First you need to understand that online writing is not a predisposition of many in South Africa. It is merely a means to an end and in no ways an escape for the grater majority, which is the usual justification bloggers utilize. The idea of a journal that is online is a far-fetched idea. One who understands the reasoning of the pseudo reality of the ‘information age’ recognizes cyberspace as an infinite locale which can be manipulated to ones needs.
Is secrecy the innate imperative of journaling?
Or is it a means to relay the data floating in your mind most troublesome?
I see the reasoning behind blogging as the chance to be an autonomous omniscient entity to a personal context.
I now readily identify Instagram as an image journal. It speaks in mutiny to words as the primary means of expression. Pictures relay the same premise, and for some, it is way more entertaining because it is concise and the varying interpretations keep things interesting.
In South Africa, the blogging phenomenon is a substantial presence. Our celebrities do not have the luxury indulged by Hollywood where publicity, and subsequently profitability, is easily obtained and sustained by television and print media. Blogging is used less as ‘fans gushing over stars’ and more as business folk expanding their brand. Careers as socialites through blogging are few-and-far between, though Mika Stefano has been one of the lucky to nab such an opportunity.
One of the blessings of South African bloggers is the acclaim you get through cultivating your blog enough to stand-out or fit in. It’s not about the colorfulness and cramped nature of bombarding people with pictures and information.
The cornerstone of blogging as it is today is the effectiveness you have in captivating audiences. A blogger with enough traffic going through their blog can score invites to exclusive events like Fashion Week, J&B Met, Red Carpet Fashion Show, Cosmopolitan Magazines many events etc. I learned this in 2013 when I used my blog as a means of garnering the opportunities to interview and write about some amazing events in Cape Town.
- Neatness in the structuring of your blog is actually important. I do not like visiting blogs I cannot navigate. It’s utterly confusing and frustrating.
- It’s about the quality. I would kill for one of those Canon or Nixon blogger camera’s as their picture quality is exquisite, but alas. Anyway, there is substantial importance in the taking of one’s own photos and having them be quality pretty. I was rejected from several professional blogging platforms because the quality of my pictures was deemed “inferior”.
A sense of elitism or simply logic? I digress.
- People love blogs that are quick with information like: breaking news, fashion trends correlating with latest fashion shows and celebrity Red Carpet looks etc. Fashion fads are quick to arrive and leave. Some choose to take on the glossy look of fashion house websites that cater to talking at people about classic styles. Some choose to go with the flow of their minds, people like me.
- The easiest way to captivate people: pretty people. Even if it’s a personal blog, I’ve done the research and pretty people always get more blog traffic. Look at blogs such as Man of the Cloth, I.Am.Galla, Tuula Vintage, Skattie What Are You Wearing, Denzil Jacobs, The Sartorialist etc. Either the blogger is pretty or the people they snap are.
Here’s the deepest secret about South Africans not many know or refuse to acknowledge:
South Africans, regardless of whether you are a blogger or not, live their lives marketing themselves as a personal brand. A 5-minute introduction or a fully-fledged chat will always have facts that remind the person you are speaking to that you are always hustling because: We. Don’t. Stop! There is no time for stopping to be normal, or even mediocre.
The rainbow nation chooses to soar above its history of oppression and spend the rest of its life ceasing opportunities to be infinite-even if it’s just with blogging.
We evolve to show the world how awesome we are.