A blog as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is a “Web site that contains an online personal journal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.” In the book Blogging America, Aaron Barlow discusses the issues we may now encounter with the blogosphere rapidly increasing. One major problem that Barlow presents is that blogs are basically too easy to create, and they have no one governing the information in which they are presenting. (p. 36) Even without editors, the information presented on blogs mostly consists of factual information that enriches the knowledge of the visitors.
For our forth essay we were assigned to monitor and post on a blog of our choice. Being an avid New York Jets fan, I choose to monitor Jane McManus’s, Jets Journal. In this blog, Jane McManus provides an interesting perspective that an average Jet fan may not encounter. She attends the daily practices, and gives a diehard fan like myself a description of what each practice is like. She even reports on individual players, speaking about their personal side. This adds a softer touch to her blog. She is not just reporting on the scores, or lead stories. Jane takes the time to speak with the players so that fans on the outside can really learn about the players they love. She even takes time out of her busy day to respond to questions that are left on her blog. She has created a nice following of Jet fans who are interested in up to the minute information about the players and coaches, as well as the major storylines surrounding the team. In my seven days participating in the Jets Journal, there have not been any altercations between visitors, and I believe this to be a healthy, happy blog.
Barlow considers the low level of monitoring that appears on blogs a problem in the blogosphere. If there is no accountability for the information posted, then how will we know if the material is factual? I agree in principal about the issue of lack of supervision on all blogs, but throughout my time participating in blogs I have found that most authors pride themselves on the work in which they produce. There is always be some people that are posting complete garbage with the intent to throw off the norm, but in most cases authors care deeply about the topics they are blogging about. Its really common sense, if you want to have a blog that people come to regularly, and trust the things you are saying it is imperative that your information is up to date and accurate. Barlow makes this statement about bloggers, “they want to be taken seriously within the greater society, not dismissed as weirdo loners in their mothers’ suburban basements.” (p.37) Since starting this class I have thrown myself into the world of blogging. Weekly we have posting either summaries of our readings, or even essays about the topics we are learning about. I truly believe that the writing that I do for my blog is much different then writing I would hand into a teacher for her eyes-only. I almost try to put on this intelligent front, that allows me to appear more scholarly then I really am. I want the people who read my blog to respect my opinion on these issues, and maybe let the things I speak about affect how they feel about the issue. I believe that this feeling applies to many bloggers in the blogosphere, and causes them to act responsibly while blogging.
Blogging is a practice that is growing before our eyes. “Technorati, a blog monitoring service, claimed to be tracking more than 75 million blogs.” (p.35) That is an outrageous number, and it is growing daily. It has become extremely easy to set up a blog, and begin to post on whatever you would like. Many people are worried about the ease of blogging, concerned that without supervision, soon enough the information on these blogs will not be factual. They feel that bloggers will not be responsible enough to post accurate information. Personally I disagree, I feel that blogging can be used however you feel, it is a tool that allows you to create a page and contribute to the blogosphere however you choose. I truly believe that the people posting on blogs really care about there face and want to be respected. Therefore even without editors, the information presented on blogs mostly consists of factual information that enriches the knowledge of the visitors.
Barlow, Aaron. Blogging @merica: The New Public Sphere. CT.: Praeger Publishers, 2008. (Chapter 2)