Does Paris Blog?

Please read Rob7534‘s very interesting post about why French people blog so much compared to our European neighbors and what kinds of blogs we usually write on this side of the Ocean compared to our English-speaking couterparts. Rob’s post reminded me of the little event I attended recently. Here it goes.

In late June, I attended my first blog reunion in Paris. What I thought would be some kind of trade fair about blogging, exchanging ideas, looking at new fancy tools to download videos and improve sound (and Lord knows I need it), was in fact just a get together for Parisian bloggers, who all know each-other, have communicated with each-other for years and have absolutely no interest in getting to know any new comer. Well, I must admit that I didn’t have any interest in getting to know any of them either as one quickly gets a complex when one overhears in the background two people say something like that: Oh I was contacted by 3 publishers who want me to write a book out of my blog!
Yes, me too. It’s just that they often offer lousy financial compensation. I usually say no to them
Or:
My stats dropped from 17.000 readers per day to 15.000 last month. I’ve just been really busy at work lately and can’t post more than 3 entries per day.

If you go and visit the sites of the people who were present at the get-together, most of them blog about blogging. I’m not complaining, they all seem to be very professional and master technology like I never will, but their blogs are simply not interesting to me.

The reason I like blogging is simply to get to know other people’s daily lives, concerns, rants, love affairs, what they had for dinner and how they cooked itn whom they slept with and whom they hate today. I’m not too much into blogs that pretend to be a new version of bbc.com or cnn.com, i.e blogs that will give their version of world news and secretly hope that their blog will be your only link to the outside world.

While everyone was chatting, taking pictures of one-another, filming every conversation with their handy and most advanced little cameras, I stayed in my little end of the bar and sipped on the free Champagne and munched on the free snacks generously offered by the Internet operator that hosted the event.

During this little event, I realized that I’m totally disconnected with the Parisian French-speaking blog world. Firstly because I never visit French speaking blogs and secondly because my blog is a totally different ball-game, the game where I play fussball at a cheap diner while the big boys play the World cup in Germany. I have no idea who’s who and my new friend (the only person I talked to during the whole evening) was amazed to hear that I didn’t even know about this guy, who isone of the most read blogs in France with several thousands daily readers.

Another generalization my new friend and I came up with while observing the crowd (200 bloggers): Parisian Bloggers are geeks dressed in Armani suits, who all work in IT or Marketing, Young Urban Professional kind of style and most of them blog at work, as it is part of their job. Many earn money through their site, by hosting adverts or receiving donations and quite a few seem to have their blog as their sole source of income.

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Me who naively thought that blogging was a hobby and a way to get to know other fun people around the world, I soon realized the financial objectives that many have and the lack of personality that most blogs have. By lack of personality, I mean, a blog in which you don’t necessarily get to know the person who writes it, a blog where the person’s life is not the main focus of the site. It feels more like reading a very professional and technically advanced company website or a written petition against this or that political decision.

And yes, I’m a little bit jealous of their command of the various tools. And yes, I’d like to be able to publish such nice videos as they do plus get hundreds of comments every day. But that’s all in theory because I know how freaked out I’d be if too many people read my blog and commented on it and asked me all sorts of questions etc… I can’t even find the time to comment on the comments that are left to me, so imagine. But I know what you’re thinking: Honey, don’t worry, this is not going to happen. You’ll never get that many readers. Your life is not THAT interesting.

Buggers, all of you…

I’m glad such blogs exist though but they’re simply not my kind of blogs, i.e the kind I enjoy reading. I prefer reading about the fate of my desperate expat-housewives, the nightly escapades of my gay fellows and the crazy recordings of my ex-prison inmates. That’s more my kind of blogging.

So the question was: Does Paris blog? Oh it does, more than ever. France is apparently the country in Europe with the highest amount of bloggers. Some say it’s because the French love to write and written expression is valued in this Country. I say it’s because we’re all completely self-absorbed and have such a hard-time communicating “live” that we prefer talking to ourselves (I mean to each-other) virtually.

Next year, I’m not going back.

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12 Responses

  1. Thank god for Mickelino, the real frog with a real blog.
    i love reading about the rants and about the pants of other people. that is all the fun of blogging. and god forbid someone tells me to stop ranting. i also have a small circle of daily reads and i plan to keep it that way.
    question: do i fit under the category of “desperate expat-housewives”? because i am one.

  2. Ditto Nyasha!!! (thunderous applause/shouting Mickelino, Frog, Mickelino Frog) Now, that to me, is worth reading.It’s real commentary on real people on real stuff. Not the mamsy pamsy, look what I can do, that engages not only French bloggers but all the high profile blogs. Most of them are political in nature, not so much over my head but over my head. Give me head till I’m dead, Fred!!I love my Frog just the way he is and the rest of them can suck a croissant!

  3. Nyasha, I think he was refering to you, not the expat but surely the ex-inmate, right?tehe!

  4. Well said, Micke! You have more creativity in your little finger than most of these people. And are a hell of a lot more fun in real life too.

  5. I knew you went to the blogging party for Parisan Bloggers, but I didn’t realize it was mostly a drag for ya.

    But I love your explanation, I love your blog Micke, and love your sense of humor. You do fantastic work, and just like you, I hope I never get too many readers either! Because then I may start censoring myself.

  6. Hey Babs, what happened to your blog? It’s gone all weird on me!
    i could not even come close to telling stories like you do. Ex-inmate material is always nice and juicy! Hahaha!

  7. Nyasha, Frog, I was burgled!I have to start over completely.

  8. this is what Site Meter has to say: “Unfortunately, WordPress.com does not allow you to add the javascript version of Site Meter to your pages. That means you won’t be able to track the original URL from which your visitors came before linking to your site. Other things that Site Meter won’t be able to track about your visitors include timezones, keywords, search engines used, screen resolution, screen depth or javascript version”.
    donc pas de chance…

  9. Hi Mickelino le plus beau,
    I just don’t believe it, what do you mean?
    if I go to Paris blog? next year , i’ll have nobody to talk to ?
    and I will be alone among web sharks ?
    I think I’m gonna cry, please Micke help Bloingo

    I apologize for my english, i am pink and yellow, nobody’s perfect:-)

  10. Great post!

    It’s not the quantity of visitors that counts, it’s the quality. Ahem.

  11. Great post. I never thought of blogging for money. Not many people read my blog for free as it is, so who would pay to read my ramblings? Mine is more of a diary/journal, a bit of fun just keep me out of trouble.

  12. i heart you! sometime when i get back to paris we can have our own “keepin’ it real” blog party! :)–>

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