Unlike social media outlets like Facebook and Myspace, I believe blogging is a healthy trend that has emerged within social media. Rather than focusing on superficial publications like status updates about getting your nails done (disregarding celebrity and gossip blogs), blogs provide a voice for social activists who previously had no tools to get their opinions heard. The great thing about blogs is that you can always find an audience, because chances are, there are more people than you can imagine out there that have opinions on the same things that you do, either on a personal or professional level. The more blogs that are created the more people come in contact with others all around the world, expanding the scope of their thought by introducing cultural difference into their thought cultivation process. Blogs literally help people build bridges into the minds of others.
Blogs are also very revolutionary because they are starting to change the way people form opinions. Most of the information that we get from big name newspapers or television stations are biased and framed in particular ways. Consider that all the news we get comes from primarily four or five main media companies. Blogs allow people to find not just two sides to every story, but millions of sides to every story. People can challenge their own convictions or find support for them by reading other people's blogs. It is really great because if someone searches for a certain topic, they can find anyone's blog. People's opinions can not be silenced just because their opinion is not mainstream or because their ideas might be controversial. This is a great advance is the world of media because the government is losing the ability to control the type of news and facts available to the masses.
Blogs also help people form opinions in a commercial sense by giving consumers a place to praise or bash products and provide warnings to potential buyers. This is can be beneficial for third party companies because it provides them with invaluable free advertisement. This type of advertisement is especially helpful to companies when they are being praised because, for the most part, the blogger has no motive to lie to potential buyers while many times it is very clear to a customer that an advertisement put out by that company is a bit of an embellishment. For example, the claim in a newspaper ad to have the Best Ribs in the Bronx does not hold as much weight as praise from actual customers that went and ate the ribs.
*In all, I believe blogs have the potential to expand the scope of the human mind by creating a virtual space where all opinions are created equal. *
*Note: I do not own the above picture.