To blog or not to blog

01 May, 2009

Each journalist is powerful in the words that they write, the impressions they make and the final touch they bring to a story, a product or a picture. Many of the most popular blogs in the snowboard industry or beyond are respected because they don’t follow the trend. They have their own voice that isn’t paid for, marketing language or to sell a product. Each day there is a choice on what to blog about and what not to blog about.

Within my own blog, I have found a voice and a need to bring an unbiased opinion to the masses on snowboarding. If it’s not related to snowboarding, or in my opinion related to it, it won’t get a mention. During SIA, I visited companies I was interested in and was able to meet with. Some companies I was interested in but missed out on meeting with and others I chose to not meet with because I don’t agree with what they are. I didn’t meet with Ed Hardy or Bitchboards or companies that create a binding that turns so you skate easier. Last I checked snowboarding didn’t need those things.

Many major companies are finding their way into social media, finding that blogs do influence people and using them to get their message out. It could be a new ski shop machine that helps fix edges quicker (one I would never use as a consumer), a new energy drink (not related to snowboarding) or the trial of a cell phone coming out (kind of connected, I use a cell phone on the slope). Companies are starting to use bloggers to influence, to mention and to gain word of mouth advertising through them. In the end it comes down to the author to choose what to write about, do you write about everything that comes your way or do you pick and choose according to your blog theme?

Bloggers are the editors, the writers, the researchers and continue to focus on their blogs using their own ideas without input from many others. We don’t have someone telling us what to write about and each day it’s a new adventure to type on the keyboard about something of interest. I’ve been writing since August 2007 on this blog and I’ve used my own judgement on what to include and exclude from posts while keeping with the theme of the blog.  The best advice I learned was to keep my blog content original which increases the value of what I do. Each day I read other blogs or websites and when they all have the same press release, there’s no attraction to them.     

I certaintly hope that what makes blogs and bloggers great, continues as it is. The honesty, the originality, the blunt opinions, the writing about what they are passionate about and not what some company wants them to write about…this is what makes online journalism good and worth reading.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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    May 01, 2009

    Hi Girl!

    I totally agree with you! You built your blog and turned it into a brand.. your brand … your own voice! Keep on doing what you do … it works!

    I like your blog because it’s lighter to read, maybe because you are a girl [ahum I mean woman] as well … but I believe most likely because you are writing it from the heart and having fun with it.


  2. Shayboarder
    May 01, 2009

    Thanks! I appreciate it a lot.

    Definitely finding a voice has been the most important step in building this blog and that it is coming from the heart and I do have fun with it. I get asked what advice to other bloggers and finding the voice is the big thing…it’s not copying other blogs or using the same material…that gets boring and I hate seeing the same press releases all over the web. At the same time it’s having a voice and standing ground, companies will come to you and want you to mention them. Being able to say no or yes to them can be a decision you have to make. I’ve had to make it, I hoped this post would help out other bloggers that will face the same decisions and see that being original is good. If every snowboard was the same…snowboarding wouldn’t be the same, blogs are the same way.

  3. Zboy
    May 02, 2009

    Nailed it.

  4. Seriosha
    May 02, 2009

    Ahhh you know,

    its the personal note that makes this blog so interesting, its the bandwith of things you get presented at one spot, the hearing about things you never heard before (because youre probably far away from beeing in the scene) and surely because of the insights in things (factorys, testings) you normally would never have.

    Salute, Seri

  5. Anonymous
    May 02, 2009

    Damn right! This is the only snowboard blog I visit. So far I’ve been stoked on the updates and pretty much all of next years gear I’ve seen thanks to you. Keep up the amazing work

  6. Jonny
    May 02, 2009

    Shay, I agree with the majority of your points. I’d say the only thing is your use of the words “journalism” and “blogging”. You use them in the same context but really they are separate.

    I still holf to the fact that a journalist should remain objective to all points and simply expose facts and not impart opinion or take sides. Blogging and bloggers such as you and I take liberties with tone and opinions which removes us from that journalistic classification. Perhaps there’s a more editorial less influential tone in event coverage but that even is question for us.

    I operate in a similar fashion I generally only write or “cover” things that I believe to be beneficial the skate snow realm that I love so dearly. I think youa re the same way in your own words you said:

    “If it’s not related to snowboarding, or in my opinion related to it, it won’t get a mention.”


    “Some companies I was interested in but missed out on meeting with and others I chose to not meet with because I don’t agree with what they are.”

    It’s your blog and you are fully entitled to that opinion. But, that removes objectivity from the equation. My belief is that if you wanted to shift into an objective journalistic viewpoint you could do it without sacrificing tone or voice. Anyhow, that’s my two cents. Keep at it and keep on shreddin’.

  7. Shredding Stuff
    May 02, 2009

    The whole voice thing is exactly what got me to starting my blog in the first place. I mean sure I’ll add in updates from the wide world of snowboarding, but mostly I use my blog to describe things how I see fit, and that’s what I like about your blog. Everything I say really gets me motivated to stay true to what I’m feeling and hopefully motivates others as well (although my blog doesn’t really get much views anyways).

    Keep up the great work, and remember that writing does not have to be for anybody else. It’s the passage from your heart to the outside world.

  8. Shayboarder
    May 02, 2009

    Thanks Zac and anonymous for the support!

    Seriosha, definitely the inside look or behind the scenes stuff I love doing…because I want to show people what is going on and see stuff they normally wouldn’t be able to.

    Jonny. When I first wrote it I had a sentence in between that I removed but it mentions online journalism with reference to blogging becoming part of it. It’s becoming more widespread that some bloggers are journalists. Good two cents, I wondered that myself on what the lines are with remaining unbiased and opening up to brands that fit into the snowboard realm. Someone asked me why I never hate a board, it’s because I intentionally don’t ride really crappy low end boards. Would being open and completely unbiased mean that I should ride those boards?

    This post was really because a company came to me wanting mention on the blog and has nothing to do with snowboarding. I declined and have declined since…but I wonder what other bloggers might turn down a major company? Blogging is still this wide open world where anyone can write, have an audience and it’s up to the blogger to determine their guidelines/standards. The good thing is I keep my tone and non-journalist to my blog, when I do freelance writing for TWS Business…I tend to stray away from my typical writing.

    Thanks Shredding stuff, it’s great to hear that you also have a blog around how you see things and want to look at things.

  9. hoon
    May 04, 2009

    blognarlists unite!

  10. Huckleberry Hart
    May 14, 2009

    First of all, this post rules so much it is silly. So well put. Kudos m’dear. A whole box of ’em.

    I loved this bit, “I keep my blog content original which increases the value of what I do.”

    Hell yeah.

    Good points Jonny. You are wise.

    Good show all around.

  11. September 02, 2009

    Greatings, Super post, Need to mark it on Digg
    Have a nice day