Thoughts on blogging, narcissism and Me-Made-May

Thoughts on blogging

Karen’s recent-ish post made me think a bit about blogging, and why we do it.

To me, blogging is unavoidably a narcissistic activity – broadcasting your activities to the world and hoping for some sort of validation in return However, the whole world is becoming more narcissistic, so the base line has moved. What would have seemed unimaginably boastful 50 years ago is now rather sweetly modest.

Will a more narcissistic society necessarily be a worse one? It will seem normal to our grandchildren.

I recently read the book ‘Extras‘ by Scott Westenfeld, which is a dystopian YA novel. It’s set in a future Japan where everyone in society is ranked by their level of online fame. Money has been abolished, and reputation is the only currency. The amount of people that subscribe to your ‘feed’ determines everything about how you live, what you can buy and how you’re treated. Journalism has disappeared as a profession, and everyone is a ‘feed-kicker’, trying to break stories to increase traffic. It struck me as a remarkable prediction of what the future could look like.

For myself, I prefer reading blogs that bring something new into the world, whether it’s a viewpoint or a piece of hand-made clothing. I do think there can be value in the ‘curation’ style of blogging but it has been vastly overhyped.

That’s why I can’t really get on with Tumblr, although I do acknowledge it’s an amazing way of discovering new inspiration.

For some much more interesting thoughts on the future of blogging as it relates to fashion, read this post by Final Fashion.

Some narcissism

These thoughts were also prompted by the news that a lovely blog called A Beader’s Life had nominated me for ‘A Versatile Blogger’ award, which suggested I name 7 random things about myself.

7 random things about myself seemed like an impossible task, as they would either be extremely dull or very well-covered on this blog (DID YOU KNOW – that I am obsessed with Clarks and the V&A museum? Yes? Thought so), but in the narcissistic spirit of the future, here are five things:

  • I will read basically anything and find it difficult to eat without reading something at the same time. The exception is detective novels and murder mysteries. I just can’t abide them. (Do you like reading? Are you on GoodReads? Be my friend!)
  • I love Victorian history, especially if it relates to London. Here is a rather brilliant page of Victorian jokes.
  • I am very interested in the crazy world of dreams, and frequently attempt to teach myself lucid dreaming, without success. Whenever I try my tricksy brain rewards me by giving me dreams about the most extremely boring subjects imaginable. For example: washing up, sitting in a chair reading the paper, cycling my usual route to work, eating toast with Marmite, etc etc.
  • My favourite singers in the world are Jonathan Richman, Lou Reed, and Ella Fitzgerald.
  • When I was young I wanted to be a scientist (aged 10, heavily inspired by the guy on the Weetos packets), or a writer for the NME (ages 14-18).

Thoughts on Me-Made May:

MMM to me doesn’t feel narcissistic, even though it involves taking pictures of yourself on a daily basis (or can do, as obviously it’s a very broad church). I think that’s because I find it so useful and interesting to keep a record in this way, it’s a great perspective on what you actually sew and wear. Also, I love seeing what other people make and how they style it. And finally, the outcomes are so positive: increased sustainability and creativity.

Follow my exciting adventures at the MMM 12 Flickr group! I have many more specific thoughts on what I’ve learnt about my me-made wardrobe, but I’m saving them for the half-way mark.

If you’d made it this far, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on blogging and why you do it (or don’t)…

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8 thoughts on “Thoughts on blogging, narcissism and Me-Made-May

  1. theperfectnose May 19, 2012 / 11:54 PM

    Also if you’re into Victorian jokes The WonderMark Goodsery is a must.. And, I blog because I want to sew socially/em, i.e. meet up with other likeminded people in real life. In the absence of that, however, I’m happy to meet them online *virtual high five*.

  2. Helen's Sewing Adventures May 12, 2012 / 6:48 PM

    such an interesting post. As a neewbie to blogging (started in April ready to document MMM), I decided to create a blog because I wanted somewhere to document what I was making but also to act as a bit of a carrot (or stick maybe) to make myself more productive in terms of my sewing. But on the narcissistic side – it’s also nice to receive comments on your makes. Part of the joy of the Flicker group for MMM for example (to me at least) is that it provides feedback from others on your makes, but it also allows you to get inspiration from others.

  3. quietandsmall May 10, 2012 / 11:15 PM

    i started the blog i’m using now as a way to record my life digitally instead of on paper (where people can find and read it without you knowing!). i’d had accounts on xanga, myspace, etc before blogger. q&s adventures really started cause i wanted to talk about science in addition to whatever else was on my mind. my original q&s blog was a lot of pictures, thoughts, etc.

    i have to agree with ooobop! above, i do get a terrific rush from looking at the stats. it amazes me that so many people would want to read what i write!

  4. gingermakes May 10, 2012 / 9:50 PM

    Hmm, interesting! I started my blog because I’d been lurking around other sewing blogs for a few months and finally decided that I wanted to jump in and get some feedback on my project from more experienced sewists. I can say that I definitely wouldn’t be sewing today if it weren’t for all the support and helpful suggestions of the online sewing community. I love seeing what you guys make, and I never feel like you post to be braggy or narcissistic.

  5. beebeesvintagedress May 10, 2012 / 9:43 AM

    I completely agree with ooobop! I started my blog as a record of my own sewing so that I could put the ideas in my head somewhere. I didn’t expect anyone to read it! Let alone comment and interact. I live in a place where i literally know nobody and without the blog and being able to talk about my passion for sewing I’d be a very lonely person. At first I thought having a blog was very narcissistic indeed and felt embarrassed posting but i’ve come to learn its just another way to communicate and i’ve gained so many friends through it. Its a fantastic way of doing what you love!

  6. prttynpnk May 10, 2012 / 12:08 AM

    I blog because I don’t have anyone locally to talk sewing with. I also like sharing my shallow thoughts, because as Lou Reed sang, “I’m as deep as this high ceiling”……….

  7. ooobop! May 9, 2012 / 9:47 PM

    A great post and a subject I have been thinking about for some time. I started my blog because I wanted to give myself a kick up the backside with regards being more productive. I thought that if I voiced my intentions and set myself goals out loud I would have to stick to them. It has worked brilliantly but I didn’t anticipate the friendship and rewarding return of support and valuable advice from fellow bloggers. I would feel totally at a loss without it now. For sure it takes up so much more of my time than I had planned, and I do have to keep my blogging and reading of other blogs under strict time control but I truly do believe it is imperative to what I am trying to achieve. Plus I get such a huge buzz from it all!

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