Blogging Mass Communication

Blogging- Power to influence

Blogging; has emerged as an excellent idea to express opinions and thoughts and to get information on any issue you name. On Blogs writings are especially dedicated to a more casual presentation of information style. Mostly blogs are written conversationally, with more emphasis on opinion and commentary than a more specialized report. The internet is the ideal location for this style of writing while most of newspaper can not accommodate every single opinion by the readers and even contributors sometimes, so it’s no wonder blogs are quickly becoming a favored style of website. Interestingly Content Management system has become uncomplicated that less effort, time and expertise is required to upload content on internet more specifically on blog. With advent of WordPress.com and Blogger.com; people can have their blogs free of cost. No headache of domain registration, getting the hosting services and theme designs; everything is available in just time of clicking the fingers… Nonetheless content writers are in most cases Bloggers themselves.

Blogs are being created every second, and ratio is doubled than it was in 2007. In 2006 Daily Posting Volume tracked by Technorati.com is now over 1.2 Million posts per day, i.e. about 50,000 posts per hour. This number is increasing with every bit of second. Wikipedia has categorized blogs as Personal Blogs, Corportae blogs, question blogs, Media Type, and by Genre; These are the blogs focusing on particular subject, such as politicas, travel, housing, fashion, project, education, niche blogs, classical music, quizzing blogs etc etc.

Blogging is no more an unfamiliar concept in Pakistan; even far flung and less developed areas of North West Frontier Province and Baluchistan people if not blogging are reading blogs and responding to blogs in shape of comments. Hundreds of bloggers across the country are contributing and securing reputation as successful bloggers with huge readerships and fan followings.

Thus Blogs have gained popularity as powerful news medium having capacity to influence millions; thus media organizations started blogs as non-traditional tools to reach their targeted audience on their websites. However there are two schools of thoughts standing in clear juxtaposition regarding the blurring Blogs with NewsMedia. One school of thought has approved the standardized idea of bright future of blogshpere; as it has power to influence and control million minds in seconds and emerging as popular news media. While other denounces it by saying that dependence upon Blogs are nor rational neither preferable because it involves subjectivity and bias. To some extent both are correct in their paraphernalia.

Famous Blogs are being co-opted even more by those who control the leading media industries; people come across on daily basis e.g. NewYork Times; Washington Post or it is about Dawn or Wateen in Pakistan. Blog needs to have organic and natural traffic in abundance for Yahoo’s Alexa rating and Google’s Page Ranks. Thus When talking of a blog as strong source of influencing opinion; Popularity is prerequisite among people who rely for information on such mediums. Consequently bigger the name of associated Media to blog Higher will be the traffic on blog giving an authoritative status to blogs. Blogs regardless of Search Engine’s priority are seemingly becoming more and more brand names. Blogs owned and operated by media corporations can have content bit more idiosyncratic and eccentric than other, more “mainstream,” blogs. It is known fact that media conglomerations have vested interests thus media corporations never let a chance slip to get vested interests served. A criticism on individual or personal blogs as these carry biased approach; can be invalidated just by opening up the fact that big blogs are also contain manipulated content. It is not a dissuading idea for not having blogs associated with authority media but an attempt to draw attention to the importance of personal and individualistic blogs that remain obscure. However where content is king; “Independent & Individual” blogs are produced like “independent” movies depending upon how powerful is the idea and substance that can be refer as influencing rather trend setting.

For Millions blogging is a complete media industry that is expanding on daily basis; people who want to be heard need platforms to raise their voices against a simple issue and build a community of readers; through citation keeps on adding to blogs freely and openly without any certain restriction of PEMRA or other ordinances in several countries in order to put curbs on media. “New internet” (flicker and Youtube) has made the horizon so broad; and billions of internet users are joining citizen journalism with full capacity to make and break governments. On a very interesting note journalism or even criticism on political clout is no longer limited to Networks, lobbyists and journalists in case of West and on simple Congregations in East.

All you need is a computer and a free account, and you’re suddenly theoretically capable of reaching as many people or more as the editor of the New York Times. However with more and more crowd coming to blog to express them will expectedly reduce the quality of the content.

It has been interesting to observe that blogs have become really popular medium to reach audience for politicians, players, actors and other professionals too. Political campaigns are being run and shun on blogs. Hilary and Obama for Presidential Election’s 2008 have been coming and networking on Digg, it allowed them to develop contact with people that in other cases would might have not possible. Further more it was easy for them to get quickest first hand response rather than their PR machineries inform them about their popularity ratios according to falsifying polls. In a very recent Gallup Survey John McCain Republican Presidential candidate has gained more popularity then Democratic Barrack Obama; because every other blog was being written in favor of McCain. Early this year it was Obama who won not only Caucasus but defeated Halliray Clinton for nomination. During 2004 elections blogging was a relatively a new idea. There weren’t many blogs and number of readers was very low. But for 2008 blogsphere is playing vital role in American presidential Elections; people are reading at least one blog a day, in many cases it is a few dozen. But the news and viewpoints are being noticed either by the bloggers themselves or by their readers in the comments sections of the blogs.

Realizing the importance of blogs almost All celebrities have started establishing their own blogs including Hollywood and Bollywood actors and actresses and cricketers and squash players etc etc. With development of blogs these people are in better positions to interact directly with their fans and can even increase their fan bank. They can get opportunities to answer to the offending scandals initiated by Mass Media including TV Channels or newspapers; whereas for people these blogs would be reliable as to coming directly from the original source. Thus both ideas about blogs as source of influencing people and opposing it because bloggers are too subjective; actually complement each other. As one media is coining and idea other media is approving it or disapproving it. Eventually the bloggers are valuable tools for persuading and convincing people by subjective or objective approach; sometimes endorsing ideas coined by mainstream media.
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Pakistan has become the 10th biggest user of internet in Asia; Pakistani bloggers are usually referred as more self-centered; blogging about themselves and friends etc however the dire need of time is to use blogging as constructive medium to communicate with people who are aliens to our culture and our society and only receives filtered information about this part of world. Pakistanis bloggers would surely be heard if their emphasis should be more on diffusing image of Pakistan against notions including “ terrorists state” “failed state” “Violent states” etc etc. It would be more valuable for Pakistan to get their voices heard in external world as first hand information. Due to being in embryonic stages However Pakistan’s blogosphere still have to learn a lot from international bloggers.
It would be debatable to People usually are the products of the societies where do they live and grow, so we can not blame bloggers from Pakistan to be self-centered, it is quite natural. I have found several doctors writing blogs about medicine; health and fitness, many environmentalists who only write about environment not in Pakistan but in every part of the world. So writing depicts anyone’s interests and natural tendency and what things effect them. as far as i know There is no code of conduct yet defined for bloggers to restrict them from writing anything. I have my personal blogs along with the blogs where i write as a professional.

Blogging is still an emerging concept in Pakistan, 2007 has been the year for people all over the world who started blogging but very less number of Pakistanis have gone for Blogs. I believe this is an upcoming strong shape of media so people will start relying upon blogs and mature content will come up. It is in phase one comparing with our neighbors India, so give Pakistanis a cushion to gradually move forward.

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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