Professional standards for blogging? Eh?
This is in response to an issue brought up by my friend Rowena Lim Lei of Animetric’s World:
I just finished reading the alternate views that basically scolded Ro for blogging about her experience and my response to these is…really…blogging wasn’t supposed to be a professional tool when it was first invented. It was supposed to be a web log. Many people blog for different reasons…like I actually do mine as a personal thing, mainly to chronicle personal events that I deemed important to me at some point in time. And I’ve been a blogger since 2001. During that time, bloggers only write about very personal things. To be told how to blog defeats the purpose of blogging because again…it’s supposed to be a personal thing. It’s not supposed to work the way traditional media does and that’s the beauty of it. It’s what makes blogging an interesting topic for discourse analysis. Because it has a personal slant. It has a tone. It does not pretend to be unbiased. (This is why I’m particularly interested in that Bugged Life’s blog. What the author said…a lot of it I actually agree with.)
Blogging only became a professional platform when it became profitable. Suddenly it’s a delicate medium to be used for viral marketing techniques. Suddenly, business ethics are involved. Suddenly everyone wants to put standards on how to do this and that and these standards are…guess what…steeped in the structuralist traditions of old media. We’re trying to treat a dynamic medium the way we treat newspapers and magazines. Well…that’s not going to happen, because a blog will function differently. It is not a newspaper. It is not a magazine. It’s not even an academic journal. And a research scientist worth her salt will never ever cite as reference any blog no matter how thorough its research has been because it’s all made up of synapses…even if there is now an official APA format for using blogs in your bibliography, these will still not be considered valid. That’s tantamount to using Wikipedia as a reference in a published document. (Translation: It’s bad.)
If we all suddenly become journalistic, then the point of blogging (how we all began back in the late 90s and early 2000s: we want to get away from the formalities of our work/school) is lost. It will become impersonal. Like every other commercialized and contrived item that we are bombarded with.
And gosh! I do research writing nearly on a daily basis. When I’m not a student, my work requires that I breathe technical writing. I cannot imagine maintaining those kinds of writing on my own blog. That will drive me nuts. I now have a whole year to write my doctoral dissertation and Ro has already warned me that my writing has started to seem like an encyclopedia. Blogging breaks that chain for me. (Besides, when I see my prim and business-like professors blog…it’s a relief to find that they’re actually human, so different from what they show us in class.)
Honestly, Ro…if you had not come up against a giant, people wouldn’t be throwing stones at you. But now that their booboo is listed on top of Google’s search results, you’re suddenly in the wrong. I’m glad you’re standing your ground. Don’t let yourself be bullied for using a medium the way you saw fit. 🙂