Blogs : giving everyone a voice

Doesn't it make you think of blobs?

What is it?

A blog (short for web log) is a journal-like web page that is easily updated through the use of special software. Free, web-based blog sites like Blogger and LiveJournal have made it possible for anyone to publish on the web.

Who does it?

  • Individuals: Some are like diaries while others express political or ideological or professional viewpoints (e.g., Drudge Report, Feministing, etc.)
  • Organizations and institutions: Many nonprofits, cultural institutions, and educational groups have blogs. Some only list events and news, while other express and encourage opinion (e.g., Eye Level from the Smithsonian, MTSU Library News)
  • Businesses: A few businesses have started blogging about new products and company news. (e.g., GM Fastlane Blog)

Should you use them for research?

  • Most blogs express opinion, so if you are writing a pro/con paper, you may be able to use blogs, but the author should have some relevant credentials.
  • Many bloggers link to news stories from online magazines and newspapers, so blogs may be a good place to hunt for more traditional sources.
  • Some blogs are news outlets themselves (as in the case of corporate blogs where new products are announced), so they would be good sources to use for certain types of assignments.
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