Why are we bloggers so desperate for attention? Why do we go giddy when the traditional mass media takes notice? Are we so insecure that we need others to validate what we do? And why did I break every rule of good writing by starting my post with not one but four questions? Because I want you to notice me, please....
Now that I have your attention, my argument begins by saying that I don't believe most of us are desperate, giddy over being noticed by print publications or need validation. Although odds dictate that some of us do carry those characteristic traits. But this is not about them. This is about people willing to make themselves vulnerable in order to share their ideas with audiences that can talk back, that have their own voices.
TIME's Person of the Year was us. In response to Ann's post about TIME recognizing Web 2.0 and its attending off-shoots, including bloggers, I argued that we bloggers may be making too much of being recognized by mass media. Not because it is a bad thing, but because I don't think it matters much. To me, TIME was stating the obvious, and the series of articles seemed to me old news. I wasn't excited about a magazine choosing "You" as Person of the Year. Why? Because choosing millions of people involved in a form of communications is the same as choosing no one, and Web 2.0 is not a person, so, really, what was the point?
So, feeling misunderstood (not really), I thought I would not recognize nor reward anyone for blogging but share a perspective that isn't unique but may be worth repeating.
Having come from the world of mass media (newspapers, newsletters, books and magazines), I can say with confidence that most writers are scared to death to give their audiences a voice, fearing they may be found out for the frauds they are. It is false fear, as most writers tell the truth as they see it and make every effort to be the best writers they can be. But we writers, especially those of us with decades of published works for which we were paid and long before the interactivity of blogs, aren't used to being contradicted or even praised. And we liked it that way.
Now there is a new way. Blogs have become a place where anyone can share their thoughts and ideas, if they are willing to risk a conversation. No longer do only "professional writers" have exclusive venues to say what they think and believe. Now anyone with a computer can be a writer, can share, and we all are better for it.
It's a brave new world that calls on each of us to notice the other and to communicate with each other. Notice me, please, is not a desperate call for help. It is an invitation to participate.
The blog offers a venue for sharing, arguing, praising, learning, educating and informing, without the boundaries of an editor's blessings. Some of what is posted proves to be crap; however, most of the writings and ideas spur other ideas, which then create a marketplace of ideas, without leaving our home or office or paying thousands to attend a conference to hear so-called experts or the necessity of having someone bless our thoughts by publishing them. With that new-found freedom to speak comes the responsibility to write with a conscience.
Where will we go from here? What does the future hold for us? It is a brave new world. Although currently populated by the haves who have the wherewithal to participate, my dream is that some day soon all people in the world will have a voice--from the US to Europe to Latin America to Asia to Africa to Austrailia, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and perhaps even to new worlds. What will it mean for freedom of speech and for the poorest and most repressed among us when they get their voices?
For now, let's keep sharing. I for one am growing as a human being and becoming a better consultant because of blogging and because of the willingness to share that each of you expresses when you post your ideas and thoughts and when you comment about what others write.
Remember: Notice me, please, does not represent a desperate need for attention. It is an invitation to participate.
Take the first step (it's free).
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