Credibility, the first time I heard or maybe understood the word was when I was 16 years old. Yes, I have poor English vocabulary. When I was 13 years old, the annual achievement test administered by our school showed that I only have the English vocabulary of an 11 year old kid. When I started working for a school, my bitter self realised that the test might be unsuitable for a Filipino student. I can vividly recall the credits written at the back of the test booklet. It was a standardised examination made in US.
This post will not dwell on my vocabulary deficiency. As always, there was a recent experience that awakened my sleeping interest to blog.
I heard and understood the word credibility when I attended our pre-graduation recollection. There was a classmate who blurted her disgust to our Physics teacher during the group sharing. If I remember it right, her troop of friends exaggeratedly hated our Physics teacher. There was an issue that intensified their hatred. During the sharing, one of our classmates revealed what she overheard during the conversation with the Principal. Our Physics teacher was quoted saying, If I will give in to the amends of the students, it’s good as I’m giving up my credibility as a teacher. What happened after was chaotic. You wouldn’t expect to hear it from a student, who grew up in a reputable and exclusive school for girls.
The incident gave me one of those experiences when my understanding was drawn from a real life experience. I learned credibility more than its dictionary meaning. Up until today, I never bothered to look for the definition of credibility. It’s one of those words I cannot verbally explain, but the understanding was significantly deep-rooted in me.
Back when I regained my interest in blogging, my real intention was influenced by my desire to earn additional money. I have been inspired by bloggers who turned their interest to money making opportunities. My blogging story turned out the exact opposite. I was initially propelled my money but I realised later that blogging is more than money. Blogging has become my safe haven. Whenever my emotions are heightened, I will surely end up writing a blog post. I’ve been doing this therapy for the last four years and I intend to stay here.
These successful and famous bloggers became one of my driving forces to write again. Because I was too amazed with their lives, achievements and writing prowess, I once tried to reach out to them. There was one blogger who would often mention that she loves receiving letters of appreciation from her readers. She claims answering all emails and messages she receives. Being one of her readers, I sent my handwritten letter and a simple gift. I expressed how her blog influenced me and how I admired her own way to success. Months and years passed, I didn’t get any response from this blogger. I felt a bit disappointed but given her high readership, I realised that she might be receiving tons of letters everyday. It was almost impossible for her to reply. I continued reading her blog only to later realise that her credibility is gradually dying on me. Her blog became a showcase of sponsored posts. Nothing against this but if the real posts are being outnumbered by the sponsored, it felt like I was buying a magazine erupting with all the humongous ads. It felt empty. I also remember how she would mention her disgust to this local female celebrity. Only to later discover, she has a sponsored post that gives soft praises to this celebrity. lol If she is still firm with her disgust to this local celebrity, it must have been so hard for her to write that post.
Just when I was writing this post, another blogger expressed her intention to boycott the products sold by this family of politicians. It was prompted by her abhorrence with the family’s patriarch. When I was checking my Instagram feed, I noticed a photo upload of this product she intends to boycott. She was apparently thanking the sponsor for sending her ginormous product supply. No hate feelings though, I just want to laugh how some freebies can change what I thought as a firm standpoint.
When I started this small business with a friend, I thought of collaborating with my favourite local bloggers. I emailed my target bloggers and offered sending some product samples. If I remember it right, they have clearly stated in their “sponsorship and advertising” tabs that they have a soft spot for starting entrepreneurs with all those flowery and sympathetic words. Of the six “hi-profile” bloggers we emailed, only two welcomed us. I guess not bad only to later discover that collaborating with them would cost an arm and a leg. It was like surrendering my half-month salary for that single blog post.
Maybe I wasn’t prepared. I might be drawn by the idea that they are angels and saints who would welcome everyone. As for their rates, I’m still clueless about this system But I’ll be honest. This money making system somehow lessened the credibility I have for some bloggers. I was awakened by the fact that I should learn to filter whatever information they present in their respective blogs. Or maybe, I have an incorrect way of understanding them. If they say that they love comments and letters from readers, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will reciprocate with a response. If they provide their email address and other contact means, this doesn’t oblige them to answer queries.
My possibly worst experience was when I have to personally transact with the two bloggers who were willing to accept our product samples. One of them agreed that I’ll deliver our products in her home address. When I landed to her doorstep, the kind neighbour told me that she might still be asleep. I don’t want to cause any hassle so I was really thankful for the kindest neighbour who took care of my product samples. Heck, we have agreed with the delivery time considering your utmost convenience.
The other blogger welcomed our offer of receiving the products via courier. I made some alterations with the product because of perishability reasons. After several days, she sent me an email expressing a little dissatisfaction. Okay, I have my own fault. But I cannot help but cry for all the efforts and hardships I have rendered. Me and my business partner shelled out part of our meagre income from our day jobs. We carried tons of supplies, carefully packed each item and finally carried two heavy boxes to the courier. In fairness to this blogger, she uttered some words of gratitude. But her dissatisfaction was more overpowering.
So much for this long post. I actually don’t know how to end it. For some of you, I may sound as the bitter entrepreneur who ranted about her disappointments. I admit to some extent. But I believe much of what I wrote today leads to one big lesson I learned in my four years of stay. Credibility is far more important than all those blogging milestones and achievements. And if I were to set the standards, I will go for credibility. I prefer to read and be influenced by those whose reputation remains untainted.