The Great Blogger Hoax

By: | February 26, 2015 | Tags: , , ,
Are bloggers competitive?

Is blogging a competition?

Bloggers often write me thanking me for the blogging information that I share.  Some of the advice I give comes from articles.  One article explained it is okay to share as much information as I want in my posts since bloggers are no longer competitive.

Bloggers are no longer competitive?  Were they ever?

Medieval European author Thomas Hobbes in his Of the Natural Condition of Mankind explained that he felt people were continually jealous.  He wrote, every man is at war with every man.  Does that hold true for bloggers?

Even Charles Darwin is famous for his theory of survival of the fittest–the most competitive among us stand the best chance for success.  Again I ask, does this apply to bloggers?

Could Hobbes and Darwin, two of the most famous men of their time, be wrong?

I maintain that they absolutely are.  Many months ago, before I even heard of what I am now calling The Great Blogger Hoax, that bloggers are competitive with each other, I wrote a post about how helpful other bloggers have been.  In What No One Tells You About… Blogging, I elaborated on the many bloggers that have been helpful to me.

Not only are other bloggers not competitive, they are so cooperative, they actually hold events to help other bloggers.  Events such as Linky parties (even I hold one every week) and blogger Meet and Greets are two examples.  Jason Cushman of the Harsh Reality blog and Don Charisma are two “power bloggers” that hold those events.  I know Jason Cushman alone has over 50,000 followers.  He holds his events purely to help other bloggers.

Lysa Wilds of the Welcome to my Circus blog hosts a guest blogger series as do many others in order to give bloggers exposure.  She then feverishly promotes the post.  She actually wrote on her blog after I guest posted for her that people should go to my site and follow my blog.  After Jason Cushman reblogged my Expert Round Up Interview, he actually turned off comments on his site and told his readers to come to my site, so I could get the traffic.  Benjamin from Human Interest, knowing I am still an up and coming blogger, routinely reblogs my work as does WysJoyful Company and many others, even my Linky parties.

Since then, I discovered not just cooperative people helping me along the way, but cooperative groups.  WordPress holds classes for bloggers, and bloggers hold conferences in order to help other bloggers.  I described how valuable the one held by Melissa Reyes was in my posts How Bloggers Can Focus and 6 Ways Bloggers Can Stay Focused.

Since then, the best example I can give of cooperative bloggers is my recent interview of 19 strangers and virtual strangers, How to Be A Successful Blogger: 19 Experts Share Their Secrets.   Authors and bloggers, already a success in the field, agreed to help me for the sole purpose of helping a fellow writer and blogger.  If that doesn’t convince Mr. Hobbes and Mr. Darwin, and anyone else who still has doubt, bloggers are definitely cooperative and not competitive.

There’s a line from the song There’s A Fine, Fine Line from the musical Avenue Q that reads, There’s a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got.  In answer to the question posed in the graphic above, what I got was a blogosphere of helpful, cooperative bloggers.

I will answer the questions I posed at the beginning.  Mr. Darwin’s and Mr. Hobbes’s theories do not apply to bloggers.  To say they apply to “every man,” to quote Mr. Hobbes, is nothing but a hoax, in this case, The Great Blogger Hoax.

Readers, if you think others will enjoy reading The Great Blogger Hoax, please share.

What do you think readers–are bloggers competitive or cooperative?  Why?  I look forward to reading about your experiences.  However, if you don’t feel comfortable commenting, please take my anonymous poll.

[polldaddy poll=8683506]

  1. Lysa | at 7:53 am

    Oh my gosh Janice… Thank you so very much for your kind words. You truly touched my heart! I am totally speechless right now! I came over to read your post as I normally do and was so surprised to see my name that I had to read it several times to even comprehend what it said… lol

    I agree with you that bloggers are definitely NOT competitive, well at least the bloggers I have had the pleasure of “meeting.” When I first began blogging there were so many bloggers always there to lend a hand or answer a question for me and they are still there for me today.

    We aren’t really a community, I’d say more like a family, bloggers that is. We all look out for one another and if we can lend a hand or offer up services to our fellow bloggers we do. Maybe in other niches they are competitive but I sure haven’t seen it!

    Thank you again for the incredibly sweet words, they meant so very much to me!

    Wishing you a lovely day!

    Much love,

    Lysa xx

    • Janice Wald | at 7:14 pm

      Hi Lysa. I will write more later but I wanted you to know how much your comments meant to me since I don’t have a lot of family. You certainly have taken care of me this week just like any relative would.

      • Lysa | at 7:28 pm

        Awww thank you for the wonderful compliment Janice! Well, you technically are family now… The Sideshow’s Guest Blogger Family! 😉 I was raised that way, you take care of your own kind! It’s an Italian thing I suppose!

        Much love,

        Lysa xx

        • Janice Wald | at 10:45 pm

          What a nice thing to say. You said nice things on your site I mean to put on my Testimonial Page.
          I am so excited about the possibility of you being my next guest blogger.
          You are amazing the way you promoted my guest post and Expert Round Up post. I was blown away (do people still say that? =))
          I think you could do a great post on it.
          Janice

          • Lysa | at 10:57 pm

            lol Janice… I think people say that, I know I say it often! 😉 Like I said give me a few days to think about what I want to write and we’ll work out the details. And thank you for the compliment! I try to do my best! 😉

            Have a great Monday! Well, as great of a Monday as possible as Monday’s stink! 😛

            Much love,

            Lysa xx

  2. thistalkaintcheap | at 8:22 am

    Like any industry, there will always be people who are competitive and prefer not to share ideas and opportunities with other bloggers. Fortunately, there has been a change since I started blogging 7 years ago and bloggers are finally realizing that there are enough networks, opportunities, and conferences to suite everyone. Competition doesn’t drive us ahead… collaboration does.

  3. Kristen from The Road to Domestication | at 10:31 am

    I think it’s a mixed bag, really, I’ve seen some VERY competitive ones. And some who are happy to help others out! I hope I am one of the happy ones 🙂 Thanks for joining us at the #HomeMattersParty – we hope to see you again next week! Feel free to bring a friend with you 🙂 Happy Friday! #TGIF

  4. Rachel G | at 2:20 am

    I think bloggers in general tend to be very cooperative, though I knyow that any blogger doesn’t like to have their work reposted without citation–I think I’ve seen the most “competitiveness” arise in the blog world over issues of stolen writing or pictures. Though really, that’s not competitive, that’s just copyright law.

    • Janice Wald | at 10:25 pm

      Hi Rachel,
      That’s my daughter’s name, and she spells it like you do.
      I agree with what you wrote. I heard some photographer got a lawyer and sued a blogger who used his picture without permission. The poor man had to get a lawyer. Taking it down didn’t appease the photographer. What is the point, really? Competition? I’d forgotten about that. Overall, though, definitely cooperative. Thanks for writing and your interest in my post.
      Janice

  5. Jessica Denney | at 7:56 am

    Thanks so much for your post! I am a newbie blogger and just getting into the blogging community. There’s a huge learning curve and I’ve been so grateful for fellow bloggers help. Now if I can just figure out how to put active links in my posts and why I need a Twitter account, I’ll be in business:)

    • Janice Wald | at 10:16 pm

      Hi Jessica,
      First, Welcome! I don’t think we’ve interacted before. Next, I’d like to encourage you to follow my blog. I actually answer those questions in my blog posts. That’s what I do–I give blogging advice to new bloggers. People have written that I make the instructions understandable. I’m a teacher, so I guess that’s innate in me. Here’s the link. http://wp.me/P5jxvv-hM You’ll even get a free post just for following me, if you’re interested. What do you blog about?
      Janice

  6. Pam | at 9:15 am

    Most of the bloggers I know are not competitive, but I know a lot of very friendly bloggers I guess! One of the reasons I blog is because of the kindness of the people I have met and have gotten to know. I am stopping by from the SITS Sharefest today.

    • Janice Wald | at 10:07 pm

      Hi,
      I love that people coming from SITS tell me how they find me; otherwise, I wouldn’t know.
      I find interacting with amazingly kind people is an end product of blogging. For you, it is a cause, a motivation. Interesting. Thanks for coming over, reading what I wrote and writing me.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald | at 9:48 pm

      I need to go back into my post and check the poll. Last time I checked, there wasn’t much reaction. I’d heard bloggers love to take polls. Thanks for the reblog. I felt it was my first foray into psychology. If it’s psychology of bloggers, it still relates to my theme. Let me know if your readers think it’s cooperative, competition or a combination. Thanks so much for the reblog!!!
      Janice

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  8. The Ranting Monkey | at 3:42 pm

    Give my opinion of a discussion on the motivation of mankind? Is it my birthday?

    I think Darwin and Hobbes are right but I believe you are, as well.

    Darwin’s theory isn’t just that a single man will beat everyone else. Survival of the fittest doesn’t negate making yourself stronger through association. A successful blogger helping others is helping himself, too. Linking to a new blogger has positive results for the linker as well as the linkee. Building loyalty is essential to survival.

    Where Hobbes applies is in who and what gets linked. Bloggers link to other pieces they enjoy, whether it’s an opinion they share or prose in the style they enjoy. Few links go out to celebrate opposition to the writers own ideology or to stories they have no interest in regardless of how well written. You might find a link to opposite thinking in a post about why someone is wrong but not in any really flattering way.

    I’m reminded of an argument once had on the television show Friends. Joey makes the argument that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. He argues that people do good deeds to feel good themselves.

    Link parties, meet and greets, having a guest blogger, and linking to others to promote their work are all very nice things bloggers do for one another but no one is doing it as a chore. No one is saying, “Dammit, I have to help these people. Again!”

    You’re absolutely correct that bloggers can be cooperative and helpful. But there are benefits in it for them as well. Their good deeds don’t negate Darwin or Hobbes. Self preservation isn’t always about destroying someone else, although there are many examples of bloggers trying that approach. Say the wrong thing on a mommy blog and watch how fast the pack turns. A very good blogging friend of mine had that very experience. She was loved by fellow mommy bloggers for her wit until she made the wrong joke.

    Please don’t get the wrong idea here. I don’t think there is anything wrong with promoting things you agree with or stories you enjoy. It’s human nature to gravitate towards things we like. I’m simply saying self preservation and cooperation are not mutually exclusive.

    Wasn’t sure if I should answer on the original post or here. If you’d prefer it on the original, let me know and I’ll move it.

    • Janice Wald | at 8:07 pm

      Hi Frank,
      1. Thank you for moving the original comment. I received notification that someone recently put the post on Stumble Upon, so you never know when this may get more readers.
      2. I thought about your comments. I actually thought it was ingenious how you pointed out that the two, seemingly conflicting, theories are not mutually exclusive.
      3. I reread “The Great Blogger Hoax” before responding to you. As I did, I think I rethought my original position. I wrote that the helpful bloggers, the experts for example, had nothing to gain by helping me. Actually, they did. They stood to gain exposure.
      Have you turned me into a cynic? Perhaps. =)
      Thank you for your detailed analytic response to my article.
      Janice

      • The Ranting Monkey | at 9:57 pm

        Lol, it’s not cynical. There is nothing bad about a mutually beneficial relationship. Bloggers helping bloggers may get something out of it but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t helpful or very nice of them to do. They still didn’t have to do it.

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