Why We Blog – The Art of Attention-Whoring

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Lately I’ve been thinking about why people, including myself, post things on the Internet. Sometimes it’s very obvious to me, and I intuitively know why I do it without resorting to explanations. Other time I have a hard time coming up with an answer to that question. In this post I will tell you a little more about why I blog, and hope that you share your own opinions and motivations. Also, if you found the title offensive, it was on purpose. I want to get an emotional response on this subject to encourage you to post a thought or comment.

Screaming for attention is a bad thing

Attention whores are bad right? I don’t want to be such a shallow person that I need to scream for the acknowledgment from random people on the Internet. People who are really eager to get my attention don’t sit very well with me for many reasons. I was more than a little unsettled when I came upon the possibility that I have become the very thing I dislike!

Is blogging nothing more than attention-whoring?

In a blog you create content of your choice and then you publish it on the Internet for everyone to see. Now we could clearly produce the content and be done with it. Maybe share it with friends and family,  hope to hear their opinion but we go up to the Internet and show it to the entire world! This leaves me with the feeling that we are seeking attention from as many people as possible. So I came to the conclusion that as bloggers, we want some sort of acknowledgement that we exist! We want people to look at our content, for them to comment, for them to praise us. As a my dear friend Chag put it when I went to him with concerns that I was being nothing more than an attention-whore:

Let me tell you something:
blogging
IS
attention-whoring

Blogging is MORE than attention-whoring

But of course, there’s more to it than that! At least I want to believe so if I want to keep a bit of my dignity. After I calmed down a bit I started thinking about all the reasons why I blog and after a lot of deliberation I came up with a simple awnser:

We blog because we love what we’re blogging about! I love anime, I love games, I love photography, I love making silly comics.  There’s so much love that that is swells up within my chest and I want to scream it with the world! And I want the world to scream back. “I love that too!”.

A more concrete answer

I’m satisfied with my answer. However there’s even more to it than such a fluffy and vague reason. There’s also concrete and tangible reasons that back up that idealistic vision. Here are mine:

Take photos

I like photography. I’ve liked it for a long time now. I started to blog because I wanted to get better at taking photos and I wanted to do something with the photos I shot. I really wasn’t thinking of any other reasons to blog. I just wanted to take more photos and figures made the perfect subjects since I like the origins of them to begin with.

Share your opinions and hear other’s

I want to hear what people say about something I like or something or dislike. I want to find people that agree and disagree with what I have to say. I don’t know why I want this, it’s probably some sort of human nature thing I don’t really get. I know that when I go to the Internet I seek this sort of thing, and with a blog I get to meet a lot of people that have something to say about the things I’m interested in. Which leads directly to…

Meet new people with similar interests

When I fist started blogging I wanted to force myself to talk to people. It’s not that I’m not good at making friends but I tend to just not bother. I wanted to remedy this but I found it hard to find people that I could relate to. Even among those people who watch anime I find it hard to relate. Maybe it’s the differences in opinions, tastes or age that make it hard. Whatever the reason, I found it hard to meet people who I could talk to about the things I like. While blogging I found people that I tend to like more often than not. Even now I keep meeting new people that are interesting. In a way, blogging opened the doors to social media for me. I find myself using twitter a lot more nowadays because I want to know more about what’s happening with these people I met.

To spread the word of stuff I like

I like unpopular stuff. No wait let me rephrase that. I like stuff that is really popular in Japan but not so much in the west. Why Precure and Touhou are kinda scarce over here is beyond me. I also like Milky Holmes, which is not as popular in Japan but in comparison the fandom here is nonexistant. I like all sorts of stuff that people don’t watch or read.  I want to let people know just how awesome Precure can be. How stupid and entretaining Milky Holmes is. I want to spread the word of all this stuff I like to hopefully make more people love the stuff I love.

Acknowledgement

Perhaps I DO want people’s attention and want to be Internet famous and have a lot of people worship me. Hell maybe make a million bucks while I’m at it. I think I’ve come to accept that I really do want some sort of attention from people as everyone does. Hell just look at my title, I intentionally made it so that it would get people’s attention. Attention is not a bad thing in itself. I just seem to have had a bad image of it. And can you blame me? There’s some really messed up crap out there on the Internet.

I’m sure there’s a lot of reasons I haven’t touched, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve shared. There’s also a lot of reasons that I don’t have that you might have for blogging and I would love to hear so. And finnaly I hope the tittle didn’t piss you off too much, since I essentially called all bloggers attention-whores hahha.

 

And you? Why do you blog? I would really like to hear so. Therefore I would like to extend an invitation to all willing bloggers to write an entry sharing a little about why you blog. If an actual post is asking too much a comment will do too! I’m just curious to see what motivates other people to blog.

 

Since I still want to meet new people and make friends with them. Here’s my twitter. I’m also on My Figure Collection, Deviantart, and Flickr.

While you’re at it, subscribe to the RSS so you can get the new posts easily.

One last thing I’ll ask of you, pop in a comment right bellow here. Even if you’’re new to this site or new commenting, It’s fine I want to meet you!

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34 Comments

  1. Really interesting post, though i can only agree to some extent on the whole attention whoring thing.
    It is true that a lot of people will blog, tweet, whatever with the sole purpose to get people to look at their product, content, whatever to get attention, affection, profit etc

    On the other hand as you say, i think that some people push their content out there simply to connect with others with the same interests, share their thoughts and just discuss with people who have similar things in common.
    The lines between these two things might get blurred at times but only the person doing it will know which one they are.

    Personally i blog (on and off anyway lol) because I love to take pictures, doodle, animate with stop motion and recently craft things as well. I choose to blog about these because i obviously enjoy them and having a place where i can put all of these things is nice as well.
    Through blogging i have also met some great people including you and Miette who share similar interests and also have some amazing posts as well c:

    • I don’t think I can separate them clearly with a line as you said, at least not in my case. I want to create content that I’m happy with and I also want to show a lot of people what I make. I really want both. However in my defense, whenever I do a post, views and comment numbers are not my main concern, but actually taking the pictures or writing the script or whatever I’m doing.

      I’ve noticed the pictures, you always have something interesting to photograph, and the resulting animated gifs have been funny too. Only recently I’ve noticed your paper-children (very cute btw) and the crafting.

      Haha thanks for calling them amazing. I’m glad I’ve met you too Tombo!

  2. Blogging is always a bit self-serving, in some cases more in somes cases less.

    I don’t like too self centered blogs, where someone throws every little or really private details of his life right into your face. It’s good to know more about the blogger, but there are limits in my opinion.

    Im some kind of an attention whore, not by talking about myself, I would never do a private post with many details about me. But I like to present my photography and being praised for it (haha you forced me to admit it) ^-^

    Well, but I can also state that I want to offer an opinion and detailed figure reviews to buyers who are not sure about purchasing a certain figure.

    I started blogging because of boredom in the afternoon and because I thought that it would be a good way to polish my english a bit. At the beginning I expected next to zero feedback, but it turned out better than I ever expected.

    Im happy that I met so many cool and friendly people because of blogging (you and Miette included ^^)

    • I think I know what you mean, though I’ve yet to see a blog that’s right in your face. When I think of attention-whores I tend to think Youtube hahaha.

      Hahaha I see nothing wrong with wanting praise for something you worked hard at. Here have some:

      I love your pictures by the way. You always put a lot of effort into getting the right setting for the figure, and take really nice shots.

      I also like telling people about certain figures, usually the less known ones. I’m sure everyone knows everything there is to know about the next BRS figure, but not so much about a random Touhou figure. I want to let people know that they exist!

      Hmm never thought of blogging to get better at a language. Maybe I should blog something in Japanese! Hahaha I don’t think I’d make much sense to anyone.

      I’m happy I met you too Fab, you’re a great guy!

  3. If blogging is attention-whoring, than so is every conversation ever, every act of creation, anything that anyone does that could possibly be noticed by or effect someone else. Or essentially, living.

    I suppose the only solution would be to simultaneaously kill everyone. That’s quite a handy solution to a number of problems, you know!

    • Haha, I get I get. Perhaps I was a bit over-dramatic with the whole attention-whore thing.

      But by simultaneously killing everyone you’re still being an attention whore because you’re getting everyone’s attention by killing them! If anything that would make you the greatest attention whore of all, just instants before your glorious death bathed by everyone’s attention. This kind of reminds me of the end of Evangelion.

      • I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it’s not really anything worth worrying about. After all, you’re just a guy with a blog and not something like Danny Choo or the Bane of /toy/ that is ‘Jin Saotome’. Also, I kinda don’t like broad, extremist arguments like the one Chag made to you.

        But that’s why it’s simultaneous! And also instantaneous. Then everyone would die without realizing and thus also not know who did it!

        • Hahaha. Yeah I always tend to worry about everything, makes things more fun/agonizing.

          hmm if it’s instantaneous then I guess it would work. But YOU would know, but that’s more vouyeurism than attention-whoring.

  4. I think my blogging is more of reaching out to others, as I’m quite anti-social in real life. Some of it is indeed for attention, but I do it because I enjoy things and I like to share them with others and hopefully find that they also enjoy them. Maybe even make friends. Maybe it’s just to prove to myself that I can do things. I don’t really think about why I do it much, just whether or not I want to continue doing it. I enjoy sharing things and reading and viewing things other have to share, expanding my social network as well as my knowledge and simultaneously entertaining myself. I do love attention though.

    • When I first started out I really put no thought into why I wanted to blog, I just did so. I think blogging, like any kind of communication, is something that we intuitively know how to do. It’s not until I started to analyze why I did it that I started thinking I could be only seeking attention.

      It’s kind of like if someone tells you you’re manually breathing. You normally don’t put any thought into breathing, but if they point it out it you suddenly forget how to normally breath. Hahaha maybe I’m going out on a limb here.

      Anyway I think meeting new people is the greatest product of blogging in my opinion. It’s great to find people I can talk with about what I want to talk to. Usually people aren’t that interested in Anime and stuff haha. And attention is great! I don’t think I’ve meet anyone who doesn’t want some.

  5. Interesting post!

    Personally, I think a blog as a tool for attention whoring might be a bit narrow in some cases. To me, it’s a form of expression and it’s a product that is born from something you love to do. It’s just like an author writing books, musicians making music, programmers writing apps. Sure, there’s a desire to get attention by sharing these products with others but these products can be very personal and the motivation to put effort into creating can stem from many different things.

    Many of us figure bloggers have started blogs and started with a fair amount of articles with barely any hits, no comments, no recognition (well, at least me, ehehe). Yet we still cranked out posts because it was fun and we loved playing with our toys and documenting it. Then Zai and I got attached to our blog. We wanted to write better reviews, take better pictures, make the blog look better. And when people started commenting and praising our pictures and reviews, that was like a confirmation that we were doing something of interest, something worthy. A bit surprising too. And we got to meet lots of cool people because of it as well!

    That’s not to say I’m immune to attention-whoring. It definitely makes my day if I get a POTD on MFC. I’ll eagerly check my inbox after writing a review to see what new comments appear and we try to keep content relevant and tailored somewhat to our readers. We’ll put a bit of effort into SEO for our reviews so that they rank high in Google searches. We’re proud of the effort that we put into our product/blog-thing, why not advertise it a little?

    • In the end I don’t think it’s mainly for attention really. I just had a philosophical moment there for a second. I did think about it being a form of expressionism when was thinking about the reasons I blog, and I think I agree with you in that respect.

      Getting acknowledgement for what you do is a very powerful thing. If someone says “hey you’re doing a good job” you want to continue doing it. In a sense the comments I get on whatever silly comic I do are very encouraging and make me want to make more.

      I don’t know if I could classify wanting to get POTD or comments as attention-whoring though. Sure you’re looking for attention but I think it’s in a healthy way.

  6. Well this is going to be a long one… Hope you don’t mind.

    I started into the hobby when I was in junior high, around ’96. Back then I’m not into action figures, but Gundam Model Kits or Plamos. Back then we don’t have the luxury of tweets, mfc or anything else online for that matter so I started the hobby alone then developed a community of plamo lovers.

    Around 2000 my father passed away the moment i graduated from highschool, and coupled with the problems and issues of getting into college (which i took abroad) my plamos are left there, sitting unattended to.

    My father said, “Your hobby is yours alone” So yeah even from the beginning i took care of it personally from saving for a display case to regularly cleaning it on a two day period. But the problems of college abroad means dorms, and i can’t bring them to my dorm abroad. So after time it gets less and less attended and cared for.

    I decided to give them away to friends and relatives that i know would love and take care of them. Why not sell them? I don’t have the heart to sell them then finds out it’s neglected or uncared for. That’s how much i love my hobby.

    By 2002 all my plamos are gone. I concentrated on college, graduated and so forth. By February 2006 I started my own diner back near my home and on August 2007 i got married. Things went and go, hectic things, like a lovely baby girl and a new house etc.

    On July 2011, While i was doing pc hardware reviews a friend said…
    “Why not get a figure to play as a ‘co-host’?”
    Being an anime and figure lover i thought, sure, why not. My wife’s on the same side too considering that she also loves anime. So i got my first figma… Dead Master

    Now, with a settled family, a source of income and a supporting wife i continued down the path of this hobby but now not with plamos but with articulated figures.

    The thing is… i was alone… no really i WAS alone. All my previous collector pals have either “retired” or “simply gone”. I was worried that my hobby might die this way, the reason my hobby was alive back then was because i have a community. I was confused, then my wife told me something.

    “Go online, hun. You’re never alone out there, there’s gotta be somebody who share that love of yours” so i went online and the first stop was MFC. By the name of Yamadipati and that’s where the idea of a blog came.

    It wasn’t a wrong move, with new friends online and a few offline. I’m pretty damn sure this time it’ll last to my grave…

    ps:
    http://i1142.photobucket.com/albums/n602/pascalismaria/MARRYINGWOMAN.jpg

    • You’ve had an interesting run with figures and plamos, thanks for sharing your story. I think I can relate a little.

      I think a lot of people are very interested in this kind of hobby when they are young, but as time goes on they tend to lose interest in it for some reason I don’t know. Some of my old high school friends that watched a lot of anime don’t really do so that much anymore.

      I think online holds a lot of potential for meeting people with similar interests. There might not be many figure collectors or anime watchers that are my age here where I live, but in the short time I’ve spent blogging I’ve meet all sorts of wonderful and Interesting people!

      Hahaha that’s a funny comic. I’ll be sure to remember that whenever I’m meeting a girl..

      • Actually that comic was a spur of the moment i made because of my wife’s monthly “issues”…

        she started going like that at me and literally yelling for a saber dollfie…

        no, i have none to spare at the time and ended up eating all her verbal attacks…

        though afterwards she does become her usual geeky self. trying to formulate my figures into something to make a comic of

  7. I agree with you, we are all writing to get attention/get read! Otherwise we would not make the blog public in the first place or not?! :)

    on the other side it’s also a nice way to spend some time without thinking too much, or well these two are my reasons after all…:P

    • Hahaha yeah, I’m really glad when people comment on whatever I do. I guess it sorta makes me feel good about whatever I’m doing, and I want to continue doing it.

      Yeah, that’s probably the best way to go about it. I’d probably live a happier life if i did hahaha.

  8. I can’t even remember whether it was Luth’s idea or mine to start our blog. We were both really new to the figure scene at the time and the only people we knew who were into it were.. well, each other!

    Anyway, for me I think it I started mostly because I really liked talking about and taking photos of figures. I still get a little bit too excited over them even now, haha. It was also me trying to reach out to other people with similar interests by throwing myself (well, my interests) out there which I guess is some sort of attention whoring. It worked though! I’ve met some awesome people like you guys! I really hope I can continue to connect and meet with interesting people through blogging.

    One other thing is that it helps me appreciate my figures just that bit extra after scrutinizing a lot more closely than I otherwise would. I always find myself liking the figures I review over the ones Luth reviews a little bit more, lol.

    I enjoyed your post a lot, I hope you’ll post more like it in the future!

    • It’s really great that you can still get excited over them. One of my greatest fears is that I’ll end up getting bored of games, anime and figures and forget about them. It’s yet to happen though! Still love to do that sort of stuff a lot!

      The biggest thing I’ve gotten from all this blogging business is meeting awesome people haha. I’m glad I met you and Luth!

      I completely understand the liking figures more once you scrutinize it! I liked my Fate and Marisa figures once I got them, but after taking photos of them and looking at them for so long I really started to like them a lot!

      Thanks! It’s great that it’s getting positive response, I was sure I would get people angry or something. As for making more posts like this… maybe? Hahaha, I do have a couple other topics that I could discuss but if I do it I’ll do it a bit more spread out. This type of post is hard! I actually have to think and stuff!

  9. Attention-whoring XD

    Well, for some people like myself, I do not do it for the attention aspect, rather than I do it for the “Wonder what this person thinks of this” aspect. Yeah, blogging is somewhat can be for needing attention, but really depends on the individual in question. Some people I know that join communities or Ani-blog do it because they have very few people they can speak about it with irl without misunderstand it. Really would not call that attention whoring, but for some it is in way.

    Even though I do have a few friends and a girlfriend I can speak to about Anime and such due to the same interest, sometimes it is just fun to speak to other people you normally wouldn’t. I am sort of the neglecting the primary reason I decided to start my site, but it is all in good fun, which is something I rarely have these days.

    • Hahaha, I wanted to use a strong term to, well, get people’s attention. How ironic..

      I think I’ve come to realize that I’m probably in that sort of situation. I want to talk about the things I like but In my day to day life there’s only a handful of people I can talk to. But on the Internet there’s endless possibilities.

      Don’t forget about fun! We’re blog because we love what we blog about. If we forget to enjoy the very things that are there for our enjoyment, then I think it’s a little sad.

  10. Yes, I blog for attention, that’s a fact. I also do it for other reasons too, including finding people with the same interests, killing time, and making a million dollars (ok, maybe not the last one).

    I’ll see if I can get around to writing a post sometime this week.

    • Haha, It’s kind of refreshing to hear it so straightforwardly. Attention seeking shouldn’t be something we hide really. It’s only when it’s in excess that it becomes a problem.

      It’d be very interesting if you wrote a post about it. I was a little reluctant to actually ask people to write a whole post but decided to try it anyway. Thanks for considering it!

  11. People are social animals and they are also creative animals. These tendencies manifest themselves in different ways, and blogging is one way to do that.

    I believe the creative process has an universal appeal to some degree. As a species, we do more than what’s required for the propagation of our numbers. Even in the prehistoric days, our cavemen ancestors scrawled out drawings on rocks when they could’ve been throwing spears at animals or looking for fruits that would not kill them when ingested. The act of creation is pleasurable — don’t ask me why it is, but even before the comments pop up, I always get this elated feeling whenever I push the submit button on any of my posts.

    Since most people aren’t artists and may lack a outlet for their creativity in their everyday lives, blogging is one of those solutions. I blog because I like to create, be it photos, writing, and everything in-between. It’s by no means art or anything, but much like building model kits, I derive pleasure from putting stuff together — even if the process can be somewhat of a pain at times (I’m looking at you, Double H!).

    The social aspect of blogging is also very important to me. Just the other day I was talking with Hamstercorp about internet dating. I said that as silly as the concept seems, it’s probably the approach that makes the sense to me. I mean, where else am I going to find a woman to stick my penis into? A bar? Oh God, I can just imagine…

    “Sup baby, who’s your Idolm@ster girl?”

    But in all seriousness, we are the internet generation, and we stand at the frontier where the entire world is at our fingertips. Through it we now have an exponentially larger pool of interests to explore than that of our parents’ generation. With it, we also gain access to a communities of like-minded individuals, no matter how obscure our interests are. Sometimes I liken to myself to a fisherman, casting my line with every post I poop out, hoping for someone to bite. It ain’t easy finding someone who’s a big anime fan whom I don’t find obnoxious, let alone someone crazy enough to dump thousands of dollars on TOYS/DOLLS/CREEPY WANK-OFF FIGURES, yet through the vast reaches of the internet I’ve had the fortune to bump into many of you classy people.

    When you combined the social and creative aspects of blogging, the two sides compound onto one another. When I went to an open mic night at a local bar this one time, I was instantly reminded of our little blogging circle. Like the singers, we inspire and encourage one another to create more of what we do — just like how Ash has inspired me to do outdoor figure photography and Hamster got me thinking about figure image macros. Being a part of our little “community” also gives a sense of belonging, even if we are all thousands of miles apart geographically. It also adds a bit of meaning towards what we do, be it wanting to entertain or amaze our readers or giving a pat on the back of our friends in the form of a tweet, comment or whatever.

    So yeah, we are pretty much posting crap on the internet, spreading it around hoping desperately for someone to notice and interact with us in some way. Hell, I’d be lying if I don’t pop a mini-boner every time I see a comment notification in my e-mail. But still, I would argue that as far as attention-whoring goes, we are pretty damn good about it. Instead of spamming with the tact of a screaming five-year-old child in the middle of a toy store, we try to make what we think other people will appreciate. We try to quench our innate thirst to create and seek companionship, which is only human. And as fellow bloggers, we scratch each others back even though we’d rather be jerking off sometimes. Aren’t we a nice and civil bunch?

    Anyways, I’m sure there’s a lot more to why I blog, but I’m pretty sure I’d have an aneurysm if I went deeper. So yeah, keep whoring for that attention! As long as you don’t start stripping in front of a live audience, you’re amongst friends. =)

    • I see you’re putting that English degree to good use. Almost did a TL;DR there.

      I’ll agree that we are the Internet generation. Even if all I see of you guys is just some text, pretty pictures, and a little avatar, I feel a certain sense of closeness with all the blogging buddies. Where else am I gonna go complain that people don’t watch my favorite animu? Even if we’re the Internet generation, I don’t think you’ll be able to pick up chicks through your blog :p.

      I think it was a great decision for me to start blogging. I’ve taken so many photos, made so many silly comics, spent a bunch of cash, had a lot of fun, and made a lot of wonderful friends.

      It’s good to have you as a friend Chag.

      • RESPECT MAH HIGHER LEARNING. 4 years and and $28,000 later I am a master of blog commenting. My parents must be so proud!

        Hey man, you never know — my friend is going out with a dude in San Fran who she got to know through his ANIME BLOG. Contrary to popular belief, weeaboo bloggers get ALL the bitches. I’m going to speak at an anime blogging panel in May. I fully expect cock-hungry groupies by the end of the hours. BELIEVE IT.

        Also, <3 <3 <3

  12. man your blog post really made me think about stuff abit. Will probably do a post about it as soon as I sort my thoughts out and list them down. Really thought provoking and appreciate you doing it. Love all the Touhou pics by the way. =)

    cheers mate!

    • I’m flattered that I was able to make someone consider my words closely. But don’t let it affect you too much!

      I enjoyed writing it and I got a lot of things off my chest.

      Haha, I got all the pics from gelbooru.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  13. From all I’ve read, damn, I couldn’t contribute anymore. THEY’VE SAID WHAT I’LL SAY. *sighs*

    We are all attention-whores… we aren’t just aware of it… xD

    Noticing something, I love how the Touhou wallpapers contribute to the attention-whore topic. It too is an attention-whore. Really. *smiles*

    • Hahaha that happens to me a lot! Dammit people thinking the same thing I do, lol!

      We all have a need for attention, we’re human beings after all.

      Hahaha, well I wanted to put at Touhou girl that’s an attention whore, but I don’t think any of them fit well. So I just put something close to it.

  14. I have to say this entry got my attention hahaha

    Imo nothing is wrong with getting people’s attention as long as its for an ok reason.

    To me its more of a hobby of mine to take photos and write. So i get to practice both at the same time. It also became a catalyst that compelled me to look for others who had the same interests as i did on an international scale. It sometimes becomes an avenue for me to market things like Blazblue or events in an attempt to see who is into them as well. Basically its an outlet for me to create and to share as well.

    Sadly I could hardly keep up my once a week blogging habit due to work nowadays XD

    • Haha yeah. Getting attention for the right reasons is something I can agree with.

      Hmm yeah, I never thought about making international friends, it just sorta happened. Hell not that many people I know in the blogsphear are from the same country I live haha!

      Keep marketing that BlazBlue, very awesome game!

  15. Totally agreed! I’d like to think some blogging isn’t attention whoring. We do it to inflate our egos for sure, but more to get acknowledged, not just for attention. Attention without that acknowledgement, and without sharing is pretty empty.

    Anyway, great meta post. ^ ^

    • Yeah. I find myself anticipating the comments I’ll get for the post I did. Whether it’s funny comments or comments from my friends or disinterested comments, I want to get a reaction from people.

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