Wednesday, 7 February 2018

THE END OF WICKEDLAND


When I launched Wickedland ten years ago to this day, I was in an IT room in the Fletcher Tower at DMU whilst failing my first year of university. I had scanned and uploaded some drawings and set up a blog to post them to. One of the drawings was wearing a sweater with the word ‘Wickedland’ on. I remember picking that name as the name of the blog thinking that I should just pick any word, because if I stuck at it then any word would do, and would become the rightful name. 10 years on it’s hard for me to look at that completely normal day and believe what an important part of my life ‘Wickedland’ become.

Over the last 3/4 months I’ve been gradually coming to terms with the idea of writing this post. During that time I’d been hesitating as I found it hard to pin down the exact reason for me deciding to officially bring Wickedland to an end, and I think I’ve realised it’s because it’s not that simple. I think I’ve realised that there isn’t one sole reason I want to call time on it. A lot has changed in this last 10 years.

Not many things have changed as much as social media. 10 years ago we were just starting to use Facebook. Certain social sects were using Myspace already but that was about the extent of our social media usage. Fast forward to 2018 and not only has social media changed completely along with the introduction of smart phones, but our attention spans have changed. Walking down the street we are all using Instagram and Snapchat to document moments of our lives instantly, myself included. Often these days when I pull out my phone It’s to take a picture to post to Twitter, rather than save to post on my blog later in the week. I think that’s just the way life is now.

I think that blogging itself has changed in ten years. With the advent of social media as we know it, and a number of different ways document your lifestyle, blogs about lifestyles aren’t as well read as they were years ago. People don’t follow a travel blog, they’ll follow a travel account instead. Where blogs used to be about writing and posting pieces and appealing to a specific demographic, I feel blogging is now about content curating and listicles. Blogs have become outlets for updates on music and fashion, and lifestyle blogs have been left behind.

I, myself have changed in the last 10 years. Where I used to find it easy to write articles, record podcasts and edit videos for Wickedland I don’t so much anymore. Other commitments tend to take up my time. As Wickedland was a labour of love and has always been a hobby rather than something that helps me pay my bills, it got pushed to the bottom of my to-do list too many times. I guess these are natural things when you get to my age. 

But there’s no reason that makes me want to call time more so than the fact I find it hard to write the way I want to write these days. The world has changed in the last ten years and with that culture has shifted so much. I feel we live in world where people are desperate to find new ways to be offended and even though my stance with my blog has always been that it’s a personal blog written for likeminded people, I’ve found it increasingly challenging to stay true to that and not water the content down as Wickedland grew and awareness of Wickedland grew. My blog has always been crass, opinionated and centred around cutting dark humour, it’s harder to have a blog like that these days. I find it hard to write the way I used to write when I was 10 years younger. I had different priorities, different responsibilities and different ways of articulating my views.

Since 2008 my blog became like a diary for me. Never far from my thoughts and always the place I went to talk about what had been going on, post pictures of who I’d been seeing, and what I’d been eating. The place I went to work out what I was thinking. It was a nice bonus that people enjoyed reading what a wrote. From strangers giving me the ‘W’ hand signal in the street to the real life close relationships I’ve formed with people I’ve met through writing my blog, It’s been a constant in my life for the last 10 years and I feel it’s fitting to call time on it and close the book.

To everyone who ever read my blog, shared a post, sent me pictures to add, left a comment, listened to a podcast, watched a video, bought a fanzine or stuck up a sticker, I salute you and thank you for helping me maintain this and shape Wickedland over the last decade. Thank you to everyone I ever photographed, recorded or filmed for Wickedland, the candid and the not so candid. From Birdman to Bradley Andrews. Really Wickedland was about the people on it, not just me behind the phone taking pictures.

Most of all I want to thank who I call the Wickedlanders. I guess you know if you’re a Wickedlander; one of the likeminded few who avidly followed and keenly read over the years. Wickedland was just a blog written by an opinionated 20-something year old bloke from Leicester, mainly about living in the Leicester and what that encompassed. I honestly can’t believe so many of you followed so keenly for so long, but I’m really thankful and flattered because it was completely fun to put together knowing a few people would feel as passionately as I did over what I was posting.

Hopefully somewhere down the line ‘Wickedland’ will be reincarnated and will take on the form of a new, not-yet-conceived project. I just need some time to work out exactly what that is.


Until then, goodbye!

1 comment:

Science IT and Leisure said...

have a great day.

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