- Internet & the Web
How Blogging Has Changed the Way People Communicate and Collaborate
Blogging is entirely made possible by posting and commenting by the users. There is a conversation between the author and a group of people who contribute. Contributors make the information available to unlimited number of readers. A post usually has one or two tags that are associated with a subject, and the tags help the system to file the post when they become old. When a user clicks on information about the post, or tag the user is taken to a listing of other posts, which were published by the same author or the software that for used for blogging. Linking deepens the blogosphere conversation and the importance of its immediacy. It also facilitates retrieval and referencing of data on distinct blogs (Kaye, 2005). Blogs use some terminologies that are necessary for its use and implementation.
The blogging system generates a permanent URI called a permalink that is applied to a particular post. Permalink does not change regardless of the post-movement in the database or any changes made to it. One blogger notifies another blogger of the use of a post by the use of trackback or pingback. When one blogger accesses another blogger’s post, a trackback creates a permalink via the bloggers system (Breslin, Passant & Decker, 2009). Finally, a blogroll is a link list that a specific blogger finds useful.
The introduction of Web 2.0 has seen a large number of people engage in blogging. Nowadays, with the major advances being made in technology, individuals can share photos, videos and upload material from their computer devices to the blog. These have changed the way people interact and collaborate (Callaway, 2010). There is a number of ways this has been used and adopted as discussed below.
The commencement of blogs in recent years has seen people acquire power, to voice their issues and thoughts. They comment on powerful and life changing debates and essay writing that educate (Nardi, Schiano, Gumbrecht & Swartz, 2004). Participants can write a full essay pouring out burning issues concerning a particular topic at hand. The recent decline in health quality has made bloggers come up with blogs that tackle the issues of poor health. The Health-line blog is used to inform people about the effect of smoking on health. The author writes an essay explaining how smoking is harmful to health. The information is shared among a number of contributors who edit and share the information with the readers. In the end, the information reaches a large number of individuals within a short period. It was not possible during the times of Web 1.0. Web 2.0 has made it possible due to its capability for interaction and collaboration (Day-MacLeod, 2008)
Through blogging, bloggers can post photos and artistic art that are editable and downloadable. The author uploads an item and adds information on it in terms of comments. The blogosphere communities read and share the piece of information with the people in their blogging circle. Fashion bloggers like MYFASHIONBLOG, post photographs of outfits that have been dressed by well-dressed people. They have indicated where you can get the dressed and at the price at which they sell the items. The photos are linked to other blogs that offer more information about fashion (Chapman & Larson, 2013). The individual end up with a number of places to purchase the item. These were not possible during the era of static weblog or website, where readers and contributors could not add or share the information with other people. Web 2.0 has made this possible by the use of its high-quality technology.
Collaboration is one of the reasons blogs have revolutionized the way people in the twenty-first century work together. According to Granovetter (1973), weak ties among people are more valuable than sturdy and strong ties for information to reach different intended destinations. The weak ties between different bloggers, contributors and readers of posts on a blog, reduce the gap between the social groups. The isolation between the users of a particular blogger is used to create and make new friends who work together on a particular article. When a reader accesses a post and clicks on the permalink, he or she is taken to another post, posted by a different person. The individual reads the post and get to know one new person in the circle of bloggers; as a result, adds a new name to his or her list of known people. Over time, one gains more blogger friends, and the circle of bloggers expands significantly, thus making collaboration easy. The link between blogs and permalink, if used efficiently, can make two or more bloggers ending up with a powerful and influential article. These are made possible because through the interest of one blogger, reading the article of another blogger and comments or edits it. The aspect of collaboration was not possible in early technologies of the web such as web 1.0, where information sharing and collaboration was impossible. One could only get to read what is posted by the blogger, but could not change or use the information as a group. Blogs, through the implementation of Web 2.0 has increased interaction among individuals.
Compared to social network, the blog is portrayed as a standalone unique technology developed around a framework of permalinks. The links are connected to each other randomly. The permalinks make the community with the blog that communicate to each other. (Jenkins, 2006), sees the communities as ‘Networks that are distributed’. Through her concept, she refers to the blog as an open and independent platform, which may be linked to a number of networks. Things like links, blogroll and permalinks are used to place a blog on a particular network. A user does not need to join any social network, like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to share a post or read other posts. The conversation can occur outside the blog’s space. Individuals attached metadata and comment or tag, add more, registration is not required to be part of the conversation (Jenkins, 2006). These were not achievable in previous technologies of the web where information was only displayed statically to the user with no interaction.
Blogging is a collaboration that involves co-creation process (Benson, 2008). The participation of the blogger and the reader to a post is unique in its way. The conversation is a to and fro response among the users of a certain blog. This co-creativity makes blogging distinct from a social network and the way blogs shape the community differently. Readers of posts on a blog play a significant role, in the sense that they can change the tone of a contributor or the author online. Readers reveal a perception they hold concerning a particular article or post on the blog, the author or contributor response in a particular tone that may be different from the one he or she used previously. The connection built over time typically culminates in the formation of stable relationships that are value and time provides a motivation factor to the blogger to continue blogging. The process is seemingly less and inclusive; that involves information and ideas shared, added by attachment of metadata and disseminated among different platforms. Blogging has brought about a culture known as participatory culture, where all are included in a participating in a particle article or post (Burnett, 2006).
Blogging has changed from a static and a technology that involved only a few people who had techno how about the Web to users who know nothing about the functionality of the Web. It is now an open and inclusive platform that allows all to participate in the ever-changing form of communication. The shift in the way communication is achieved was made possible by powerful technologies such as web 2.0, which has enabled and encouraged support for collaboration and improved and proper communication among individuals. With the introduction of the semantic web, blogs will become even more powerful platforms for collaboration and communication (Passant, 2011).
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