On Saturday, I posted a mini rant on my Instagram following a brief stint at a ‘Bloggers Festival’ in London. As a relatively new, yet very determined blogger, I am always on the lookout for tips, tools and tricks to help improve my blogging and network with like minded bloggers.
So I purchased a ticket to this event, marketed as a networking event, thinking this would somehow have the same energetic vibe that London Edge had. You know, where people talk to other people.
People were talking to numbers, about numbers to make numbers.
Let me explain.
There was nothing wrong with the set up. It was beautiful, the decoration was pretty and you could tell the organisers had put a lot of effort into it.
But so many things felt wrong and as fake as the Kardashian-inspired wall that was on display. The good thing was that, at least, the fake wall did not start exposing itself and taking wallfies.
The bad thing(s)?
• Organisers and brands walking around with sheets of paper, containing bloggers names and number of followers. Said organisers only engaging after quick oblivious glance at said sheet, in cases dismissing people by pretending they haven’t heard/ seen them (didn’t work with me, I wore a loud leopard print coat and had Spotify on with “Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?” going on)
• People coming to a “networking” event in packs of 2 or 4, and proceeding to walk across the two small rooms in said packs, methodically rinsing the freebies supplied by various brands for unbiased *cough cough* review.
• I totally understand that one of the key purposes of these events is for the sponsoring brands to trigger positive publicity via bloggers and their audience, but some of the stand owners were really obnoxious about it.
• There is nothing wrong with bringing a fellow blogger friend with you, but it was clear that there wasn’t any networking going on, for it was merely congregations of already networked bloggers coming in for a free glass of prosecco and a sponsored (and fully hashtagged) duckface on twitter.
Back in the day – am talking early 2010’s – I used to run a blog (good old blogspot), and the blogging community felt much more honest and genuine. Bloggers weren’t leaving comments because they wanted to leave their own hyperlink and hypofame behind; they had actually read the post and referred back to it.
They did not hound everybody else for their quest of fame, they’d make sure they had their own key to success.
I used to do product reviews also – and trust me, if something was bad, then you would know about it, loud and clear and with pictures.
However, if you look at product reviews on mainstream blogs these days, they are mostly, completely saccharine and ‘OMG this is AMAZEBALLS – gimme some more free shit’.
Why do I say so? I went to check a few of the posts post-event, and all product reviews from ‘big’ blogs are following exactly the same pattern.
Listen, I also nabbed some merch (I paid for my ticket y’all) and tried some of the items. I do understand that everyone’s experience with products will be different, but man, do not tell me that the plain ass white candles marketed as natural (yet made with synthetic oil according to the tiny label)- and smelling of grass post canine foul-play – are ‘ so heavenly they make me want to reach for Jesus ‘. [paraphrased but that was the content]
What happened to critical thinking? Or are people so swayed by material objects that they feel it is ok to exchange a free face mask for a fake virtual face?