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de·bunk/diˈbəNGk/

Verb:
  1. Expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).
  2. Reduce the inflated reputation of (someone), esp. by ridicule: “comedy takes delight in debunking heroes

So maybe you’re already well aware of the stereotypes and are ready to take action now. If so, just scroll to the bottom of this post. If you want to know the reasoning behind this post, read on.

At a lunch meeting earlier this week, a group of journalists who’ve gone online talked about getting people to take them seriously. Unfortunately journalism that’s solely online has to prove it is professional and credible. I say “unfortunately” because I believe very strongly in the power of online journalism and the future of the medium on the Internet (speaking as a former journalist).

But, while talking about barriers to online journalism professionalism, one of these panelists wanted to point out that these reporters are not the stereotypical blogger, who sits in his underwear, writing from his parents’ basement. How did this become the image of a blogger?! He’s certainly not alone in thinking this.

What an irritating stereotype. If you’re reading this, I have no doubt that you don’t fit this picture and neither do I. The people I’ve met through the blogging world are creative, inspiring, kind and caring.

Full disclosure: I’ve been blogging for years now. I had a featured blog on Friendster (remember Friendster!?!); I blogged about TV shows for awhile; I still maintain a blog about reading; and then there is this blog, about sewing. So needless to say, I’m a believer in blogging.

But that nagging stereotype got me onto Google, trying to find the root of it. Instead, I found all kinds of other ugly stereotypes.

Take this post: What Kind of Blogger Are You? which includes the “pro blogger,” “blind blogger,” and “comment blogger.” Fairly benign, but stereotypes all the same.

Then there’s this post, which offers some good blogging advice, but assumes the stereotypical blogger is a know-it-all. I don’t like that stereotype; it’s one step away from the assumption that bloggers are narcissists.

Which leads me to the Urban Dictionary, where the definitions are really very cruel to bloggers. “Narcissist” is probably the kindest word here; don’t read this if you’re easily offended, there is some nasty language and imagery on this site.

Stereotypes are just mean, no matter what you’re talking about. That’s basically what the word “stereotype” means.

 

(Quick aside – I just want to point out that a stereotype is quite different than a prejudice. It’s an important distinction, and as a word nerd, I needed to mention it.)

This blogger stereotype, like most others, is hard to crack. It’s based on assumptions that are likely erroneous. People are going to think what they want to think. But still, I wish I could do something about it.

So, in a very small attempt at taking action, I encourage you to leave a comment here. Fill in the blank: I don’t fit the blogger stereotype because ___________.

Ok, I’ll start. I don’t fit the blogger stereotype because I blog as a creative outlet to share with friends, present and future. To me, blogging is an art form.

Does it look like I’m blogging from my parents’ basement? in my underwear? Nope. Stereotypes are stupid. The end.

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