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thinking about blogs...
The first definition listed on of "blog" is:

Short for weblog.
A meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life. Consists of such riveting entries as "homework sucks" and "I slept until noon today."

I am curious, if anyone will share his/her thoughts, on what the value of a blog (personal, business, political, news, etc.) is to the community/society. Or value on a smaller scale, to yourself and/or your immediate circle.

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I don't think I have the mental organization to respond to that question as well as I wish I could!

Given where I work now, my specific role with the company and the field it is, I've found that blogs are a HUGE part of communities and societies. Since I work in the digital photo community, it's very Web 2.0 and as much as I hate that term it's a fact of life. So much in this business (and the photography business as a whole) depends on what's out there, what the pros think, what the media is saying. And especially these days when small companies are staying competitive with the big ones, the blogs of key members of that community are vital. So much can change with the wind either way, and blogging is a great thermometer of that.

I see a lot of this since I take care of most of the company's public outlets (Twitter, LinkedIn, two blogs, Facebook, Dgrin) and the blogs are the "meatiest" of these options. Even when our customers are saying the same message over and over and over to us, sometimes our CEO needs to write to his blog to soothe the masses. These days, the personal voice of Joe Anybody is just as important as that of someone on the top tier and blogging totally evens out the communication field.

Personally, blogging is very important to me. I keep up with my friends that way, since I rarely see any people in person. And I would be a mental miss if I didn't have a place to store/organize ideas.

(Is this what you asked or did I totally answer a different question?)

I'm not sure of the exact question I want to ask anyway, so yes, you answered the question :)

I occasionally toy with the idea of writing a completely public blog, and I've been thinking a lot lately about blogging and how it relates to/is replacing other forms of media.

I think that each service has a very different purpose, and even how each service serves us as individuals even more so.

I've always thought Twitter was really useless, but I have to use it for work because it's a powerful tool for businesses. I think personal Tweeting is, honestly, just an indulgence that I don't really need because you have to keep watching it constantly to really get the gist and fully enjoy it. But lately Andy said that "Twitter should be like haiku" and voila! A new use for it has been borne. I don't care if anyone reads my personal Twitter, but I really enjoy using it to write daily haikus because it teaches me to say more with less.

Same with my Daily Photos, which is sort of a photo blog. I don't care if people are watching it (though over time, it turns out people do) but it started as an exercise for me to be creative each day and to be more comfortable in front of the camera.

I don't mean for this to be all self-centered sounding (because it sure does!) but I find your musings really interesting because it's stuff I've been processing a lot over the last year. If you need that space to blog publicly, then do it! The way you think when you're writing for a faceless audience is vastly different than how you say the same message to your friends. Personally I think both are a healthy thing to practice.

On a personal level, I can only say what value blogs have to me.
1- it allows me to document my life without having to find space for paper journals and allows me to review it much easier that flipping through paper journals

2- It creates an enhanced "forum" experience. Forums are wonderful tools to form communities to share ideas and to network.

3- It allows me to keep up to date on the lives of friends as well as share moments in my life with family and friends, without sending out individual notices.

4- Keeps me in the habit of writing (almost) daily and also keeps me reflecting on my life and the world (almost) daily

thanks for sharing this :)

I first got an LJ account to read up on friends of mine who had an LJ account. After a year or so I realized I should begin posting myself. I never did it for other people to read; I did it for myself. I wanted to record my memories because for me putting them in writing helps me to remember them. I'll sometimes go back and read them.

Other people start a blog with the sole intention of trying to reach an audience and this can be for or as their job. I've not seen blog entries as short at the ones used as example in the Urban Dictionary entry. Those seem more like Twitter posts. I wouldn't call that a blog myself, though it technically is a log of someone's activities. But a blog needs to be more descriptive or in-depth to be considered as such, in my opinion.

I've been thinking recently about how blogs and Facebook and Twitter, etc. relate to and are replacing other forms of media and communication, and so I've been curious how others perceive these things as well.

LJ: My in-depth place to write about things going on in my life.
Facebook: What I'm doing or reading at the moment.
Twitter: Comments on thoughtful insights I have on anything that comes to mind.

This is how I feel I use these services. The thing about what is the purpose of what is that there is no predefined agenda for the use of any of these services. Private individuals, newspeople, celebs, even fire departments all use Twitter. I think people should just use any service how they best see fit.

I like the blog because I can connect to people I never would normally connect with in real life. I tend to gravitate towards a certain "type" of person: good or bad, who knows. But I definately see a trend. Here, I can converse with others with completely different viewpoints than my midwestern Ohio viewpoint, people with other political affiliations, people in a completely different circle than me. I can ask advice, I can give advice and I can become more aware of the world around me.

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