By Pathum Punchihewa
“I believe the term “blog” means more than an online journal. I believe a blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just to consume.”
You may love to write but you are not a writer, you may love to report stuff, pen news articles but you are not a journalist. You may be a banker or a doctor who wants to still stick to the dream of being a writer. You may have another option. Or you may be someone who does not want to become a writer at all but love to share your knowledge or maybe day to day activities with others. You too have a good option, a one of a kind option which was introduced by the cutting edge technology of the 21st century - Blogging…!
Today, there’s no need to introduce blogging culture to the teenagers and youngsters as a good method to share and express ‘almost anything they have to share’, as they are already familiar with this concept. Even Sinhala Blogging communities have gained a vast range of followers in parties, writers and readers.
Now it’s unnecessary to discuss about ‘how to create a blog’ or what ‘templates make it glamorous’. But what we should write as bloggers is the vital matter that needs to be considered.
If you write for a newspaper, there are some invincible lines which lay between margins of freedom of expression and ethics. Yes, the most important aspect is that there should be no harm to anyone due to the writing. If you are crossing the line, there are ‘editors’ or similar superiors to monitor and guide you, hence almost every press article is accurate and square.
When it comes to blogging, there are no such margins or supervisors but there is a different kind of mechanism of online supervision and shaping. First of all, there is a comment ‘thread’ which is present to add readers’ comments. Of course the author has administrative powers so he has the privilege of deleting any comment anytime but still ‘the comment box’ is a very constructive method of expressing positive or negative comments towards a blog post.
A blogger should always realize that a blog is not just something that circulates only amongst his/her friends. Your blog post is a part of cyberspace when you post it. Anybody from any country can read it with the right directions. So if your blog content contains false information or harmful information, you are obviously violating cyberspace and this is a crime. Readers have a right to attain accurate information and the blogger should be careful in his writings.
Just like a journalist, bloggers should have ethical values and norms and etiquette. A blogger is also subject to online copyright laws even thought there are no written laws for blogging.
Now you have the basic knowledge to start a blog of your own. Just be creative and be sensitive about social issues and the impact you create through your blog. Always be aware of ethics of expression and do not try to cross the lines of personal freedom.
Becoming a blogger means not just ‘fun’ but ‘responsibility’ too. Your readers believe your words; so you should give them the truth…
Published on Youth Mirror - Daily Mirror (25th March, 2010)