The blog is one of many relatively new avenues of expression opened up by the internet. Like other internet mediums, the blog is interesting in that it bypasses traditional monologic media – it is dialogic. This means that of just reading it, you can interact with a blog, by leaving a comment, liking/disliking content, or get in contact with the blogger. If you don’t like something, you are free to point it out (whether anyone listens or not is a whole other story)This is an important step forwards, as it means the audience can directly interact with content creators and each other – bloggers can receive feedback, and conversations are formed that can potentially involve thousands of people. It is not just one voice, but many voices, all yelling at each other in beautiful disharmony.
Another marvelous feature of the blog is that anyone can start one – I’m proof. The only barriers to entry are an internet connection. Before blogs, the closest thing possible would be writing in newspapers/magazines, which not only required far greater commitment, but also limited what could be written about – because the monologic, traditional model has content pass through editors/one’s boss. Blogs bypass almost all gatekeepers, allowing any idea to be published at no cost, exactly as the blogger wants it.
Naturally this has its downsides, for every great blog readers can discover, there are millions of tons of crap to wade through in order to discover the gems.
Because everyone has a somewhat equal chance at putting their two cents out into the world, and there are no publishing hoops to jump through, there are also many extremists that gain exposure previously limited by traditional media gateways.
However, I don’t mind putting up with the downsides of blogging, because the downsides are also the upsides that allowed me to write this post.
It’s all a matter of perspective.