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Bloggers in the media #3

Hello and welcome to the third installment of Bloggers in the media – where I take recent events or trends online or in the media and discuss them at length from my point of view.

I really like doing these posts because it opens up quite a civil conversation about things – trying to discuss anything on Twitter more often than not will turn into an argument. I also like being able to put my own point across without anyone restricting me, because this is my online space and I can do what I please with it. I was particularly excited about this edition because there are a few things that I really, really want to discuss. It’s like my brain is spilling out all these thoughts and opinions and my hands can’t keep up!

I’m gonna start off with someone maybe controversial that the lovely Katie alerted me to, concerning Blogosphere magazine. I just want to state, for the record, that I love the guys over at Blogosphere and still love the magazine, it’s full of so many handy tips and I stand by the post I wrote saying it’s really handy for bloggers to subscribe to. I just wish the cover stars were actual bloggers. The recent editions of the magazine have all had predominantly YouTubers on the cover – Zoella, Dodie, Casey Neistat (Zoella may have a blog but she doesn’t use it). The best editions I remember are Victoria’s (inthefrow) and Hannah Gale’s, because they are dedicated bloggers who offer tips and insight into how they juggle life and blogging and make me feel like I can work harder and inspire me to do just that. I know the name Blogosphere will be inclusive towards vloggers as well, but it’s slowly turning into Vlogosphere magazine.

Plagiarism is a big thing in the blogging world right now, and it inspires the discussion of – when does taking inspiration from someone turn into outright copying? Well, when you’re copying and pasting words from their post or mirroring their Instagram image. That’s when. I’m inspired by so many bloggers – Maria, Lucy, Lauren, to name a few – but rather than copying their style of writing or photography, I create my own.

Being inspired by someone doesn’t have to mean you need to copy their work, I find inspiration the best motivator for me to get shit done.

Full blog posts have been copied, more than once, by more than one person to more than one person. And that is bloody ridiculous. Blog posts are so personal to each person, and it’s not difficult to determine when a post has been copied. Everybody structures their posts differently and everyone has their own unique voice. If you think you can get away with it, you’re wrong. Instagram posts have now been copied as well, with one blogger claiming one of her #Ad’s was copied. Looking at the images, they are so similar and the resemblance is clear. It seems silly to me, you will get caught out and why would you want to be a copy of someone else? You should want to be yourself.

It’s difficult when you’re going to accuse somebody of copying – you never know the real story. I was accused of stealing the ‘box on the ceiling tripod‘ idea from somebody else and claiming it as my own. I really didn’t appreciate someone who I didn’t follow, who didn’t follow me, bitching about me on her Instagram stories to all her followers. There’s no need to make a public affair of it when you can message the person privately to clear shit up. I will NEVER understand that. So I, being the bigger person, messaged her to clear it up. And now I’m doing it here. I never claimed the idea was my own, I said I was inspired by somebody else on Instagram (not her, because I don’t follow her) and was also told that she recreated the idea. Had I said I created the idea and branded it as my own, yeah I could understand why she was annoyed. But I didn’t. And if you have an issue with me and you address it publicly, instead of privately messaging me, you’ll probably be in the next edition of this.

Next up we have the famous £1 challenge done by Alfie Deyes in the past week or so. People have said that we should be done talking about it now that he apologised and it’s in the past, but I couldn’t write about recent events in the industry and not comment on it. I didn’t watch the full video, I watched JackMate’s so I wouldn’t be giving Alfie any more money for the video. I thought what I saw was pretty shocking and made a bit of a mockery of poverty. I didn’t like that he didn’t seem to realise what the issue was. HOWEVER – he apologised. He didn’t try to justify his actions. He held his hands up and said okay, I said some awful things, and I apologise. I can’t quite understand how that isn’t enough for some people. You don’t have to ‘forgive’ him exactly, but to continue saying he’s manipulative or whatever is downright wrong.

It seems like there’s no right way for somebody to apologise for doing wrong. It’s easy enough for all of us to say “an apology doesn’t matter, he shouldn’t have done it in the first place” when we haven’t done anything wrong. Humans make mistakes, and you wouldn’t feel so nice if someone told you that your apology doesn’t matter because you shouldn’t have done it in the first place. Why continue the confrontation after the subject in question has tried to put it right? I’m still not a fan of Alfie Deyes, but I wasn’t before this video because I don’t like his content, and I’m not going to hold this against him forever. If you do, okay, but please don’t attack my opinion or try to change my mind! I dont think his words or actions were intentional, and now he realises what he did wrong.

Now I don’t really know a lot about this next topic, but I wanted to touch on it after seeing a YouTube comment about it on a Michalaks video. Stef mentioned Tanya Burr’s play briefly, and I saw a comment urging people not to go and see it because her privilege got her the role, not her talent. It got me thinking about YouTuber privilege in general, which I’ll touch on in a minute. Should the role have gone to a professional actor, who has trained for years to be given a starring role? Everyone will have a different opinion, I think. A lot of reviews say that Tanya is out of her depth in the role – it’s quite a promiscuous character and Tanya doesn’t come across that way to me at all, she is so sweet. On the other hand, Jennifer Lawrence and Marilyn Monroe also didn’t have any acting experience, and they’ve made pretty big names for themselves now! The play is in a small theatre and is supposed to appeal to a younger audience – Tanya will get people in the seats and that’s what the theatre wants. The reviews don’t seem to suggest she’s awful, just that she’s taking work away from trained actors. The whole situation is difficult. Why did I mention it???

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So, YouTuber privilege. Let’s talk about that. Has fame gone to their heads? Are they still relatable? Do they needto be?? There’s been a lot of posts in recent months about whether bloggers need to be relatable or not, and the same applies to YouTubers. I think with luxury YouTubers, such as Lydia Millen or Inthefrow, they’re obviously not relatable to me because I can’t afford the products they promote. However, they’ve established themselves as luxury bloggers from the start, which I think is different. For someone like Zoella, to start off doing little hauls in her bedroom that the average girl could watch and relate to, I think that she has changed quite a lot. You might think she’s still relatable because she did a Primark haul the other week, but she spent like £500. That’s not entirely relatable.

I don’t think it’s her duty to make us relate to her though. Like a blog, each creators channel is individual to them and they can do what they like with it. It’s no-ones place to dictate another persons creative choices, and for that reason I don’t think bloggers and YouTubers have to be relatable.

I think bloggers and YouTubers can be whatever the hell they want to be. 

The final thing I want to discuss is Instagram editing. I really, really wish people would shut the fuck up about Instagram editing. Just before I started writing this, I got a message telling me that I edit my photos too much and they prefer the ‘before’ shot. And it really pissed me off. I’ve seen a number of tweets complaining about the current ‘over-editing’ trend that’s going around Instagram. And those really piss me off. Instagram is a creative outlet, photography is about experimentation and editing is about manipulating an image until it looks better. What looks better to me, will not look better to you, and vice versa. It’s literally none of your business how I edit my photos, or how anybody else edits their photos. It’s so easy to unfollow someone if you don’t like it, instead of complaining about it on Twitter for RT’s or messaging them to make them feel shit.

I like my editing. Love it, actually. And I’m not changing it until I want to. I’m not going to change my editing because Polly said she’s not a fan. Polly can unfollow me and go follow someone who posts photos she likes more. I love seeing how much I can change an image by swiping a few toggles – it’s a hobby of mine and I think it’s pretty damn cool. It’s a form of art. I can’t draw, so give me this at least?!

I think I’ll leave it there because watching the word count go up is making me quite nervous, will anyone want to read almost 2000 words??? 

How do you feel about the topics I covered?

View Comments (4)
  • Ooh I really enjoyed this post! The one thing I really agree with has to be Blogosphere magazine – It’s a great magazine but like you say, the best issues have been the ones that focus mainly on bloggers. I don’t bother with Youtube (Bar a couple of channels – Helen Anderson and JaackMaate’s for example) so seeing these big Youtube stars on the cover doesn’t interest me in the slightest – I got a subscription because I wanted to see bloggers not Youtubers!

    As for the instagram editing thing? You do you in my opinion. If people don’t like it they know where the unfollow button is.

    Jess x

  • I 100% wanted to read 2000 words! I adore this series you’re doing, it’s so current and interesting – please continue! And this edition was perfect! I couldn’t agree with you more on everything you said! And as for your Instagram, I adoreeeee the way you’re editing your photos, that girl is in the minority on that one, and like you said, why can’t people unfollow instead of going out of their way to upset people? Bizarre!

  • Great post! I very much enjoyed reading it. I think the whole idea of YouTubers’ being relatable is a difficult one. I think it’s impossible to be relatable to EVERYONE because people are different. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t enjoy some of their content. I think trying to use it against a bloggers/YouTuber that they’re not relatable is a bit unfair. In my opinion, if you can’t relate to a blogger/YouTuber to the point it’s physically upsetting you, you really need to stop watching/reading their work.

    I think the Instagram thing is ridiculous, I’ve seen a lot of indirect tweets about people’s editing and I often wonder why people are so concerned about what they are doing. Plagiarising work has always angered me. I’ve known people who’ve worked their arse off on a blog post and someone has copied the blog within days and even had the cheek to use the same title – so the blogger who copied her post was definitely not just inspired! I think if you can’t come up with an idea and need to steal, you need to either give up the blogging or take time out and reflect on what you want from the blog.

    Jess xx

  • LOVED this post! I don’t watch the Michalaks anymore for various reasons but I heard about them mentioning the play Tanya is in. Personally I think if the casting directors thought she was right then she deserves the part just as much as the next person. I can’t stand when people think that because she’s got her name out there bc of YouTube that that’s what she has to stick to. Also from what I gather she works quite hard at it, constantly going to auditions and acting lessons.

    I couldn’t agree more about your points on Alfie and Zoe. I can’t help but feel that people are just out to get them. I did watch Alfie’s actual video and there was so much more to it than what everyone was focusing on. It was a stupid idea and he apologised to tbh, whatever he did people would have a problem with it.

    I’ve seen so much about bloggers and you tubers not being relatable anymore and that this is such a bad thing. It’s entertainment, people watch it to be entertained and to get their minds of things and while I understand that the life of Zoella isn’t exactly relatable, I completely agree with you in that it isn’t supposed to be!

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