Pink is the New Blog
One of the most popular personal blogs in Norway belongs to Emilie Nereng, a 14-year-old girl. On blogglisten.no, a ranking of the most visited blogs in Norway, she is number one with an average of over 68.000 visitors daily. Her followers can read about school trips, clothes, hair extensions and other topics related to the everyday life of a teenager. Although these subjects may seem trivial, her blog Voe is so well-known she has been invited to speak at several events about the secrets of her success. But Nereng is not the only girl who is more than willing to share her life on the internet. In fact, there are so many young girls blogging they have been labeled “ the pink bloggers”.
The pink bloggers and the invisible audience
The “pink blogs” has been given a lot of attention, much because of their unexpected popularity. In May Dagbladet, one of the biggest newspapers in Norway, printed an article online stating that the war is on between the bloggers, as one blogger accused another of cheating with the ratings. This led to a blogging chick fight. Although the article has a humorous tone it demonstrates an important fact, the ratings are not irrelevant. The ever-increasing number of followers has not gone unnoticed. The number of readers reveal nothing about who the audience really is, but one can make a guesstimation based on the content of the blog and the comments left by readers. A reasonable conclusion would be to assume that the pink bloggers are preaching to the choir. Their followers are their peers, teenage girls or young adults who can relate to the stories on the blogs. Put in other words, the readers are young, soon to be independent consumers, an attractive audience for many advertisers.
The most popular bloggers receive “gifts” on a daily basis, intended to be mentioned or even recommended on the blog. When pink blogger Ida Wulff published a post called “restylane lipp” describing how fun and easy it is to enlarge your lips with restylan (link to and picture of clinic included) more than one eyebrow was raised.
A discussion in mass media about introducing a set of guidelines for young bloggers resulted in Bloggplakaten, ten statements based on Vær Varsom-plakaten, an ethical code of practice for the Norwegian press. The statements underlines the importance of honesty, integrity and respect for the audience. The initiative was appreciated by everyone, except for the bloggers themself, who on more than one occasion stated that freedom of speech includes saying what is on your mind even though you get paid for it.
As advertisers continue to strive to reach their target audience and bloggers eager to make money on their hobby we are unlikely to see any change. Maybe this is the beginning of a new way of promoting consumer goods, leaving advertisers less dependent on conventional mass media to reach the audience, and making the independent blogger more influential in the public sphere. And the audience? If you don’t like it you can write about it in your blog!