My launch into the “Blogosphere” has been fun. To write an online web log or “blog” is to participate in what has been called “New Media.” It’s to experience the power of self-publishing.
Blogging by-passes publishers, editors, and editorial influences. It allows me to speak directly to anyone who cares to listen—at no additional cost to either of us.
For a writer, the blogosphere is the ultimate “free market,” a cyberspace version of the public square where we can share ideas, opinions, analysis…concerns, vulnerabilities, anxieties. We can be candid, straightforward, open. We can take the “risk” of speaking the truth as we understand it. We can be real.
The blogosphere is a great equalizer. Anyone who can write and has access to a computer and the internet can blog. And just like that one can be read by people around the world. Blogging is immediate. It’s a people’s tool, not just a tool for elites.
Blogging elicits response. In its best form it thrives on interaction. People reading this blog can email me at any time. They can share their comments, points of view, criticisms or kudos. The “I” becomes “We” as a new blogging community is formed around a common interest, idea, action, or attitude.
Bloggers are talking, influencing. It’s the newest and purist form of democracy. Blogging by conservatives helped bring the Harriet Miers Supreme Court Justice nomination to a screeching halt. Liberals have their own blogs. You can now find a blog on just about any topic representing just about any point of view.
About 1 in 6 or 32 million American adults are reading blogs, and the number is growing daily. According to Technorati, a search engine for blogs, some 18.6 million blog sites receive an average of 900,000 posts per day. Amazing.
Apparently not many college or university presidents are blogging. As far as I can tell, I am the only Michigan university president blogging, and I have so far found only two others nationally, one offering commentary and the other reading like a teenager’s diary—I assume a staff member in Admissions is writing this one, trying to reach prospective students.
Christians are also blogging—“God’s bloggers.” Earlier this fall, Biola University in California hosted the first ever Christian bloggers conference, drawing about 135 writers who try to analyze issues and events from a Christian perspective. The three-day conference attempted to understand the phenomenon, to analyze blogging itself from a Christian viewpoint. This is a promising development, because Christians have sometimes resisted new technologies as “tools of the Devil” (think T.V. or movies) while at other times have uncritically embraced new technologies as “gifts from God” (think T.V. or movies).
If you are over 30 and blogging, you’re ahead of the curve. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project most bloggers are 18 to 29 years of age. If you are a CEO and blogging, you’re also ahead of the curve. According to The NewPR/Wiki website, about 200 CEOs are currently blogging. Add mine and make that 201.
Blogging is a great new way to communicate or simply to test new thoughts, so when it comes to blogging, I’m a convert. And I say with Buzz Lightyear, “To infinity and beyond!”
© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2005
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