Evolution of Blogs

“Blogs are part of a fundamental shift in how we communicate”- ‘Bards to Blogs‘…”Blogs are a social genre”- ‘Blogs, Communities and Networks‘- Rettberg

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Why blog?…

Blogs are a natural progression in mans relationship with the written word and mass media. They allow the public sphere to interact with one and other with greater ease and less of a sociocultural divide. Blogs enhance the public sphere as well. Computers can be accessed by the common man. Thus, in order for ones voice to be heard they do not have to be published or educated (though that adds a greater respect element), all they must do is share their ideas and allow them to be discussed (through comments and sharing) in the public sphere.blog-1

Evolution…

The transition from print to electronic media follows many modern trends. “Going Green“, lack of formality, and accessibility, to name a few. Because of computer access less pamphlets and newspapers are being printed which is beneficial to the environment. Blogs are almost a new type of Op-Ed, however, people can comment on one and others ideas with the click of a button. The ease with which people can share their ideas makes them more likely to than before; especially in todays fast-paced society.

Potential problems…

Though blogs allow for greater participation in the public sphere, they also undermine the “seeds” of writing that Plato found to be so important. Because anyone with a computer can comment to or publish a blog, they cannot be guaranteed to be an expert or educated on the subject. However, an alternative argument can be made- that if a person takes the time to comment on a post, its content is something they find compelling and important and probably have knowledge on the subject.

The common man…

Blogs are also intriguing because they do not have tShakespear bloggingo be preserved- they are stored in networks of computers and can be accessed by anyone, not just someone with a printed copy. Distribution is another non-issue (assuming one has a computer). Blogs can be distributed in other ways- through social media sharing, emailing and word of mouth.

Blogs are geared toward a target audience. They are written with the intention and hope of having readers. This is why it is important the blogger have knowledge on their subject/opinion. They need to be able to argue their points with random readers and accept their role in the public sphere. Blogs can use emotion to appeal to the public, as is discussed in the ABC News article, “Mom with terminal cancer blogs fight for her life” by Sydney Lupkin. This mother uses her blog to inspire the public, even those she has never met.

Social Software…

The discourse of the public sphere has become more accessible due to “social software” such as blogs. Many social software sites are akin to social networking sites in which users can “follow” other users and topics that they are interested in. The frequent weak ties of social media and social software allow people to become exposed to new ideas and opinions that they may have not been aware of previously. Weak ties are often more important than strong in social software because they allow for a new audience in the sphere. social-networks-V2

Blogs can inspire ideas in the strong and weak spheres. Not only for other bloggers but for the audience. Readers can then take these ideas and discuss them in the broader public sphere. People are also more likely to read posts that they can relate to and/or agree with. The lack of a centralized but instead connected networks enable people to have access to blogs that are of interest to them.

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