Monday, September 14, 2009

Response to Rebecca Blood's Article: "Weblogs: A History and Perspective"

To be perfectly honest, I have always been extremely skeptical, at best, about the relevance and usefulness of blogs. I was intrigued by this article because I hoped it would help shed some light on why blog's are becoming increasingly prevalent in every day society, and perhaps provide some arguments supporting blogs as a legitimately useful tool.

Blood's article provided a detailed account of the evolution of web logs. In concurrence with the rapid explosion of technology that has occurred in the past decade, the development of blogs was rapid. As Blood points out, in 1999, there were just 23 known blogs in existence. By September of 2000, there were thousands of them. As I stated before, the popularity of blogs is something that has always baffled me. Blood's article however, allowed me to understand a bit the function and attractiveness that blogging possesses. Throughout her article, Blood points out how blogs allow the public to be active participants in the daily media. Before the internet, the public received their media through a limited number of mainstream outlets, controlled by larger, corporate America. Blood's article pointed out to me the fact that the increasing prevalence and significance of blogging in the past decade has created a whole new element to mainstream news in our country, and the sources from which the public absorbs news. "Web log editiors participate in the dissemination and interpretation of the news that is fed to us every day. Their sarcasm and fearless commentary reminds us to question the vested interests of our sources of information and the expertise of individual reporters as the file news stories about subjects they may not fully understand" (Blood). Here I feel Blood best illustrates the main power the bloggers possess: The ability to provide thousands of alternative viewpoints and opinions to the mainstream outlets of the media that has fed our society essentially up until the creation of the internet. Furthermore, Blood points out how blogs have created an oppurunity for thousands to become active participants in our country's media. Blogs have made the dissention of information in our country to be an interactive process, and empowered everyday Americans to put their own spin on the world they see around them.

While Blood provided ample support for the benefits of blogging, she also illustrated the potential downsides of blogging. I believe that many people, like myself, feel a certain hesitiation or uneasyness about diving into the world of blogging. "But the average reader, hopefully clicking through to the Eatonweb portal, found herself faced with an alphabetical list of a thousand weblogs. Not knowing where to begin, she quickly retrated back to" (Blood). here, Blood perfectly depicts my hesitance towards relying/using blogs as a regular source of information, and my continued reliance and trust in mainstream news outlets such as While I do understand that SOME blogs may be accurate, useful, and intelligent, I f eel the overwhelming ammount of blogs on the internet are mindless, useless, and more concerned with the viewpoint of the particular author, a viewpoint that I believe may often be more narrow-minded than traditional news outlets. Furthermore, the world of blogs is an overwhelming one. Its size and confusing nature alone is enough to steer me away. Furthermore, Blood points out the corporate power will always reign supreme over the media, and assure that the true power and significance of bloggers remains minute in comparison to major corporate media powers.

As a person with very little knowledge about the practice of blogging, Rebecca Blood's article was enlightening and interesting. It not only provided me with detailed information concerning the historical evolution of blogs, but also pointed out the pros and cons that come with blogs.

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