As Gilmor mentioned in this week’s reading that blogging is an act of civic engagement and showed us examples of how blogging has given those that are oppressed a voice, I am more and more convinced that blogging thrives in a society that lacks a free press.
When there isn’t freedom of speech and when the press acts as a mouthpiece of the government, people will look for an alternative medium to get the right information. (If not, they are simply too brainwashed and the government’s propaganda has worked.) Hence, blogging provides a relatively safe environment for people to post information and voice their dissentients against the status quo. The web provides a safety net for bloggers with open source softwares such as anonymity proxies software that can be downloaded on the Internet or by emailing counterparts from democratic countries to publish it online for them. Bit by bit, I believe, a community with the same spirit against the oppression will emerge and possibly bring about a revolution.
However, this may be too optimistic on my part. Gilmore mentioned that blogging and democracy belongs to the class of the elites. How can these online voices be heard if most of the population cannot even read or write, much less own a computer? Hence, more help should be rendered to the developing countries to help them advance their technology. Yet one must remember that the West cannot enforce its technological practice onto the developing countries but do what the Romans do.
Also, since the blogosphere belongs to the class of the elites, the content likewise will be tailored to them. No doubt there are diversity in the blogosphere, with blogs on any topic you can think of, from sewing to cupcakes to politics. You name it, you have it.
However, they have variety but no diversity. Variety means that there are many blogs under the domain of politics, but under this umbrella, are there a variety of diverse voices? Are they merely blogs echoing each other’s opinions?
Nevertheless, blogs in a specific domain are getting specialized too. And this is what I am excited about. This means that you can write about anything or find information you are passionate about and form a community. Better still turn it into a profitable business model! Probably I shall do that when I retire. Easy money.
1) How do we ensure diversity of content in the blogosphere, given the fact that blogging belongs to the class of the elites?
2) How can blogging help the developing countries?