It’s all about blogging, baby!

By Janene Gibbons
October 2, 2008

Shannon Keough

Blogs, blogs, blogs! Not only are blogs the latest trend, they are the new “it” medium to use to network yourself and share your personality, through writing, with the world, that is if you have one.

Blogs are a great way to “publish” your work for free. Through a simple search or tag on your own blog, which takes about a minute to create, millions of people, personalities, news and information lie at the tips of your fingers.

The basic blogs consisting mostly of posts on any subject imaginable are displayed on the Web for people all over the world to see. Blogs are effective because they reach and target such a wide and diverse audience. The words “Web” and “world” are becoming more synonymous everyday. The Web is becoming the new form of communication that people use to relate to each other.

The fact that blogs are taking over the Web makes me feel that people are really trying to create a global, intellectual community through sharing not only their writing, but what events and trends are newsworthy to them.

However, at the same time, I think blogs can lead to overexposure and almost a self-induced invasion of privacy if you write your blogs on something really personal in your life. This, in my opinion, is what could make blogs a double- edged sword.

As I browsed around on WordPress, Blogspot and Weebly, I found blogs on an incredible range of drastically different topics.

On Weebly, one lady made an entire blog on her wedding including how she and her groom met, provided details of the wedding, the guestbook, the gift registry, a list and description of each wedding party member and an extensive slideshow. I thought it was creepy how her featured blog gave out the exact location of her wedding to total strangers. I understand that blog might have been made for relatives who live far away or spread out across the state, country or maybe even the other side of the world, but I think I would have put my settings to private and emailed my family or friends the link to my blog instead.

On WordPress, there was a story about a woman who lives in Hollywood who was up for a leading role but was deemed too fat by the director within seconds of meeting her. This drew me in because acting is my future profession, and I become outraged by Hollywood’s obsession with being thin. I became glued to the screen of my computer and was encapsulated in another person’s life for a moment.

Both of these blogs remind me of the tabloids and the overexposure that I think our society secretly craves and gets a daily fix of with Facebook and MySpace. Everyone having to know every little detail about your life isn’t writing. It’s like taking your diary and putting it into the hands of the public and saying “here.”

It’s some people’s 15 minutes of fame. They feel like a celebrity, and everyone wants to feel like a celebrity these days with the advent of “reality TV” shows.

Blogs of the stars are like reality TV shows put into print, so I refused to read them because that would be taking away the illusion I have of them as actors, singers or what have you and I enjoy that illusion.

I did check out and found it to be a major waste of time looking at pictures all directly bashing celebrities, gossip and rumors. I would rather watch Chelsea Handler on “Chelsea Lately,” but that’s just me. I enjoy her format more.

However, this is not to say I am against blogs of any kind. I actually liked a lot of the blogs reporting on news because it wasn’t just your stereotypical headlines and it was more interesting because the blogs didn’t have to follow all the strict formatting rules of journalism. I also loved how you could actually use varied forms of media in your blog such as Flicker images or Google videos. This made it much more interactive than something you would read in print.

I myself am required to have a blog linked to my radio biography on the Web for WYBF 89.1 “The Burn,” Cabrini’s radio station. We started this to extend our social networking and have our listeners feel like they know us more. My first post was on art, and I quite enjoyed it.

So after struggling with my two different opinions, I have decided that I do think blogs are a hip, new, effective and freer form of multimedia and communication as long as they are used to inform or entertain and do not give too much personal information that could cause harm to the creator of the blog.

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Janene Gibbons

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