Blogs are similar to a diary that is shared with the world. They allow us to discuss anything and connect with other bloggers. Let’s take a deeper look into what makes blogs successful & how some blogs become famous.
As Jill Walker Rettberg talks about in chapter 3 of her book Blogging, bloggers are able to discuss anything and connect to other blogs, making them a free-form type of social software. Social software creates networks of social interactions, making connections important. (57) As we can see in fashion blogs, the more connections you have, the more popular your blog will become. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want their blog to be famous?
Unlike computers, blogs link to a number of other individual blogs, allowing for ideas to be spread. Fashion bloggers take pictures of clothing, comment on new trends & styles, and write about where you can buy certain items. If you check out fashion blogs such as The Blonde Salad, a lot of these blogs link to other fashion blogs because the bloggers read and like each others’ style. These blogs rely on each other to share ideas. Unlike other social networks (Facebook and LinkedIn for example), blogs give you the ability to create your own social community by linking to someone who might not be on your friends list. Instead of Facebook creating a news feed for you, blogs allow you to create one for yourself.
Who’s got the power?
As Rhettberg discusses, the vast difference between the most popular blogs and most other blogs can be described through the power law. (63) Essentially, the power law says that the more popular your blog is, the more power it has. The next question you might be wondering is how do these blogs get power? In the blogging world, a lot of this power stems from links. If other blogs link to you, your blog will be easily found through readers and search engines. Let’s take Google for example. Google links websites by the amount of inbound links the specific site has. The more your blog is linked, the more views it will have.
The Need for Speed
While the news and other social media platforms focus on speed for communication, this is not necessarily the case for blogs. Jodi Dean emphasizes the slow pace of conversations in her cluster of theory blogs. (66) She talks about how people take old ideas and posts from their own blog or other blogs and link them to recent posts. This allows conversation to occur without people being present at the same time. Just like fashion, old styles come back into style. Remember that 90’s chocker necklace that people even tattooed onto their skin? Well apparently it’s back.
Danah Boyd, a prominent social networking site researcher, identifies four characterizes of online social spaces that separate them from offline social spaces. (Rhettberg, 76)
- Persistence: everything is recorded and can be accessed later
- Search ability: people can find you
- Replicability: everything from photos to convos can be changed, copied, and modified
- Invisible audiences: you don’t know who is viewing or reading your blog
With today’s technology, everyone’s life seems to be auto-tracked. With every link you click, you are giving websites information about your interests and likes. With every bit of information you give the web, technology can automatically write your own autobiography. How would you want your story told? Would you want your story told like this? Comment your thoughts!