The Power of Blogs Part 4

Well it has been three weeks since the last post to my Blog. Hey it has been a busy three weeks with Christmas, New Years and everything else that goes on in the average life of someone with children and day job…

I did spend some time looking a Blogs both big and small. I looked at big popular blogs like the Drudge Report http://www.drudgereport.com/ smaller less popular blogs like the ones mentioned in this post http://aalbc.com/blog/2004/12/power-of-blogs-part-3.html and many more.

Most of the blogs I looked at were motiviated by the individual blogger’s love of a particular subject (sometines that subject may have even been themselves). This is really what make Blogs so powerful. Each of us have unique interests and expertise that others may find valuable. With a Blog almost anyone can share there love of a subject with almost anyone else.

Traditionally, one was limited by physical proximity, in their ability to reach others with common interests or publish information and make it widely available. The ablity to build a web site broke down all of these barriers making it possible for an individual to communicate and share ideas globally.

However building a web site is really too technically challenging or expensive for the average person to use as a tool to share ideas. While software and hardware advances in recent years have made it increasingly easy and inexpsensive (even free) to create a web site; web sites, especially good ones, are still hard to build and maintain.

For this reason, of the literarly millions of web sites, rarely will you find a “good” one that does not have a profit motive. While anyone can build a web site not eeryone can build a good web site (that is a web site updated and accurate content, easily navigatble, clear subject, legible, informative, etc.). As a result, good web sites cost money to create and maintain. While there are individuals that are willing to support, out of their own pockets, and good web site, most web sites attempt to recover their cost by generating income.

Once a web site becomes a commerical entity the decision making process of what gets published, on that web site, will be influenced by market factors. If the decision making process is overly dominated by commericial considerations the original intent of the site will likely change. I’m not saying that this is necessarily bad, I’m just saying that marekt considerations will drive the nature of the content published on the web site — sometime perverting it and sometimes improving it.

Back to Blogs. Blogs address the limitations of web sites: It literally took me longer to write this message than it did for me to create this Blog — Blogs are easy to create. Google provides this service for free and there are other companies that do the same. One does not even have to own a computer to create and publish to a Blog; a library, school, work place (check with your employer first), or friend’s computer will do just fine. I can even post to this Blog from my cell phone.

Since Blogs are free and easy to create, most Blogs I’ve found are not driven (at least overtly) by a profit motive. As a result, people can share information driven solely by their love or commitment to a particular subject. A blogger does not have to be concerned about pissing of an advertiser, or building readership. They can (or at least should) freely express their thoughts without reservation.

However, more and more Bloggers are including advertising in their Blogs. Indeed, Google makes it easy to include advertisments your Blogs Blogs. The little ads you see to the right are “Ads by Goooooogle” However since I don’t control the ads that are served, they don’t impact what I write here.

Ultimately Blogs, like web sites, TV, radio, magazines, newspapers and books may be driven by market factors. But of all the other forms of media mentioned Blogs, today, retain the greatest potential to remain free of market considerations — that is the real power of Blogs.

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About Troy

Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of AALBC.com, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, AALBC.com has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.
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