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Friday, February 10, 2006

I got the powa!

There is an article on the BBC website that discusses the importance and influence of bloggers. The author discusses the power of the blogosphere in bringing information to light and initiating change. He specifically mentions bloggers' roles in the current cartoon controversy and in pointing out errors made in response to hurricane Katrina. He says that many news organizations have not yet established a policy on blogging. I don't really find this surprising. MSNBC is the only news site I regularly check that has a specific link to "blogs." Even on BBC I had to do a search for "blog" or "blogging" to find stories. As the author of the article warns, it is imperative for news organizations to etablish a policy on blogs, both responses to blog criticism and the blogging done by organization employees. He says:

If the MSM does not respond, it will suffer. The same is even truer of businesses, whose products can be disastrously damaged by web-based attacks.

If the criticism is fair it must be answered, directly to those making it. Remote, computer-generated responses are counter-productive.

And mistakes must be quickly corrected. If the criticism is unfair, then the MSM has to know about it early on and develop defensive tactics.

Blogs allow people to organize like never before. With relatively little effort, in your pjs, from the comfort of your bed (and the aid of your wireless laptop) you can dispense information to the world. I checked ( at 10:21 on February 10, 2006) and that is 6,496,873,670 people. Granted, estimates state that only 1,018,057,389 people use the internet. But, that's still more people than you could organize with, say, a PTA phone tree. That is also much larger than the number of employees at any news bureau (or even the sum of all news bureaus), which means a lot more minds and hours spent finding information than is spent by any newspaper or tv news program. Instead of relying on our papers and TV for information that we don't have time or can't find on our own (and if you read a paper or watch TV you know it's really a limited pool of info) there are over one million people all over the world, combining their divergent interests and spare time to bring light to a limitless number of issues and ideas. It is a force to be reckoned with. We are a force to be reckoned with. Kinda makes you want to sing Snap!'s "The Power" . . . I got the powa! . . .


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