Truth?: Role of Bloggers and Blog Profitability
“ There is a quest for truth in blogging. But it is a truth with a question mark. Truth here has become an amateur project, not an absolute value, sanctioned by higher authorities” – Geert Lovink
This quote by Geert Lovink dives into the age-old debate about blogs vs journal articles. Do blogs have the credibility needed to attract attention and gain trust? From reading Chapter 4 on “Citizen Journalists”, I realized how many varieties of bloggers are out there in cyberspace. I guess since I am new to blogging I believed that everyone had the same motivations and abilities. That is not the case. Also, bloggers can play numerous roles on the web. Like a modern-day Anne Frank, citizen journalists are regular Jane and Johns who report on stories from their own perspective. I have never thought about using blogs as a news source because I only thought of them as the blogspot.com’s that my friends made to let out their inner emotions that they were too afraid to say to anyone’s face. But, the example about the blogger from Virginia Tech that was able to give updates about the shootings while they were going on. This is what has made technology so valuable. It is news, but it is transparent. The blogger cannot gain anything from saying anything but the truth.
Another role of bloggers is the independent journalist bloggers who believe their role in society is more important than it actually is. The author mentioned political blogs as an example and I decided that with the presidential election coming up, I should look up some political blogs.
My first stop when I typed in ” Political Election Blog” was the FiveThirtyEight Blog. It is a NY Times blog that has different journalists weighing in on the action relevant to the news stories online. Another blog I found was Politics Blog. Again, a blog affiliated with the Guardian News website. It seems that large news corporation have jumped on the bandwagon because they still want to be the first source that people go for honest, credible information.
Finally, what shocked me about Chapter 6, ” Blogging Brands” was the fact that “the top 15 percent of blogs, based on Technorati’s ranking , make 90 percent of the money.” This is an extremely high percentage for the amount of bloggers out there in the world. I began to understand that advertising seems to be the only profitable model for sustaining a career in blogging. Do the advertisements lose some of the blogger’s credibility? Or is it so mainstream that the readers have become immune? I will be interested to see what the future of blogs hold in the realm of media involvement and specific individual advancement.