Monday, July 6, 2009
Article on how blogs changed everything
I decided to pursue my master's in communication because of the variety of ways it impacts our society. Today's issue of Salon.com has an article with excerpts from a new book by Scott Rosenberg entitled: "Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters." Here's a link to that article: http://www.salon.com/books/excerpt/2009/07/06/scott_rosenberg/index.html I recommend this article, and perhaps even the above mentioned book to those of you who are interested in the origin of blogging, as well as where it's taking us. In paragraphs 8 and 9 of this article, Rosenberg talks about society's original fearful reaction to the introduction of the telephone, and how it has now become our "most trusted and confidential form of everyday communication." Even though the television is capable of reaching mass audiences more so than a telephone, his findings reveal more similarities between blogging to the telephone. I'm thinking this is due to the intimacy of typical blog conversation, and the fact that blogs usually have more of a selected audience than social messages conveyed through the television. In paragraph 11, he mentions how "our most significant choice we have been making, collectively, ever since the popularization of Internet access in the mid-1990s, has been to favor two-way interpersonal communication over the passive reception of broadcast-style messages." Reading this made me realize that I'm not alone with my first post sharing my reluctant thoughts/feelings as to whether or not I would enjoy adapting to "broadcast-style messages." I also like his new word: "bloggish." He uses this to describe what we witness through the medium of blogging. Rosenberg finds that the majority of people who read or comment on blogs are in fact bloggers themselves. He follows that up with this quote "But in fact, as they say in the software industry, this reciprocity is not a bug at all -- it's a feature." When creating a blog, you are presented with the option to allow/not allow public comments. I personally thought long and hard about what type of blog I wanted to create, but in the end decided on what I consider a diplomatic approach, and therefore hope that this decision brings more than just exisiting "bloggers" to read/comment on this blog. I also found myself pondering this intriguing point: "of all the species of writer, bloggers are the least insulated from their audience, most vulnerable to the ebb and flow of attention and response. They are both alone and in a crowd. Their solitude can inspire self-indulgent ranting; their sociability can tempt them into self-serving pandering. But every now and then they manage to hold their balance in this paradoxical position for an extended, exhilarating spell." I think I've found my balance, and am so far really happy with what this blog entails. The end of the article continues this thought by mentioning how blogging is like putting everything out there, but that either way, bloggers are going to keep at it since "Blogging allows us to think out loud together. Now that we have begun, it's impossible to imagine stopping." Any "bloggish" comments to add?