Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rebecca Blood - Weblogs

Reading Rebecca Blood's essay about the history of blogging, you'd think that her description of this online phenomenon was written within the past year or so. When I realized that the date of this publication was marked as Sept. 2000, I was even more impressed at how on-point her post was. She starts by giving a brief history of how blogs started, and then explains their appeal and their importance to the online community. A major point that Blood makes is that blogs act as a filtering tool for web surfers -- the bloggers themselves pick out the articles and pieces of info on the Internet that are of most interest to their audience, and they compile that data into one easy-to-manage post and replicate it in whatever fashion they please.

A particular line that stood out to me in her article was this: "Their sarcasm and fearless commentary reminds us to question the vested interests of our sources of information and the expertise of individual reporters as they file news stories about subjects they may not fully understand." That line pretty much sums up why I trust certain blogs over more acredited news outlets for my personal information seeking. For instance, I'm a BIG sports fan and I love to know everything that's going on in sports on a daily basis. The major media outlets, such as ESPN, are easily accessible and have a lot of ways to get news stories, but they have biases and relationships within the industry that affect the way that they report. Sometimes they won't throw an athlete or a team under the bus when they should, and other times they will over-sensationalize a certain story for the sole reason of getting attention to their site. An individual reporter might blow something completely out of proportion just so that they can gain personal notoriety for breaking that news. They're not giving me the real story, and that, quite frankly, pisses me off. Oftentimes I turn to blogs, such as, for the true version of the story, because there are no censors or higher-ups telling these reporters what to say or how to say it. They do an excellent job of 'filtering' the useless language/information, and I, as a fan, really appreciate that. The freedom that blogs have is a great tool because it sets them apart and creates an appeal that can't be matched by the more powerful media outlets. That's basically why I'm an avid reader.

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