Bloggers do not write what they are told!

Anybody can be a blogger—even you and I. Bloggers often write about their own experiences, and since anybody can blog, not all are as adept at writing as English majors but that does not seem to matter. Occasionally some pedantic correctness asserts itself and somebody corrects some grammar or phraseology in a blog, but most of the time, blogs represent raw thoughts, some more tuned than others. 

For the most part, the personalities of the writers come through in their blogs. Some see that as the most essential element of weblog writing. Some blogging analysts say that all the other elements of good writing can be missing, and all the rules can be violated as long as the voice of the person comes through in their blog. It may not be amore, but “that’s a weblog.”

There are lots and lots of blogs, and there are lots and lots of bloggers. In 2011, when I first wrote this article, there were 112 million blogs and the rate of growth at the time was about 120,000 more every day. They seemingly pop up out of nowhere but the writers of the blogs would say they are thoughtful expressions of opinions. Experts admit that most blogs-- over 80%-- are out of date. “Out of date” means that there has been no activity within the last two weeks.

Today, according to wpvirtuoso,com, there are over 152,000,000 or more blogs on the Internet, and that would mean that about 32 million are active. There are other studies showing  lower numbers. Regardless of the real numbers, conclusions made should be the same. There are a lot of blogs. Some may be inactive, but lots more are appearing every day, and every now and then an inactive blogger comes back from vacation.

Bloggers love to express themselves to become better writers for sure but there are also many who write for reasons such as self-obsession, politics of hate, and of course the ever present hunger for fame.

If you are ready to blog, here is one link to help you know the power of bloggers v. the mainstream media and two others to help get you going:

1.   http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/blogger.html

2.   http://www.blogtyrant.com/start-a-blog/

3.   http://bloggingwithoutablog.com/why-do-bloggers-blog/  Why do bloggers blog?

Now that we have some statistics on blogging, let us stop for a brief moment and define some terms, some of which we may have used already:

Web:Short for the World Wide Web, which is abbreviated as www or w3.  It is a series of millions of linked computer systems accesses via the Internet.

Web site: a collection of related web documents in the form of pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. As an example, www.kellyforuscongress is a web site.

Blogger:Somebody who write entries in, adds material to, or maintain a weblog.

Web log:A weblog is simply a "log" of the web. It is most often written in a diary style and all documents on the site are typically diaries or logs of events. The logs look like documents. Bloggers are often associated with their own web sites but they may share a site. A web author (a "blogger") types a document that may link to other web pages (documents). The diary posts in the web blog are most often in reverse chronological order.

Hypertext:text displayed on a PC-like device with references (hyperlinks)) to other text that the reader can immediately access, usually by a mouse click or a keypress sequence.

Hyperlink:A link from a document to another document. The link part of hypertext.  When a word in a document is “hyperlink enabled” it is typically highlighted. The link is activated (used) by clicking on the highlighted word or image on a computer screen. Hyperlinks were invented a long time ago and began to be used extensively by Apple in 1987 with its hypercard hardware / software. Originally all links were to documents on the same PC-like machine.

Web links:  A web link is hyperlink from a document on a PC-like device to a document typically on a different computer system on the Internet.

Now that we know the technical background / terms for a blogger to communicate with other people on the web; why do they do what they do?.

When surveyed, bloggers give many reasons why they enjoy blogging. Here is a list to consider. For those looking for more, the details behind these lists can be found in the last two site addresses given above.

Reasons for blogging:

  1. Interaction with others
  2. Share stuff
  3. Report news
  4. Make money–
  5. Express yourself–
  6. Influence others–.
  7. Connect with friends and family
  8. Comment on issues
  9. Promote a business
  10. Find how small business owner can succeed
  11. Help others
  12. Sell stuff
  13. Share your hobby
  14. Promote yourself
  15. Journal / log your experience in a diary form
  16. Hear /read your own thoughts and opinions
  17. Try something different
  18. Self-gratification
  19. Writing is entertaining
  20. Helps Put thoughts in order
  21. Can tell what you think without making somebody listen
  22. Opportunity to vent

Bloggers vs. the mainstream media

The mainstream media has slowly acknowledged what has been obvious for some time. Internet web logs, or "blogs," are a force to be reckoned with as competition for readership, and they are here to stay. Far from being a passing fad, blogs are becoming more and more pervasive.

As the mainstream media seems to be getting less and less truthful with the important news of the day, bloggers have decided that is up to them to assure that Americans and others have news available that is both affordable and trustworthy. After nearly 18 years, and with readerships that often exceed that of all but the largest city newspapers, the suggestion that blogs are a passing fancy no longer holds any water.

So, in addition to all of the reasons given above for blogs, the following list shows how blogs relate to the mainstream media.

  1. Alternative to mainstream media
  2. Popular blogs are now taken seriously
  3. Blogs play by different rules than mainstream media.
  4. Many view bloggers as source of truth since most bloggers are already starving!
  5. Many view bloggers as more credible than mainstream media
  6. Public trusts most blogs since no outside monetary influence
  7. Bloggers have an entrepreneurial dedication to their trade

Another "debate" between the mainstream media and the blogs that the mainstream media hopes you will forget is the Fox News and Monsanto story.  The blogosphere suggests that Fox News, a mainstream media news agency, does not always tell the truth.

This is news to many conservatives who see FOX News is a breath of fresh air compared with the mainstream alternatives on TV / cable. FOX provides seems outside the mainstream since it tolerates conservative opinion and because it provides conservatives with red meat stories about progressives and liberals. FOX, however, just like NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and ABC is a business wanting to make lots of money, and it is willing to compromise on simple matters like the truth to feed its coffers.  To some this may be heresy but Fox is not a division of Catholic Social Services, and therefore, the notions of morality and ethics, or more plainly, right and wrong are not considerations Fox cites in its credo or its mantra. Nobody ever said Fox must tell the truth.

Consider the FOX attitude in this story that continues to live because of the work of bloggers in the blogosphere.        

The mainstream media's attitude towards the truth and its impact on profits, is perhaps best typified by the story of Fox News and the Monsanto Growth Hormone. A team of FOX reporters, including Steve Wilson & Jane Akre, researched the effects of synthetic bovine growth hormone on cattle and surprisingly discovered that a great deal of evidence exists that people who consume the meat or dairy products from treated cattle can suffer adverse health effects. One would think that all government agencies and news agencies aware of this would want to inform the public. Right? Wrong!

Monsanto was not looking for any publicity that would hurt their business and they have the resources to affect the main stream media’s coverage of real news events. So, they ordered the story squelched by the media. Together with dairy associations concerned that consumers might reconsider certain milk products purchases, they squeezed Fox News to shut the story down. Fox was more interested in surviving this Monsanto attack and then any sense of public duty so it ordered its reporters to change the story. In this case, the two reporters had too much integrity to let it go. They refused to change their story so the public would not be alarmed so Fox fired them, and the story disappeared. Well, the story would have disappeared if the bloggers were not on duty. .

Figuring they could make it as whistleblowers, the reporters sued Fox News but lost on appeal. The court ruled that there is no law requiring the media to tell the truth about anything. And we wonder why they get away with their lies! The rationale is that since the truth is not a requirement, any mainstream media outlet is within their legal rights to direct reporters to lie when they file their stories. Therefore, there is no problem firing reporters who refuse to lie!

Think of this legal precedent. Consider its troubling impact on our national elections, which are counted by a privately owned company. The company is owned jointly by the TV networks, which clearly are not bound by law to tell the truth. Moreover, they are not subject to either citizen or governmental oversight.

For those who pay attention, the mainstream media has a huge mountain to climb to regain real credibility. Since the blogs are one of the sources of truth from which people have been getting news that is accurate, the mainstream media is fighting back. Like a country at war, rather than start telling the truth, the media has chosen to discredit the bloggers. They have set up phony blogs with incredulous messages hoping to persuade the public that blogs and bloggers are frauds. They put out total nonsense and then expect the public to believe their ruse. Their objective is to point out that all bloggers are crazy loons so they can say, "See, we told you bloggers cannot be trusted.”  There are lots of stories and there is lots of evidence that the blogosphere gets it right because bloggers like to say, they are already starving so even rich corporations cannot get them to lie about the news.

Blog watchers love to point out that the network news viewership is in decline, while readership of the blogs is exploding. The public is very wary of who to trust, and rightfully so.  A wary public means that America may soon come back to become a country where a lie is a lie and liars are discredited for their lies. That would be a very healthy thing.