What’s in a BLOG?

We are (or at least I was) always taught to write without expressing ourselves, being as formal as possible, we are taught that it is difficult to write and we are taught to always follow the rules, but we never learn that everything we do is an informal writing exercise: if you just transform whatever you do, think, like, etc into writing, you are expressing yourself in your own and personal way.

A person that pretty much expressed himself a lot, once wrote:


Shakespeare was referring to people in that “we are all the same no matter what” (innovative thought for a late XVI century play, considering that after 400 years not everybody gets it, still). But what if I use his words to talk about writing?

Thanks to the computer-internet era, we are free. Free to write whatever we want to, free to write the way we want to, free to write. In the past (10 to 20 years ago), we cannot even imagine that one day everybody could simply write something, publish it (online) and have an audience of (online) readers. Now, things are even changing towards a more digitalized world: people prefer to express themselves through Facebook, Twitter, and so on because it is easier, direct and unique in a way that paradoxically is dynamic and collaborative: “Digital writing is action. […] the words themselves are active. They move, slither, creep, sprint, and outpace us. Digital words have lives of their own. […] digital writing is communal writing.” (S.M. Morris in “Digital Writing Uprising: Third-order Thinking in the Digital Humanities”).

The best way to do it, though, is through blogs. A blog is more than a personal space (web log) where you can write your own ideas, thoughts, jokes and so on, but it is also a place where you can argue, discuss, express with people that follow you and read your posts and, most important of all, it is a place where everybody can participate in a “dialogue”. Nowadays, thanks to its amazing features, “as part of the broader trend toward participatory, networked grass roots journalism, blogs are influencing how products are introduced, how political campaigns run and even how wars are fought” (B. Carroll in “Writing For Digital Media”).

Blogs, I was almost forgetting, have another captive feature: they are multi media “papers”. When you write an essay, it is static, unchangeable, and not amusing, while when you write a blog, it can be as much “colorful” as you want it to be: links, images, videos, songs, layouts, colors and so on. Also the way you write differs, Professor Pete Rorabaugh in “Organic and Digital Media: Seeds and Organs” says: “We usually learn to write “the essay” in the opposite fashion: we write the first word of the essay first, then the second word, and so on. It’s a logical approach to what seems a linear problem, but it does not respect how our thinking develops as we compose. […] Organic writing begins with a seed – an idea – and grows in unexpected way”

So if Shakespeare said that humans are all equal, paraphrasing his words for writing, I would ask “What’s in a blog? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet? Yes, but a blog-rose would smell sweeter.

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