Communication technologies are on the rise thanks to the Internet and blogging, a new technology used to communicate that is rapidly becoming more popular by the second. Blogs are a completely separate "Online Community" just as Aaron Barlow refers to in his book Blogging America. According to the website Technorati, there are over 75 million blogs but is still rapidly increasing. People use blogs to create personal journals where they rant and rave freely while hearing what others have to say. They can also be used for a source of the newest information, to talk politics or any other interest you might have or even just to connect with others for a sense of security or entertainment.
For the past week or so I have been tracking a popular blog for my Communications 430z class. The blog I chose is called Autoblog, which is a blog all about autos. Autoblog allows users to see the newest releases on all different kinds of vehicles. Everyday there is about ten articles posted on different types of autos. Each article allows users to read about the topic of interest, look at pictures or videos, and post comments of anything they want to say. Now this particular blog is the least bit of an online journal or a place for private emotions to be displayed, but still a place for communication at the very least. Before this class I never used a blog in my life and now I am on them everyday. I am still hesitant to get into the very personal blogs so far but am very much into this one for now.
As soon as I became an active participant on the Autoblog I realized that it really was a real different "Online Community". At first when I looked at the blog several times a day I would never post a comment and just scan through the comments that people left. After a day or two of just reading others comments I decided to sign up with my school email address and make up a simple user name of "Scott". I made my first post as a blogger and observed the reactions people had. I continued to communicate as my observations went on throughout the week. My observations show that many people post short opinions such as "Very nice car" or "I don’t like it", but others chat back and forth about specifics and minor details that others do not even see. I found that many of these people knew each other and became friends just from their online user names. They have never met in person and probably never will. But it was still a close community between them and they would back each other up no matter what. For example, one day a user with only one previous post started up some negative drama (to be funny) but all the regular users shut him down immediately whether they liked each other or not. It was just like a family. Barlow (2008) talks about bloggers being lonely people living in their mother’s basements but it was at this point I saw that this blog proves otherwise. I will admit that some people probably have way too much time on their hands but most of these people are in fact a tight community who really enjoy what they do.
I now see that the purpose of these blogs is to bring people who have the same interest together. They come together to interact together creating tight relationships between bloggers all around. There will always be people who try and break relationships by writing ignorant and pathetic things that are meant to destroy but a true community overcomes that and moves on quickly. In some circumstances it could be potentially catastrophic. If these certain people who wish to break up relationships are not eliminated it may cause regular users to leave and stop communicating on the blog all together.
Barlow and the Autoblog have made me realize what blogging is all about. People want to become close and bond together by sharing interest. People even want to expand their interest and find other topics they relate to. They want to be able to connect to their community and share with each other, which to me is what blogging is all about. Each person has their own purpose to communicate blogs whether we disagree or not but in the end the whole point is to create a sense of community in their daily lives. They do so by joining the blogosphere and connect with each other by helping and enjoying blogging all over.
Barlow, A (2008). Blogging @merica: The new public sphere. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.