Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Blog Dilemma!

I have always been, and will continue to be, a fan of Social Media.  It allowed me to move into freelance writing at a later age when no one would give me a chance and to become an editor at two magazines.  There is no doubt it can create opportunity with a capital "O" for anyone who knows how to use it - just look at Justin Bieber. It also provides an avenue to reach customers at a time when the cost of running a magazines means many print editions have to rely on "ADVERTORIALS" to keep afloat - my name for articles generated because of purchased advertising. At the same time there is always a downside.  Just a few include cyber bullying, misinformation that takes on a life of it's own, hours spent needing to keep up on all the different types of communication and a lack of face-to-face contact that can affect how accurately one perceives their clientele.


There is another side to Social Media I am beginning to look at.  It's a tenuous link at this time with no real proof other than my observations over the last 5 years as editor for Fame'd Magazine in Canada and Raine Magazine in the U.S.  I have noticed a serious lowering of initial skills in new writers.  They are able to write one good paragraph, but the ability to take a subject through 6 paragraphs including an opening, a closing and 4 connecting paragraphs appears to be harder to come by.  

The point-of-view has also changed.  We seem to be moving towards a personal perspective with a lot of "I's" instead of the 3rd person interview with a professional focus.  I truly love it in a blog and use it extensively here, but question its relevance in an article that is designed to promote an artist internationally.  That personal peek behind the camera can be the ticket that brands an artist in a future client's minds, but it still has to be done in a way that clearly indicates they have tremendous skills and experience - a professionally written article that includes a personal perspective.  What I seem to get now is a personal article without a professional slant.

Blogging in particular has become the venue of choice for many writers and as far as I can see, most are just a lot of pictures with a few notes.  There are several great exceptions that break this rule and do it in an amazing way - one personal favourite is Solo Lisa who I worked with on Fame'd - but I'm talking about the industry in general.  Add in short Facebook and Twitter posts and you have a writing style lived in the fast lane, all speed and no depth.  The effect overall is that new writers who come to me do not seem to understand how to write a longer piece that sounds professional.  They are hooked into the shorter sound byte and the "I" mentally so prevalent in blogs.  


Whether I am right or wrong in my assumptions only time will tell, but more than one industry professional is lamenting this same "fact:".   Sometimes fighting these trends is like swimming upstream, so I honestly have no idea what the future will hold.  It's in the hand of the 20-year-olds coming up through the ranks.  In the future they will define the trends and what it takes for writing to market the next generation.  Oh please don't let me be one of those wishing for the good old days!!!!!!

I love to end with some humor, so here is todays!!!



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