Posted by: Paul Jenkins | February 22, 2008

blogs – what are they and how did they get here?

I feel like an Albertosaurus – sorry, I’m in Toronto now, a Velociraptor – here, engaging the world with media called blogs, wikis, podcasts and networks. It’s a list that sounds Orwellian and straight from the future. And, to be honest, technology gives me the heebie-jeebies.

This, what you’re reading, is a blog. In the end, it’s also just a recital of my opinions. There is no caveat to that truth. Yes, I would like to share my ideas with an audience larger than my online public relations class, (that’s at Centennial College), but I’d be similarly content to write the six entries required of me and then run away from the medium.

I’ve argued previously, that our new capacity to engage each other empowers the individual – that’s you. The caveat here, is that it’s a choice. You can engage an audience with your digital voice or ignore our possible connections with each other.

Blogs are but one medium to facilitate conversation and the engagement of us. Here, for example, the author of a blog writes, the readers of the blog respond; again and again.

Often times, blogs are simply about themselves, the media platform they feed on, shameless promotion, political bias or a mixture of all four. Either way, they are always a public diary available to the population of our planet with Internet access.

And that, please note, is important. They represent our newest language – a collective one, spoken worldwide. Taken together, these 21-century words are called social media. And, like it or not, this is one of the most significant things to happen to humankind in our learned history. It is on par with the birth of the spoken word and the printing press.

This means, both, my opinion’s not as important as my opportunity to have a voice in the vast sea of us and ‘Joe Average’ now has the opportunity to sway millions with rhetoric and catchy slogans.

Superficially, it might all sound naïve, but I can say more ridiculous things. It’s the greatest revolution since we last sat in trees flinging poop at each other.

Individuals, us, you and me, are pioneers on an unchartered frontier – where together, we are laying the groundwork for something unbelievable. I can’t even imagine, literally, its possible manifestations, but that doesn’t stop it from happening.

Your potential audience with a blog alone is everybody. That’s the key to my argument – it’s all about you. Individuals now have the ability to manage their existence. Because you can choose to act responsibly, dare I cheese it up, neighbourly, with the young chap who makes your underwear half a world way, you must, or at least should choose to act upon it. Tacitly, this also puts the rule in affect, that if you don’t like change you’re going to like irrelevance even less.

Our capacity, our ability, our future world is forcing each and everyone of us to be accountable for his or her actions. Even now, on social networking sites such as Facebook, employers scan the brand an applicant publishes on the Internet.

Social media is such that individuals can also quickly arrive and teach businesses that their own brands are best backed by sound policies. Companies must now operate in a way that withstands the scrutiny of digital populism.

Of course, with a blog you should start by asking yourself if you deserve to be heard. Switching that around, what’s in your blog for me? If you can’t answer that, it’s best not to bother; unless, of course, you’re required to as part of your graduate certificate program.

The best part is, for public relations in general and blog authors in particular, the results can be easily measured.

Word is, to truly understand blogs you must first read blogs, then comment on blogs and finally start a blog if you’ve something to say.

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Responses

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Jason Whitmen


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