Monday, February 27, 2006

Why Blog?

TAG: technology

Strange thing is this bloggin'. It is the last popular www fashion so far. Generally the term blog is often used to describe a web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer. People blog poems, prose, thoughts, complaints, daily experiences, and more, often allowing others to contribute. As explained in Wikipedia, the term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz. He broke the word weblog into the phrase "we blog" in the sidebar of his weblog in April or May of 1999. "Blog" was accepted as a noun (weblog shortened) and as a verb. In 2001, mainstream awareness of online diaries increased dramatically. Millions of people are started to write "everything" on their blogs, things that read by not many people. Some people are quiet succesfull with their blog, they attract an huge amount of visitors. Merel Roze, a Dutch blogger -and now writer- had 3000 visitors on her blogsite. There was also this Chinese girl with thousands of visitors on her blog which contained soft erotic content and some daily stories (but she was a Communist Party member and knowing that Chinese government has control on bloggers, it's quite possible that her site was controlled/planned/supported by government, who knows). But in majority it is not the case, most weblogs are visited by couple of people mostly by friends and/or acquaintances. So, generally speaking people are writing things that actually read by virtually nobody! But why?..

The reasons are different as much as the users of course. As blogs can vary on different thema's and subjects, they can be very useful to find different information or opinions. Generally most blogs look visually similar, people produce similar contents, link each other, and read by only few. My own experience that the most interesting and different blogs which have valuable information are written by persons who also have similar professions in their daily life, like journalists, scientists, scholars or artists etc. But if i look at it -since I am an user as well, the best way to understand a medium is to participate it-, it follows a certain pattern: You start a blog for some reason, you choose a layout to work on, change it a bit for your wishes as far as your html or css knowledge allows you. And you start to write. After a while you install some kind of tracker to see how many people are visiting. Maybe organize your content and add some advertisements or other useful links as well.

It's also said that Bloggin is a post-modern exhibitionism, nothing more. Interesting thought. But I think it's more than that. If there will be a new religion with a new prophet, he will get a blogger account and the holy book will be published online, I wouldn't be surprised.

Well, we live in an "Information Society" and nobody can't deny that internet has changed our lives -and society- drastically. We are basically mediaconsumers. The role of mass media is shifted to the cyberspace so to speak, but now the medium (www) is giving people the ability to produce the "content". Do you ever wanted to be a writer or a journalist? Go ahead, medium is ready. Why wait for a record deal if you are a musician? Put your music online and reach other people at the end of the world. Do you want to become a film director? Ok, take your camera and shoot some stuff and put it on your website, for public. It's a digital revolution, The Net is giving "power to the people"! Of course most of the stuff and blogs are known by nobody (and contentwise ridicilous). Not all the stuff are meant to reach "succes", but it's not the point. The point is: we are now not only the mediaconsumers but also the maker. Weblogs give people their own voice. But now millions of people are talking and all these voices summed together looks like the Tower of Babylon. But most of the blogs are not meant to generate a big public, they have the function of telling your story, your own way. Globally speaking, bloggin is more like a modern form of telephone talk, it is a new way of communication. Marshall McLuhan was definitly right: "The medium is the message".

And I think at this point, where modern man is surrounded by the frustration of digital age, the weblogs are nothing more than a different way of saying: "I am here" or even stronger "I am exist". It is the result of our interaction with the new digital medium, by doing this we also create a new way of existence. We, as humans, have different identities in our lives. The most above level is our sexes of course, followed by our race, nation, religion, politics, social group we belong and so on. A person can be a loving father, a faithfull religious person, a terrible boss, a jolly sport partner and an annoying customer at the same time. These are simply our identities and roles we take in society. These are the way of surviving through life, these are the ways of giving meaning to our existence. Now the digital medium enters into our lives, (or we enter into the digital medium), our identities shift also into the cyberspace and as a most natural human behaviour we adapt ourselves and we take a digital identity. Bloggin is the communication form of these digital identities.

Years ago, when graffiti culture first started, I had read an interview with some graffiti artists. The reporter had asked "Why are you writing on the walls?" One of them had an interesting remark: "Sometimes" he said, "when I feel so frustrated or I look at this society, I have this urge and want to crash my head to the walls. But it's much logical to write on these walls in stead of crashing your head". I think it is also same for internet and the weblogs. We are clawed and almost imprisoned by technological/information age and it is much logical to write in the medium in stead of crashing our heads. Again Marshall McLuhan: "The medium is the message"!.. (but I think the message is messy!.. so far.)

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5 Noises:

At Monday, February 27, 2006 8:24:00 AM, Blogger trinity said...

interesting perspective. i personally started not expecting anyone to read but a few family members that i gave the link to... and lo! and behold! comments began to appear from people on the other side of the world and i sat in amazement that validation from strangers would affect me as much as it has. now, although not with the thought of an audience per se, i find myself addicted to the process.

am enjoying getting lost in your words...

blessings,
trinity

 
At Monday, February 27, 2006 6:47:00 PM, Blogger . nothing . said...

Thank you for your kind words Trinity.

It is -bloggin and generally internet- indeed an interesting process to observe and participate. I'll write more things about these subjects -and more- time to time. I hope you'll visit more often and give more comments and I hope you'll enjoy..

PS: Enjoy my words but don't get lost :-)

Cheers

 
At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 12:27:00 AM, Blogger Insane_Racounter..! said...

Once again a nice concept and very elagant post,
weblogs are nothing more than a different way of saying: "I am here" or even stronger "I am exist"
True, and as you mentioned a great way to meet people of similar interests.
and yeah and why should i blog ?
i answered that Question in one of my previous posts...here's the link feel free to share your perspective
http://innsanity.blogspot.com/2005/10/why-f-should-i-write.html

cheers

 
At Wednesday, March 01, 2006 12:48:00 AM, Blogger . nothing . said...

Thanks for the link Peeps. As i wrote everybody has his own reason to write. I ahd written my reason in my first post: http://nothingmakesnoise.blogspot.com/2005/09/this-is-how-its-started.html

Actually I have started this blog as a tryout for a project that later I want to realize, was experiencing with the medium, but anyway :-)

I am really curious for your reason.

Take care

 
At Wednesday, March 01, 2006 1:50:00 AM, Blogger Sphinx said...

A very thorough post on the history of blogging and its growing popularity.

I think you helped to point out that blogs are a useful medium of self-expression. In a world where many people feel alienated from family or peers or colleagues or even society in general, blogs specifically and the internet in general bring people together who would have never met in a world without computers. It helps us to see that the world really is small, and that we are all connected in ways we haven't even begun to perceive. This 'age of information', with all the ideas it gives access to, has alot of potential to become a very significant catalyst in creating a more evolved global consciousness.

I agree that blogs also point out the ways in which the different identities each one of us flows through from day to day, hour to hour, and even minute to minute, are ever changing...kinda makes you wonder which one of them is the real you to begin with sometimes. (they all are...and yet none of them are)

All in all, blogs are, indeed, a healthy form of release and also a way of sharing thoughts and ideas with people we normally wouldn't have the opportunity to.

Cheers
M

 

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