[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Internet & Journalism 4- Blogging

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Internet & Journalism 4- Blogging

The term blog stems from ‘Weblog’ which in itself is a portmanteau of "web" and "log". Weblogs are associated with the Free Software Movement in which the profileraiton of free software has polarised copyright laws and proprietory software. Blog was phrased by Peter Merholz in 1999 in the phrase ‘we blog,’ and the rest as they say is history.

"Weblogs are often-updated sites that point to articles elsewhere on the web, often with comments, and to on-site articles. A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide [whom] you get to know. There are many guides to choose from and each develops an audience. There's camaraderie and politics between the people who run weblogs. They point to each other in all kinds of structures, graphs, loops etc."— David Winer (Blog software developer).

There are about 18 types of weblogs, including personal, topical, news and political. It was only in recent years that blogging has become truly mainstream. Even established journalists and politicans alike have created their own blogs to generate a closer audience with readers. Although many bloggers would like to differentiate themselves from mainstream and be percieved as independent minded and alternative. Irregardless, there is a raging debate whether news related bloggers can be counted as journalists. If so, do the normal journalistic practices apply to them also? This also raises the question over intellectual property, copyright etc.

Warblogs are also another new phenomenon. In the post 9/11 world and the Iraq War, warblogging is a very popular source for those hungry of war related news. There are warblogs written by dedicated followers of the war, by Allied soldiers and even by Iraqi civilians, such as
Baghdad Burning and Today In Iraq. By offering a first-person view of the war, it entices readers and boosts their popularity. But can these be accredited as journalists? Therefore should they adhere to proper journalistic practices and be protected under journalistic rights? Perhaps some don’t even want to be accredited as journalists, hence they are not pressured by rules and guidelines.

So what is the future of blogging? In my humble opinion, this fad is here to stay. It’s amazing how quickly this phenomenon has become mainstream. So much so that bloggers have been in the spotlight such as the Apple Leak Case and the jailing of an Iranian blogger. Some see the bloggers as an explosion of free speech, a democratic counterbalance to big media corporations, while others see them as a 'pseudo-journalist lynch mob,' hellbent on destroying the media.

After starting this blog about a month ago (out of sheer neccessity!), I can see how addictive and self-fullfilling it is. To have your own little publishing world at your finger tips for others to read & enjoy adds to one’s distinctivness. For me a blog is a place to express my thoughts, feelings and opinions and I try to keep it topical and updated as possible. I don't need the fame of Instapundit or Dailykos with their 70,000 visitors a day and financial benefit! This blog will serve as my online diary (things should get interesting once I graduate and become a carefree wanderer!) so friends, family and strangers-no matter the distance and familiarity-can know what I’ve been up to, so it's well handy. You don't need a celebrity lifestyle to have your own blog, it's just a platform in which you can present your true self.