Do You Own an Indie Blog? ~ BitterSweetLife

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Do You Own an Indie Blog?

And now for something frivolous.

Ever since I tagged this blog with the "indie blog" handle, I've eagerly monitored every corner and community on the internet, waiting to see how long it would take before my catch phrase exploded and become the new thang.

Incredibly, "indie blog" has only been put in play half a dozen times outside
BitterSweetLife--and four of those were atrocious misspellings. (Indieblogheaven--a pretty good blog focusing on indie bands, is indicative of the only way the phrase appears--tracking indie music rather than exploring exciting new analogies...)

Where are the other indie blogs? Apparently other people are more afraid of phrase-plagiarism than I am.

Of course, the alternative is that people simply haven't known what an "indie blog" is. I can see you now--hovering over your keyboards, looking for that perfect phrase to describe what it is you do online. You pour creativity and energy into various topics, often connected only by the most laborious (but interesting!) logic, and then about three people read it. Four if your mom is online that day. One of them posts a comment that says, "interesting post." Reading the comment, you scream and drink some more coffee. Is there a phrase to describe this weird, cyclic thing you're doing?

Possibly. Consider...

Traits of the Indie Blog (According to BitterSweetLife)

  1. Minimal overall influence. That's to say, you're not one of the net's heavy hitters. Your influence is limited to one geographical region or slice of society, i.e., those people who are "cool enough" to read it.
  2. Negligible financial impact. In other words, you are not paying your rent thanks to your blog. You aren't even buying groceries thanks to your blog. In all likelihood, your blog is buying you the occasional sleepless night, and that's it. You do it for the love.
  3. Fiercely unique. Your blog is dedicated to pursuits that most people view as peripheral to "serious" life. A few examples would be art, minor league hockey, photography, creative writing, rock climbing, theology that doesn't read like a musty encyclopedia entry, and God.
  4. Illogically dedicated. Seriously, you continue to write all these posts, month after month, for free? Don't you realize that hardly anyone reads them? Haven't you considered that you could invest your sweat and cogitation with higher dividends elsewhere? Yeah, yeah, yeah--and I'm not stopping. I need to be heard!
  5. Unapologetically eclectic. Your blog defies pigeon-holing. People say, "He writes about... He writes about...hmm," and you smile. That's because you like being a hybrid. You mix and match--art and spelunking, theology and basketball, philosophy and movies, etc.--because life is like that.
  6. Typically ignored. Your blog is not consistently (if ever) linked by any of the blogosphere's celebrities, those who provoke dozens of comments, are read by thousands of people, and could send waves of traffic to your blog if they deigned to notice your existence. But that's all right, it's the price of being indie.
Any of this sound familiar? Here's the breakdown.
  • Do three of these features apply to your blog? Sorry, you're still in the wanna-be indie stage. No points for being merely poor, uninfluential and ignored! But keep working at it.
  • If you can claim any four of these traits, your blog is marginally indie. Things are beginning to look up, so pour yourself another cup of coffee.
  • Got five? You are in the middle of the indie blog mix. People look at your blog and wonder, "When did she become so hip?"
  • Nail all six? You author a marketable indie blog!--and while this fact will probably never make you rich, you should wear the badge with pride and mention your status from time to time. In fact, I suggest you start now.
So how did you rank?

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romans1423 said...

interesting post

Ched said...

Rats. Someone already beat me to the "interesting post" comment.

I'm 6 for 6 on this one. I'm glad to be able to more effectively categorize myself (and split infinitives).

So, if you're one of many "inde" blogs, does that make you a 'trendy indie' blog?

Sherry said...

Trendy Indie . . . I like that. I'm five out of six. People think I write about books --then I surprise them with something profound and emotionally moving.

Well, maybe I'll get to profound someday.

Andy said...

I'd consider mine to be marginally middle indie. Not quite hip (other than in my own simple mind), but things are always looking up.

I guess I gotta get back to posting on the giant theologians.

Or baseball.

John B. said...

I'm at least 5 for 6, too, though we all want to be thought of as selling our blogs out of our car trunks lest we be thought of as "selling . . . out . . ." So some of my sense of that may very well be due to my wanting to be cool and yet not really being cool in the eyes of other beholders.

So, Badge-Making Boy: I see a new graphics job on the horizon for you. Something along the lines of the Thinking Blogs, where people nominate others, who nominate others . . . ?

Leslie Brooke said...

I'm totally 6 for 6. Never thought of myself as "Indie", sounds like now is a good time to start!

Dan said...

"marginally indie" at best.

Will Robison said...

I'm kind of a cigar store indie blog. I defy categorization even in the indie sphere. I'm like 9 out of 9 on your list. How can you define your blog if even you don't know what its about? ;)

Andrew Simone said...

6 for 6, despite my recent lack of blogging. I blame the job hunt.

109 said...

Another good one, I've liked the emergent church themed Liquid Thinking at


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife