The idea of blogging is still a fairly new concept in the world that we live in. Many people perceive blogging to be a waste of time and energy. There has been a lot of negativity aimed towards bloggers who some stereotype as “weirdo loners in their mothers’ suburban basements” (Barlow, 2008 pg.37). Many argue that bloggers are simply trying to form a community extensive to the one that they live in. In my observation of the blogosphere I realized that shared interests can contribute to the rise of community.
The blog that I decided to observe was Popwatch Blog which is located on popwatch.ew.com. I chose it because it is an entertainment and pop culture blog and I thought that this would be something that I would find interesting. Most of the stories related to celebrities, new movies, television shows and random video clips. These all contained a mixture of humor, information and creativity. While observing this blog I noticed there was also a high level of activity on the site. This was evident in the Latest Comments section located on the right side of the screen. It provided the audience with the amount of comments a certain blog had as well as the last person who wrote it. There was also a blog roll on the side of the screen that linked to similar blogs such as PopBytes and Tv Tattle. I also noticed that there was some hierarchal system within this blog because they had a sectioned that was designated for the “top authors”, which insinuated to me that there were other authors who wrote on the site.
One of my duties was to post a comment to the blog that I was observing. None of the stories that I read was of any interests to me, so I decided to search for the HBO television series True Blood. I found something that was dated September 8th, 2008 and the question was What did you think? Many of the comments I read were positive about the show and many people were optimistic about its future. Although it was posted awhile ago the comments were coming in on a daily basis, so that is where I decided to comment. I made a simple comment about my love for the show that did not earn any responses from anyone. I noticed that many of the people that commented on the post were regular posters and this created a relationship between some of them.
According to Aaron Barlow (2008), “community, that is what lies at the heart of the blog” (pg.37). Reading many of the comments about True Blood embedded that in my mind. Everyone wants to be apart of a community at some point in their lives and I think that blogs offer people that opportunity. Barlow also comments that bloggers do not wish to reject the idea of community, but to embrace it. While I was reading the comments many of them related to one another. For example, I read a comment from “NACHO MAMA”, who admitted that that site was to addicting to stay away, “Carlos” another poster was telling a fellow poster “NOLA” that he had a flat screen television that was exactly like one in show. Also, “NOLA” refers to “Carlos” as lover and she even calls him that in one of her comments, and she tells “malee” that she hopes that she is feeling better because “malee” has pneumonia. Another example I saw was “Kristin” gave “NOLA” her email address and told her that she had a facebook page. The idea of the “blogging glass”, as discussed by Lance Strate, can also play a role in blogging communites (Barlow, 2008 pg.61). This idea sheds light on the fact that as we look through that glass we began to see similarities between ourselves and others as we move through it we began to connect with others around us.
While observing this blog I realized that it was a lot more entertaining then I initially believed it was going to be. I think one of the problems that bloggers have is that many people underestimate just how important the blogosphere is. A lot of things that we read on the Internet from the nytimes website or aol.com can be put into someone’s blog and exposed to more people than you can imagine. One of the things that are important about the blogosphere is it is a community where people can share their interests and interact in a space where they feel comfortable. Connecting with people who share your passion makes it much easier to connect with them. For some people it may be easier to talk over the Internet than face to face. Blogs may have not always been popular, but they are sure to grow as we head into the future.
Barlow, Aaron. (2008). Blogging America. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.