Blogging is therapeutic, and inspirational, and entertaining, …and a hundred other things that make it interesting, but I think the fact that bloggers are capturing history as it is being made will be the most important result of the blogging revolution.
Instead of one or two journalists covering events as they see fit, we how have multiple viewpoints, many of them first-hand accounts, on almost every activity that occurs. We have always captured history in one fashion or another, but we are now capturing history in finer detail than ever before.
What happens in front of the Floyd Country Store on a particular Friday night is now part of the permanent record of the Internet on the same basis as a Friday night event in Baghdad, or LA or New Orleans. Floyd County Friday nights are more pleasing, in my opinion, but the interested observer now has many data points to choose from.
It no longer matters that much of mainstream media is hopelessly biased and morally bankrupt. There are enough citizen bloggers and journalists who blog to cover almost any story in enough detail that the casual reader can actually get a more complete picture of any event they are interested in.
Bloggers have agendas too, but these agendas are often prominently displayed on their mastheads so you know what their viewpoint are from the start. Most bloggers do not get paid for their writing. What you get instead is the refreshing passion of someone who is trying to make a point that he or she is committed to.
The real effect of blogging is not in the dissemination of the latest news. It comes from the accumulation of thousands of observations and of verifiable data in blog posts every day, all over the planet.
90% of my visitors have arrived at this site because they were looking for information about topics I wrote about months and years ago. They come for information about Marla Olmstead, the child artist, or Judith Scott, or Elena Filatova, motorcyclist and photographer, who writes about Chernobyl. They also come for advice on modular homes, wood stoves, and moving to Floyd.
Almost every week I am approached by someone who says, "I read your blog several years ago and am finally here in Floyd to see what it is all about." They usually say that they read all of the blogs written by Floyd County bloggers and as a result they already have a good sense of what to expect if they were to move to Floyd County.
I have also been writing about the changing workplace for as long as I have been blogging and I see an increasing awareness that long term career satisfaction comes from some form of self-employment or at least a self-determined relationship with employers. People tell me they have given my book, Danger Quicksand – Have A Nice Day, to others and it has changed or even saved their lives.
Again, I feel this was because I documented actual workplace events in a way that they could be analyzed and be understood by others. If enough people wrote about their workplace experiences, it would be much easier to choose an employer that you could work with satisfactorily.
It might also drive companies to re-examine some of their personnel and management policies.
Blogging is a way to cast light into all of the shadowy places that exist. Cockroaches, corruption, and decay flourish in dark, unexamined areas. Bringing light to these places helps make them safer and less life-threatening.