Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ma 2 cents on blogging popularity

I was going to write about sport wash and getting clothes not smelly today, but since everyone likes a little drama, I thought I'd give my thoughts on the weird social dynamics in Blog-topia.  

This was spurred by Rose Runner's post regarding the blog summit speakers and the general costs of the Blog Conference.

Really quickly, I'd like to address the cost of this event:  $ sounds like a lot, but I'm guessing Squires Group isn't trying to screw the blogging community over.  Just venue rental, breakfast, lunch, and a happy hour (which is what's included in the package) probably runs somewhere around that cost.

But I'm likely not going to the conference...if there's things I don't really enjoy doing, they are gambling, indoor stuff, staying up late, and crappy weather.
In a word:  Vegas.  For me, just location and the amount of travel I already have to do trumps the amount that I really do want to meet everyone!

I also don't think Squires Group is trying to rip us off, although they might be barking up the wrong tree by charging $110...even if it is just covering costs.  From what I guess, us running blogging girls are not super wealthy and unfortunately, this cost may price some out of the market.  Our community seems to be majority teachers, stay at home moms, students, etc who share the passions of GIRL POWER FRIENDSHIP, TAKING RANDOM PICTURES OF THEMSELVES, and RUNNING!

Which brings me to my next point - Why do you blog?  

For me, it really is that ability to connect with girls (and guys) across the country on their running triumphs and tragedies.  To see the sweet photos of their runs and learn about their workouts.  It's a camaraderie in the running community that I haven't felt since my high school cross country days.  And of course, just like high school, there are the popular kids...the blogs with tons of followers and traffic.   And that's just a natural occurrence in life.   

I think blogging and why we do it is different for every blogger.  For some of us, it's the desire to document our workouts, to feel accountable for them.  For others it's to network and connect people and form a community around our content.   Maybe some of us just want to talk about our day and have someone listen who understands.

I also think people's blogging identities change.  For people like SkinnyRunner, I believe she has evolved from having a blog where she is holding herself accountable for her workouts to being so widely read she is her own brand.
Skinny Runner: A girl who kicks butt at running, looks good doing it, will link you if you ask, and likes fun stuff like celebrities.  
*(Let me be clear...and this is an edit from my original post...I mean this "branding" term in the most positive way.  I want our successful running bloggers to get even bigger and go and compete with the Rumi Neely's and Cupcakes and Cashmere's of the world).

Do I feel a little jealous of these super successful bloggers?  Sure...who wouldn't....they get all sorts of free stuff in the mail and the attention of so many people.  

I want to be a pretty, fast, clever, entertaining writer too!  And maybe someday I will be.

But for right now, all I can do is send myself stuff in the mail to review, write about my workouts and read about yours, and get super geeked up whenever I see a comment on my blog or a new follower.

I really hope I am providing entertaining content for someone out there.    

Let me know if you're ever in Orange County.  I'd like to think we'd all get along swimmingly in real life.  =).


  1. Having a blog can help get in touch with other runners. I blog to share my progress. Keeping others informed of my progress will help keep me accountable and motivated. I might even inspire some one :) I follow a lot of blogs. I have learned many tips from others bloggers :) Wish I had more followers and companies send me free gear!

    Would I go to the Bloggers summit in Vegas. Maybe, if it was free. Or waaaayyyyy cheaper than $110! Like $20 maybe. lol

  2. I don't have a blog so I have like almost no opinion on this but generally I think if the conference whatever thingy doesn't interest someone then just don't go- why get all worked up about it? If one bloger doesn't like another blog because it's too commenrial, full of bad advice, and pics of food- don't read it?? Seems pretty simple to me.

    PS I cannot believe you don't super <3 Vegas :D :D :D. I want to go again so bad! The food is soooooooo yummy. I don't think I could spend more than 3 nights there but it's a great place to stop after visiting say a national park since it's close to so many!

  3. BAHAHAHAHA, I Love this post! I swear I think the same as you with the bloggong!

    I would Love to go to Vegas but it's too far to travel and in all reality I would most likely have a panic attack at the thought of having to actually meet blogging buddies and socialize in real life. I SUCK at holding a conversation with someone I just met!
    Also, I love the new header!

  4. I loved hearing your thoughts about Las Vegas, SO TRUE. Everyone's like "oh, las vegas is awesome, why don't you want to go?"

    And all that comes to mind are giant claustrophobic indoor things with wasted people and strippers all over the place. And strippers make me sad for some reason. And I imagine everyone stays up all night long and then I just wouldn't be able to wake up in the morning ever and I would feel miserable.

    But about the blogging conference...If it were free and it were a 5 minute drive from my house, I'd go just for pure entertainment's sake. But I am not interested in going to learn about how to blog.

    As I mentioned in RoseRunner's comments, I blog because I have fun keeping track of my life in an OCD fashion.

    And I love reading about other people's running lives, like it's going out of style.

    So I don't need anyone to teach me about doing that.

    Blogging is such a fun way to connect with other nutty people who get just as much out of running as I do. I don't know a ton of people in real life who I can relate to in this way.

  5. Love the new banner, super cute!
    I love the blogging community, who knew so many people blogged and it's just awesome to meet new people and make new friends!

  6. I'm glad you wrote this because I have the same thoughts. I'm like, why is my blog not more popular and I wish I had more followers but it's one of those things where it is what it is.. so I need to remember why I do it and not worry!

  7. I love this post!! You pretty much summed up everything I was thinking about it.

    If I went to Vegas for this race again id be with my boyfriend. He would be pissed if I went to something like this instead of hanging with him (and as much as I'd like to meet the popular and not so popular bloggers like myself-) it is just too much $$$ to go sit in a room and hear them speak about?

    You're doing Chicago right? Let's have an "average Jane and Joe" blogger meetup during race weekend. :)

  8. $110!! Holy crapolie I must have missed that. That definitely seems a little out of control.

    I started my blog as a way to document my workouts and share pictures, ect for my family. I really have no desire to make money off of it but I can see how it can become addicting when money, free stuff, is offered.

    I love blogging though regardless of popularity ect. It is such a wonderful outlet.

  9. I'm so glad you followed my blog, thus allowing me to find you! I started my blog to hold myself accountable for my Boston goal--that goal would have languished, lost in daily life, but the blog forces me to plan for it and really go for it. That said, as I've come to be aware of the "branding" thing in the blog world, I've found myself depressed that I don't have more readers, am not "popular" (what is this? jr. high??) etc. What a waste of time!

    I will totally look you up if I'm ever in Orange County. And you do the same if you're ever in the Boulder area.

    FYI, there is some kind of active-sports blogger conference here in June too. Not sure how much it costs (because I'm actually going to a reunion out of state that weekend)...but I'm not sure I would have gone anyway. I'm shy with new people, too. (Boulder IS nicer than Vegas, though....)

  10. I'm very happy to have inspired your post :) Nothing better than getting a little dialogue going, sharing different viewpoints, etc etc

    I find blogger popularity FASCINATING. really fascinating. It started like this: I had been blogging for a mere month or two when Skinnyrunner Cat Ladied me, and in a matter of 2 hours I had over 700 page views. It blew my mind, that she has that kind of readership -- and I'm assuming only 10% or so of her readers actually clicked the link to my blog

    at the same time, while it fascinates me, my favorite blogs -- truly, truly, truly -- are almost all "smaller" -- like less than 100 followers. They're the ones who comment back, email you, make you feel like you exist instead of that you are commenting on a wall that goes to nowhere.

    My last thought is, that the bummer with uber popularity is the example of skinnyrunner. She has great content, a great sense of humor, a great running schedule -- but now that she's so big, it HAS to become a monetary thing. So companies are feasting on her, and as any smart business woman would, she is accepting the product placement stuff. And then it becomes impersonal...

    small blogs are safe :)

  11. Loved this post. I agree with everything. I'd say I blog for the accountability reason as well as the community. I get so much fulfillment from writing my post each day, that I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't start sooner!

    Half marathon for me tomorrow!! Ek!

  12. This is a great topic. I was encouraged by a running friend to start a blog...I like the concept b/c I never know where I will be year-to-year as a coach's wife, so making "virtual friends" in advance was appealing.

    Now, I get excited about sharing my story so someone else can learn, or laugh at me. :P Blogging holds me accountable too.

    And, I agree. $110 put my on my heels...I already registered for the RNR half, but am uncertain on this price.

  13. You know, this is a fantastic post. I was thinking about writing a post about blogging etiquette and the like and I very well think I'd like to refer to your post when I write that. I'm a fairly new runner/blogger and have been battling with the whole idea behind blogger identities and becoming a followed or liked blogger.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feel free to pass along some tips if you've found any :)

  14. You know some people are not having a Memorial Day 3-day weekend this year and maybe you should update your blog to entertain them at work :p. That would make you very popularrrrrrrrr!

  15. Very interesting to read. I think you're right, people blog for different reasons and like roserunner commented, my favorite blogs are actually the smaller ones, who aren't their own brand, who take the time to comment back, etc. But to each their own. :)

  16. Such a great post, lady! You make a ton of great points. I feel that there is a lot of pressure (at least to me) to keep up with some of the big names, but we all have our reasons for blogging. I do it to connect with cool people who share my passion for running and writing, and to learn about parts of the running world that might be otherwise left untouched. It's so neat to be able to "meet" other cool ladies and gents around the country, too.

  17. Really nice post..
    Thanks for sharing.

  18. This is perfect! I am by NO MEANS a popular or well known blogger but I blog for me and the 6 people who read me. I would love to go to Vegas for the race/conference but who knows what money will be like in dec!?