Blogging, as a concept, began way back in the nineties. 1994 to be precise. A bunch of journalists became ‘pioneer bloggers’ with what were originally dubbed as “online diaries”. Roll forward 10 years and blogging was finally awarded the title of “Mainstream” after an increase in use across professional platforms. Now, another 10 years on, blogging has blown up. As of 2014, every day “tens of thousands” (source: WordPress) of new blogs are created, saturating the internet with a vast array of opinion based posts.
Now for the strange comparison: In 1993 Beanie Babies hit the shelves. An initial bunch of beanies were released and rapidly became dubbed “collectables”.
Is it all a fad?
Beanie Babies survived a good strong 10 years in the overly populated, fast-moving toy industry as the number one fad. Everyone I knew had a Beanie collection and they were proud of them. Some people had shelves specifically for them, some even went as far as to buy the boxes. I know one person who still has an actual room full of them (yes, still), and some people deigned to actually use them for their purpose and play with them. Scandalous.
But essentially, they were a fad. The toy market continued to move and although popular the intensity of the Beanie Baby phase petered out. The Beanie Baby was a small sanction of the toy market. New, fancier toys like the Furby were created, all electronic and responsive (and shit scary when left unattended on a bookcase but can be heard waking up and talking to itself in the dead of night).
Action Man and Barbie still reigned supreme undergoing constant facelifts and reincarnations. And the good old-fashioned, faithful teddy bear still featured heavily on kids top 10’s. Ultimately, Beanie Babies were never going to take over the toy world, but they did have one hell of a good stint at the top and are still to this day available to buy (I should probably state that this post is NOT endorsed by Beanie Babies, although Ty; feel free to hit me up!). They were a fad of the nineties that most look back at fondly, if with a slight air of “God, they’re so retro!”. Others, like me, may even have a box of them tucked away somewhere clinging on to the hope that one day they will be worth a lot of money (besides the £4.99 x Onehundredandfiftybillion you spent on buying them). But that’s why they lasted so long at the top: the allure of money.
It’s the same with blogging. Among the “hobby” bloggers – and by this I mean the people who are doing it on the side for entertainment, as opposed to those who nigh on bankrupt themselves and their lives to make blogging their full-time job – there is a small section of bloggers that have appeared because of one thing and one thing only; they want something for nothing.
Something for nothing, and the kicks for free
Accusations can fly hard and fast in an overly populated crowd, and blogging is no exception. There is no end to the amount of blog posts or social media status’ about the bloggers that give bloggers a bad name by being obviously in it for the freebies. It all boils down to the same thing; money.
The bandwagon mentality has always engulfed fads, and whether it be collecting Beanie Babies, or writing water thin blog posts for a freebie it is always something die-hard fans have had to contend with.
Is it cos I’m cool?
It’s the bandwagon influence that develops fads and makes or breaks them. People jumping on board to get in on the action so they aren’t missing out.
Like the Beanie Baby, blogs are never going to take over the world in which they service. Blogging is a fantastic journalistic tool and in many ways has revolutionised the industry (just like the beanies in the babies revolutionised the stuffed toy industry….that’s right, I did my homework) but it has already been taken over by vlogging as the next big thing, and it will never over take the tradition of a broadsheet.
So, I guess my question ‘Is Blogging the new Beanie Baby?’ isn’t such a strange one at all. It has revolutionised elements of its surrounding; online journalism, the way we advertise. But in ten years’ time will we, as bloggers, be looking back at our “little corners” of the internet* fondly remembering the phase and thinking about how retro it all looks?
*Incidentally, I hate this phrase and used it only as a form of conformity in order to gain a level of familiarity with the reader……did it work?!
Join our tribe
We promise to pop a whole host of good stuff into your inbox every Wednesday to brighten up your week. Can't say fairer than that now can we?