My Blogging Experience

May 29, 2006

This assignment is my first blogging experience. Here’s a summary of why I did not keep a Blog before this assignment:

1) I have a boring lifestyle

2) I am not willing to share personal thoughts

3) I don’t like bitching (though I like listening to others bitch, it’s entertaining!)

4) I am lazy

5) I am not smart or knowledgeable enough to have journalistic insights into social/political happenings (but that is changing : )

I’m more of a “private person”, not very expressive unless I’m within a close circle of friends. To be brutally frank, I don’t think my life is all that exciting that many would want to read about it. Heck, I’ll probably fall asleep reading about my boring life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a happy camper living out my “uni-home-studying-TV-exercising-cooking-movies” routine. No suicidal thoughts…yet.

I'm not the only stud…i mean dud, here. 90 percent of the other online-dairy sites that I randomly visited aren’t any more exciting either. Some are just too self-indulgent. I respect the rights of self expression, and more so, the blind courage of some bloggers – especially those who humiliate themselves with their horrendous command of language and unreserved narration of idiotic escapades (I'm being mean here, sorry!). On the extreme end, it can be so bad, that it’s good – check out this example. One good thing though, readers can seek comfort in knowing that they are not the only “losers” out there with a not-so-exciting life. It’s perfectly normal to have a boring life like mine (haha).

Few years ago, I used to keep a diary. That lasted 10 months before I gave in to work fatigue and laziness (at least I’m honest). It was a good self-reflective tool as I dwelled into my innermost core and expressed my thoughts on paper. I’ve never allowed anyone else to read my diary. It may be short-lived, but it is precious! Between a blog and a journal, I feel that the journal is more personal (maybe I’m just old-school). If I am to keep a personal online-diary, I’ll probably be more cautious and reserve in my entries. On the flipside, I’ll be on the lookout for fun and interesting angle in my mundane lifestyle to write about, a la Seinfeld. I’ll use it more for creative expression rather than daily notification.

Taking into account the technical characteristics, a journal feels more permanent and personal than a blog because the latter can be easily altered. Although I "own" my online diary, the sense of it belonging to me isn't as strong because there's no physical presence like a journal. There's also no control over who reads the blog once it gets published online. Online audiences can also leave comments, which can work for or against you. Constructive criticism is good, but not derogatory remarks.

In general, I think blogging as an online diary is a healthy avenue to let off steam, bitch about the world, let out our exhibitionistic and voyeuristic nature. But I feel that freedom of expression comes with inherent responsibilities. In reality, discriminatory ideologies can be found anywhere in the world, and should be tackled in a constructive rather than destructive manner. Bloggers should exercise restrain and not fan such ideologies against other races, religion and nationality etc. in their postings.

Although the current blogging experience arouse out of necessity – as part of my coursework at QUT – it is still an enjoyable process. I think it’s a creative and refreshing method of assessment, very aptly chosen for the subject of Virtual Cultures. I prefer it to exams or essays because this blog format is more informal and I can be a bit cheeky at times. This blogging assignment is the academic equivalent of “Putting your money where your mouth is”, if I may (be cheeky). We (the students) are not just being taught the subject, but have to "live" it too. I can also incorporate my personal interest in Star Wars into my blogs as a recurring theme for self-gratification. Wookiee!

As for other forms of blogs such as the academic or journalistic blogs, they provide an alternative to mainstream media outlets. True, they may misinform or be driven by personal and political agendas, but I don’t think mainstream media are doing any better these days. These blogs can also provide free and easy access to alternative, insightful and interesting viwepoints.

Blogs could also provide a way to tip the power balance towards the masses. Check out this video clip about blogging where even CNN admitted to sourcing part of a story from the blogosphere. Also in the clip, the mainstream media labeled bloggers as “Lynch mob”, and are people who “basically, for the most part, with no credentials, no sources, no rules, no editors, and no accountability.” Oh touchy! I sense fear and hypocrisy! To be fair, the rising influence of the blogoshpere can be for the better, or for the worst. I say let the bloggers have a crack since I have lost faith in some of the so-called "responsible and credible" mainstream media.

Science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke said once that the short-term impact of any new technology tends to be overestimated, while its long-term impact is underestimated. I feel that in the long run, bloggers (and the internet community in general) will be a formidable force that politicians and mainstream media cannot afford to ignore. On the macro-level, the blogoshpere provides insights into various cultural, social and technological trends. As a collective whole, even the boring, self-indulging personal diaries can be an interesting study! Gauging by the current momentum, the blogosphere and its accompanying influence on society will be even more significant in future!

Check out these interesting links:

The World Economic Forum Weblog

How Jedi Are You?

Digital Lynch Mob


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2 Responses to “My Blogging Experience”


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