Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Blogosphere: Where Will it Take You?

When you think of a blog what is the first thing that comes to mind? Your first thought is probably that a blog is a place on the internet where you can write and anyone can read it. This is correct, but it is also so much more. A newly created blog might start out this way, but as time passes a blog can evolve into a community. Not all blogs make it this far and this could be due to a number of reasons, such as the blog’s content, the number of readers it has, and the number of advertisements that are displayed. For a blog to have the ability to evolve into a community these aspects must be perfect. This is because there are tens of thousands of blogs created daily, and nobody has the time to look through all of them. If you choose to subscribe to a blog, be prepared to join the community. There will be many posts to read, but these posts create a place to comment as well.

Choosing a blog to subscribe to can be hard work because there are so many blogs, but there are many websites you can go visit to find the top blogs for particular topics. An example of this would be, which has a blog directory where blogs are placed into categories and sub-categories. They also have a list of the top 100 blogs. For someone new to the blogosphere this would be a good place to start in your search for a blog to subscribe to. If you can’t find a blog through a site like technorati, don’t worry. Many of the blogs I am subscribed to I have found just using a search engine. Due to the large number of blogs that are now in existence, it is no surprise that some end up on the first page of many popular search engines. The only problem with finding blogs through search engines is that there will be a lot of evaluating to do, but as the internet grows so does the need for evaluation. According to Aaron Barlow (2008), there is a need to be “neterite”, or literate in electronic communication. The more “neterite” you are, the easier it will be to find a blog that both interests you and is full of useful credible information. While looking for a blog to subscribe to I had to use my “neteracy” to sift through the garbage. It is cool to find a site that interests you, but if the information is not true, the community may not be either.

The blog I chose to subscribe to was John Chow’s, which can be found at On this blog John discusses everything from how to make money using internet marketing programs to how his trip to the aquarium was. Although the blog may seem to vary too much, it doesn’t because John is a very informative writer. He does not tell everything about his personal life, only that he went to the aquarium, it was good for these reasons, bad for these reasons, and if you want to go you can visit their website. These posts don’t happen too often either. The posts are usually about John’s life using the internet as his source of income. When looking at John’s blog you may notice that there are advertisements. A lot of times when you find a blog with lots of advertisements, the blog’s credibility is questionable. John’s blog is different. There are advertisements, but they are neatly displayed and labeled. He is not hiding anything or just placing them all over the blog in hopes that someone will click them.

In my first week of observing John’s blog, I did look at peoples’ comments, but did not post any of my own. Most of the comments are on-topic, but there a few that are not. This is another place where being “neterite” can be helpful. You will know how to spot off-topic and nonsense comments and pass right by them. Towards the end of the week I did end up commenting on a post that had been guest blogged by a friend of John. It was a post that I could relate to so I wrote what I thought and posted my comment. I included my name, as many others seemed to do also. This gave me a sense that there are people commenting on John’s blog that have nothing to hide. A few hours after I posted my comment somebody replied to it. This was when I realized how blogs can become communities. With the right content that brings enough commenting readers, a community can be created. Readers can not only comment to John, but with each other, and by doing so they can create a community. They may get to know each other by handle and follow each other’s comments. The possibilities are endless.

In conclusion, a blog is a place on the internet where you can write for anyone to read, but with the right content, readers and appearance, a blog can evolve into a community. By becoming “neterite” finding a good blog and sifting through the bad ones becomes easier. This will also aid in knowing how to create a blog of your own that will evolve and flourish. You will know what readers want in a blog, and by giving these readers what they want and participating with them, you too can create your very own community!

Works Cited
Barlow, A. (2008). Bloggin America: The New Public Sphere. Westport: Praeger Publishers.
Technorati. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2008, from

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