There must be zillions of posts and articles about why people should blog, but
all of them the ones I’ve read only deal with the reasons on the purposes side, i.e., what to do with your blog and why: let people know about you, about what you’re doing, create a community/network of interests/apprenticeship, etc.
But what about the origin side? I mean, what has happened in the World, in technology, that pushes me to blog: what about the ideological or philosophical point of view?
Under this approach, I guess there’re three main reasons why people are blogging (and wiking):
Democratization of technology and social software
Far from the beginning of the Internet, where one had to know about HTML programming and web site administration, Internet publication has become easy, very easy, being some online blog publishing services the most visible examples of the democratization of technology. Social software does not only mean that it is a software to create social relationships, but also a software that is at (almost) everybody’s reach, overcoming costs and technological skills barriers.
e-Democracy and re-appropriation of opinion making media
Democracy does not only deal with the right to vote once each four years, but with building one’s own opinion, and to build it freely, with (quality) information, so your vote is rational and taking in consideration your principles, ideas and interests.
The concentration of mass media, and their belonging to groups of interest close to the policy makers, makes this information have an increasing lack of freedom and plurality, hence quality. The need of some to have a better information and to share good information from independent sources (or just from the sources) pushes people to publish and/or read through new means of expression and opinion making.
There’s the increasing belief that intellectual property rights have gone far beyond their natural boundaries, and there’s even the statement that Culture as we know it is in danger. Human progress built upon existing knowledge is being obstructed by patents and copyright, that have entered a bias where they do not serve anymore the original purposes of their implementation.
Thus, creating a space of free knowledge – of free culture – and bringing back the idea that sharing information, knowledge and doubts is the basis of more knowledge and, thus progress, is an underlying reason for this unselfish contribution.
[Three ideological reasons for blogging]
All in all it is a virtuous circle:
- Social software makes easy to publish online, for whatever reasons, being one of them show one’s opinion and read others’ directly from the source, thus avoiding the filtering of mass media.
- Free opinion leads, directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly, to Free Culture.
- Free Culture leads to more free/social software, because of ideological reasons, or just because there’s an increasing demand for it.
- And the (virtuous?) circle begins again.
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2005) “Three ideological reasons why people blog (and wiki)” In ICTlogy,
#20, May 2005. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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