Yvonne’s Weblog



A blog about blogs…

Within the last decade, the blog has completely transformed the way that society communicates, giving every person their own window through which to watch, comment on and ultimately shape the world around them.  Blogs are used for many different purposes, some to for political commentary and others for discussing celebrities, but each allows it’s creator the chance to express their feelings to the world, as Tremayne (2007) puts it, “individuals who had ideas but no convenient platform to reach a wider audience now have the opportunity and are taking advantage of it by the millions”.

 Some people create blogs to discuss current events and politics, and their work is considered by some to be a form of journalism, as Tremayne (2007) discusses.  He refers to the Online Journalism Review, a site which promotes news blogs, and as Robert Niles, a contributor for the site has commented on newspaper websites, saying; “If you do not have a breaking news blog ready to go on your website, get started on building one. Today. The blog is the ideal format to deliver information in a breaking news situation.” (accessed 20.12.07). It appears that newspapers and television news have become a thing of the past, reading the news a day after it happens is not good enough for today’s society who would rather read the news on a blog as it happens than wait for the 6 o’clock news to start.  As professional newspaper bloggers type the latest happenings, other bloggers pick up on the news and discuss it on their own personal blog site, each presenting their own viewpoint to the world.  As this happens, the public becomes more engaged in the news stories, each presenting their own interpretation of current events and becoming amateur journalists in their own right.

 Tremayne (2007) points out that very few blogs are actually dedicated to news.  Most are actually used as a personal journal commenting on the day to day lives of their creators, as demonstrated by the McCanns in their search for their daughter Madeleine, as Gerry McCann keeps a blog about the ongoing search.  His comments range from heartfelt pleas for his daughter’s safe return to general observations that are unrelated to the search:

“Christmas 2007 will be an incredibly difficult time for us if Madeleine is not found before then. We plan to have a very quiet, private Christmas with family in the UK. Celebrating is the last thing we feel like doing” posted 7.12.07 (accessed 20.12.07)

“Sean and Amelie were very vocal, demonstrating how much they know about Christmas and ‘baby Jesus’ which brought a smile to everyone’s face! The little presents and chocolates they were given certainly made them very happy!” Posted 5.12.07 (accessed 20.12.07)

 Although this blog was set up on their website, www.findmadeleine.com, and was intended to aid the search for Madeleine, Gerry McCann makes it more personal by adding little anecdotes about his everyday life.  His blog has become a major tool in the investigation into the disappearance of his daughter, keeping the case at the forefront of people’s minds.  The singer Lily Allen is also famous for keeping a blog, her page on the site myspace is how she originally got famous.  Her blog, www.myspace.com/lilymusic has 463, 458 friends, proving itself to be incredibly popular (especially compared to my 43 friends!).  She uses her site to make herself more accessible to her audience, promote new singers and comment on people she doesn’t like:

 “I know I’ve said bad things about people in the past , though the majority of them have been blown wayyyy out of proportion , but this i mean
Cheryl if you’re reading this , I may not be as pretty as you but at least I write and SING my own songs without the aid of autotune . I must say taking your clothes off , doing sexy dancing and marrying a rich footballer must be very gratifying , your mother must be so proud” Posted 14.5.07 (accessed 19.12.07) 

By keeping a diary online, Lily makes herself more accessible to her fans, in the same way that Gerry McCann raises public awareness of his daughter.  These celebrity blogs have thousands of subscribers reading.  However, most people like me will only have the select few readers of their myspace and livejournal pages, which poses the question: who are bloggers writing for? As people write their online diary, who do they expect to read it, apart from the people who they already know? People can use their pages to make friends with similar interests, but the reality appears to be that although blogs allow the writer to communicate with the world, most of the world are too busy writing their own blogs to take any notice.

Sources used:

Tremayne, M. (2007) ‘Harnessing the active audience: Synthesising Blog Research and Lessons for the Future of Media’ in M. Tremayne (ed.) Blogging, Citizenship and the Future of the Media Routledge p. 261-272

www.findmadeleine.com (accessed 20.12.07)

www.myspace.com/lilymusic (accessed 19.12.07)

www.ojr.org (accessed 20.12.07)

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