Wednesday, September 2, 2009

True Essence of Blogging & Anonymity....!!! What are they?

Are you blogger? Are you a Writer? Are you able to construct a sentence that makes sense to someone after all? Do you have the desire to pen down your thoughts on paper/website for others to read? What type of blog are you keeping? How do you see anonymity on the internet? 

Several people have several reasons for starting and keeping various categories of blogs. Most bloggers maintain blogs because it gives them an opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions on issues of particular concern to them eg. travel, fashion, entertainment, everyday live, photos and many...(at least that is what they say anyway).

Those would be personal blogs! There are a different category of blogs however- most of which I find a lot of these days- the ones which companies and organizations use to inform clients, users or general consumers about new products, services, and (would you believe) provide support.

Yap! Yap...!!! You read right. Nowadays it is common practice for companies to provide support through blogs. So all in all, blogs are useful to just about everyone, even the corporates.

But what is the true essence of a blog?

I was engaged in a conversation with a friend this afternoon on the same issue [what is the true essence of a blog?]. According to my her [Sedinam], "the true essence of a blog is simple - PARTICIPATION". She seems to be of the opinion that the contributions and input of readers is "what makes a blog-a-blog".

Well said, Sedinam! I couldn't agree more.

In my candid opinion, the reason why people even start blogs in the first place is to satisfy that somewhat involuntary need for association (or mingle if you will) - Similar to what social network platforms provide. I remember a friend also saying, he's blogging to be able to get noticed in the social and entertainment scene. Nice one, man..!!!

WAIT A MINUTE...!!!  A blog is a social networking platform. Am I correct?

Let's face it, Human beings really are social beings- even the so called "Introverts" like yours truly. Haahaahaah.. :D

The more I think about this, the more exciting it becomes. Another thing that came up during my 3 hours chatting with her was the reason(s) for the low rate of "participation" in blogs and anonymous on the internet.

Do Ghanaian bloggers practice anonymity? Is there an issue with that in this part of the world.?Anonymity is a cornerstone of the internet. The internet with its anonymity is an aid for whistle-blowers everywhere. I don't see what is to be gained by losing anonymity. What difference does it make if the person is really called Kofi Tamale instead of pretending to be called Kofi Tamale? I don't know them, and never will, apart from their contributions under that name.

Personally, I use the same username [ghanablogger10] across the net but (obviously) I use my real name for work and other business relateds.

I don't want someone from my work-life "googling" my name and finding my posts on Porn, gaming, religion or politics; not because I don't stand by those comments, but because I don't want someone to jump to conclusions about me without having the opportunity to defend myself. As someone else said, readers are anonymous. I say things online that are perfectly within the rules in those fora but which would be unacceptable in a work setting, where discussion of sensitive topics (e.g. religion and ethnicity) is not generally allowed.

I'm not ashamed of what I write, but I want to be able to write it without fear of negative repercussions.

This is where we differed slightly in opinions. Sedinam, on the one hand, seems to think that people only contribute to a blog when they find the particular topic(s) being discussed interesting.

I, on the other hand was of the view that it's not necessarily the topics that matter, but the fact that people just do not want to come out of their shells and "speak their minds"- so to speak.

To somewhat buttress my theory, I cited this very blog platform as an example, where there are blogs discussing a wide variety of issues, some with well over 20 posts, and over a 200 views, but still CANNOT average a comment per post. People spend time to write-out their thoughts and no one cares to comment on it. I find this really; something paapaa.. [sounding a typical Ghanaian]

So how do you get people to comment in blogs then? She asked away.

I think one should be willing to read and comment in other people's blogs, before one can expect anyone to comment in theirs. Anyway, this is one issue which can be discussed forever. I think I'd raise this on some other platforms as well.
But I'm really quite curious to hear what other bloggers and YOU reading this article now think.. Let me know, what you think.. Comments, Feedbacks, Criticisms are always welcome. 

1 comment:

Edward: said...

MJ for this issue I think I will side with Sedinam. For two reasons
1. She is a woman, I guess
2. I agree with her when she says one must comment out of believe for one's comments and not just for commenting sake. So if I Googled your name and found I comment you posted on a porn site liking the content of the site, then I should be able to infer your habits. Plane and simple (I guess!!!!!)