So something has been bothering me since yesterday. While reading a post by one of the people I follow on twitter I was pretty much shocked when I learned that apparently people take you seriously depending on where you blog is.The person in question had a rather nice blog entry informing readers on changes that should be made in order to make a blog more popular and accessible. Unfortunately, while the remainder of the content was helpful, the very first point he stated was extremely disappointing.
What he said was that you need to "Go Self Hosted". So basically have your own blog with your own domain name rather than using say Blogspot. Now, normally I would be okay with that since you can do a whole lot more with lesser restrictions when you have your own domain, but what really upset me was when he stated "I don’t know about other blogging communities, but in this one, you really aren’t going to get much respect till you go that way...". The "blogging community" he is referring to is with regards to the Travel Blogging Community.
So is this what we have come down to now? I mean we live in a world where everyday people are fighting for their rights and fighting so that we do not discriminate based on race, location, or color of the skin. Now apparently your blog web address also matters in you getting respect. So will it be okay if I, who has no interest in making money off my blog, starts to take people less seriously who do. I mean I may state that since they are in to make money off their blog, they are not really bloggers, but it's more of a business for them. That their whole philosophy of travel is sad since they probably travel thinking what to blog and get traffic so they can earn from the blog. Or worse, what if the blog is not written from the heart, but keeping in mind the readers and thus the advertisers. Although personally I am all for it. If you can make money out of something you love, then go for it, because that is so the right thing to do.
Moving forward, I get the point that if you were focused on making money you have a self hosted site. Maybe it gives you more credibility, not respect, but credibility just like having your own business email address compared to say a Yahoo or a Gmail. But to me, if you feel that society will respect you or judge you not on the content of your blog, but on the fact that you have blogspot somewhere in your blog address, then you have lost any respect that you had in the first place.
If the above stated comment is true and we are being judged then the "travel community" is a whole lot different in their mindset to the "movie community" which I am a part of as well. I started interacting with @reviwer about movies initially on twitter and shortly afterwards with @love_cinema. @reviwer has always had a self hosted website (which I recommend), but never till date in having conversations with him have I felt that I was not taken seriously. I think he gave me the same amount of respect as I did to him. @love_cinema who also writes on blogspot has an awesome following and reading her interactions on twitter, again no one, be it a self hosted blogger or not have ever judged her or anyone. It was wonderful initial interactions with these two that led me to be more active on twitter and I can proudly say that of the120 odd followers I have, 100 are unknown but mentally stimulating people with whom I love to interact about different topics. Each and every member of the "movie community" has pretty strong opinions and things do get heated when we talk about movies, but never ever have I come across anyone who has judged me or my blog based on its address. So if the whole "movie community" can look past the address of my blog and focus on its content, why is so hard for any other community to do the same.
I will not generalize based on the comments of a few people, but it is my humble request to anyone in any community, please do not discriminate based on something simple like a web address. The last thing we want is for people to suggest that just because they travel with a backpack roughing it out, they are the "real" travelers and not someone who might travel with LV Luggage (I don't, but would love to afford one ;-). Whatever the case may be in real life, I feel it is on to us to look past these small things and look at the big picture. If people are discriminating based on web addresses, then it is up to us to change that.
One thing positive did come out of this interaction. I have decided that no matter what I will not leave Blogspot. It is not about the money and never was, rather I feel if I can afford to travel I can afford to pay for a self-hosted site. It's about ethics. Also, now it has become important for me to not change or move because I am expected to. I strongly believe that over time, if my blog posts are good enough, people will read them no matter my blog address. So please please please... judge me, but judge me on my posts, on my experiences, on what I write, but don't judge me just because I have Blogspot in my blog address.
Comments, Suggestions, Opinions are always welcomed and appreciated.