Redefining the Blogosphere
Redefining the Blogosphere
9 years ago 0 4

It goes without saying that our world and its population are becoming increasingly connected with each passing day. In a few years, it will be difficult to remember a time before popular blogs were trafficked at a level similar to that of sites like Google, Amazon, eBay, and so on.

It wasn’t so terribly long ago that I was writing research papers for college classes, the guidelines for which always warned that Wikipedia does NOT count as a legitimate reference source. They also allowed no more than three internet sources. As a recent graduate now working at an agency specializing in social media, I literally spend hours upon hours each week doing research online. I certainly don’t stop myself after visiting only three websites. Experiencing how much the business world is changing leads me to wonder whether that restrictive academic tendency will evolve, too.

I would guess that most people—definitely the majority of my acquaintances—believe that they have an untapped river of creativity coursing through them. Blogs allow the nameless thousands (or millions—BlogPulse indicated last week that there are over 151 million live blogs) to speak their piece. They can sing it, rap it, dance to it, put guitar music to it, catch it on video or make it sepia-toned in PhotoBooth. Or they can do all of those things at once and enhance it with a tongue-in-cheek stream of consciousness.

Less popular blogs have been referred to as public diary spaces, but their writers have created something original and uniquely theirs, and for some that is what matters. Of course we all know there are scores of blogs that are able to hit the ground running due to some combination of special ingredients (humor, rhetoric, blunt honesty, etc.). Consider the way blogs have developed since they first exploded as a favorite online activity and creative release. Blogs have grown to serve more purposes than could have been predicted. Corporations have blogs, sports teams and musicians have blogs, and even Anderson Cooper has a blog. A darn good one at that.

More recently, the weblog movement has put on a new hat – that of sharing with American citizens material that until now was silenced. Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks and populated the site with classified documents he received from a Private First Class in the U.S. Army, thrilling some and scaring others. He supposedly has more that contain “information on everything from BP to Guantanamo Bay” (source: Examiner article). Critics are sure that WikiLeaks pose a threat to national security. Advocates appreciate Assange’s efforts to get more transparency from the government. In an interview on CNN, a New York Times reporter defends his use of WikiLeaks as an editorial source by citing that as a news organization their agenda “is to report what is newsworthy, and to illuminate what the government is doing.”

To date, no one as been successful in convincing me that print media will eventually die. I have always and will always be of the mind that print news will last because the (however small) population that likes to hold a physical newspaper or feel the bulk of the New York Times Sunday edition will keep it alive. But because I don’t live under a rock, and work in an industry where e-mail is to spoken word as paper is to rock, I have to wonder where blogs will be in one, five, and ten years. Blogs as marriage vows? As the homily in a social church service?

What do you think? Don’t be shy—I know you’re opinionated. I read about it in your blog.


  1. Mary Ellen

    9 years ago

    I like to play devil’s advocate. I’m trying to understand…you say in your opening line that “populace are becoming increasingly connected with each passing day.” Are we? Or, are we just a populace of that uses an-easy-to-use device to recreate the old-fashioned letter-to-the-editor and op-ed column page comments? You quote an internet source – that there are over 151 million live blogs out there. Meaning we’ve got 151 million conversations going on at once. Problem is most of them are one sided.

    Is the point of “Redefining the Blogosphere” suppose to be about how people are connecting more and that is redefining the ‘blogoshpere” or it is allowing more information to people via computer hackers (aka Julian Assange.) It is a very James Joyce thought process you have going on here. Good for you. But like Joyce, very hard to follow. But I’m not a novice in blogging.

    And one final thought….If a blogger blogs and no one is around to read it, does it make a sound?

  2. Mary Ellen

    9 years ago

    I meant to say I am NOVICE in blogging.

  3. Lauren Welles

    9 years ago

    I really appreciate your comment, Mary Ellen. First, thanks for bringing up that introduction, because I wrote ‘populace’ in error, and have made the appropriate switch with ‘population.’ I would certainly agree that some types of online activity serve to simplify/expedite/automate an activity like sending a letter to the editor, but I think that the landscape is changing and we are in fact becoming more connected. It is about more than leaving comments… it is about the content’s owner writing back, and digital behavior becoming a part of the daily routine. To your closing question, my personal take is that an unread blog may not make a sound, but it allows the author to exercise his or her voice, and that is important too.

  4. John

    9 years ago

    I think while print is not dead… or rather may never die. It is dieing. ROI on print ads is lower than it has ever been. It is a perfect storm situation. In order for a print ad to be effective it must be in the right place at the right time. Even then the right reader must be willing to take action on the offer in the ad. In a social environment a two way conversation is much more powerful. The consumer has been “sold to” for hundreds of years. Social media allows the brand to be a buying assistant instead of a sales entity. You can better help walk them through satisfying their need via social media than you can in a print, radio, or t.v. ad.

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