Monday, October 25, 2010

That's Not a Blog Post!

The photo above cracks me up. I imagine a bunch of people without a lot of exercise experience saying, "Hey everyone, let's take some fun fitness-y shots now!" And what we get are silly pink mini-weights (the kind known to set me off on a rant), leg warmers (and are those wrist warmers?) and fake fitness poses that don't resemble actual exercises.  

But whatever. At least they make fitness look oh-so-carefree.

The "fake fitness" photo reminds me of how fitness pros might view blogging at the onset.

With the benefits and popularity of social media, a lot of marketing experts and fitness pros insist that you've got to have a blog. But that kind of advice tends to drive me crazy because the result is fitness pros--and, yes, major fitness companies--rattling around online with a blog that, frankly, doesn't feel or look very "blogg-y" at all. Its posts are as "fake" as the cheesy poses in that photo above.

Take the several fitness companies I can think of off the top of my head whose idea of a blog is to drop previously published articles into a post and call it blogging. ("Hey everyone, we've got a blog up and running! That wasn't so hard.")

Is it so wrong of them?

Maybe not. But when the article is written in boring academic language and appears as one 1,500-word block of text, then, yeah, it's veering away from the essence of blogging.

I can't authoritatively say all that a blog is, but I know what it probably shouldn't be: impersonal, dry, a copy/paste job from another publication, longer than my Master's thesis...

That's why when someone suggests that people who don't get around to blogging are just plain lazy (as did a commenter in my previous post), I get to thinking about blogging as an exercise in being thoughtful and informed, not just prolific. 

Without considering the craft involved, blogging becomes about as effective as flailing around a couple of one-pound hand-weights and calling it a workout.  

Don't you think?   

FOR MORE ON FITNESS BLOGGING AND HOW TO DO IT: Come to my session, Sunday, November 21, at canfitpro Vancouver, Session 3211 (10:30am-12:00pm), Blog Your Way to Fitness Business Success.


Ann Pai said...

Good post. With the advent of social media, I see blog audiences blurring the lines of experience between blog reading and social post reading. Seems successful blogs offer a unique rich experience, but one that is heavily reminiscent of enjoyable social media. (First time commenter - As someone who is trying to refine her focus in her own blog, I'm always happy when something new from you pops up in Google Reader.)

Sara Lewis said...

I blog a couple times per month and my content is different than what you'd find elsewhere by me. My dad, who is a college professor, makes fun of my grammar in my blog. I keep telling him, it's a blog not a textbook! (I just downloaded the same picture yesterday.)

Alfred Ball, Practicing Kinesiologist said...

Always great to read your posts and insights. I taught a student Kinesiologist to write to the audience of our blog in an informative, yet entertaining way rather than the academic tone she is used to needing for research papers. Long posts lose my attention. Short, sweet and to one topic is how I like them.

Have you read "Problogger"?

Amanda Vogel said...

Thanks for your comments. Ann, I like what you say about people looking for what's reminiscent of the social media experience in blogs. I agree! When you think of what makes an update or conversation especially attention-worthy in Facebook, it helps clarify what makes a good blog. You can find articles anywhere online, but blogs are a different form of media.

Sara and Alfred, yes, it took me a long time to kick the academic-speak habit. Part of what I like about blogging is that I can be even more conversational than in most of the articles I write. (Sara, don't you love the free istockphoto images? This one helped me generate the topic for this post.)

Alfred, yes I read Problogger. Another excellent one is Copyblogger.

Salina Lyn said...

Can anyone possibly explain what it is that those care-free workout girls are supposedly doing in that picture? :)

Amanda Vogel said...


I think they are miming as if they were sawing, one arm then the other, but with dumbbells instead of an actual saw.

Air-sawing...sort of like air-guitar but way less cool. :)