Blogs. They’re everywhere in the Internet and cover a wide-range of topics of interest, ranging from food to sports to news (either locally – based on where the blogger lives – or international headlines that the blogger deems to be important to share to his or her audience) to traveling. Just Google one of your interests and there’s a good chance you’ll see a weblog about it by someone.
“Blogs in Plain English” by Common Craft explains what a blog is and how it’s used by anyone who has knowledge of and access to the Internet. In doing so, it also presented the possibility of the end of “gatekeepers.”
Back in Chapter 1 of Research Strategies (page 5), Badke introduced the concept of
“gatekeeping” : in a nutshell, this explains why so many writers get rejection letters from publishers when they send copies of their works that they hope will become a bestseller. On the other hand, this is what to blame for the abomination of literature that is the Twilight series (and I’ll leave it at that before I digress further).
The concept of “gatekeeping” is a double-edged sword: it prevents hodgepodge knowledge from ever seeing the light of day and thus, preserving a sense of quality (although there are some that manage to slip through and get published anyway…) but at the same time, there are possibly good ideas that also do not see the light of day because publishers don’t think they can sell books and other forms of media like hotcakes or someone disagrees with the idea(s) presented.
With the birth of blogging, all of a sudden anyone can create a weblog and post away at their heart’s content without the fear of receiving a rejection letter from a publisher because their idea wasn’t a moneymaking concept or someone in the company didn’t like it. And because blogging isn’t restricted by gatekeepers, people have access to information and ideas of all sorts, be it nonsense or practically genius. The only form of restriction there is in the blogging arena are the readers themselves: they can choose not to read the contents of the blog if they don’t want to.
With this in mind, here’s the question I will bring to class, as well as ask here: do blogs spell the end for “gatekeeping” ?