Cyber experts say that a “blog” or a “web log” is a personal journal that is frequently updated and is regarded as a spot for public’s consumption. Others say “blog” is a mixture of what’s happening in a person’s life and what is happening on the web, almost like the conception of diary and guide site together. Indeed, blog is a like a lamentation's wall where everyone can write their own feelings, express rage, happiness, sensuality, etc. It all depends on the person’s personality and the reflection of the website.
Having a blog is quite helpful. They provide information encyclopedias or other websites don’t, meaning that blog owners can go further in specific topics. There are blogs that are used for good causes, such as blogs to collect money and goods for the tsunami victims in Southern Asia last month and for other philanthropic activities. Nevertheless, there are blogs whose content is thorny and controversial that it can turn the attention of almost an entire nation.
Articles such as “Your Blog or Mine?” by Jeffrey Rosen, and “Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail” shows us that even your innermost fantasies, fetishes or desires can be the most dangerous ones because you’re exposing other people’s life without their consent, putting reputation at risk. For example, the case of Jessica Cutler, a 26-year-old mail sorter for Senator Mike DeWine, who revealed her sex life that involved relevant, political figures. This sexual scandal was published by Ana Maria Cox, owner of gossip blog “Wonkette” –whose front page depicts a pretty picture of a lady wearing glasses accompanied by a cat- and it suddenly became a ‘cyber soap’, almost as interesting as a reality show.
When you go and google for blogs, you find political blogs, music blogs, technology blogs, humorous blogs, but the majority of those blogs are related to sexual stuff. Coincidentally, this is the case of Justin Hall as depicted in Rosen's Article. He is considered the father of personal bloggers, and his life goes beyond the fact that he was a graduate student at the University of Southern California: it entails his very tragic moments, such as his troubled father, his high school friends, and even his sexual life that, according to Rosen’s article, is a very extensive one.
Blogs are also a powerhouse to discuss democracy. There are leftist, conservative blogs and some other blogs that criticize American government system. The “Wonkette” blog, as well as others, have proved that partisan blogs are growing faster, and it’s making a way into American’s life because they bring the attention of people who find in a blog the perfect place to post their thoughts.
Evidently, the blog phenomenon has started to get more attention worldwide. Europeans are using blogs that use articles from larger newspapers on each country. According to Rosen’s article, China had its first blogging sex scandal in 2003 when a woman described her relationships with several men.
Organizations such as Pew Internet and American Life Project showed that blogging activity increased almost 57 percent last year in the United States. According to the report, 27 percent of the population has visited blogs at one point and some of them send feedback to blog owners. In total, 32 million people read blogs everyday, and almost 8 million people have their own blog.
The same report showed that 57 percent of all visitors are composed of men, and the average age of most of the users is 30 years old or less. The same study shows that 82 percent of blogging usage belongs to people who have a vast internet experience-almost six years of experience-. Nonetheless, the poll showed that 60 percent of the population does not know what a blog is.
Even though the "blogosphere" is new and unknown for some of us, blogging is almost like a therapy for other people to tell their stories because it seems there is a necessity to be heard by any means. It is almost like an artist who wants to communicate something through painting or music, but at what extent should people tell their personal life? Do you dare to tell your sexual preferences and display the names of your former sexual partners? Are you afraid of being a potential target of anyone’s blog? I would say that, in the future, people won’t need priests to confess their sins any more because they will be exposed to the World Wide Web. To blog or not to blog, that is the question, but it will basically depend on the content. If you want to tell your personal life…it is up to you.
*More information about blogging can be found in http://www.pewinternet.org/