Friday, February 29, 2008

An Interview!

A coworker’s daughter is taking a journalism class and needed to interview a blogger for a paper. The last week word has gotten around that had I stared a blog, so I was asked if I would be her interviewee. I was flattered so I said yes. She needed the paper within the hour after I received the e-mail, so the answers were fairly brief. I am working on several blogs right now that require a bit of research and no doubt will need revision, so for today’s blog, here’s the transcript of the interview:
1)What is a blog?
1) Short for web log, a blog is an unregulated forum for people to publish their opinions, commentary, news and information about their personal lives on the internet. While these are the most common forms blogs take, the medium is fairly young and still evolving.
2)Why is there this fascination with blogs?
2) Why are reality TV shows popular? We’re curious about each others lives, sometimes to the point of voyeurism. We’re also looking for connections with other people who perhaps share similar concerns, tribulations and ideas. Lastly, many blogs are informative and funny and who doesn’t like to laugh?
3)How did you find out about blogs?
3) Like most people, I had a friend who had started one, as her online journal, though I had heard of blogs years before in the news (television and periodicals) back in the dark ages when blogs were questioned as a legitimate source of information and commentary.
4)Why did you decide to start a blog?
4) A news blog may be more editorialized, or personal and contain more commentary than information and usually has far less content in general. While several people may share a blog, as a rule most blogs are single person-sourced, limiting the ability to news-gather. Also, while not always true, news blogs don’t do much independent research; most regurgitate from news websites or other news media.
5)What is the difference between a news website and a news blog?
5) I had lots of thoughts about lots of things and already wrote for myself to organize my thoughts and my worldview (kind of putting my philosophies on paper to see what I believed) and decided to test my worldview against the world at large. Instant publication is tremendously satisfying and it’s great to get comments (good or bad) from people. I was surprised how connected I felt.
6) Is your blog focused on your commentary and opinions on one particular subject, or your online personal diary on lots of subjects?
6) It is views and commentary, but as random as I am concerning what I’m interested that day. As for my daily routines, I find them boring, I can’t imagine anyone else wanting to read about them and for that matter, I find blogs that are just recitations of one’s day boring. It’s what you think and feel and how you react to things that’s interesting and blog gold, not the events themselves.
7) Do you think its important for a blog to have photographs/audio/music/videos to enhance it?
7) No, it’s not important. Sometimes, sure, it can enhance the experience, but mostly it’s just jewelry and not important to the content of the blog (unless, of course the blog is all about music or such.) It might give a little insight to the author, but too much of a good thing is too much. Think of it this way: does the cover matter when it’s a good book?
8)What specific types of blogs are there?
8) I mean this literally: any subject you can think of, there is a blog devoted to it. Sorry to be so general, but a specific list would take hours to compile. There are an estimated 100,000+ blogs started every day! Think about it.
9)Do you consider blogs a form of journalism?
9) They can be, but unlike a news agency which has a reputation to uphold and a financial stake in that reputation, blogs don’t. Blogs live on their popularity. With precious few exceptions, I wouldn’t consider anyone’s personal blog as a source of authority.
10) Do you worry about your personal safety, if you discuss your opinion on controversial subjects?
10) Great Question! It’s certainly in the back of my mind. I do have some controversial opinions, on evolution, religion, politics and I haven’t gotten them all down yet, but I admit I am holding back a little since my blog is so new from putting it all out there. There are zealous people in the world. I’m a bit afraid, but then again, there’s no assurances of safety in life in general. I’ll put them out there, but I’m going slowly, testing the waters.
11) Should everyone blog?
11) Should they? No. It’s a neat experience to be sure and many take it up, only for it to suffer as a fad in their lives and some have persisted for years. It all depends on the person. Some are remarkably well thought out and written, with engaging thoughts and neat facts and others are complete crap from layout, to writing style to content. It’s a whole spectrum that reflects the population of the world’s diversity in interests, skill and opinions, with all the good and bad that implies, but better to have it than not.
12)Is there anything else you would like to add?
12) Only that the neatest thing about blogs is their lack of rules. The door’s wide open and what blogs might be in the future is unguessable. And NOT knowing the future is what makes life so very interesting.

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