I am not a blogger

When I say “I’m not a blogger”, I mean that I’m not a “blogger” the way marketers and PR people like to define a blogger as – someone they can engage with in order to drive awareness for their clients’ products or services. Or an influencer whom they can work with to spread good word of mouth.

Today, an amusing incident occurred when a PR agency asked me to attend a blogger event for a new product launch. There was a big conflict of interest with regards to their client and Microsoft (whom I happen to work for), and perhaps the young PR people didn’t know the nature of this blog.

So let me clarify some things with regards to this website:

1. I’m not here to do reviews for any brand. Not even my company’s own products. (But please buy our Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse if you like cool stuff. Only S$89 suggested retail price for a sleek piece of the future.) This site is purely for my own non-commercial pleasure, and to share thoughts longer than what Twitter or Facebook would allow.

Yes, I’ve done camera reviews and Kindle reviews here, but those are products I purchased with my own dough and I want to tell you how I really feel about them without being pressured by any party to just consider saying nice things.

2. I am an influencer in some small ways, yes, especially since I used to write for a newspaper and this blog does have a regular audience. And because I post on Facebook every other hour, risking my friendships with non-stop opinion and rants. But you can’t influence me to influence others with regards to your client’s products, because I probably already have an opinion on it that I’m too stubborn to waver from.

3. I don’t believe that it is viable for bloggers to be “bloggers”. Many years after “the rise of the blogger and the blogosphere”, there still isn’t a proper business model for influencing people with mere personal opinion. The way to earn money while thinking out loud is to be a journalist/commentary writer in a mass media outlet, but to be honest, the deadlines will get to you sooner or later.

4. Because I work for Microsoft, I don’t write about a lot of things that could affect my company or my business. Don’t you want to know what I think of Apple, Android, Nokia, HP, Dell, Acer, Asus, and so on and so forth? Or what I think of Windows 7 (it’s my fave OS) or Xbox 360 with Kinect (I play it every weekend). I’m happy to tell you that my Playstation 3 and Wii are white elephants, but you probably feel the same way too.

Exciting opinions often make for great reading for a few minutes, but the first rule of public writing is – Be Careful Because You Can’t Take It Back. It was the same when I worked in SPH, I couldn’t write about many things because you don’t know who was going to be your future newsmaker.

Don’t get me wrong, this post is not meant to put down other folks who do like to engage with brands and help spread the word. It’s just not my kind of thing.

I’d love to earn loads of money as an Amazon Associate but I don’t want to fill my site with big banner ads or multiple URL links. I don’t mind hanging out with other bloggers, but I’ve never done so because I prefer to spend time at home with my kids and toys.

As someone who’s been in journalism and PR, I’d just like to say that in today’s online landscape, credibility is getting harder and harder to build. No matter whether you are a journalist or PR executive, it’s credibility that will see you through the worst situations and gain you the results and respects you desire.

If you want to engage a blogger, it’ll pay good dividends to just read his or her blog to learn if they are keen on your cause. Or if you will meet some stubborn bald guy like me.

And here’s a big secret you might already know – the future of digital PR is in Facebook. Not with bloggers, Twitter or stupid viral campaigns that cost a bomb.

Finally, I’m just happy this blog has lasted as long as it has (six years in 2011!) and I continue to pay Bluehost.com to host this site so I have a repository of my thoughts.

Thanks for reading my posts, folks, always appreciate your time and your feedback. But remember, I am not a blogger! I’m a writer, and I hope to always be one.