Recently, in my ‘blog on blogging,’ I replied to a comment (from the lovely Bitsphere) on how professional bloggers need to be more, well, professional and perhaps less spontaneous. I’ve copied the conversation below.
It got me thinking about a topic I have tried to complete a blog on several times now. I’ve always noticed that with many bloggers, vloggers and other online content creators, while they might be talking about a particular subject, perhaps reviewing a product or discussing a piece of news, they are also often marketing themselves. Their own voice and often appearance.
Weaving their own experiences into their work is a way of better connecting with their audience as well as making their work more individual. This means that people might follow the blogger/content creator for their personality and experiences as much as for their work, especially if followers are able to relate to those than those of bigger celebrities. The feeling of closeness can create very dedicated fans, and perhaps close-knit fan communities as well.
I’ve particularly noticed this in the area of fashion and beauty bloggers, since they are obviously their own models, but this applies to many others as well. I first found the phrase ‘micro-celebrity’ in an article which can be found here, describing a number of case studies of musicians engaging audiences through social media usage. The implication is that ‘micro-celebrities’ (as oppose to traditional celebrities) are self-creating through the use of social media.
‘microcelebrity’ in which individuals who are not famous (such as camgirls) use social media to create audiences for themselves. Marwick and boyd (2011: 140) describe microcelebrity as ‘a mindset and set of practices in which audience is viewed as a fan base; popularity is maintained through ongoing fan management; and self-presentation is carefully constructed to be consumed by others.’*
Creating an online persona by using multiple social media account both reinforces a person’s ‘brand’ as well as creating as many ways to communicate with fans. The two-way communication, or promise of that communication, is what keeps followers, which I feel brings me back to my original point. While professional bloggers etc. might be required to behave in a more formal, article-writing fashion, especially while promoting a product or service, it is often their individual style, informality and willingness to be open which attracts followers.
I think there is also an interesting followup blogpost here on online personas created for fame – particularly as I’ve suggested that many bloggers and content creators gain followers by an open and honest approach, yet it’s clear that just of many create a less ‘real’ online approach, and there are many reasons behind people doing this – not all of them negative or even conscious decisions!
Edit: To anyone visiting this post through Mt. Hood Community College, Hi there! Hope you’re enjoying the content and whatever activities you’re doing on it.