Response 5- Blogging

“New communications rarely eliminate those that preceded them..” (Caroll, 17). Blogging is a fairly new form of communication that is a common and often very sought after source of information. There are various forms of blogs or purposes for them, diary style blogs that catalog a persons daily life or experience and ones that are opinionated or news oriented that cover a variety of views and issues. Blogs like The Gothamist , Horacio Jones and Humans of New York are examples of these. The Gothamist is news I often read it to catch up on local happenings and whats going on in the world. Horacio Jones is a personal blog where he shares his views and thoughts on love and life experiences. Humans of New York is my favorite of the three because his blog is photo oriented, he chronicles the life stories of the people he meets on the streets of NYC as well as people he meets on the trips he takes around the world. Three blogs, three purposes all with different words on the screen but written in similar fashion.

In chapter one of Caroll it goes into how to be effective in your writing, how to be aware of the audience you’re speaking to or how big that audience may be. The content also matters, siting never to be too general and make sure the content is well organized. I thought about how often i lose interest or close a site because its not well organized and too difficult to navigate. When we use a site as the book says we layer (Caroll, 100) meaning we scan scroll and surf to find the things we need, rarely do we sit and read the entire content to serve a purpose. Blogs are great sources of information because they’re like a house and the hyperlinks they can provide are like the rooms of a house (Caroll 117) and a great example of this is Wikipedia which uses the ability to hyperlink often. When i click on a wiki page i find sometimes dozens of links to other related sources and articles on the topic, the possibilities are seemingly endless when many sites use this ability creating a rabbit hole of information (Caroll 126).

When i read a blog any blog, no matter what its host is i wonder how accurate it is. In todays world media comes at us so fast its hard to sort fact from speculation or media bait. Even major broadcast stations like CBS have had their share of faux pas as noted on page 177 of Carolls chapter 7. The station failed to verify the documents they aired and it was a blogger named Buckhead that lit up the internet with replies. Users were able to verify and debunk the documents and add their input to the issue in a very rapid time frame. CBS later admitted they hadn’t done their homework. So is that blog one form of journalism hawking another or is that blogger just one person sharing their views. Where do we draw the lines, where does accountability begin and end. Noted in the text is the reality that a code of ethics doesn’t create or guarantee ethical behavior which is absolutely true. Too often we see doctors defrauding the health care system for payouts, lawyers stealing money from unknowing clients and investors embezzling money from their clients. In those professions a solid set of rules govern the practice and repercussions exist yet its still a problem.

So when we think about journalism, blogging, online interaction who’s to say whats right and wrong. What determines who a journalist is because in a way we are all authors online but the audience we reach varies greatly. A major corporation or organization publishing online would be scrutinized much harder than a college student writing an op-ed piece for their campus paper. I think when we’re writing in any forum we need to be mindful of who may see it, as Professor Belli said about our blogs and being mindful that the people we hyper link may be reading, when we tweet or share things theres no end to how far they’ll go. Think about the shared posts we see on Facebook and the trail they leave, millions of people see that. Blogs are a terrific new age medium in sharing, news, ideas, stories and concerns but i think the true verdict of what rules govern that is still out right now.

Response 3 – Wikipedia

Why is Wikipedia important? Or on the flip side why isn’t  it important?

When you thinking about the variety of search engines and their reputations wikipedia is the outcast, the black sheep. More often than not its information is discredited and held to a lower standard. Often times in our college career a professor warns against using wikipedia at all and if you do certainly not as the main or reputable source. But what is Wikipedia; a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit as defined by Jim Giles.

When i think of wikipedia i think of an objective or less serious version of accredited sites because its known for being interactive. While i know some portions are verified and cannot be edited its rare i take all of the information i find there as valuable, ill often confirm it on another site. Giles notes in his article that discrepancies or ambiguities are hashed out among the users. This to me sounds like the information version of Facebook, where people are arguing over rid bits of information probably based on their own beliefs. Yet wikipedia has slightly more errors than the most sourced and credited encyclopedia in the game. Does this mean people are copy and pasting information from there, or are they paraphrasing sometimes inaccurately what they’ve read there. Is wikipedia the metaphorical thrift store of information on the web? It seems that way being that it is a less flashy and high end version of the real thing.

Why do we still use this source then when its clearly garnished a reputation for inaccuracy, I think because we know we can find its affirmation or antidote quickly on the web, its not the only source and we know it. With so many ways to gain information on the web diversity makes comparing and contrasting, expanding view points or understanding of things easier than ever. So say for instance you read some heavy article in a textbook and you have no idea what they’re saying, you pull up a wiki article and some other college kids has posted that same thing in laments terms and now you get it. So maybe its not the top dog in information but it does have certain benefits that its superiors don’t; you can interact with the information instead of having it thrown at you.