The Blog Phenomenon

August 22, 2008

The word phenomenon according to the Online Dictionary has a few meanings:

  1. a fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable
  2. something that is impressive or extraordinary
  3. a remarkable, exceptional person; prodigy; wonder

A Weblog is an online personal diary of expressed opinions of one person on any topic that happens to be the flavour of the month.  Currently, cyberspace is rife with opinions on the two hottest issues:

  • the toxic melamine-tainted milk and milk related products scandal that has spread its poisonous tentacles as far away as Germany
  • the U S of A doing its biggest bailout of corporate America to prevent the world financial system from total collapse

In my opinion, the Blog Phenomenon would then qualify as a remarkable wonder.  In the space of 10 years or less; blogging has skyrocketed. There are now more blog diaries than one can fathom and as I type, many more people many more people are creating their own ‘cyberspace voice’ for posterity until it gets deleted (which somehow never happens!).

On May 9 this year, the The Straits Times reported that Singapore homes will be getting a thin fibre optic cable to hook up to ultra-fast broadband in two years time and broadband users will get faster access upto 1,000Mbps.  This puts Singapore up there with the most wired up countries in the world.  Fantastic news for Singapore bloggers!

My two daughters Rebekah and Rachel who are thirteen and sixteen respectively are avid bloggers.  Rachel commented two days ago that she is going through a hiatus where blogging is concerned and she feels guilty that she cannot find the time to post.

I think this is another phenomenon – blog guilt, a phase coined by Hamilton (2004) in one of her posts.  It hits you when you are most vulnerable.  You want to be responsible, witty and interesting with your posts to attract eyeballs and comments so that your site registers ever increasing number of hits.  Then it drops to zero almost overnight when people find that there are no new juicy details to lap up because you have ‘disappeared’.  Bloggers deal with this by letting you know that they are too busy to blog or by posting an “I’ll be back” entry.  You will not catch me doing this for sure.  I find it so lame!

You know that the blog has arrived when mainstream media like the Straits Times gets its journalists to blog breaking news 24/7 which can be accessed online anytime by everyone.

References

The Straits Times, viewed 22 August 2008, http://www.straitstimes.com/Home.html

Hamilton, H 2004, A new phenomenon…blog guilt, viewed 22 August 2008, http://blogs.msdn.com/heatherleigh/archive/2004/07/21/190774.aspx

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