I am not very interested in people using blogs to settle scores or complain. I can understand where the impulse comes from, the photo industry can be very challenging. But when I saw today’s post on Andrew Hetherington’s blog, whatsthejackanory I felt I had to respond (Andrew, by the way has a blog that has a nice balance of the positive & critical.) There seem to be a rash of anonymous blogs popping up, and while it makes sense if you work for a company that forbids blogging, I think it can be a dangerous idea. I immediately think of all the evil activities of seventh grade girls, who love these sorts of anonymous forums. As I remember they usually end up creating broken friendships, tears and the formation of lifelong complexes. The latest Bitter Photographer really seems headed for this territory. Yes, perhaps a lot of blogs take themselves way too seriously, and I am all for parody or humor, but BP’s attack on Alec Soth was more like schadenfreude. I can say from personal experience Alec is a genuine and open person. I do not know him, but before I launched my blog I sent him an email asking for his advice. He respond right away with a thoughtful, detailed and friendly email. Now, I will not name them, but many of the other established bloggers I have sent hello emails to, never even responded. Yes, he has lots of opinions, and yes he posts his poetry, but his advice to me was that blogs that are just a front for self-promotion are not very interesting, and that it is best to write things that you really care about. To me, it is clear that that is exactly what he does.
I much prefer people who show what matters to them, to people who stand in judgment of others. If I were to focus on all the artists who were better or more successful than me, why would I bother every doing anything. And of course some days that is exactly how I feel. We do things because we enjoy them or because we need to do them. We can only hope that other people are interested. So, Alec Soth has 200,000 people enthralled with his blog, doesn’t that more make room for us.