By now, if you haven't heard of Blogging, you must be in a coma, seldom watch or listen to the news, or never use the internet. Bloggers are the newest and most popular 'authentic' voice on the internet.
First, let's begin with an accurate definition of Blogging. Blog is short for Web Log. To blog is to upload text onto the same place on the internet daily, weekly, monthly, or at least with some predictable frequency. The best bloggers are trained professional writers, people who write because it's their passion, and politically inclined individuals who need a bully pulpit for their ideas. Some bloggers are traveling long distance over an extended period of time, and they want to communicate with family and friends. The traveling bloggers do not have enough time to e-mail everyone - so they blog. Family and friends can check their blog for updates on their whereabouts, their adventures, mishaps, and golden opportunities while they're on the road.
Is Blog a Noun, Verb, or Adjective?
I have seen Blog used as a noun, verb and adjective. This means blogging is a thing, an active principle, and a way to describe something. If you want to blog (verb) and do it well, the best advice is to blog on a subject you know quite a good deal about. Chances are, most people who blog with a good solid background in their subject area, do not readily run out of good material. Also, people who read blogs (noun) constructed in this way will walk away enriched, educated on a particular subject, and are more likely to return.
Blogging as Gossip or for Profits
As a professional writer and a creative writer, I am enjoying the popularity of the blogger (noun). Why? Because bloggers are bringing back respect for the individual voice in writing. Their popularity is sometimes based upon the depth of their knowledge on a particular subject. Or, as in the case of bloggers who helped reveal the true identity of White House Press Corps gay hustler Jeff Gannon, bloggers can turn a little vicious gossip into an international news story, which I personally find amusing and enlightening. Since bloggers uncovered this scandalous man's double life, blogging has gained a great deal of attention. In fact, marketing and public relations firms are now using blogging as a tool in their whole package of increasing a client's media visibility.
Public Relations and Marketing Blogging
If the Public Relations and Marketing firms gain a stronghold on blogging activities, perhaps the 'authentic' individual voice that began the blogging craze will be lost in the rubble. This is the worry of many devoted bloggers. Or, maybe this trend could strengthen the position of political or gossip oriented bloggers. Perhaps the 'devoted bloggers' who were working in the restaurant and retail industry, will now find they're being offered the opportunity to blog for money instead of slave away over a hot grill, or at a cash register.
This is where the whole blogging debate takes over.
Ethical versus Unethical Blogging
Who actually has the 'right' to blog? What does an authentic blogger look and feel and sound like? How do you identify a slick, Public Relations blogger? Should blogging remain in the realm of the individual voice? Or will it be usurped by multinational corporations and governments for their own devious purposes? These are all valid questions, and I'm afraid I do not possess an answer to any of these ethical questions about blogging. I feel that the individual person, company, or entity must answer these questions on their own. But there is one thing I am absolutely certain about. Everyone has a right to blog, just as every one has a right to write and publish their work in the public sphere, which includes the internet.
For some ideas on how to increase web site traffic by blogging, visit http://www.sidhecommunications.com and read the companion piece to this article: Start Blogging to Increase Internet Traffic: We Blog.
About the Author
Elizabeth Kirwin has published work in national magazines and newspapers. She is co-owner of Sidhe Communications http://www.sidhecommunications.com in Asheville NC. She develops web sites, newsletters, brochures, and internet marketing plans for businesses, non-profits, and health care ogranizations nationally. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. <
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