Why I Blog expanded the way in which I think about blogging. The piece elevated the way that I think about blogs and contextualized blogs within the world of journalism, something that I had never really considered. The early years of blogging were unfamiliar to me. In the early 2000’s, my use of the internet revolved around PBSkids.org and eventually xanga. Xanga could be considered Intro to Blogging, if it was an online course for preteens. One could post anything from a sentence to a few paragraphs and friends could look at these posts and then talk about them behind your back during gym class. One of the most striking aspects of Xanga looking back is the fact that (at first) you could only have one profile pictures. You would of course change it week to week, but now when we have the capability to upload thousands of pictures to Facebook, album after album, it is unthinkable to be so limited. That I would only have one picture of dreamy 8th grader, Davie Foster, to fawn over is so strange.
So while I was junior blogging about the happenings of Lewis and Clark Junior High, there were writers, real writers doing things far more sophisticated. It was really fascinating to discover Sullivan’s experience transitioning from the world of print and its structure to the free form nature of blogging. He began by just compiling his work on a site (with the help of his more tech-savvy buddy) but grew to a point where he composed pieces specifically for that platform. Blogs can serve the purpose of sorting out ideas and composing thoughts in a way that static set-in-stone print cannot. A blog is fluid, is collaborative, encourages audience participation. I had this preconceived notion of bloggers; that they wrote about travels, d.i.y. projects, children, quick and easy meals. In short, blogs were for everyday life in my mind. I am beginning to realize that, yes the ordinary can be chronicled but it can be done in great, innovative ways, as can the detailing of huge, extraordinary topics. To have immediate commentary on the spectacular, tragic and earth shattering is also of great value. These days events like these seem to be happening with great frequency. With television so narrowly controlled, it is so important that a variety of viewpoints and observations are readily accessible. These essays and blogs help the writer to cope and sort thoughts, as well as aiding us in understanding the events and issues.
So what were some of your preconceived notions about blogs and bloggers? What would you consider an “article” (Buzzfeed list? Huffington Post page? Blog post?)