Amnesty and metablogging

Amnesty International has issued a statement on Human rights in the Blogosphere. Nothing new, but it just underlines the fact that blogs are being taken seriously all over the world.

The initial grace period in which bloggers enjoyed complete freedom while the authorities caught up with the technology has ended, but it is still the easiest and fastest way for activists to spread information and many continue to use them, despite the personal risk involved.

This is one downside; another is the amount of information presented as fact. Blogs are individual expressions of opinion. Where "facts" are cited, they should be treated with healthy scepticism. As long as the reader makes his or her own judgments about the information, the fact that blogs do not purport to provide a balanced view can be refreshing, as there is little risk of a hidden agenda or bias. They also offer an immediate right of reply and the opportunity for others to correct information or to put across an alternative viewpoint immediately.

The Blogosphere provides anyone with access to a computer the opportunity to meet like-minded people and organise activities anywhere in the world. For activists and journalists alike, it is a powerful tool.

I completely agree with the last sentence. Blogs are tools. Tools for distributing ideas more efficiently. Whether those ideas are about your personal life, the current political situation, the weather, or whether they are completely fictitious, it does not matter. As Ugus has found out, people don't seem to grasp the idea that you cannot treat blogs in the same way. Equally, yes, but not in the same way. All blogs - perhaps even all entries - have to be judged on their own merits.

You can't say all newspapers are the same, any more you can say all the television is the same, except if you're willing to make extremely broad and dumb generalizations that are of no use. The same goes with blogs: Some blogs are journalism, some aren't. Some blogs are diaries, some aren't. Some blogs are news, some aren't. Some blogs are popular, some aren't. Some are fictitious, some aren't. It's very dangerous to attach any sort of labels to anything, simply because labeling things will cause your view to be distorted, and you may no longer see anything outside the label. However, since the labels are pretty much a necessity, these things happen. You just need to be very careful when labeling things, and keep in mind that you have to take them seriously, but you really can't - if you get my meaning.

Anyway. Blogs are tools for publishing words. Nothing more, nothing less. The exact form is not that important, whether it be defined in a mechanistical fashion or as personal online publishing or perhaps something else. Once you have a grasp of blogging is, forget about it, and start thinking what blogging could be. That's where innovation lies - not at defining boxes around boxes until everything falls neatly into place, but at thinking outside the box; ripping the label off it, turning it upside down and shaking it until it breaks.

The word "blog" is broken. Let scholars worry about how to fix it.

You just write.


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"Main_blogentry_060505_3" last changed on 06-May-2005 10:21:53 EEST by JanneJalkanen.