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Holly and I were talking about how blogging is dying and then it took some effort for me to say the obvious: “Blogging is really alive, good bloggers just aren’t as lucky”.
And then the effervescent Holly just reminded me of the Vampires and Zombie craze and asked which I thought bloggers most resembled. I picked the Zombie story and after a thought provoking and somewhat jolting conversation about Vampire Bloggers, I had to go with the Zombie story.
So, here’s a shrink’s not-so-polite take on the whole Blogger Zombie Connection. Believe me, some have become vampires, which is just downright evil, but many remain zombies–not as evil, but infinitely more mindless. And here’s a little evidence: Watch for these Zombies Alerts so that you can effectively protect yourself and your beloved blog!
Zombie Alert 1
You have a great admiration for a certain blogger and have begun to unconsciously (or consciously!) emulate them in everything you do.
Zombies really have nothing better to do than play “Follow the Leader.” They usually look for the blogger with the most followers, and join the mindless horde. All they need is an idea. Oh please, not their own. Zombies shudder at that thought. Once an idea has been let out in the blogging bazaar, the zombies descend on it and get to work: Copying it, pasting it, editing it, throwing in a few “me’s” and “I’s” and posting it on their own blogs. There you go , zombie task accomplished. Same old idea, over and over again.
SAVE YOURSELF : There really are no leaders. There are good bloggers and there are awesome bloggers, learn from them, make them your “gurus” but don’t blindly copy their stuff. They took the effort to think; you do it, too. They have a million fans because they took the effort to build something strong and viable. It will take time, but be fair to yourself.
Zombie Alert 2
Thinking makes you tired. Thinking is work. You don’t want to think. You just want to blog.
Zombies have no minds of their own. Living, breathing humans – like you and I – do have something called a brain on the tops of our heads. My geek friends tell me that it weighs close three pounds. But if you’re not using it – if you just have it stored for I-really-don’t-know what – then it is vulnerable to zombie rot. Sometimes, in the early stages of zombification, the zombie blogger knows he is supposed to use his brains, use his ideas, but he simply doesn’t. Maybe he has, or once had, a mind of his own; maybe he once thought deeply about issues, debated them, discussed them with friends, and maybe digressed. But now – he shudders, shudders at the thought. He will simply copy and paste, copy and paste.
SAVE YOURSELF : Use the three pounder on the top. There are a million ideas to be blogged about. I am not saying that you can’t blog about the same topics other bloggers have covered; just blog about them in your way, give readers your own take and your stand on a topic; tell them how you did it!
Zombie Alert 3
Research? Naah. You know everything you need to write your blog posts. Research is work. Your research consists of having Wikipedia and your Zombie Leader’s blog in your Bookmarks.
Zombies never learn. The message will be relayed to them repeatedly through various channels- be creative, have a mind of your own, converse, share your own ideas, think out of the box. But then some inherent zombie-ness prevents from any of it happening. They don’t learn from the rare lot of good bloggers and see how they love to converse and talk, rather than just comment like mindless drones. They don’t see or think about how good bloggers come up with their own bundles of blogging and social media wisdom; all they see is the comment count and share count and they go into a crazy feeding frenzy.
SAVE YOURSELF : Blogging and learning go hand in hand. Especially in the crazy, crazy world of social media; there isn’t any such thing as knowing it all. There is something new every day, something to be learned every hour. Open your eyes and, even better, open your mind. Observe the world like a sponge and blogging will be much more fun!
Zombie Alert 4
You hit refresh every 3-5 minutes to see if your social share counts have gone up. You get twitchy if you haven’t had a comment or reply in the last 12 minutes. You break out the champagne if your comment count is in the double digits.
Zombies feed on numbers. Numbers are important to many people; metrics are a good way to gauge our progress and success. But for the Zombie Blogger, numbers are tasty food, almost as good as braaaaaains. If their posts don’t have a three digit share number on Facebook, their senses go numb. Their arms reach and grasp mindlessly in the dark. They enter the back alleys of the Internet and beg : “Come by my post and share it, tweet it, like it, love it. I know I might have written a crappy post that really doesn’t make sense and I have copied it from the big blogging guy next door, but then please, oh please, for the love of it, just come by and help me jump the number count. I need my daily meal of numbers.” Numbers can make a zombie feel alive – but only briefly. He must have more, more…MORE NUMBERS!
SAVE YOURSELF : Numbers might help brighten your day but they aren’t the end result. They guarantee nothing. They don’t bring in money and they don’t necessarily mean tons of readers. There might be 5 people sharing your posts ten times. You do the maths.
Zombie Alert 5
Your eyes narrow and your fists clench when someone disagrees with a point you’ve written.
If someone disagrees with a zombie, the zombie will fight it out and make it a war. The zombie and its horde will make sure people bleed. How can anybody disagree? There is safety in the crowd, and the crowd is always right. When a zombie sees disagreement, it sees a life, thinking, vibrant individual that must be assimilated into the zombie horde. Its brains must be scooped out of its skull and chewed, swallowed without consideration or thought.
SAVE YOURSELF : Everybody is entitled to have an opinion. That opinion might be different from yours. That doesn’t mean you need to take out your guns and start firing. You need to see how different people are looking at the same things. Perspectives are bound to be different, accept it and move on. Disagreeing doesn’t mean they hate you, or hate your article. It just means, that they have a different opinion.
So, I am hoping Holly is convinced about the zombie alert. I mean it, they are coming in huge numbers and with all their might. Save yourself from being tagged the zombie blogger or the vampire one.
Sparkle and shine and come out of the dark, dirty alleys of crappy blogging. Make the blogging world a lively place, or to put it more aptly, brand yourself as the bright blogger. A blogger who isn’t afraid to speak his or her mind; isn’t a slave to numbers; and, actually has fresh blogging ideas and the courage to express them.
Over to you, let’s talk. Lets make sure you aren’t a Zombie Blogger. Let’s make sure you haven’t stuck out the fangs of being a Vampire Blogger. Have you come across them? Do you believe blogging might be dead?
Blogging is alive, let us bloggers come back to life.