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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Blogging For Action.

On Friday October 15th, myself and 5,693 other bloggers, took part in this years Blog Action Day 2010.
This has now become an annual event, since Blog Action Day was founded in 2007.

I took part for the first time last year, when the theme was the environment and straight away i realised what a great idea this was.
This year, the theme was water and once again i decided to write my own blog post, to help with the global discussion, on this increasingly important topic.
As did Ken, one of the other contributors to this blog.

So, why am i talking about all of this here?
Well, i just feel that this illustrates how far we've come over the past decade, or so. Especially, in the ways in which social media is used, or can be used.

In the past, the ordinary citizen, didn't have many ways in which to convey their thoughts about important topics. Well, certainly not in ways that might actually be heard, read, or listened to.
We could have written to a newspaper and hope that our letter might be published. Or, maybe, we could have rang a talk radio show, if we had the courage to do so.
But, now, we can all express ourselves far more freely and to a potential worldwide audience as well.

According to the Blog Action Day website. The blogs posted this year, have been read by over 41 million readers. That's a very impressive figure.
Now, i'm sure, that my own blog was not read by that amount of people. But, at least it was available to be read and by a potentially far bigger audience than any newspaper, or talk radio show. If you were allowed to air those views in the first place that is.

We all have opinions and now we have the means and the technology to share them with the rest of the world. Most of us bloggers now have an audience for those views, that just wasn't possible a decade ago.

But, there are other aspects to this that i also think are important.

Blog Action Day and many other campaigns like them, are global campaigns. They have the potential to bring people together, from across the world.
The rise of the Interent and social media has, in effect, encouraged users to integrate and collaborate, on a global scale. That, may well end up being it's greatest legacy.

Campaigns, such as this, also expose us to new ideas and global concerns. They make us think about topics that we might not otherwise have concerned ourselves with. Or, maybe even knew anything about.

Whilst writing my own blog post about water, i had to do a little bit of research. I doubt that i was the only one to do so either. That little bit of research taught me things that i was unaware of and even corrected some misconceptions.

So, apart from expressing my views, i was actually learning from the experience too. And, of course, that learning was only enhanced by reading the blog posts of my fellow bloggers.

Bloggers do get some bad press and i'm sure in some cases, deservedly so. But, something like Blog Action Day, shows that blogging can be a force for good.
It gets people involved. It opens our minds to new topics and global issues. And it teaches us along the way too.

So, i guess the lesson to be learnt from all of this, is - Get Blogging.
You'll, quite possibly, be a better person because of it.