I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

We are all bloggers

I cre­ated my first blog back in 2005 while I was at uni­ver­sity. I had come across a num­ber of blogs that I enjoyed read­ing and look­ing at the design of them. I wanted in on the game, a means of hav­ing my own piece of the inter­net, a way of learn­ing about web design, and a place to write. It became a bit of a hobby, one which I enjoyed and one which I have battled with try­ing to regain over recent years.
The last few months have been inter­est­ing on the inter­net. There has been an increas­ing aware­ness that the large social net­works cre­ate a bit of a cauldron. A boil­ing pot of like­ness. The abil­ity of sites like Face­book and Twit­ter to learn what kind of things you are inter­ested in means they con­tinu­ally sur­face things that you like and are inter­ested in. It’s a logic­al beha­viour, but it’s one which lacks the abil­ity to show you what people out­side of your bubble are actu­ally think­ing and say­ing. They cre­ate con­trolled envir­on­ments that per­petu­ate sim­il­ar trains of thought.
Ser­vices like Medi­um also serve sim­il­ar pur­poses, they want you to use their web­site and app as your only source of find­ing new con­tent on the inter­net. It uses sim­il­ar tech­niques to the big­ger social net­works and it presents it in a largely homo­gen­ised appear­ance to make it all look the same and give it the same visu­al voice. It takes own­er­ship of your con­tent and with it adds your voice to that bub­bling pot of likeness.
There’s a big danger to that boil­ing pot. Each per­son ends up with their own, fed by sim­il­ar­ity and linked to oth­er sim­il­ar pots by the con­tent that fits them both. It takes away dis­course. It takes away reas­on. It takes away the abil­ity to have con­ver­sa­tion and the abil­ity to dis­agree well. It leads to a world where dif­fer­ent opin­ions are denounced as bigotry, espe­cially when they are con­trary to the pop­u­lar cul­ture of the time. It’s some­thing I am begin­ning to see more and more of, and some­thing which I am begin­ning to feel influ­ence my own think­ing. That’s why I’m start­ing to see a fresh how import­ant it is that we keep the web open. That we keep the abil­ity to post to our own corners of the web and share it with those we know and in pub­lic domains that are easy to find. It’s why we need bloggers.
The prob­lem is, that many people don’t see them­selves as blog­gers. It’s a geeky past time, that’s seen as old hat and no longer the done thing. What’s most inter­est­ing is that any­one who uses sites like Twit­ter, Face­book, and even Ins­tagram, are blog­gers. Post­ing a tweet is a blog post. It’s a small one gran­ted, but at it’s essence that’s what it is. Like­wise with Face­book, any status posts, notes or whatever oth­er myri­ad of things you can post ori­gin­ally to the site, are at their essence blog posts. We are all blog­gers, wheth­er we are aware of it or not. The dif­fi­culty is that we need to find ways of encour­aging people to post these things to their own sites first, to take own­er­ship of their thoughts and opin­ions, no mat­ter how long they are. This is why I’m so excited by ser­vices like Micro.blog which encour­age you to start your own Twit­ter-like per­son­al site, which you own and can dir­ect to oth­er places. I’m not just excited by the idea of encour­aging people to own their own posts, but by the fact that it could, like it is doing to me, get people inter­ested in the idea of shar­ing their own thoughts and opin­ions in longer form as well. That’s what the web was built on. It’s what the web needs.

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  • Des Paroz