The Dark Side Of Blogs
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Title: The Dark Side Of Blogs
Word Count: 491
Author: Jim Edwards
Article URL: www.submityourarticle.com/articles/easypublish.php?art_id=2907
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The Dark Side Of Blogs
Copyright 2005 Jim Edwards
America Online (AOL) announced recently they will pay as
much as 25 million dollars for Weblogs, Inc.
(www.weblogsinc.com) in a move to expand their reach even
further into the consumer market.
Blogs, also know as weblogs, enable individuals to post,
comment, and respond to various topics online without
publishing a website. All text editing and commenting takes
place right through the web browser.
The Web's leading blog search engine, Technorati.com, lists
19.2 million blogs online.
Blog popularity has skyrocketed to the point that even news
networks like CNN and MSNBC quote blogs, in particular
political blogs, often giving some blog publishers instant
rock star status with the media.
With all the hoopla around blogs, people forget that blogs,
by their very nature, represent opinions, and opinions
don't necessarily represent the facts.
~ Information Pollution Syndrome ~
Blogs use a powerful form of psychology know as "social
proof" where we look to others to help us understand how we
should view, feel, or react to news and information.
Since the glut of information only gets more massive online
with each passing day and rates impossible for one person
to get through completely on their own, we look to others
to help us sort the piles of data.
When you combine this with another online phenomenon,
virtual anonymity, you get a volatile combination where any
social responsibility for what gets posted flies out the
window in many cases.
People can and do post whatever they want because no "hall
monitor" can call them down for blatant intellectual
~ Facts Colored With Opinion ~
Strong opinion often equals an agenda, however hard to
discern for either the author or the reader.
But make no mistake, every person publishing a blog with
any level of readership (not junk blogs used for search
engine promotion) takes a stance on the issues, whether
political, social, religious or business.
Even if they strive to be impartial and only report the
"news," blog publishers are human beings who want you to
think they're smart, agree with them, and accept their
point of view, even if they don't realize it consciously.
Less scrupulous blog publishers often exploit the social
and psychological power of blogs to spread disinformation
(intentionally wrong information) to further their agenda.
This tactic rates quite popular on political blogs and has
started creeping into business blogs too.
~ Protect Yourself ~
Whenever you read anything online, use the following
evaluation criteria to help separate fact from opinion.
What is my purpose in searching for information on this
Is this a credible source of information?
What ulterior motive, conscious or otherwise, do they have
in publishing this information?
What alternative sources of information can I find to
confirm / dispute the information on this blog?
Don't rely heavily on the opinions of others to make your
decisions, especially the opinions of nameless, faceless
bloggers with a self-serving agenda who operate with a veil
of anonymity and a no sense of social responsibility.
About the Author:
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist & creator
of an amazing course that shows A Quick and Easy Way To
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