Tuesday, June 05, 2007

George Packer, You're wrong! Blogging is (a big part of) the revolution

After blogging for three months, in April I posted Move Over, George Packer, confessing to my need to check numerous blogs each day. In the spring of 2004, Packer confessed to his addiction to reading blogs in his Mother Jones article, The revolution will not be blogged. Packer states, “To see beyond their own little world and get a sense of what's really going on, journalists and readers need to get out of their pajamas.” The point of Packer’s article is that bloggers will not create needed change. In April, I agreed with Packer.

However, now that I’ve been blogging for six months, I’ve changed my mind. In the process of blogging and reading blogs, especially those by unknown people all over the world who leave a comment to one of my posts, I see blogging as a large part of the “revolution.”

Why did I change my mind? Because I have found an incredible amount of energy and careful research and writing about important issues by countless unrecognized, unknown bloggers. This gives me hope. With hope, I get out of my pajamas and do my part as a citizen, always keeping in mind Rebecca Solnit’s wonderful March 14 article, Was I a good American in the time of George Bush?

I’ve referred readers to other blogs here (my ten top blogs, all visited by thousands of people each day); here and here (about my interesting friend, Tod Brilliant) and here. This last link will take you to two relatively unknown bloggers, Bonnie Allen, a friend, and Josh Rosenau, a graduate student at the University of Kansas in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I found Josh’s site at one in the morning when I was researching for a post about the Endangered Species Act.

As an example of what unknown bloggers are writing about, I recommend Bonnie’s
Change a bulb, change everything, about CFLs (compact florescent lightbulbs). Whether or not your are in your pajamas, reading this post is likely to result in your making a greater effort to change a bulb and thereby change everything, i.e., a contribution to the revolution.

(photo – SunAgency.ca)


Anonymous said...

Blogs are so darned interesting, aren't they? As a blogger, much of one's personal worth and ego is put on the line, to be checked thousands of times per day. One's esteem is now run up and down by statistics: How many visitors? How many comments? How many new incoming links?

Well understood by the blogger is the fact that the validity of the blogger's thoughts, no matter how long held or how carefully shaped, is defined by such things. A zero comment post is a huge disappointment, is akin to being slapped in the throat by a good friend, is a sign that points only in the direction of utter failure - a failure to communicate, to come up with a novel notion, a failure to impress.

Today, my blog brings me to my knees as traffic is ho-hum, comments have flatlined. Fortunately, I have a second, and that one has shown great response (www.polafiction.com - another rule of blogging is to drop your blog into every post, every email, every e-missive) and so part of me is jumping into the air, double fist pumping ala the 1980s Toyota "Oh What A Feeling!" commercials, keeping me from having to genuflect to the invisible force of inattention.

We blog because we think our voices are somehow worthy of being heard above the din. The joke is on us - we ARE the din.


Anonymous said...

Blogs are, well, blogs. An underground moment, an incredible source of valuable, valuable information. As a non blogger I spend a considerable amount of time reading blogs. I want to thank all you bloggers out there.


Gail Jonas said...

Perhaps we blog for different reasons. For me, it's my reward at the end of the day. Pondering about my next post as I make my way through the day's activities provides so much pleasure, then, ah, when I sit down to pull it all together, I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.

I have not checked traffic to my site since I'm not sure I want to know. It might take away from the pleasure of writing.

Re comments to posts, I love them. I appreciate that you're a regular. However, I note that one of the best-known bloggers, Juan Cole, www.juancole.com ("my" Middle Eastern expert), who blogs virtually every day, frequently doesnt' get any comments.

I have some pending projects that include linking to your blog, so I hope you hang in there. In fact, I know you will.