Friday, June 1, 2007

Blogging: A Communicative Tool

Thousands of words, many of topics, daily updates, what else more to say? Juicy gossip, intriguing stories of a person’s everyday life put on a blog for all to read, is very common this day in age. Nasty comments, wonderful comments, it’s all apart of the game. The joy of sort of remaining anonymous is what I like. You can tell a great story or significant event that happened to you and no one really knows who you are, if you choose to remain anonymous.

Blogging can bring you a world of joy and happiness, and also a world of pain and frustration. After exploring my references and doing my research, I have found my answer as to whether or not blogging is an affective communicative tool. I’ve evaluated both ends of the spectrum, and came to the conclusion that it is.

I do believe that blogs are very effective communication tools to our society. There are billions of different topics that fill these web logs and I think that’s the beauty of writing. You could go out and search almost anything and be able to find it in a blog. People occupy their time by writing and updating blogs. Certain sites include Facebook, Xanga, MySpace, and many more. People may not know that’s what they are doing, but it is a daily journal in a different variation of what’s going on in your life, who your friends are, and how popular you can be.

In an email sent to our class in general, Bonnie Burton, Never Threaten to Eat Your Coworkers editor, explains why blogging is so important. She begins to tell us that it’s been around for awhile now, and that it probably won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon. She goes on to say that blogging is whatever you make it out to be, it is what you make it. You can make it about your personal life or about that of others lives and that it is a perfect way to get your points across for everyone to view. She also goes on to say that blogging helps you find your own path in writing and your own little niche (Burton, 29 May 2007).

In the book We’ve Got Blogs, one of the articles talks about being an A-lister, or a well known recognized writer. For example, in the blog written by Rebecca Mead called “You’ve Got Blog: How to Put Your Business, Your Boyfriend, and Your Life Online”, she tells a story about a woman named Meg Hourihan and the company she developed with the help of her ex-boyfriend, as well as her new romance with another “A-List” writer named Jason Kottke. Jason is a Web designer from Minneapolis. In her blog, Mead highlights on the meaning of A-Lister. An A-Lister is someone who constantly gets hits to their blog, tons of comments, and is an outright blog genius. An A-Lister is someone who knows the ropes of blogging, is a perfectionist at it, and if commented by this person, can make your site become somewhat “A-List” as well. She states, “Getting blogged by Kottke, or by Meg Hourihan or one of her colleagues at Pyra, her company, is the blog equivalent of having your book featured on Oprah.” This would mean it would cause greater amounts of traffic to your blog, making you popular like them.

This article also demonstrates the negative side of blogging. If you’re not in the in-crowd, you won’t have as many hits to your site, or comments left by those important people. People begin blogging by accident or for their own pleasure. We’ve Got Blog features an article by Brad L. Graham called “Why I Web log: A Rumination on Where the Hell I’m Going with This Website.” He talks about his experience with blogs and gives the reasons why he does so. Some of those reasons include a drive to publish his work, an opportunity to learn, a license to explore, and a sense of community. He elaborates on all these topics, but let’s face it, that’s open to everyone.
Also in this very same book, an article by Douglas Rushkoff views that the internet is a good source of communication. It is a good source of communication depending on how you look at things. If your publishing a story and then you get critiqued by it, you know what you should change or do something to fix it. As to blogging, I feel that it’s not as formal, so why should it matter how you write it. It’s the material in the blog that’s the most sufficient.

Another book to reference would be Never Threaten to Eat Your Co-Workers. This book is full of A-list writers as well. Their stories about their lives and what’s going on around them fill the white empty pages of the book. Many of the stories are very intriguing and interesting to read. That’s what a blog is essentially supposed to do: tell a story, and let viewers read about it to make up their own opinions.

My final reference was an interview with one of my high school teachers who uses blogging as an outlet in her life. When asked about blogging and how she used it in everyday life, she told me this:
“Blogging is a wonderful communicative tool, if you know how to use it. In my experience, people can be very vicious if you try to invade their blogs and really don’t know what you’re talking about or try to act like you know what you’re talking about. I feel that it’s a very useful tool that allows one’s mind to free its thoughts of the day, and put them on to a website for others to be able to enjoy. I think this is a very effective way to communicate with others all over the world. I do however; feel that some people may go too far and they shouldn’t attack people for what they believe in. All in all, I think blogging is an affective communicative tool and without it, we as a society may be lost with today’s news, media, campaigns, elections, music, and plenty more issues. I hope to see blogs stay around for awhile, because they do help me catch up on current events and the news around the world. They also allow me to keep up on what my friends that I do not necessarily get to talk to, are doing,” said Mrs. Corns.
You will have your downsides to blogging, with the occasional attackers, but that’s what will make your blog stronger and you as a writer stronger. In the beginning, I didn’t think badly about any blog. I felt it was an effective way to express yourself through words on a website that served basically as your pen and paper. That is, until the bad comments began to develop. In a recent assignment, my English professor instructed our class to go to a website called Defective He then told us that we would need to comment on a blog titled “I Saw U,” leaving our blog URL so that people would come and visit our site. After one night, the viewers, or regulars, of this blog began to jump on us like a herd of bulls racing down a ravine. They began to pick us apart from our grammar to what we were saying. They just attacked us in general. It was amazing to see the turnaround on things, because for an assignment so simple that we were just trying to get a feel for what these people do with their everyday lives, they were just rude.

Thinking back on things, it was bizarre to get negative reactions from a person on your blog, somewhat biting your head off because you didn’t use correct grammar or spelling or whatever the complaint may be. It was hard to believe at first, but then you start to think about how when people have a passion for something such as writing, and love it so much, they would do anything to protect it or keep people out that don’t know what their doing. If we didn’t have blogs, we wouldn’t know so much about people or what is going on in the world today, so I personally hope they stay around and improve and update for awhile.

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