How Does Blogging Fit Into the Social-Media Revolution?

July 26, 2009

socialI think Scott Rosenberg gets it about right:

So, while there is no question that the energy that has poured into Facebook and its ilk in the latter part of the 2000s has drawn some of the excitement and media attention that bloggers formerly took for granted, it is also true that the rise of the social networks clarifies exactly what characteristics made blogging last. They are the same traits that once excited its earliest pioneers. A blog lets you raise your voice without asking anyone’s permission, and no one is in a position to tell you to shut up. It is, as the journalism scholar Jay Rosen puts it, “a little First Amendment machine,” an engine of free speech operating powerfully at a fulcrum-point between individual autonomy and the pressures of the group. Blogging uniquely straddles the acts of writing and reading; it can be private and public, solitary and gregarious, in ratios that each practitioner sets for himself. It is hardly the only way to project yourself onto the Web, and today it is no longer the easiest way. But it remains the most interesting way. Nothing else so richly combines the invitation to speak your mind with the opportunity to mix it up with other minds.

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