Recently I came across the concept of a Vanity Blog. I gather this is meant to refer to a personal blog that is written about someones life and opinions. Presumably the term comes from vanity press in the mainstream publishing world. Either way, its a rather petty concept.
The whole point of blogging is that ordinary people can express themselves without the need for great expense or the endorsement of a publisher. It gives enormous freedom of expression because you don’t need to get past editors and advertisers. Its immediate and personal.
The concept of “vanity” publication is based on a messed up value system that says your work isn’t worth anything if it wasn’t paid for by someone else. If you have to publish it yourself, it can’t be worth much. Its a vanity. That’s not relevant in the age of the internet when the people get to choose what’s important to write, and what they want to read.
It also suggests the the personal, domestic sphere is not valuable. Women in particular have been struggling to get past this idea since the dawn of liberation.
Rest assured fellow bloggers. I am not going to refer to your work as a Vanity Blog. In fact I am proposing to boycott the term entirely. There is no reason on earth that bloggers need to accept or perpetuate such a narrow, elitist term for their work.
What a sad world the blogosphere would be if it was limited to people wanting another avenue to sell and promote things. I think its a privilege that so many bloggers are willing to allow the rest of us a window into their lives out of their own generosity and desire to connect.
I think we should come up with a term that expresses what a personal blog is all about. Rather than Vanity Blog, we could have Humanity Blog, or Generosity Blog, or I Love Life Blog, or Encouragement Blog, or Confidence Booster Blog or Big Ideas Blog of This is My Life Blog. Names that capture the true spirit of blogging.
Thats the beauty of blogging. We can reframe the world. We don’t have to accept life on other peoples terms.
What term would you suggest for a personal blog?