Technology today is increasingly becoming more and more advanced. With these great advancements come changes to the way that we live. One popular trend in our society today is blogging. People are staying connected with one another like never before with this spectacular feature of the internet. Everyone has potential to get their thoughts, ideas and opinions into cyberspace for anyone with access to a computer to see. Although such a growing technology, blogging varies from site to site. The idea that different people use blogs for many different purposes bring to light the question asked by Barlow, author of Blogging America, why do we blog? As a society, blogging is definitely used as an outlet for many different purposes. Some blogs are for entertainment, some are for news, and others are used by some as a personal journal or diary. But Barlow’s question remains, why blog, and where is this phenomenon going to lead?
In my observations preparing for this essay, I chose to follow a blog titled Crush, which I found on the homepage for Yahoo. I chose to follow this blog for several reasons, the main reason being that I found the topic to be amusing. The main focus of Crush, was celebrity gossip, a guilty pleasure for many, myself included. I also chose this blog because it is run by Yahoo, a site which I trust. This does not mean that I take all I read there as coming from a reputable source; however I think that the information is of better quality than what I might have found on a personal blog. I also found the layout of the blog to be quite attractive. It consisted of bright colors, pictures, and videos to support the content on the blog. I think that layout of a blog plays an extremely important role in the popularity of the blog. With the millions of blogs out there for people to follow, bloggers must catch the attention of the followers. A first impression can be everything.
When reading Crush, I disappointedly found myself getting bored. Perhaps after submerging myself into the blogging world of celebrity gossip, I discovered how meaningless and pathetic the topic actually is. However, for the purpose of the assignment, I stayed with it, and actively participated and observed. With the focus being on young celebrities, the main audience of the blog is people of about the same age. I only make this assumption based on the quality of comments I read. Those who commented either took personal offense to people disliking their favorite celebrities, or gave support to the celebrities through the blog, as if they were reading it themselves. People attacked each other based on comments made, as I witnessed firsthand for a comment I made. In following this blog I came to the realization that a big reason some blog is for entertainment purposes. I guess that by some standards this could be considered a source of news, if one just needed to know that a Jonas brother and Taylor Swift broke up. However, for the most part, this is a great example of people using blogging for entertainment purposes.
There are however several other purposes for blogging. People keep personal blogs to update their friends and loved ones. In the article “Shout into the wind and it shouts back”, by Lori Kendall, she gave an example of a man blogging the news of his newborn child, rather than emailing all that he wanted to notify. This shows that blogging is used by some as a means to stay connected with others and share personal information. Some people use their blogs as a personal diary or journal. Thoughts that one want to express are blogged, along with ideas and feelings. This form of blogging for many has taken the place of writing in a journal by hand. However, the idea that there is a potential audience when blogging might change the tone in which the blogger writes.
Blogging has even advanced the education experience. This class is a perfect example. All writing assignments are posted to a public blog, for the entire world to see. We as a class are learning to write for an audience, and saving some trees while we’re at it. It might not be too long before all professors adopt this idea of posting work to a blog.
So where is this idea of blogging taking us? Blogging is taking us to the future. The world is rapidly becoming more and more technologically advanced. Blogging is going to be taking over the world soon, in a good way. People need outlets to express themselves, and have the opportunity to do so by blogging. So Barlow’s question of why people blog has numerous answers. Blogging is personal. Blogging is educational. Blogging is therapeutic. Blogging is entertainment. There is no one answer to the question, the answer lies on the user. What can blogging do for you, anything.
Barlow, A. (2008). Blogging America The new public sphere. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Kendall, Lori. (2007). "Shout into the wind, and it shouts back.” Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrieved on August 21, 2008 from http://www.firstmonday.org/issues.issue12_9/kendall/index.html.