy which, far from promoting an understanding and acceptance of complexity, artificially simplifies very difficult issues. Ergo “You can make a fortune from blogging.” He is an astute psychologist and accepts that to get on you need to have good contacts (and he sells his own in a very lucrative, back-scratching loop) but what seems clear to me from all this is that the blog-consuming public wants to consume only a few things: money matters, lifestyle guidance, product info and fun (as well as porn, gossip and rags to riches mythology). Forget about culture or politics or literature or “stuff in foreign languages.” Much less stuff more than 400 word long. I´ve already mentioned on my own ´ickle blog that every day one of the top search terms is for “Jon Kortajarena naked”. Some astute bloggers meet such a need and put naked photos of people (or themselves) up and get millions of hits. It´s the famous “Web 2.0.” syndrome which means that anyone has access to a public, the flip side being that this public is often just anybody. So …. while I adore cat pictures and wholly welcome them on your site, unfortunately what I love about you is your wonderful writing skills. Therefore, prepare that old trolley, ye bag woman, I´ll meet you under that old bridge where les misérables light up their bonfire and we can partake of a grilled cat or two and growl about our irritable vowel syndrome!

    • Belinda January 21, 2013 at 11:09 am Reply

      Wow Mo, your comment’s a great ‘post’in itself! Totally agree with all you say, which is why I’m not blogging daily – thus, sparing good cyberfriends such as yourself from ‘inblox bloat’ or the chore of ‘sharing’. Of course, it’s not a chore if we all had more time to read the stuff we enjoy, and the luxury of a nice financial cushion from which to do so! See you under that bridge!

  • Molly January 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm Reply

    I refuse to blog daily. I want to write things that interest me (and hopefully my readers) I don´t have content ideas that are original on a twice daily basis! I hope that writing once a week (or twice a week if I´m inspired) is enough to keep people amused. Surely we are all busy people?

    Great post as always. Quality always wins about quantity. Particularly when words are involved Belinda.

  • Graham January 22, 2013 at 12:15 am Reply

    If you have something to say then say it. If you don’t then don’t. However the more you write the more you have to say. The majority of successful bloggers started blogging multiple times a day. Most of it regurgitated crap. But they find their voice eventually.

  • Lisa Sadleir January 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm Reply

    Once again Belinda, you have me laughing out loud or should that be LOl ??? 😉
    Be true to yourself. Do as you believe. Many bloggers are like newborn babies they regurgitate, imitate and fill a lot of nappies … just to bl*g regularly.
    Good things are worth waiting for. And for this reason, I always make time to read your posts as I am never disappointed.

    • Belinda January 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm Reply

      Thanks Lisa, comments like yours make it all worth while!

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