by pissed off patricia
What is Blogging?
Blogging is an awful lot of people all talking at once. The voices are silent but many are heard. Many of us are "getting it out of our system". We are blogging our feelings about a myriad of events, thoughts, situations, and emotions. It may be the new therapy. If you are a blogger, you know how good you feel after you post. You gave yourself the opportunity to type what you were thinking whether anyone reads it or not. You made your statement, and with making that statement you have released something from inside yourself. This is very similar to attending a therapy session. You tell the therapist what you are feeling and they listen. With blogging, you tell cyberspace what you are feeling and perhaps someone will listen to your silent voice.
As for blog readers, they get to pick and choose which voice they will hear and which they will not. The voices can be heard at any time and in any order, and you get to hear them all if you choose. You mostly read blogs as you would choose friends. You like to read likeminded opinions and you hope they will bolster and support your own emotions and decisions. From a political point of view, left-leaning blog readers tend to read left-leaning blogs. It's natural to seek support for your beliefs. That's what friends do for one another. But it would also seem wise to see what other not so likeminded bloggers are saying. That's much easier on the internet. On the internet you may enter a room of not so likeminded bloggers and discover what they said today and often times what they said many days ago. You can be "a fly on the wall".
How strong an influence do political bloggers have, especially in the world of the news media?
That is yet to be determined. Many claim a strong influence and boast about it often. Perhaps some time down the road blogging will receive a chair at the big table, but for now it seems bloggers are relegated to the smaller children's table. That's not to say that blogging can't mature and grow. Subtle changes are already apparent. Some bloggers seem to have gone from being content with their position to casting a yearning eye at the adult media table. Some believe they have already made the move due to one event here or there. They will site the Dan Rather fiasco as proof. One report does not a professional journalist make, but to many it's a beginning and perhaps they're correct. How big and how strong political blogging will become, no one knows yet, because it's still growing. The media has been resistant to accept political blogging as anything more than gossip for a long time. Now many in media are blogging too. We've come that far. The media sees that the blogging audience is growing, and they want a piece of the action.
So here we are. We're all communicating with one another in a new and amazing way. A blogger can talk when everyone else is talking and still be heard as an individual. Where else can that happen? A blogger can talk today and be heard a week or a year from now. If we want political blogging to be not only heard, but also respected, we must try our best to be factual with what we say. With blogging, there are no rules. The lack of rules may be a problem for bloggers, because as of now you are not responsible for what you write. There is no waiting to speak, and so far, no rules about what you may say. That may be a present blessing or a future kiss of death for blogging. The freedom to say anything you please about anyone has a dangerous edge. What about trust and integrity? If political bloggers are diligent and dedicated to getting it right, they can move up, but if they become nothing more than emotional, angry writers using fiction rather than fact, they stand the chance of losing the respect of one another. Any aspiration of ever being recognized and listened to seriously will be only a dream they once had.
Organization might well be considered by bloggers. Not order but organization. Perhaps political bloggers need to come together and set out their own standards and direction before someone else does it for them. Bloggers should protect their rights and set their standards, because everyone knows the bigger you become, the bigger target you also become. It might be wise for bloggers to speak to this idea before it's too late. We have this wonderful tool and we need to use it wisely and protect it, because there may come a time when the government feels we don't merit such responsibility. Only if we join together and marshal ourselves will we continue to be able to all speak at once and have our silent voices heard.