Blogging Is Like Any Company

by Ginger on April 12, 2012

in Blogging & Social Media

Everyone likes to talk about how blogging is like high school all over again, what with the cliques and the popular kids and the whatnot.

I’ve had my own view on that for a while, which is that blogging is like high school in that there are always classes and they’re probably never going to interact much. The senior class is gonna be removed from the freshmen class and that’s just kind of how it is, with a few rare exceptions. You may find a few clubs that mix the classes up, or you find a superstar freshman who gets bumped up to the varsity team, but in general, freshmen hang with freshmen, seniors hang with seniors. (We won’t talk about those kids who moved on to college but still came back to hang out with the sophomores…that’s just weird).

But the more I think about it, the more I *really* think that blogging is more like any company in corporate America.

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Think about it. There are millions of us little worker bees working away on our blogs. We do good work, we may even do great work, but we’re down in the trenches. Maybe every once in a while we hit something out of the park and get noticed in our performance review, but mostly, we come in and do what we do and hope that we slowly make our way up the chain. There are different branches to the company–some that overlap, some that don’t–but the basis of what we’re all doing is similar, even if our individual goals and group goals are different.

You’ve got your interns who are just learning the ropes, dipping a toe into the industry to see if they really want to play in this sand box. They may be tentative, they may be enthusiastic, but they’re so green only time will tell if they find their place in this world. Just, please, someone show them where the break room is before they get lost again.

You’ve got your entry level folks. Good, hard workers most of them, though they may make their fair share of beginner mistakes. But you can see them growing their skills and their networks and that they may make it for the long haul.

You’ve got your mid-level people. Been doing the job for a while, know the ropes. Maybe they occasionally feel a little jaded by the industry, but they come to work and put in their best (most days. Everyone has off days). The may mentor the entry level folks, and may look for mentors in the rungs above them, but they know they’ve found a good home in this place, with mostly good coworkers, and are glad to keep building on what they’ve started.

You’ve got your old timers. Some of them love keeping up with the changing industry. Some of them just wish it would go back to being the small company it was when they started. They have a lot to offer to people who pay attention, when they feel like sharing. You sometimes see them shaking their head as they walk by the interns, bemused by their shenanigans.

Then, there are the inevitable superstars. The ones who are Golden, who hit every right rung on that ladder and shoot to the top of the pack with all the money and accolades (and stresses) that come with it. You can’t be too mad about it because they are GOOD at their job, and everyone knows it.

Of course, you’re also bound to have the ones that piss you off. The jackass who ends up with the corner office and the good promotions because…well, no one really knows why. Because he’s got the right friends? Because he takes credit for work other people have done? Because he knows how to game the system? No matter–you and your coworkers all hate him, but you’re never going to convince anyone who’s in a position to change things that he’s a fraud. It happens in the best of industries.

And, like any company, you’ve got your work friends and enemies. You’ve got people you can’t stand and people you love. You’ve got groups who work well together and those that don’t. You have your loners and workaholics who eat lunch by themselves and you’ve got the party planning team who’s always putting together that Friday Fiesta! for everyone.

See? Just like a big company. Minus the cubicles.

So who am I missing in my corporate chain? And what do you think of my analogy?

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Sleeping Mom April 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I just avoided a blog that sort of pissed me off. I could’ve commented and brought on the “office drama,” but I just walked away lest I hear about my lack of tact in my performance review 😉

clara April 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Love it. I think your analogy is very apt.

And reflecting on the offices I’ve worked in, I play the exact same role in those places as I do online. I am usually happy to attend the Friday Fiesta! but if it wasn’t there I wouldn’t do anything about it. I listen to the people who have the drama and I generally avoid the drama myself (except for that one time when I accidentally threw out some crazy co-worker’s salad dressing from the shared fridge..OMG..that’s not a metaphor by the way) and just keep my head down and try to have a good time.

Thank god the Internet is way bigger than any office building. And! with the added bonus that if I don’t want to get stuck in the elevator with Crazy Mary again, I just close the lid of my laptop and go read a book.

gigi April 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

You nailed it!!! I am retweeting this!

Carolyn West April 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

You are so right on the money.

Marlena April 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

This is fantastic.

Teresa April 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Perfect analogy!

Melanie April 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I worked with a Golden Child. It was *so* annoying!

hipmamaB April 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Love it! Very true… great points.

Trina April 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

You nailed it! This is a great comparison! I would add that if you are working in a male dominated industry as a female blogger you have to fight to break that glass ceiling. Every time there is a huge shift in PR I feel like we have to prove ourselves all over again. It never stops.

San April 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

OMG, you totally nailed it. This is so, so true. Frustrating to read it so black and white, because who likes a corporate system?

hollow tree ventures April 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Oh, this is SUCH a good analogy! I think you hit all the groups and described them perfectly!

Classic NYer April 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I’ve really never thought about it that way before, but you’re totally right.

Except, that you forgot that there are people who have absolutely no desire to climb the blogger ladder and basically just do what they do for fun… I’m not sure how they would fit into the analogy. The volunteer army, perhaps?

Cloud April 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Yeah, that’s me! I’m the volunteer.

But you know, there is a hierarchy even within volunteer gigs.

I think this analogy holds!

Christine @ Love, Life, Surf April 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I love this. You are so spot on. Makes so much more sense than the high school analogy although I do think that the class distinction is a good one too. I also agree with Classic NYer. There are folks who just blog for the sake of blogging or for themselves vs. to make money or a career out of it. Definitely the volunteers.

Hope April 13, 2012 at 4:26 am

Don’t forget about the creepy old guy from the mailroom!

Ashley April 13, 2012 at 7:16 am

Nailed it you did!

Maribel Reyes April 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm

So true, I feel like I get lost often… And yes sometimes the ones that know the way to the break room won’t even give me a clue. Then there are some who are so nice it catches me by surprise! it’s ok, I knew it would be this way…

Kate April 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

This is a funny one because you hit the nail right on the head. And, it illustrates how the cliques don’t really go away – they are there in high school, they are there when you have your career and they are even there is virtual-land. 🙂

meagan April 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm

LOVE your comparison to corporate America. Good stuff!

Alison@Mama Wants This April 16, 2012 at 1:38 am

Love the analagy and yes, I absolutely agree with you!

Jess @ Dude and Three April 18, 2012 at 7:45 am

OMG SO TRUE.

So true. Best blogging sum-up ever.

Heather April 18, 2012 at 8:37 am

Hahahah I guess I’m the mid entry one. I’m plugging away at my blog and jaded at times as people just pop in and pop on out and don’t even say hello. But I love the interwebs. Perhaps I’ll get promoted to old timer.

Elizabeth April 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Awesome analogy! Have I been around long enough to be an old timer? Sometimes I feel a bit of gusto and want to jump back in, but most of the time? Ehhh.

Tricia @ Take 10 April 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

Just came across this and almost LOL but had to contain myself because I’m in a corporate meeting…ha! Great description.

Jamie B @ merricontrari April 21, 2012 at 12:26 am

I’m the poor sap who’s been in the company for ages but just got transferred to a completely different department after coming off maternity leave.

Alex @ Before The Baby Wakes April 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Great analogy!

Julia September 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Ha ha! I love your analogy. I often think about all of (us) bloggers, slaving away. My nearest and dearest try to be supportive but really just don’t get it. OK, I’m part of BlogWorld, Inc. There! A niche. Now the big question: is what we produce valuable?? Great post.

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