When I was a little girl my diary was a treasured hard cover book with a padlocked latch on the side. It kept my secrets hidden and let me vent my meagre woes. Though comparatively larger in scale, my adult secrets are no longer kept under lock and key, it seems the more serious predicaments of my life have become far more visible to the public. This is all thanks of course to the blog and our obsession with electronic sharing – welcome to the ‘blogalution’
How it all started
Way back in 1999 the term web log was shortened to blog and an eruption of bloggers sprouted all over the globe. (McCullag, Declan, Anne Broache (2007) Blogs turn 10 – who’s the father?).
No longer was a web log a simple collation of links and comments on a particular topic; it was and would steadfastly become the way our online personalities interacted with and produced new publications for the world to consume. Today the sheer volume of bloggers can hardly be accounted for, but figures show they exceed the 180 million mark with new ones emerging every day. (http://snitchim.com/how-many-blogs-are-there/).
How are we doing?
Some folks have made a living from blogging such as Joanna Goddard, whose hard work punching the keyboard has paid off (check out A Cup of Jo to see how she did it).
Others like To Her Door have simply adopted the medium as a way to facilitate their hobby or publicise their business by engaging audiences and showcasing their talents.
Blogging has shifted the way that information is produced and consumed and made digital content not only readily available but readily producible by literally anyone. Even our pets have blogs, that’s right! – Check out ‘Rusty’s Blog', The Intelligent Dog’s Guide to Humans.
That’s not to say there isn’t a large amount of valuable blog content out there. Businesses have adopted the blog as part of an essential marketing toolkit, giving their customers another avenue to access them.
When individuals author as themselves, they are ultimately shining a mirror out for all their followers to see. The image they portray serves as a reflection of the self, and as a result a lot of time and effort is invested in ensuring their content is worthy of that association.
From Murdoch to Mom
The guardians of information are now spread far and wide and new guardians have become mobilised and motivated. The opinion leaders we look to ordinarily are being challenged by a new community of publishers, the blogger elite; and the gauntlet has been thrown down. This is a positive thing for audiences because their expectation for quality content means that mainstream publications and bloggers now must ensure their content is of a premium standard.
Not all bloggers are here to challenge the media or become thought leaders; the majority are personal bloggers, writing about their passions and hobbies, reviewing products, teaching us how to knit, and the like. Whatever the content though, blogging today is not the humble diary entry it once was.
The evolution of the medium itself
Not only have many different archetypes of blogger appeared, but the medium of the blog has also evolved to include photo blogs, video blogs, audio blogs and collaborative blogs made up of multiple contributors and/or multiple mediums.
The possibility for audience engagement has been opened up exponentially because not only is there a blogger personality out there that everyone can relate to, but there is a medium for everyone to engage with. Those who prefer the visual are catered for, those who like to interact on a personal level have the opportunity to do so, and those who like to take a more passive backseat and absorb can do just that.
To find out more about who is contributing to this ‘blogalution’ and who your fellow bloggers really are, get searching, get reading, get watching - and let us know some of your favorites.