The blogging industry in Malaysia is rotten. Does my statement irked you bloggers out there? Well, it should, because this post is not meant to be the sweet-idol worshipping kind of thing and when I wrote this, I am more than prepared to once again be the Malaysian bloggers public enemy.
So, you must be wondering what triggered this sudden change where I suddenly stir up some harsh tone in my writing? Well, if you think that this is sudden, perhaps you don’t know me very well and merely knew me for just a a year or two. I’ve been blogging for more than 14 years by now, give and take and I certainly did not start off as a food loving foodie or a selfie loving shallow girl who cares nothing more on how she looks like on her instagram post like I portray myself to be these days. Those who have known me for more than ten years would probably be unfazed with this.
All right, enough rambling, so what triggered this? Well, to be honest, I am writing this because I DON’T like the image bloggers are portraying these days and hence, I’m being stereotyped the same.
1. Plagiarism is common and mushrooming. During the 2002 circa when blogging is almost unheard of, especially in Malaysia, every single blog contents that I know are very personalized and unique. Blog owners actually make an effort to create high quality contents instead of just plagiarizing articles here and there and claiming it as theirs. Plenty of “bloggers”, especially those who are new ones have no respect whatsoever towards intelectual property to the point they’d even steal pictures and crop off watermarks from the rightful owners. How is that justifiable and ethical? I certainly do not condone such thing and honestly, if I were to see that on any blogspot blogs, articles and pictures being used without the owner’s permission, I’d report it to Google and have the entire blog removed, I kid you not. Of course, there’s nothing I can do about self hosted blogs, though.
2. Blogging became nothing more than just an outlet to freeload for stuff. Especially true for new bloggers, I must say. Back then, most blog owners/writers started blogging not because of the benefit they could reap, but they do it because they are passionate about writing and and sharing their personal thoughts to inspire their readers. Back then, blogs are honest and pretty much trustworthy. These days, whenever I ask why people want to start blogging, their answers are mostly the same; hey, everyone seems to be doing it, it’s fun, you get invited to events, get free goodies, get to eat for free, you get your clothes and makeup sponsored, travel for free etc. I don’t aknowledge these people as bloggers. I call these people the trash of the blogging industry, especially when they ended up producing ridiculously low quality contents which are mostly copy&paste items. Everyone wants to be a blogger these days. But they do not realized that there’s more to blogging than earning benefits from it.
3. Bloggers these days acts as if they are entitled for everything. I’ve seen plenty would threw a fit shamelessly or bitch in some whatsapps group etc when they are not invited for certain events or not being sponsored for trips. Now, understand this. Most brands engage bloggers not because they are glamourous, but they want the possible revenue that certain bloggers could possibly generate in a win-win agreement. If brands/establishments think that you can’t deliver or is not suited to represent them, then I think bloggers should accept it as a business decision instead of making a huge fuss about it and badmouth those who are selected. Gone are the days where bloggers are pretty respected for their ethical behaviour and credibility. Such a shame.
4. Most Malaysian blog these days are full of nothing but just product reviews although the blog owners claimed that the blog is niche, eg: lifestyle, parenting or beauty/health. Sure, there’s nothing wrong in reviewing products, especially if it is an honest review, but making the blog looks like some online catalogue with just descriptions of products? And what’s worst is that some accept just about any product to review regardless of their niche. Sorry, I don’t really sit well with that because blogs are not supposed to look like an online catalogue, and a crappy one at that.
5. Attending events/food reviews and not writing about it. There are plenty of “bloggers” who does this. Some are even under my recommendations. I feel this is disgusting but I won’t elaborate, the less tempted I am to list out the names. Yes. I do hold grudge as it is an embarassment for me to introduce someone to brand managers and yet they do not deliver.
6. It is the era of Malaysian Blogging Gangsterism. Bloggers who are mostly lone rangers and prefer to work on their own are badmouthed and suppressed the opportunities to events/paid reviews. I can elaborate more but suffice to say that if certain bloggers don’t belong to certain groups/organization/clubs, they’d be shunned. And this is especially true to those who are very outspoken and do not like to be managed or controlled. This is not a recent trend, of course. It’s been ongoing for more than five years now but these days, it’s simply getting worst.
7. Anonymity is shunned. Back then it was fine to be an anonymous bloggers, but these days bloggers are expected to give up their privacy and show their face in their postings and their social media. I don’t know how it’s like for the rest of the world, but this is how blogging industry is like in Malaysia. While I am now fine with this as I too was an anonymous blogger who does not plaster any of my pictures online, but I think those who opt to be anonymous should be respected as long as their postings does not do any harm to anyone instead of being forced to be like the rest. We’re talking about one’s privacy and also individuality. Why should people be forced to give up their privacy just because everyone else is doing it?
8. Bloggers writes for the search engine more than for human readers. Well, it is undeniable that SEO and traffic is important for bloggers, especially if bloggers in question wants to commercialize their blog and increase the value for advertisement fees if they are engaged by any brands. But if the article came out incoherent for readers to read, what’s the point? Some even lowered themselves as to copy and paste controversial things like sensationalized gossips or play the racial card just so that they’d boost the traffic. Fine, do as you pleased but I rather have more human readers than crawling bots.
9. Bloggers don’t really support each other but treat one another as rival and competitors unless they belonged to their own circle of groups. Gone are the days where Malaysian bloggers really blog hop without being told and leave comments on each other’s postings. Okay, perhaps it is unfair to say that as there are still those who religiously blog hop to their friend’s blog, but these days, most comments are forced and forged via comment exchange programs hosted on Facebook Blogging Groups or IG pods where bloggers actually exchange comments with each other. It’s kinda like; you leave comments on my blog and I will leave comments on your blog kinda thing. Good initiative to make blogs look credible and merry with plenty of comments and discussion, but it’s still kinda sad that blogging are reduced to this, especially when those who participated in such activities sometimes left merely generic comments until they are being told off to be sincere and original. I always hated it when people do that. Such disrespect and dishonest as they are actually reaping the benefit of forged traffics without making much efforts. I hate it even more when I see some not returning favours, which defeat the purpose of the whole thing; which is to encourage discussions.
10. Platforms/FB Community that helps budding bloggers who genuinely want to start blogging out of passion are being misused. I won’t elaborate, but let’s thank God for admins who mostly do good job of monitoring the ongoing activities in their groups.
When I wrote this, I did not intend to make friends or form an alliance or a diplomatic relationship with those who are reading. I’m kinda hoping that things in the blogging scene in Malaysia will change for the better but I guess such things won’t really happen anytime soon.
That said, I end my write-up. Til next time.