I first heard about Blogging thru media reports about “The Baghdad Blogger” during the Iraq War more than a decade ago. Allegedly he was a lone man on a computer who was getting the most accurate information out of Baghdad.
We were in some way encouraged to be “citizen journalists”. We were told we were “empowered”. Of course, as soon as people believe they are empowered, Society moves to restore a status quo.
I have always been skeptical of the perceived power of a lone male (it is nearly always lone males) ranting on a computer at 2am. And yet, I run a very successful political blog. Sure…it isnt the Huffington Post but its pretty good.
The word “Blog” is really used to describe three different things…Blog, Message Board and Journal. This is an important distinction.
My successful Blog is a “Blog” in the truest sense. I take a particular political stance and write about it. A number of regulars comment. They often disagree with my analysis but we are in basic agreement on key points. This produces not only a generally friendly atmosphere but it produces nuanced and interesting discussion.
I firmly believe that writing a post fora Blog is not enough. A Blog thrives on good sensible comments.
I actively discourge comments from people who analyse politics in a very different way to me. Experience shows that any discussion or debate quickly degenerates into an argument. My Blogwould not only lose its unique selling point but it would cease to be a Blog and become a Message Board.
To use an American example. Setting up a Blog advocating Bernie Sanders for President would be enhanced with comments supporting Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren and praising Barak Obama and Joe Biden. But such a Blog would not be enhanced by serious debate with supporters of Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckerbee, Fox News etc….. It would change the nature of the Blog.
Likewise…a Blog without comments is effectively a Journal. This “Blog” has unwittingly mutated into a Journal. The statistics supplied by Word Press show that it is well-read and I would guess most visitors are regulars. Indeed there are a number of people who “follow” the Blog and are notified of new posts thru email. Of course, I understand that there is something about this Blog which is “niche”. The staple is Irish Stamps and it is possibly made more “niche” by Irish Coins, Irish Postcards etc.
Yet I have come to see this Blog/Journal as an integral part of my (Stamp and other) Collecting life. To some extent, a stamp collection can start off with an 8 year old child with a small album, a packet of hinges and a magnifying glass and it grows…more albums, more books, more covers….all requiring more space. It expands from a shelf on a book case to a dedicated room.
Part of the new Space is Cyber Space. A Blog…a Journal….no difference really to a Diary.
Is the Blog/Journal now an integral part of (my) Collecting?
Yes. I think it is. I should maybe consider printing some posts to keep in a folder.