Wednesday, June 16, 2004

What makes a blog important?

I hate personal web pages. You know the ones I mean. "Hi, this is me. Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace..." and the rest reads like the stats for a Playboy centerfold. This is all you have to offer? Why should we care?

I have three different web sites and each of them has their own subject. I have one that is an archive of movie lines in .wav format. Another is of photographs that I've taken and the third is celebrity photographs. There is an "About Me" page in the wav archive but I figure it doesn't get a lot of traffic because the information is fairly static and somewhat uninteresting.

I was just reading a Time Magazine article about blogging. In that article it states that blogs are, "amateur websites that provide news, information and, above all, opinions to rapidly growing and devoted audiences drawn by nothing more than a shared interest or two and the sheer magnetism of the editor's personality." It goes on to say, "Over the past five years, blogs have gone from an obscure and, frankly, somewhat nerdy fad to a genuine alternative to mainstream news outlets, a shadow media empire that is rivaling networks and newspapers in power and influence."

Now, I'd love to have power and influence but my generally apolitical nature makes that highly unlikely. I don't get involved in causes, I don't report breaking news of senatorial indiscressions, I'm not part of any watchdog group, and I have no clue where my representatives stand on any issues. I like to go through life blissfully ignorant of most of these things. Call me a sheep if you like but it lets me sleep better at night.

Later in the article, they point out, "Blogs can be a great way of communicating, but they can keep people apart too. If I read only those of my choice, precisely tuned to my political biases and you read only yours, we could end up a nation of political solipsists, vacuum sealed in our private feedback loops, never exposed to new arguments, never having to listen to a single word we disagree with."

Honestly, I don't like reading political blogs. They tend to be too esoteric for my tastes and bore me. I'd rather laugh and smile than become concerned over whether or not John Kerry will stick to a decision. I read blogs for entertainment. I enjoy reading about competitive lawn mowing, the trials and tribulations of being a police officer and puppy love in the UK with a born-again mother.

So, since I'm generally apolitical and I tend to read generally apolitical blogs does that mean that my (our) blog is the journalistic equivalent of a personal web page? Does the fact that I (we) steer away from politics and world news make me (us) a second-class blogger? Will society look down upon me (us) because I (we) do not contribute my (our) fair share?

What do you think?

No comments: