In order to dive into how I feel about blogs, I’ve got to define their purpose.
Above all, every successful blog that I know has a niche that is wholly apparent to it’s readers.
To list a few successful blogs that I follow: Pigeons and Planes, Pitchfork, FrontRow, Blogging the ‘Boys, and Bloody Elbow.
P&P and Pitchfork both covers indie and hip-hop music culture. Frontburner is the music and entertainment blog for D Magazine. Blogging the ‘Boys covers the Dallas Cowboys, often going past the typical national coverage. And The Bloody Elbow is a combat sports blog focusing on mixed martial arts news.
These blogs are all very transparent in their goals. To inform and and cultivate a participating audience community. For example, Pitchfork can comment on bigger issues in relation to music or the industry, but music must be at the heart of it’s topics discussed. The same could be said for any of the other above mentioned sites. This isn’t to doubt the political credibility of the Bloody Elbow or Pigeons & Planes, but users participate in these communities for specific reasons, not for general interests.
My goal in this class was to originally develop my niche and broadcast my voice into the blogosphere while picking up helpful tips on the way. However, I can settle for general interests and topical subjects.
My opinion on blogs is simple: They exist as subject centric micro-communities built on communal ideas that are up for discussion. They exist to inform and comment on culture in ways left undisturbed since the mass popularity of print editorial columns. If done well, they can eventually evolve into full sites with staff writers. Or remain the passion project of one or a few writers. Others are byproducts of organizations attempting to sell something. They all are tasked with engaging readers in virtual discourse.