Few days ago a friend and i had a conversation and the outcome really got me thinking. He pretty much said that blogging as much as it appears to be different from other social media it still serves the same purpose as the other popular social platforms (if you are reading this blog then you’ll know who they are ;)).
At first impression everything sounded right. I really had nothing to say regarding his arguments and sure thing i didn’t have anything that proved otherwise.
Then he said to me : “you should blog about it” and that’s what I’m going to do
Let’s have a closer look at the similarities between the social media (at least the popular ones)
- They connect people (Obviously)
- They share articles with others
- They share Photos , videos and other types of multimedia
- They are good for news and advertising purposes
But there’s some very important differences as well
- They are not all social media social networks (etc WordPress is not a social network)
- You can’t make a living from all of them (a blog can make money but a Facebook or a twitter page can’t or in most cases wont be able to)
- Different types of users are using different social media (Google+ is more geeky than Facebook and Reddit is more tech oriented than twitter)
- Freedom over the publicized content
Blogging is different because in the social media ecosystem is the media that is based on the user and the same user is responsible for its success . A blogger can write and reach an audience that will read and follow him or not because of his political views or his writing skills or he’s a good photographer (photo blogging). The point is that if his blog is successful or not it is based solely on him. A Facebook page is more intelligent in promoting the user profile and in the end he finds himself linked with people that once had a cup of coffee with or just total strangers because he/she posted a photo or a song.
On the contrary, the blogger has the opportunity to create something from nothing , to really make something that there wasn’t there before. Just like an artist creates a work of art and needs a medium for his work to reach out to larger audiences. Sure blogging includes much of writing and yes this writing can influence people and be the motive for significant changes ( Lina Ben Mhenni is a wonderful example of how powerful blogging can be)
Also an important but not so obvious characteristic in blogging is that you have the freedom over your own material instead of giving the power to some admin to choose what is offensive and what is not. In other words you have more freedom to express yourself and speak up your opinions instead of trying to speak up among millions of social networks users. You can choose what photo you like to publish or which one to take down and you know that you’re the only one who can do it. The other social media get to choose what they can use and what not and act accordingly. If a post is offensive they remove it without second thought. If a blogger is posting some offensive posts probably will lose some or a few of his readers because of it. Its about choices, some are good ,some of them are bad ,but the blogger is calling the shots and not some admins which in most cases act in politically correct terms.
Picture this : Blogging is like an afternoon with friends at your house (your blog) with a nice cup of coffee and probably some cookies. You as the host you can start the conversation and the others can speak freely their minds in a peaceful and safe environment. On the other hand the other social media/platforms choose another space for the exchange of content or discussion of topics . This space is more like a stadium where thousands people try to speak at the same time with none of them actually hearing what the other is saying. Which one do you fancy the most?
The blogging is about choices and how we express them and this is the fundamentals of freedom and democracy which in the vast world of internet these words have long lost their meaning and instead of ideals became marketing and sales pitch lines to promote new services , new products and most important of all, these are marketed by companies that want you to be carefree(leave the managing of privacy to the admins) and share everything you want (but in reality only what they approve) with everyone you want (the ones the algorithm will find most suitable) .
In every century there were significant people that spoke their mind freely. These back then were the pariahs ,the rebels, the anti-ordinary. History praised them (or not) , societies rejected them (most of them) but instead of giving up , chose the solitary way of pioneering through writing thus making a difference for the future generation. Thοse were the “bloggers” of their time , thοse were the ones that made the difference happen.
“A word after a word after a word is power.”
― Margaret Atwood