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It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new world. It’s called Blogosphere. [Okay…so maybe I have exaggerated a bit] Did you know that Blogosphere is not so new after all? Apparently, the term has been around since 1999. So what exactly is Blogosphere? To most of us who are regulars in this world, it may be obvious. But believe me, there are several people out in the real world (outer-Blogosphere; Psych Babbler 2010) who will give you a strange look when you mention the wor(l)d. Apparently, not everyone has heard of it [Shock, horror!!! It’s equivalent to aliens saying they haven’t heard of planet Earth, don’t you think?].
Blogosphere, according to the ever-reliable source Wikipedia, is defined as follows:
The blogosphere is made up of all blogs and their interconnections. The term implies that blogs exist together as a connected community (or as a collection of connected communities) or as a social network in which everyday authors can publish their opinions.
So, the gist of it is that it’s a platform for any Tom, Dick or Sally to voice whatever is in their head and people all across the globe can ‘hear’ it. It is also a way of making connecting with individuals across the globe. I am here today to review this wonderful world we call Blogosphere. What is so good about it? What makes it tick? Is it worth entering this world? And what do you need to watch out for?
- Each and every person on the planet has an opinion. Well, if you have a functioning brain, you have an opinion. So what better way to state that opinion loudly and clearly for the world to hear than posting it on your blog. Members of blogosphere will read it and comment on it with their own views. So yes, Blogosphere has opened up a world where anyone can say what they want and have a hundred odd people comment on it. It opens people up to debating from one end of the world to another. It links us all in a fascinating way. In fact, in most cases it seems to break barriers. After all, you have readers from all different continents and might find that someone in Germany has similar opinions to someone in Japan. Two different cultures. But people with so many similarities. It does appear to be a world where we all can live harmoniously.
- In Blogosphere, there appears to be less discrimination than in outer-Blogosphere. I use the word ‘discrimination’ quite loosely. Think about this: how many 20-somethings do you know who would quite gratefully have a conversation with someone in their 40s or their 50s? For some people, that would be equivalent to having a conversation with their mum or dad. But in Blogosphere, there is no such stigma. Heaps of older bloggers read material by younger ones and vice versa. People read blogs written by someone of another gender with ease. Some from a different race. [I will admit though that I do draw a line when it comes to blogs about Justin Beiber or Paris Hilton!] And the beauty of Blogosphere is that if there is something you don’t like, you don’t have to read it! Unlike in outer-Blogosphere where you have no choice but to smile and nod at your friend raving on about the pasty vampire dude in Twilight whilst wishing you could just mute her or you risk offending her.
- Blogosphere is also a world where you get to just vent. Had a bad day at work? Blog. Had a fight with your partner? Blog. Exasperated with your best friend in outer-Blogosphere? Blog. And thou shalt get comments to cheer you up. Or the odd one telling you to get over it
- Blogosphere can also sometimes spill into outer-Blogosphere. Lately I have noticed several ‘Blogger Meets’ that occur in outer-Blogopshere. Through Blogosphere we get to understand most people since most blogs reveal things about the blogger. Whether it’s about one’s lives or one’s views of the world or even through blogs about technology or science or food. You learn something about the person. And that in itself introduces us to this other person across the globe or in the same city. Unlike social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, the Blogosphere allows you to have longer conversations, interesting discussions and debates as you would with someone face-to-face. It helps that there is no word limit!
- Another great example of Blogosphere breaking boundaries is competitions such as one hosted by GingerChai where 8 individuals from different continents are able to be part of the same team. Without having to actually meet up. Ever think something like that could occur in outer-Blogosphere? Probably not at this point in time!
Unfortunately, not all is hunky-dory in this world
- There have been instances when members of Blogosphere have been sued for defamation. This here is one such case. It’s easy for members to get carried away with their opinions as you would when talking to someone face-to-face in outer-Blogopshere. However, there is a difference when you gossip in outer-Blogosphere to Blogosphere. Words that are said may not necessarily stand up in court unlike those that are written
- There have also been other instances where anonymous insulting commentators have been sued. Once again, the lack of face-to-face contact results in lesser sense of responsibility and a distance from the person one wants to attack. And hence, there are at times, no holds barred when it comes to making a ‘personal’ attack about one’s character or family via Blogosphere. Despite not knowing actual facts.
- It is addictive. Do not say you were not warned. How many people dream about Blogosphere when in outer-Blogosphere? How many members’ fingers itch to type something on their blogs and communicate with the rest of the Blogosphere when they are instead supposed to use the computer for work purposes in outer-Blogosphere? Research is yet to be conducted on the same. It may just be found that Blogosphere is as addictive as nicotine or cocaine or maybe caffeine.
- Blogosphere has it’s own set of fanatics looking to ‘save’ the rest of the members from sin by joining a religion. So yes, in a way, this is probably similar to outer-Blogosphere although we have the option of ignoring these people. But yes, they do use this world to voice their own fundamental views and they may leave the occassional comment asking you to “visit their blogs”.
- Copycats! Many members of Blogosphere have experienced this. Someone out there copying their own posts, word for word. But taking credit for it. In other words, plagiarising. Given that there are members that share their creativity with other members in this world, this is a total rip off. And unfortunately, unlike in outer-Blogosphere, you cannot sue the person for plagiarism. No matter how many anti-copying widgets one uses, you are still susceptible to this crime.
- Just like any other place in cyberspace, Blogosphere too has its share of creeps and pervs. People that may be predators. And no, I will not be linking any of them.
- Blogosphere also has its own set of stalkers. Yes, people have been stalked and asked for their phone numbers even via Blogosphere. Which is why some members like myself, prefer the mask of a pseudonym. But even that is probably not foolproof.
Blogosphere is open to one and all. The tweens, the teens, the young adults, the adults and even the elderly. That’s for certain. So what are you waiting for? Watch out for and be aware of the bad and the ugly bit…but do invite your outer-Blogosphere friends to join in on the fun! They have no idea what they are missing out on in this world called Blogosphere! It’s a different experience and a different world.
Until next time,