Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Blogging Society


The Blogging Society
Today marks the first day in a collaboration between Laura Mikolaitis and myself. We have embarked on a connection between the USA and Trinidad, cold and hot weather with our personalities and pen as our armor. We met online, and our words have been speaking to each other. Laura M (as I will fondly call her) shares some comments which blow me away and send me into deep thought and emotion most times. She is daring, witty and a ‘marketing savant’, and great blog supporter.
Before I heard her voice, I knew she would sound as she did. She sounds all girly and strong with a bit of laughter in her tone. I’ve discovered over the past months we share a passion for ‘humanitarian advocacy’ in the workplace and have a shared compassion for taking care of those who need a voice. We now share our voices and perspectives on some questions on blogging!
Can blogging be considered ‘news’ or opinions?
Donna-Luisa:  Well initially I thought blogging was more about promotion and advertising for commercial purposes. This was propelled to the position of ‘news’ if it related to Google, Apple, USA politics ( haha), and anything which appeared to be of public interest – not simply commercial gain. That thinking got shot, as I started reading more and more on LinkedIn and Twitter. ‘Opinions’ came through more than information. Thus, I’m going to say – blogging is sharing your opinions on fact or fiction and has the power to influence. What are your thoughts Laura? Have I strayed too far from the question?
Laura: I don’t think that you have strayed too far at all Donna-Luisa. But I have to say that as a lead in question you really have my wheels turning.
When I look at where blogging started to where it is today, wow, what a metamorphosis it has undergone! Bloggers have been very adept at trekking along with the rise in social media – and now we find it integrated into our professional worlds too. In thinking about it, there’s a tremendous amount of thought leadership and perspective happening in blogs – opinions about news that brings newness to it.
Blogging is a gateway in my opinion – ah see I just connected the two – unintentionally of course! Think about the doors that have been opened and how it’s exposed us to a new age of media. As I see it, blogging spans the gamut from tips and tricks, to inspiration, to product reviews, and more. It takes branding and engagement to a new level. It’s no longer a haven for online journaling – well at least not in the way it was originally conceived. It seems for every corner of our lives, there is a blog to cover it.
We’ve definitely transformed the way we utilize blogging with one of those ways being a conduit to share, disseminate, and discuss news. But in the end, it still seems to me that the blogosphere remains rooted in ‘opinion’. Can that change, will it change? Time will tell.
Donna-Luisa:  Well I think it is news – just ‘news’ from your perspective based on the reader, and maybe some validation on their own thoughts.  By sharing your thoughts with information an invitation to discuss is sent out, thereby encouraging further discussion- in my opinion!
Do bloggers symbolize a culture and society of the writer?
Donna-Luisa:  On the surface many bloggers appear to be united by thoughts and words -a quasi-society type group. There are so many different nationalities, but we ‘trade’ in the English language with deviations based on cultural slang and sayings for illustrative purposes. The nationality does not factor initially unless the opinions expressed are radical / offensive in nature. As we discuss, and share comments the nationality can jump out, this does not appear to have any significant bearing on the post.  What do you think Laura?
Laura:  Interesting take on the question Donna-Luisa. My interpretation of it is slightly different. In today’s world, you can pretty much find a blog for any topic you are interested in. As I mentioned previously, blogging spans the gamut and it’s all at our fingertips – and it traverses the world.
Within the overall hierarchy of writing, I do think that bloggers symbolize a culture and society of the writer. Bloggers are a melting pot of voices, and as diverse as our voices are so are the topics that we write about. In my opinion, it is a transformative culture. Bloggers continue to enhance and change the way information is delivered – offering thought leadership, mentorship, and subject matter expertise on any number of things. Changing times combined with digital evolution has changed the course of blogging, and it has found a broader niche to reside in.
With technology at our fingertips, blogging can be done from virtually anywhere. How do you think this has affected the blogging stratosphere and where do you think it can go from here?
Donna-Luisa: Blogging seems to be a hobby or profession which can come alive anywhere. You just need access to the internet and your host platform. I think mobility with technology has given ‘blogs’ wings to fly. This also means you really need some knowledge of basic formatting, editing, design, social media and a reliable device.
I remember when I first started posting on pulse, it was cool, until one day pulse froze and I lost an article because I had to shut down and restart. Now I always write on a word document and copy to blog pages. WordPress and Blogger do have this challenge sometimes to a limited extent. Safer to use word! The blogging stratosphere will continue to transform how we share information and conduct business, ultimately holding its own influencer position. Many companies, such as Coca Cola, Starbucks, have already accessed the potential of blogs to build communities of customers. There is strength in advocacy for branding!
Laura:  I learned the hard way too Donna-Luisa. Pulse also froze on me, and I sweated it out. Eventually it resolved itself, but lesson learned! You bring up some good points about mobility with technology. I admit that on occasion I take technology for granted, and I shouldn’t. I can’t help but wonder how many voices remain dormant because of the digital divide? Granted some people choose not to walk hand in hand with technology, but there are people and places without adequate – or any – access to it. But that’s a whole other conversation. Nonetheless it does make my wheels turn again.
Pen and paper does seem like something of the past. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy the tranquility of my journal, but the ease of use of our mobile devices makes it easier to capture our thoughts. It’s given us accessibility from virtually anywhere. And because of that, it has made it easier for people to enter the blogging world.
Seeing blogging infused into the corporate world, accompanied by video blogging, photo blogging, and its integration into news media certainly is a testament to its value. Let’s face it, people like to be heard and people love to share their opinions. Blogging has taken this formula and expanded it exponentially.
Going forward, it’s likely that blogging will become fully mobile as more and more people turn to the conveniences of their mobile devices. And I think it’s possible that we will see a shift in how blogging is perceived. As bloggers continue to share their voice in an effort to influence readers with regard to subject matters of various weight, this society of bloggers may morph yet again into a society of thought collaborators.
Building a brand is important; albeit personal or professional. Blogs are a way to enhance this marketing effort. What advice would you give to someone just starting out, particularly in this day and age where there are so many digital road maps to choose from?
Donna-Luisa: Blogging can be used to enhance your ‘footprint’ online. It’s like being able to say who you are – an extension of that CV or resume. Having a blog gives you a voice, one which can say a lot about who you are and your values, ability and capabilities. Some advice to share;
  1. Remember who you are and where you are.
  2. Your words tell a story which crafts an identity – be true to yourself and add some wisdom!
  3. Buy real estate. Your blog is your real estate, invest in yourself. You can acquire good land to build your property at no cost right now. You can find me on WordPress Blvd or BlogSpot Avenue. I have other properties but building seriously on these! My most current acquisition is bebee Heights, and this looks like an investment which will increase in value at a steady pace!
  4. Get to know social media by trying out the platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, beBee, Medium, Pinterest, are all sources of traffic. Select your highways based on your target markets.
  5. Engagement, relationships, attitude matters!
  6. Respect the opinions of others, even if they seem far left from your own. Either decline to comment or get creative with a response. Don’t be mean, it’s not cool. Also remember, even if it feels good, do not bait a negative response, it can bite you!
Most important when you start blogging; read, and share your thoughts. I recall sharing my thoughts and perspectives for a long time before I started blogging. This helped in how I view my prospective readers, and made me very conscious of appreciation & acknowledgement. If it was not written and out there I would have nothing to read. Appreciate words and writers and comments from reader.
Laura:  Great advice, Donna-Luisa. It seems we have similar opinions on this. My advice (and mind you I’m still a novice at blogging) is this:
  1. Observe, engage, and communicate.
  2. Understand your voice and what you want to say. Remember that what you do does not define you – who you are defines you. Let that shine through.
  3. Take a chance, research and weigh your options, and don’t be afraid to ask for insight. Ultimately, choose the forums that suit you best and will meet your goals.
  4. Don’t get discouraged by the trolls. Remember people will always have something to say – and not everyone is going to agree with you. There are lovers and there are haters. How you react to them is within your control – how they react to you is not. Constructive banter can open doors, destructive banter closes them.
  5. Whatever your endeavors are remember that with each key stroke, picture and video you are leaving your digital footprint on this world. So make it a great one.
Based on our discussion it seems blogging is more than meets the eye, but less complicated than I first imagined. This is an era of social-influence and online communication. Texting, messaging and video-chatting are normal aspects of daily conversations. How we receive information is instantaneous, mobile, and visual. Emoji’s are frequently used referencing feelings and opinions emotively. The blogging society has influenced and shaped its own journalistic delivery. It is a time of opinions, and good or bad, positive or negative, someone reads what they are thinking, and will comment in interaction!
Special thanks to Laura Mikolaitis for agreeing to participate in this first blogging discussion!
Thank you for reading and engaging! We look forward to your feedback, comments, and engagement. I encourage you to check Laura Mikolaitis and her posting of this article on her blogs. There are some differences we both give. Share your feedback and enjoy two discussions!
Red Blogger picYou can also share with me on Facebook and Twitter. I like hearing from you!
DWordslayer
Artwork: Artistree -andrew.innocent@hotmail.com
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