A blog about blogs

I must admit that, as an academic, I’ve had some trepidation about blogs. These were unfiltered bits of information that clutter up the internet, where everybody became armchair pundits and could offer opinions and a half. And where mainstream media could pander to their audiences by making them feel involved in the news – everybody now seems to have form of direct audience connection. But at the end of the day, I would have trusted the reputable news organizations with storied histories and traditions for my news, and not run with the rumors and half-truths found online.

However, my views have changed with the realization that blogs measure the pulse of the audience, both in terms of where they are coming from (an indicator of the reach of the news itself), and the intensity of the feelings and emotions of the audience. And it’s not just blogs too. Interactive fora, comments sections and Facebook/Twitter pages all capture the masses with an immediate and sometimes visceral impact that is essentially a snapshot in time of audience emotion.

While blogs may be sometimes full of nonsense and ramblings, they’re often useful for breaking news – important in the rabid 24-hr news cycle we’re all in now. They cater to specific audiences in a way that commercial media may not find economically viable. Where else can we get sneak peeks at Summer 2011 movies, or the latest version of a Mercedes being tested in South Africa?

But I’m going to segue slightly. Along with the blogs, interactive comments sections also yield interesting observations about the mindsets of people. Not everyone who reads, hears or watches a news piece feels compelled to write something, so we must bear in mind that this isn’t a representative set of the true audience. While they can be serious, insightful and informative, they can often be amusing. And amusing as in genuinely amusing, or amusing out of ignorance. I saw a comment recently online with respect to the recent Dudus affair, where, upon learning that Jamaica was under a State of Emergency, a commenter proceeded to lambast the government for copying the USA because “Jamaica has parishes, not states”! Some comments on my own blog here are longer than the blog itself – nothing inherently wrong with that, however. In other cases, a lot of people have strong opinions, and I would urge that they turn these opinions into action as well. They obviously feel strongly about whatever topic enough to write, so they’re halfway there to action, compared to the apathetic person who doesn’t care enough to write!

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4 Responses to “A blog about blogs”

  1. Very interesting piece. Lovely aspects about blogs…to the point…not biased at all.

  2. I’ve really liked your blog…got some really good stuff.. i’ll try to promote it in brazilian social media network TKS Madeira Biossint√©tica

  3. tv says:

    I found your blog on Google , this is a cool blog , i will come back.

  4. Fine sentiments, thoughtfully expressed!

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4 comments so far
parris Posted by: parris June 15, 2010 at 9:10 am