On blogs and what nots

I love to blog hop, I'm actually subscribed to more than 50 blogs (I also have 30+ youtube subscription). I check blog updates in the morning before I even open my work email. But lately, I noticed that most of the blog updates are about events and sponsored products, is it just me or you notice that too? 

I used to enjoy blog hopping because in every blog I read, I find useful information and tips. I see DIFFERENT topics. Most of the time, I love reading haul posts because it gives me idea what to buy next, it feels like I'm window shopping.

I missed reading honest reviews and tutorials. I missed hearing your own opinion and views. 

I don't mean to offend anyone in this post, I'm just voicing out my thoughts. I'm happy that blogging here in our country, is getting the recognition it deserves. Just an unsolicited reminder from a concerned subscriber/reader, be aware of what's becoming of your blog. 

This morning,  I saw this from my twitter feeds:

A retweet by MicheleBell21 (Michele1218 of youtube, love her super! She's honest and won't give a positive review in exchange of free stuff! Go find her in youtube and subscribe! You maybe hooked to her videos just like me!), I believe they're referring to the siblings in youtube. I used to like them (the siblings) you know. USED TO. When they started reviewing deodorant and tounge scraper, what the!?! Hahaha. Yes, anyone can review anything. But as youtube gurus, please be selective, right? It's their name at stake. And please make sure it's not obvious it's a paid one, or sponsored. I don't want to name the siblings though, just as I don't want to point out which local blogs I'm referring to. 

I know some people will hate me for writing this, but what can I do, it's what I feel. I'm just getting tired of reading PR-provided contents in most blogs. I'm afraid the bloggers' credibility is being compromised (after all you don't want to piss the PR people who gave you those items for review, otherwise you'll find yourself without an invitation in the next event). I'm not saying stop writing about them, I believe, they noticed your blog because of your hard work before. It's just that I miss YOU, you as a blogger, and not you as part of the advertising world. 

I'm not a professional blogger. Even if I want to, I can't. I can barely write my thoughts properly, I know I have a lot of grammatical errors in my posts, forgive them please haha. I started this blog because I want to share some good finds to my friends. I want to interact with fellow beauty enthusiasts. I don't have too many friends in real life who love makeups and polishes as much as I do. I tend to bore them with make up and polish talks. In the beauty blogging world, I am normal. Outside of it, I'm not. 

Anyway, I'm digressing. To the bloggers out there, please don't let your blog become some sort of a PR extension. I miss reading actual experiences and reviews. I miss seeing unedited photos, I'm not saying I don't edit mine, because I do. I have poor lighting condition in my place, I'm using an old point and shoot digicam. I use Photoscape to brighten my pics, put boarders and labels. That's it. I don't use Photoshop to erase my scars and pimples and claim a certain product helped me achieve a clear skin. Yes, I can tell, and I can say, most of us do. I rest my case.

Thoughts anyone?


Bloggers, try to interact with your readers please! Don't ignore us when we comment in your blog! haha! Even Christine of Temptalia.com chats with her readers!


Jen(ny) said...

I agree 100%. I like reading blogs from real people with real opinions. I unsubbed from many blogs and yt channels I felt didn't make a personal opinion at all.

I'm not promoting my blog at all, because (for me, anyway) it's just a way to share my growing nail polish obsession, not some mastermind plan to make money out of it. That's what my JOB is for, haha.

btw I love Michele1218, b/c even though she has a ton of subs, she still gives her opinion. I hope she never, EVER sells out.

iamsutil said...

galit ako sayo! kiddin' :) don't worry if there are people who will hate you for posting this, this is your blog and you have all the right to say anything you want. if they don't want to read, then they can click on that X on the upper right of this window or better yet, go to another blog.


Thank you! That's why I like it when you blog :) Sometimes I feel iffy when I see bloggers blogging about one event all at the same time, or one product all at the same week (very effective for companies though, since all MU/fashion gurus are trying out their stuff the rest will follow). Nawawalan tuloy ng diversity, which is sad.

I wouldn't mind getting free stuff and reviewing them, just as long as I get to keep my tongue :D

- Trace

Zaya said...

Your post is refreshing Sol, thank you! I could clearly see where you're coming from and I do agree wholeheartedly.

But we have to give them the benefit of the doubt as well, yes? :) After all, these are difficult economic times we're living in. Sometimes, merely having one or even two jobs is not enough. Combine our harsh economic reality with our unhealthy (monetarily speaking) obsession with make-up - well, it's no wonder that some grab whatever opportunities they can find. Not to mention that they might have other situations we do not know about - mouths to feed, kids to send to school, and so on.

But as I said earlier, I DO agree, so I think what I'm trying to say is that there should be a balance :) Some blog posts have started to sound like they're reading off an advertising commercial - completely fake! That irks me. I do agree that bloggers should find their voice and individuality back, that's the most important thing as it embodies the spirit of expression and free speech - which is what blogging is really all about in the first place. :)

Have a good day!

lelila said...

Jen(ny), love her too! i even joined one time when she was on blog tv, haha. love your blog btw, followed you!

jheng, been telling you before diba, one time i will post something about it, dami ka pa rin naman reviews na ikaw talaga bumili ng product eh. kaya carry pa rin.

trace, you're right, mga companies nagbebenefit! I understand that they can't say anything bad about the product because it was given to them for free, but, it takes the fun out of blogging diba?

zaya, i understand. who doesn't want anything for free right? But as I've said, be selective. Don't say yes to every single event! And yes, try to balance everything. Like for 2 sponsored post, then one solely from you, it's acceptable.

Nikita2471 said...

I agree with you that there are too many beauty blogs out there where all they do is go to events they were invited to and talk about the free crap they got. Then they post about more free crap they got and you can tell, they are positively biased because they got it for free.

What happened to just talking about the stuff you bought with your hard earned money? Many of those bloggers that do sponsored posts, I don't see the point in trying to make money off of blogging when they are using Blogger as their blog platform (which is FREE). It's not like you need to support your blog because you bought your own domain and web hosting. Besides, one cannot make a lot of money from blogging unless you are truly good at writing and marketing like Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog.

Kitten said...

Finally, I thought I was the only one feeling like this. I get bored reading posts on events actually, and seeing PR'd products. I just find it so fake. I mean, yes it's okay to get free products and review them but not to the point that your worshipping that product because they say so. And it's a free country, you can say whatever you want because that's your experience with the product.

lelila said...

girls, i don't thik they earn from attending events (local bloggers).

saw someone's post saying that they spent on gas going there, time, buy dresses etc.

MaryJoyce said...

Oh my goodness Sol, you hit the nail right on the head. I have been thinking bout this din, because many international bloggers, as well as local (not all, but a few) seems to just blog the same thing after the another such as events, same prod (which some wouldn't admit pa na gratis or press materials.. It's just so sad because i started following them because i like them pero with what's happening, parang i feel like i am reading AGAIN magazines na promote ng promote ng products na i know are not that good or even not really the best pero still gets promoted kasi nga they get something out of it. That's the reason i traded magazines for blogs e, i feel most blogs are very honest, but parang slowly, nagiging "magazine" nadin siya. So sad!

Buti nga there's a law passed in US that you have to write if you got this product for free, as press sample, or you bought it with your own money. I really admire bloggers who will say the truth kahit pa sponsored yun.

MaryJoyce said...

just to clarify my point, i' am just saying na sana they be honest lang because that's precisely the reason why we follow them.

I still love the blogworld compared to magazines though. Kudos to the bloggers who remain true to their integrity =)

Khymm (Shopcoholic) said...

hi sol! grabe naman pag grabe na yung pag-photoshop to erase pimples etc for a product review.. I also use a point a shop cam din and sometimes i borrow my hubby's DSLR pero yung pag-edit i just brighten the photo pero di naman na-aaffect yung color ng products/swatches...

NeuroChiq said...

Oh my, Sol, this is exactly what I and Tara are talking about last time. It's okay to review sponsored products, but there should always be balance & honesty. Sometimes, tinatamad nako to read kasi bloggers review same products all at the same time, with 100% praises. I also attend events (when my schedule permits), mainly to meet blogger friends, but I still review products I bought on my own. Sadly, I miss that from some blogs nga. I hope wag naman totally. Thanks for bringing this up! Have a great day! =D

herroyalbleakness said...

it's a sad facet of the blogging world, noh? lalo na for that photoshopping scars and stuff just to make a prod seem effective. blog foul!

lelila said...

sad noh?

i have problematic face din kase so gusto ko pag may makita ako ok na review, i want to try din, pero pag open mo ng pics, nge. diba, what's the sense ng pagreview right? kaya ako di madalas nagrereview eh hahaha.

Teeyah. said...

Love this post, Sol! And agree that if people find this offensive, they can click x and jump in the lake. Or something.

Anyhoo, I do attend events din and accept products for review ONLY if it's in line with what I want and what my blog is made of. As what Dang said, we're talking of striking a balance in our blogposts, hence my kababawan is still strewn all over my blog hehehehe.

Cheers and thank you for being brave to bring this up :)

Camille(SHOBE) said...

naisip ko na din yung ganto lalo na when i went sa isang blog who exposed the SIBLINGS,minsan kasi super PR na obvious na obvious na.Me too i like receiving products,pero its always a must for me to write everything that i have experienced with the product..i love blogs yung makikita mo talagang silang sila yung gumuwa i mean coming from their own thoughts without the influence of the company or whatsoever.Sometimes it looks like im reading an online magazine na kasi.w/c is okay but its still different if the product are being reviewed by a blogger.and kudos on the lighting i do that as well,wala pa akong lighted mirror,which ive been lemming for quite sometime na!pero never seen a blog pa naman na they erased their pimple pa..Love this post ^^.

shoutingwind said...

IMO, ok lang if a company sends you products to review as long as you review them objectively. Inde yung all praises just because it's free.

Now if you are being compensated talaga for doing the "free PR" for so and so company...eh magpa hire ka na no! Para naman the readers won't feel na dinadaya sila.

Em said...

Well, I don't see the point of having some people be mad at you. I mean, you have your own brains, you're not paid to kiss ass, it's your blog so you can say whatever you want, you don't have to sugarcoat what you're feeling.

If they get mad, then they're guilty of whatever cyber crime they committed.

If you have problematic skin like you said, just go to a derma. At least with a derma, you know it'll work. You really don't wanna spend money on products you're unsure of right?

louise said...

No one should be mad about your opinion, unless someone sponsored you to post this?haha JOKE! but seriously, I, not sure about the others, find that doing pr stunts is ok but what i find annoying is the same topic, the same pictures, the same content ALL at the SAME TIME!...i suddenly find myself not reading anymore and skipping. I miss my favorite blogs :( which are the reasons I started liking blogging...More power to you sis Sol :D

Pammy said...

Sollie, I admire you for being honest and airing out your thoughts. I share the same sentiments. I love reading reviews and seeing hauls too. That's why I enjoy reading blogs. Because if I want to read about events, I can easily go to other websites. I hope bloggers don't lose their sense of personal touch in their blogs and allow it to become totally commercialized.

nikkiz. said...

Sol, buti na lang di tayo nagpunta dun sa event no yun (alam mo na kung ano) :-) Just kidding!!!

Anyway, I know exactly what you feel and mean with this blog post. I am glad you wrote this. I've always felt so jealous and disappointed before whenever I wasn't able to attend an event to which I've been invited to. I thought I am such a loser and that my life is so boring but now I know better. We are all different and this is my kind of life- posting away about my boring life and the tiny treasures I buy with my (or hubby's) hard-earned money. Sometimes I get some free stuff but that's rare and I post an honest review. I love reading blogs but now I only choose the ones I read bec. all the others have more or less the same content at the same time.

I know it's their blog and they can post whatever they like so I just opt to skip reading them now. I read only when they have original and unique content.

So,I will just continue to do what I'm doing- putting out into cyber space my own experiences.

lelila said...

nikki, nagpunta ako!!! haha. The one who invited us told me sya bahala so sige nagpunta ako. and sulit naman kase I met her in person! puro polish talks haha.

Pero don't worry, I'll post my honest opinion about the items I got or post nothing at all. I don't think I'll ever want another invite anyway, not my cup of tea, so keber lang. Di ako sanay to socialize eh, ang laki laki ko (literally) and yet nanliit ako when I went there LOL!

nikkiz. said...

whoops, my bad :-X At least nakapag-EB kayo ni ... :-) Di bale na malaki basta kagandahan naman, woot-woot!

lelila said...

nikki, hindi totoo yan hahahaha!

Lloyda said...

i think this is more on make-up blogs noh? i was laughing out on the photoshop thing. i mean why erase a pimple on photoshop then say that the product did that? isn't it lying na? what's the use of reviewing a product when you are not really doing a real review?

lizlan said...

hello sol. :) i like this blog post, it raises quite a lot of valid points. one can say that im part of the blogger pool that gets invited to events and receive free products regularly, so i feel i need to say something about this.

I've never been paid to review a product. i dont know about other bloggers, but no company has approached me yet. i just get products and i just write about them. i write the pros and cons, and try to be honest about it, because I owe it to the readers. But I also owe it to the company to be "balanced", meaning, if I have something bad to say, I make sure that I also have something good to say about them.

but if there's nothing bad to say, why force it? for example, Pond's has asked me to be one of their online beauty ambassadors and then gave me quite a lot of stuff. i just gushed about Flawless White today. did they pay me? no. i've been using White Beauty for two years now (it's documented) and i just found out that Flawless White is tons better. so i gushed. more often than not, products work well for their price, and this is what i like sharing more than products i don't like.

About events...I treat them as a sort of news. i just talk about what happened, and make sure to post a lot of pictures. i find events fun, there are so many nice people i meet in them. i find new products fascinating, because each one holds potential for a girl with a skin or makeup problem, so I introduce them in my event coverage.

About blogs having the same content everywhere...when something new comes out, naturally, it gets a lot of coverage. it's news lang, so everyone's got something to say about it at almost the same time. ;) the difference - and value - lies in how a particular blogger says it.

i do agree that some resort to PR-type of blogging, which is sad. i agree with everyone who said that bloggers should keep their unique voice and integrity.

i know for a fact that, contrary to popular belief, a lot of companies want bloggers to be honest about their products. not to the point of slander, of course, but honest as in real and down-to-earth about it. fair.

whew, i've been rambling on for pretty long here, haha. you know i haven't earned any money from blogging (aside from the rare paid link from random SEO people). i've never put up ads or written a sponsored post. i'm not saying i never will - my blog costs $14 a month, hehe, i would be so happy if something i do in my blog would pay for that. i'm just saying that, even if i never get paid, i'll still do what i do now, for the same reason i began doing it. :) im sure that stands the same for other bloggers like me.

once again, thanks for your introspective post. it really made me think of the way i blog.

lelila said...

hi liz,

thanks for commenting, appreciate it. and regarding being paid, i meant that for youtube gurus which i mentioned in passing while doing this post. in one of the comments here, i said that afaik, local bloggers don't earn from attending such events. I know because a friend is part of the blogger pool you mentioned, di nga lang 100% of the time nakakaattend.

Anyway, yun nga, mas magastos pa nga when you guys attend because problema nyo pa the dresses diba.

and regards dun sa something new, hmmm, product launch, as i noticed here sa atin, is usually late haha. so i don't think it's new per se, para sabay sabay lahat ng blogs magfeature about it. I attended the Sally Hansen event (I saw you there and lauren I think), and before attending that launch, I already bought some sally hansen polishes.

anyway, thanks for understanding this post.

sana it serves as a reminder to some na medyo commercialized na their blogs. as in browse their blogs and puro events na, parang naging publicist na diba.

and inggit ako ponds worked for you! Ponds ang dahilan ng lahat ng dusa ko sa acne before! LOL!

lizlan said...

local bloggers dont earn anything from attending events, but some earn from sponsored posts. and exclusive partnerships. :P

youre right, products arrive here late, but the official launch is like news na rin no?

i saw you nga in the Sally Hansen launch! You were sitting in the table with Agoo Bengzon and someone from Cosmo right? I wanted to say hi afterwards, but you already left. :(

hihi, i'm so lucky when it comes to Pond's. i read in Girltalk that a lot of people break out with it, but i dont know, my skin just loves it! im lucky because it means that i only need cheap skincare in my lifetime! not a huge fan of the cleansers though.

lelila said...

"But I also owe it to the company to be "balanced", meaning, if I have something bad to say, I make sure that I also have something good to say about them."

i'll quote this liz ha.

what if the product is really bad? will you still post your review about it?

that "I owe it to the company" phrase, there lies the difference with blogging before to blogging nowadays. before, when bloggers used to buy their stuff and review it, you have no one to consider, di ka mag iisip na baka may magalit. so mas fair ang review before right?

i just hope this post will be treated as a reminder nung mga iba na naiiba na ata ang meaning ng blogs for them.

lelila said...

haha, you saw me rin pala. I'm shy to approach you and right after the event umalis na rin kami. i just met those from preview and cosmo (meron ba, inquirer ata) for the first time, i'm with a blogger friend whose into polishes din, she's the one who invited me there.

lizlan said...

if the product or service is really bad, i simply wont talk about it, unless it's relevant. simply not talking about a product is already the company's loss.

like i mentioned, there are some bloggers who do sponsored posts and exclusive partnerships, and these are the type who are beholden to the company to blog what the company wants them to blog about. that's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the blogger discloses the arrangement.

bloggers who are given products aren't under the same pressure. like i said above, companies these days are more enlightened when it comes to blogging. they understand that an honest blogger is crucial to their campaign, and so give him/her a lot of room to speak out, with no love lost.

my preference is to just keep everyone happy. on one hand i have an audience which is hopefully informed and entertained about something new. on the other hand there's the company who got cheap publicity - no matter what i blog. and then there's me with a new product i can use. everyone wins, really.

getting free products doesnt mean we have to kiss the brand's ass. it just means we have more things to write about, new things to discover. as long as the blog post is valuable in terms of information gained, or lessons learned on the reader's part, then everybody wins, di ba? :D

Jen(ny) said...

I think not posting a negative review is misleading as well. When a person reads reviews on a product and ONLY finds positive reviews, I think it's a disservice to the blog community.

By only posting positive reviews and not putting up negative reviews, it is already a biased opinion.

I think many sponsored bloggers have lost touch with what it was like to review products they purcahsed with their own money. No matter what they say, you cannot write an unbiased review having received it free.

I've often had regrets buying products for small annoyances that I know wouldn't bother me if I hadn't spent money on it myself.

Finally, the other topic of many similar posts coming at the same time tends to cloud my judgment about the products. It makes it appear as if it is really popular and hyped up, but then after the fact, I realize it was only because PR had send samples to everyone at the same time. I think it's a little bit manipulative.

For companies that do not do so much promoting through blogs, you never hear about them because of all the sponsored posts saturating the blogosphere.

Oh well, what can you do, right? It's just the evolution of blogging, I guess.

melvel said...

I agree with this post wholeheartedly.

For me the bottom line is, can you really write a negative (or even a not so glowing) review of a product given for free? Of course in the back of your mind, you'd think....I might not get free products again, or I might not get invited again.

Askmewhats said...

Hi Sol, na intriga ako about the "Siblings" sino ba yoN? hahaha

Anyways, I agree on what you wrote. I do attend events but bloggers still have the right to blog in all honesty. Right on your comment here na local bloggers do not get paid attending events and we spend more pa nga on going there. But it is the disgression of the blogger to still write in all honesty on the products they review kahit na libre man nakuha yan! Most companies naman are telling bloggers to "feel free to blog in all honesty the experience you had with the products"...I keep that in mind and everyone should! :)


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