Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What the **Blog** Do I Know?

Web logs are interesting ways for people to say, in public, their thoughts, opinions, feelings, observations and reflections. These “blogs” allow the writers a public forum by which to rail against or for any issue they feel like ranting and raving about. On the one hand it reminds me of the olden days when people would literally get up on a soapbox and orate. Any passersby who wished to stop and listen could and, if the orator was good enough, he or she would draw a crowd for as long as the orating was interesting to listen to. If the people didn’t like what they were hearing they could just move on. I suppose some speakers got themselves pelted by eggs, rotten vegetables and the like if the listeners got really ticked.

Blogs have become the cyber space version of the soapbox. They’ve become just as popular today as a means for those whose voice would otherwise go unheard as those from long ago who dared to stand up and, by virtue of being on a box just above the heads of the crowd, stick their necks out to get heard. Just like in the old soapbox days, if a reader doesn’t like what they’re reading, or finds it offensive or whatever, they can move on by clicking delete, hitting the return key or “next blog.” In extreme cases, blog readers can, if they choose to have a vendetta against the writer, take the writing and show it to others who would share the same opinion as they, in an effort, perhaps, to justify their own feelings. Of course, sometimes the blog writers can get themselves in trouble by their own postings.

There was an interesting article on AOL’s web site about people who are bloggers running afoul in the workplace by their postings. Railing against fellow employees, supervisors and their job in general got a couple people fired, even though the company they worked for had encouraged their employees to have blogs. One woman got fired for posting pictures of herself while in uniform and partially exposed. It would seem to me that doing either or both of those things might get one separated from their employment. It’s always a mystery why people do what they will.

So blogs can be used for a lot of different reasons. Recently I read an article in the Daily News Tribune about a Ph.D from Brandeis who keeps a blog on the same site as I do. She writes a lot about the holacaust and debunks those who say it never happened. I felt proud to be among such an esteemed writer, humble and simple as my writing is – mundane was how one person described it.

Blogs can also be a way for people to keep in touch with others. I can remember having friends who would get a photocopy of a letter that was sent out periodically by another friend who wanted to keep in touch with a bunch of folks. The writer didn’t want to write each person individually, saying the same thing to each, hence the photocopy. I sort of see my blog that way. It’s a way for me to keep in touch with family, friends and people I don’t get to see anymore, now that I’ve moved a considerable distance away.

Personally, I like to write. I like to express myself and to tell about what’s going on in my life. What I have to say may be of interest to some, no interest at all to others and, if people don’t like what I have to say, they don’t have to read it.

So recently I’ve given thought to why I decided to have a blog. Am I feeding my ego? Is this some kind of twisted way to get my voice, picture and opinions out there, as though what I had to say was of some earth shattering consequence? The blog is on a public site and anyone who stumbles across it can read it. I’ve asked my family and friends to stay in touch with me through it; I’ve begun to correspond with at least one person who ran across my blog and liked what they’d read.

My blog is a reflection of what I’m doing, of what’s been happening to me. It’s not designed to be inflammatory, to be a place in which to air out dirty laundry or a place to feed my ego. At least I don’t think so; but then again, whatever people read into what I write is what they get out of it. I only put it out there. I realize I have a responsibility to the readers, which I am assuming is mostly family, friends and an occasional stray reader. However, as I have had come back at me more than once, when we “assume” all it does is make an “ass (of) u (and) me. I won’t claim innocence, but then again, what the **blog** do I know?


Anonymous Susan Thompson said...

Well, it looks like you know plenty. It's amazing how the internet can really keep us in touch. Who knew that I'd know more about your life while I'm living half way 'round the world than I knew when I was in the same state? I'm awaiting your next post....

11:23 AM  

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