Blogging: an insider’s critical analysis

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First, I would like to mention the forum in which I am publishing this “post” – a blog. That is, I am publishing this opinion-driven, critical analysis of blogs onto a web blog itself.

I would consider myself a connoisseur of blogs. It all began with my Pinterest obsession. I seeded, watered and nurtured my boards until they each grew into a well-categorized garden of pins. Pinterest only whet my appetite. It became too soft for me; it no long satiated my interests for random and creative pictures. I started to move onto the harder stuff – blogs. Rather than surfing Pinterest for unfamiliar people with likeable pinboards, I uncovered a world of domains. These domains were owned by anyone from a mother catering to her son’s peanut, gluten, soy, dairy, fructose, and air allergies to a young girl posting Lilly Pulitzer picture after sorority craft after cakeball. What made this unchartered territory – unlike Pinterest – was the tab sitting on the floating menu above the posts, labeled “About Me.” I could now peek into the lives of the blogging elite.

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A few niche boards

There is a blog for everyone. As my family and I sit around the TV at night, we spend our time searching the internet for personal interest blogs. My dad surfs for running gear review blogs, my mom visits her favorite design blogger’s sites, my sister sifts through young fashionista’s blogs, and I take a moment to appreciate the quiet and then redirect my attention to my own mixture of recipe, fashion, and review blogs. Lee Odden, author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing, argues that, “A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others.”

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One thing that I love about blogs is the forum that it provides for the writer. He or she is able to express himself or herself, or not. “Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘Blog’ is a fool’s errand” according to blogger, Michael Conniff. The blogger has the opportunity to get emotional, and no one can criticize them to their face – the blogger can even remove the “Comment” section if he or she so chooses. This makes me question, who is this blog for? Is the blogger censoring the reader’s freedom of speech by disabling this function? And, what is the point of hiding from others’ opinions? It makes it seem as though the blogger is hiding behind a computer screen.

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All of this raises the question, with bloggers hiding behind their computer screens, and readers doing the same, are we resigning ourselves to a socially averse world? Do these people fear face-to-face, tangible relationships? I begin to wonder whether these people would be able to sustain conversation with others without taking time to cultivate, edit and contemplate their message before pressing “Post.” Also, consider, many times the blogger enables the moderation function. This means that the blogger is able to look at the comment and decide whether it is worthy of sharing with his or her readers – is this not censorship?

The blogging world has recently taken a very strong foothold within society. As blogger Luke Langford says, “The term ‘Professional Blogger’ is no longer an oxymoron.” I anticipate seeing where it leads and how people take advantage of the new forum. It can make for a light, thoughtless afternoon or a contemplative, epiphany invoking one. Make of it what you will.

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One Response to Blogging: an insider’s critical analysis

  1. Rod Smith says:

    Maggie,
    A couple of times you ask your readers if certain kinds of exclusions are censorship. I assume you’re not referring to the legal sense of the term, as it’s clearly not illegal for you to block comments on your blog, or this one. So if this is not a legal question, what kind is it? Moral maybe, ethical? You know the old, “Is it anyone’s right to shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater?” I think you’ve opened the door on a topic perfectly suited for blog discussion.

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