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Blog Paper

November 30, 2007

Blog Paper
Blogging, a free way of expressing ones opinion to others indirectly and without the pressure of facing the people you’re talking to. From what I’ve heard from others on the subject on blogging, those that like to blog feel that it’s a great way to release frustrations or a pressure-less form of communication. Those who are not so fond of blogging think bloggers are a “bunch of pussies that complain about their pathetic lives online because they have no friends.” I feel that this sources’ name is unimportant, no matter how ignorant they may be.
The way that a lot of people view blogging is as an excessive form of writing that just isn’t necessary as people are paid to write opinion pieces in newspapers. However, this is not the case. Blogging is a personal form of writing in which anyone from anywhere can partake. The most important thing I feel to learn about blogging is to “let go of the idea that you must have everything nailed down, organized, and edited before you publish” as Amy Gahran puts it. Gahran also states “A blog post is not (or at least, it shouldn’t be) a writing assignment you must prep for and deliver as a finished package.” Blogging is (as I keep saying) a completely personal writing. The most enjoyable part of the blog project was the fact that I did not have to be grammatically correct all the time, and I could put videos in my writing, I could effectively do anything. The freedom that blogging gives its authors is possibly the most rewarding feeling any amateur writer can receive.
However, as much freedom as blogging gives its authors, there are some very important ethical issues and rules. As Steve Outing puts it, “Blogging isn’t just a Wild-West free-for-all of publishing with no rules or ethical guidelines.” One issue that is vital to the improvement of blogging in the future is the accuracy of facts. Outing points out that “Some bloggers are too quick to publish anything that falls into their laps — without bothering to vet the material to determine if it’s accurate, or to consider the consequences of publishing it.” Some of the consequences of which Outing speaks contain libel suits. As blogging offers such freedom in speech, emotions often come into play and through those emotions, malicious statements can be formed. However, no matter how emotional a writer maybe about his subject, all facts must be checked as blogs are published and available to the public eye.
One thing a lot of bloggers do not realize is that they are non-professional journalists and that their writing is ready available on the internet just the same as professional journalists articles are. In a democratic society, it is perfectly fine and expected that information is available to the public but as Outing says “This line of thinking suggests that the publisher’s responsibility lies in being clear about what’s been confirmed and what hasn’t been, acknowledging that the information, depending on circumstances, could be accurate or could be groundless.” A blogger can not take any information they hear from a friend and put it straight up on their blog, as this information must be checked for sources and the sources must be credited. For instance, although in a very light-hearted sense, I wrote a post about how attractive Barack Obama is. I heard through a friend that a lot of women found Barack Obama very attractive. So I checked the statement online, and sure enough I found information about women stating publicly that they thought Obama was attractive even “sexy.” Although this is a very-light hearted example, it is important that all bloggers double check their sources.
In conclusion, the most important things that blogging can teach anyone is that blogging is truly a freedom of expression in every sense of the word, and with that freedom comes responsibility to respect its ethical boundaries and legal confines.

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