Wednesday, December 08, 2004

4. The Function of Blogs in Society

On a societal level, what role do blogs play?

35 Comments:

Blogger Eric Muller said...

They play different roles. They can be a check on Big Media. They can be a place where stories get "grown" before they hit the big time. They create communities of interest that would not otherwise exist. And lots of other stuff.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Kin said...

Open source journalism. It's the ultimate in decentralization with the free market dynamic thrown in. Everyone can do what they want and let the market decide where to go. No one holds all the cards, it's the end all of information freedom.

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big blogs, with huge readerships, tend towards that example of open-source journalism, bringing stories to the surface that would never make it onto CNN for one reason or another (DailyKos is a great example).

The vast majority of blogs, I think, serve a different purpose altogether: the recreation of the backyard fence or the office water cooler. They create like-minded communities for small-group discussion of a given topic. The advantage is that they allow for greater documentation and more careful presentation of ideas. The downside is that they create echo chambers. As someone else said, I don't do news - I'm not a reporter and I don't investigate anything. What I discuss are the same topics I discuss offline, but in a blog I'm able to provide citation and foster uninterrupted discussion. In comments, no one can interrupt you.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Egg said...

I agree with the post above - personal publishing. (sometimes) Free and easy access to voicing your opinion publicly.

I appreciate how blogging has become a way to tap into public opinion - especially from a political standpoint.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Fred Stutzman said...

This in an ongoing conversation. Blogs play distinctly different roles for different groups. Communities of teen bloggers may view the phenomenon differently from journalist bloggers. And journalist bloggers may view the phenomenon differently from sex bloggers. Communities of practice do adopt context-based standards for using the medium, though.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Bronwyn said...

Depending on which blogs you read, I think that blogs can provide the same role that opinion pieces and editorials do, they can help you understand the world.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Blogworthy:

Weblogs give a voice to those who would have none otherwise. They introduce competition to the journalistic and media marketplace. They act as a counterbalance and fact checking service to big, commercial media. They give a voice to consumers who wish to share opinions about products and experiences with companies. They are a vehicle for political and social activism. They are a pure form of self-expression, beholden to no one. They are the embodiment of the First Amendment.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is a little too soon to tell what role blogs will have. Right now, I see them as a way to increase access to minority points of view (as opposed to major news sources). I think that eventually they will be integrated and morph from being used as personal platforms to group workspaces. It is much easier for non-technical people to add content to a blog than to build and upload web pages.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Shelly said...

They're a form of communication. They vary greatly after that. Entertainment; information; education; sharing specific things ie recipes, opinions, art or crafts, book or movie reviews, etc. Some blogs are just folks venting in public so in that sense, they give people a venue for self-expression.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are the free press, at its most elemental.

Kevin Hayden
The American Street

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogs play no special role. That's my first instinct anyway! I think they are a vehicle of fashion right now that is only slightly more sophisticated than posting a site on AOL.

That is not to say that the internet is not playing a role in society, I just think we're all getting a bit hung up on these things.

Mike Conway
UNC

6:28 PM  
Blogger ElisaC said...

Blogs are communication. The kind of communication and to whom can vary widely. but it's become more personal than a web site, while more public than email.

I'm not sure what their long-term impact may be on society. Except they take us from one-to-one or one-to-many communication and land us in many-to-many communication. Which could broaden everyone's view and continue to make the world a smaller place.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

Blogs provide an accessible and not geographically constrained way to share and discuss all kinds of information. They can play many different roles, depending on who is the writer and who is the reader.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

We're still trying to figure this out, especially follow the role of blogging in the 2004 elections.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

vox populi, stupid.

9:24 PM  
Blogger The Sandman said...

Mediators, pointers, whistle blowers if you will, even alarmists in the sense of drawing attention to, and at times, trend setters, if you can.

3:49 AM  
Blogger DocRichard said...

They make up for the deficiencies of broadcast and print media, which are increasingly constrained by corporate interests

7:53 AM  
Anonymous s4ndm4n said...

I think there are far too many different functions that blogs can play to narrow it down to just one. I came across this blog doing research for my paper on blogging and how it is affecting mass media today. I believe the function can be political, journalistic, commercial, or personal. Or all of the above as some people post about anything and everything on their mind from day to day. Interesting and good question to ask! (mine happens to be personal/commercial ) :D

1:59 AM  
Blogger : said...

Blogs for Society act as an easy media to provide information, Blogs are easy way express once's views to the world on Society.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have learned alot from reading your blogs.

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I think there are far too many different functions that blogs can play to narrow it down to just one. I came across this blog doing research for my paper on blogging and how it is affecting mass media today. I believe the function can be political, journalistic, commercial, or personal. Or all of the above as some people post about anything and everything on their mind from day to day.

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