Community Redefined

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Blogging is a relatively recent phenomenon that opens up new pathways for social connection. While casual Internet surfers may assume other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide better ways to interact with colleagues, Rettberg explains that blogging presents readers with the opportunity to connect with a wider range of people on specified topics.

Chapter 3 of her book, Blogging, entitled “Blogs, Communities, and Networks” illustrates unique ways in which blogs can promote social interaction. Rettberg notes that social networking sites such as those listed above lend themselves primarily to interactions with people you are already familiar with. However, blogs allow people to develop a connection with people they may not have previously known and may never meet in person through shared interests! This type of connection leads Rettberg to claim that blogging as a form of social connection “is primarily about the sharing of information.” For example, fashion bloggers likely don’t personally know the authors of the other fashion blogs they read, but they still develop a connection through receiving information about a common passion, fashion!

Since Rettberg’s book was published in 2008, the worlds of blogging and other social media outlets have continued to grow and to evolve! Rettberg questions how this unrestricted access to information will affect our online activity, saying “Will our ability to document everything lead us to doing so?” In my opinion, it has!

Instagram and Twitter

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Instagram and Twitter provide two examples of social media sites that encourage users to share information about their personal lives rapidly, easily, and frequently! Instagram allows users to get a visual peek into the lives of those they follow, and Twitter helps users update followers on their daily news through microblogging! Both of these sites are relatively new (Twitter was founded in 2006 and Instagram was founded in 2010) but they have already soared in popularity!

Learn more about Twitter’s rampant success and the reasoning behind that success here!

Chapter 6 of Rettberg’s book tackles the ins and outs of blogging brands. She stresses the need for bloggers to create their own brand and gives examples of how corporations can utilize blogs to enhance their brands as well. However, sponsored blogging and corporate blogging can become tricky because the line between editorial information and sponsored information often becomes fuzzy. A clear brand can dispel this lack of clarity!

The notion of branding leads me back to the question of who qualifies as a journalist. In this post, I’m wondering if Buzzfeed fits into this category. Upon first glance, I would immediately say that Buzzfeed would never be described as journalism, since the buzz feed lists I’ve seen, mainly those that appear in my Facebook news feed, usually offer humorous insights or lists. However, digging deeper into the site I noticed that some buzz feed articles have a more serious tone and deal with newsworthy topics often covered by journalists. I think that the depiction of Buzzfeed as journalism all depends on how Buzzfeed will choose to brand itself in the future.

Read this article to discover more about Buzzfeed’s recent commitment to broadening its brand and its content.

Some questions to ponder after today’s post:

  • What social networks do bloggers most often use to enhance their blogs?
  • Is it easy to change a blog’s brand once it has already been created?

Until next blog,

Evan

 

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