I remember when I got my first taste of blogging. I was 15 years old and my little brother’s friend told me about a site called Open Diary.
“It’s basically a diary that’s on the Internet,” he said.
I was intrigued. So I logged onto the website, set up an account, and immediately lost the next six years of my life to this stupid site. I wrote every day. I wrote about boys and how much I hated my parents and sneaking out of the house and getting my first tattoo and all of the other stuff that encompasses a suburban teenager’s life.
I developed relationships with other writers on the website. We’d leave comments on each other’s posts and email. It was like having my own little virtual fan club. Everything I wrote, these faceless people would applaud. I could have written a blog about doing a keg stand on the back of an elephant and they would have considered it poetry.
That was ten years ago and today, blogs are hotter than ever. It seems like everyone and their mother has one. And the media took notice.
New media is the fastest and cheapest way to reach tons and tons of people. It’s a way of advertising your opinion, your business, or your modeling career. All you have to do is set up a Facebook account and link that to YouTube which links to Twitter which links to your blog and then after you update either one of those things you can Digg it. Get it?
The job I recently turned down was an editorial job for a virtual newspaper. Basically, an old fashion print weekly wanted to go digital. It’s cheaper, easier, and quicker. They wanted me to oversee ten of these virtual news sites and update them daily.
Virtual newspapers and new media are promoting the concept of citizen journalism. Whether you’re 14 or 40, you can write an article and have it read by the mass public.
Citizen journalism has its pros and cons. The benefits is that it gets news down to a micro level. Hell with world news, let’s report about what’s going on on our own block.
The cons are that you don’t know what the source of the news is. Anybody can write about anything and you have to do a lot of sifting through a bunch of BS to get to the truly authentic stuff.
So what do you do? How do you know what’s fact vs. opinion? You can’t, really. The news has become so blurred with crap that people don’t know where the real facts lie.
New media is totally rad, but it still has aspects that need to be smoothed over.