Russell Brand spoke last week about revolution, revolution to break free from the constraints of a political system that doesn’t empower its people to think for themselves but creates its own apathy.
His words appear to have taken on a new meaning in the football blogging world with writers arguing the case of apathetic readers, populist voting in awards and fewer blog hits due to saturation of the market with the same old stuff.
There have recently been a number of established football bloggers pondering the meaning of online existence and whether football blogging has had its day.
There appears to be quite a bit of consternation too about awards for blogging. It’s all a bit too ‘populist’ for some who think that it’s not necessarily the best blogs that win the awards but those who have the most followers on Twitter.
There may be something in this. There are a number of blogs I could name who should have been shortlisted because their articles are thought provoking, literary and have something different to say about the game we love that doesn’t just include previews and reviews of matches.
A blog should, in my opinion, offer something that a national news agency, magazine or newspaper doesn’t.
The best blogs don’t always get the hits they deserve. However, it doesn’t matter how interesting or distinctive your voice is, people can only read it if they know about you and your work. Social media is necessary to market yourself as a writer.
I have a vested interest in these arguments because I have been shortlisted at the Football Blogging Awards. Would I have been shortlisted if I hadn’t garnered votes from my social media following? I think the answer would be definitely not.
Does asking people to vote invalidate the content of my blog because it could be viewed as a trite and populist way to attract readers? Maybe to some, but does it really affect the quality of someone’s work? The truth is being linked to awards does boost hits on the blog and the overall readership.
An MP wouldn’t expect to be elected without campaigning, so why should bloggers sit back and wait for votes and hits on their blog to happen organically?
If all football blogging awards were voted for by panels it shifts us further from a democracy of readership to an authoritarian view of ‘this is what we deem to be good enough for you to read’.
I used to have this debate all the time at university about literary canons. These are collective lists of books that are put forward as literature that has the power to influence. The issue I have with canons are that they are purely subjective. Who’s to say Shakespeare was a great writer and an influence? Just because he is forced down every student’s throat at GCSE level won’t necessarily mean his writing will influence that generation. We’re just told Shakespeare is influential without being allowed to work that out for ourselves.
Panels and social media awards both have their place in blogging as it allows experts and the wider public to have their say.
So viva la revolution to those with a slightly sour grapey taste in their mouth, maybe a new order will take over in the future but for the time being you can’t complain about football blogging becoming over saturated if you’re not willing to campaign to make your voice heard.
There’s only one thing left for me to say…
VOTE for Yes I Can Explain The Offside Rule for Best Female at the Football Blogging Awards 2013. 😉