In a business like ours, unfortunately, I am slightly fettered. Or more than slightly fettered. If you make a political comment you could lose half of your audience. It’s, like, 50/50 in America. [...] Martha Unleashed is not exactly the right position for me. It would be fun. Oh boy it would be a lot of fun – but I’d have to change my name. (Martha Stewart at BlogHer 2012)
If you have been following the evolution of personal web log journals (AKA blogs) since the late 90s and early noughts, you might have wondered about how corporations and celebrities use blogs. Celebrities are famous for carefully managing their public image. Do their blogs give us insight into their personal lives or do these blogging celebrities serve up carefully crafted snippets of their lived reality? Are their blogs designed to be aspirational, like their related products and services?
Who are these celebrities who blog? They’re not experienced bloggers who journal their daily lives - offering a combination of knowledge based on experience; observations; curated information; social media savviness; and, envelope pushing commentary. They’re not sharing about WT* moments. That wouldn’t do. They write posts (or their staff members do) while trying to look like they are providing intimate, back door access to their lives. They share posts that aren’t necessarily personal or illuminating. Or they copy the blogging and social media style of talented and popular bloggers, in an effort to further strengthen their personal brand. Their posts create a kind of buzz but the content is not an example of high quality blogging. We have to understand that.
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Martha Stewart’s Blogging Blunder (and her credentials prior to starting her business)
I Blog Because I Can (In 2013, I started my tenth year as a blogger.)