A star in a galaxy

Recent news stories on the number of blogs being published on the net made me feel somewhat humbled and insignificant. How is anyone supposed to compete?

Technorati, which keeps an eye on the blogosphere, estimates that there are now 120,000 new blogs being created every day. Posts are being added to blogs at a rate of 17 per second – a total of 1.5 million per day, says the firm.

Maybe it’s not a question of competing but of pleasing/entertaining/titillating a select (and hopefully expanding) readership.

It does raise the interesting issue of our need to communicate, to be heard. We may not all be skilled writers – although yer average ‘how to’ blog guide suggests that effective writing is a feature of the successful blogging experience – and yet look at the figures…120,000 voices clamouring for their own soapbox in the Web’s ether.

It makes for an interesting contrast with some forms of writing that are common at school. When I think of programmes in which essay writing is the main course for every year level (“We are preparing them in Year 10 for Year 11, and we prepare them in Year 9 for Year 10…”), how far out of step are we in preparing students for the communication of now? Of course, essay writing can raise interesting points regarding argument, structure, style, context, all of which are key to successfully communicating your ideas to the world, but the authenticity of the essay’s audience seems key here, and is not alwasy given due consideration. Is writing for the teacher enough of a motivation?

Mind you, keeping that audience with you looks like a challenge in the face of the blog-tsunami. Where do all those blogs go when they die? Lie, like fallen leaves, on the forest floor of the web.

It is the fact they existed at all that is still so important. Be heard. Be read. Write. Read. Enjoy.

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