VOF Week 3: (Building Bridges by Blogging)
Just because we are interested, does this make us interesting? This is a question I struggle with as I continue to define my presence in the blogosphere.
As the Internet becomes increasingly sophisticated, so too does its portal for information exchange. Today, there is a culture of bloggers who are informed, intelligent, and diverse in their thoughts, ideas, and writing styles but…do their voices matter?
Blogging and those who partake have come up against harsh opponents, many of whom argue that bloggers are not “licensed” purveyors of newsworthy information, their voices not authoritative enough to be credible. I could not disagree more. While I may not hold tenure at The New York Times, I read, research, and ask probing questions; I am qualified enough to write about subjects that matter to me and passionate enough to give these subjects the care and attention that they merit.
One of the greatest challenges I face as a blogger is recognizing that while I may be praised by some, I will certainly be called to task by many. There is a steep learning curve that not only requires me to anticipate criticism, but also to embrace it and use it as a tool for growth. And this far transcends the blogging world; it is a life lesson, in and of itself. I am learning to recognize that those who question my ideas do not do so – for all intents and purposes – out of spite or to see me fail. In many instances, others’ intellectual challenges help me evaluate my own perspectives and adjust them if and as necessary. As a blogger, I will not allow the potential for confrontation to deflate my determination and raison d’être.
Yet, for me, writing is a simpler element of the blogging process as a whole; connecting with the outside world, in contrast, is an ongoing challenge. Due to the personal nature of blogs, it can never be just about the writing. There is an onus to ensure that my readers can relate with me, that we can establish a bond and a loyalty through my writing and mutual interests.
The universal draw of the blog is that it brings our voices out of the shadows and allows us to address issues from a more humanistic angle. If we cannot relate with our fellow bloggers – many of whom have, for too long, been reluctantly lurking in the dark – who can we relate with? The blogosphere is affording us our time to shine; now is the time to use our vigour and inter-connected voices to defy naysayers and increase awareness and understanding.
While my personal blog is partially about discovering my own voice, blogging is a never-ending process of listening intently and reaching out. I ask myself, “what are my peers talking about?” and then I pay close attention. Following that, I get to work: reading, researching, writing, and publishing. The challenge – and great reward – lies in consistently offering thought-provoking and timely accounts that will ultimately build global bridges.