Part of my job requires me to reach out to bloggers, and by doing so I come across many interesting sites. Some of them are so inspiring I just want to go frolic in a park somewhere, while others are so inspiring they border on depressing. If you don’t know what I mean take a look at some popular travel or adventure blogs. These are the blogs about people who did what so many of us dream about but don’t think is actually possible; they pick up and travel the world. They quit their 9 to 5, they sell that big screen TV they were so addicted to, and they begin a journey to find themselves.
Many of the travel blogs I am talking about fall under the category of “life design.” However, this is not a post about travel blogs. This is about great bloggers gone bad, and greedy salesmen disguised as do-gooders.
I bring up travel blogs, specifically, because there are so many and they begin with such good intentions. Maybe you are moving to Italy and you are going to post about great recipes, the culture, funny things that would never happen in the states. Whatever, it’s Italy so it will probably be awesome, until you get cocky. I am all for hearing about your accomplishments but when the writing becomes completely unrelatable to anyone who didn’t do what you did I no longer have an interest in living vicariously through you. The good news: if you take a moment and remember who your audience is and why you started this blog, I think you will bounce back just fine.
Another issue I consistently run into are blogs that seem to be life changing but with a price. You know, the ones that say if you want to start a better life today, just enter your credit card number here? This is also true for causes. A “middle-of-the-road” example of this would be the Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign. While I truly do believe Invisible Children had good intentions, we have seen that some key points were conveniently left out, for instance: the fact that Kony is not even in Uganda, and some believe he died years ago. This particular cause did not ask for money, as far as I know, but other “causes” have and do, and to see the world jump on Kony 2012 so blindly is more than a little scary.
The reason this is happening and it needs to be addressed is because many of us have become profoundly interested in making life better for everyone. People who want to make money see this. I’m not going to say the recent interest in change, helping people, and living a better life is entirely the work of Generation-Y, but the majority of those who take action are of this group. With this said, companies are learning more and more everyday about how to market to us. The “fight for a cause” button is a brilliant one to push, and I really didn’t see it coming.
We are a very intelligent, and untrusting generation. However, we are human. We have been fooled, but we learn fast and will know to take a second look at even the “good causes” from now on.
Finally, I want to make the point that by doing more in depth research on causes and blogs that seem to have a good message behind them we weed out things that take up too much time, money, and attention, so that we can focus on the causes that really do need our help and the blogs that really do have something great to say – without a price.