Sometimes blogging is like sticking my head in an empty pot of honey. It’s supposed to be sweet and satisfying, but it ends up empty. “Hello! Hello?” I yell, and no one responds. Sometimes blogging is like Winnie the Pooh. Why even bother?
I’ve heard that Twitter functions in much the same way. It’s like “shouting into the void” due to an overabundance of information. Almost anyone can have an opinion nowadays and become a professional blogger or social media superstar.
However, I still believe that quality can outshine quantity.
The history of blogging is proof of this. Josh Micah Marshall analyzed major political news and, because of it, removed Trent Lott from the Senate Majority Leader in 2002. Likewise, the blog “Power Line” exposed falsified reports presented as fact by CBS News in 2004. Both of these bloggers showed what a powerful influence citizen journalism can be.
Within a few years, many more jumped on the bandwagon. It is now commonplace for people of all professions to have a personal blog (even if it’s not a good one). These wagon-riders, however, do not get the online traffic that media professionals do. Therefore, they are not fair to call “competitors” that widen the void professional bloggers shout into.
Although blogging has become diluted, it is still relevant and useful to those who use it well.
An example of this is live blogging. Those who are close to events and blog about them as they unfold are a great source of information.
“Journalism has been called the first draft of history, so a good journalistic live blog can serve as the first draft of journalism,” Brian Carroll said in his how-to book “Writing and Editing for Digital Media.” And I agree! Bloggers provide personal insight, emotional accounts and otherwise unheard perspectives that are useful for storytelling. They can help professional journalists collect sources for the nightly news, or they can help the ordinary citizen access personal perspectives about an issue so he or she can form an opinion.
Ultimately, some will be boring bloggers and some will be great. It is those who write well, research thoroughly and utilize the internet to its maximum potential are the reason blogging is still useful. Its gives media professionals feedback and serves as a system of checks and balances while giving ordinary citizens deeper insight into complex issues.
My advice? Keep on blogging! Give a bother about the topics that interest you. Research well. Write well. Engage with your audience. And don’t let the haters bother your bothers.