April 16, 2009
16th April is the Blog Reader Appreciation Day organized by Bloggers Unite***. Bloggers depend on loyal readers but rarely thank them. The event gives bloggers a change to do so around the blogosphere. It also gives a change to blogger think own author-readership interdependency if there is or should be such a thing.
In this case my perspective is purely individual one and I don’t go today’s popular issue where blogging is used only one channel to attract voters behind some party or candidate – to buy political program, product or service.
I can speak only on the behalf of myself but when I started blogging my first concern was not the reader. My motivation came and still comes from need to express my opinion about issues important to me.
While living and working in West Balkans I saw big difference between the picture of western mainstream media and situation on the ground. The same gap I saw while EU in contemporary history has been making programs, decisions and EP reports related to Balkans, Northern Black Sea Region and Russia. I took the task to make my share to narrow this gap.
First I tried to write to EC officials, MEPs, ministers and policy makers with nonexistent success, then I started blogging with different platforms and audience and at least the feedback has been totally other scale.
As I am not a paid lobbyist of any product or interest group and I am not earning money with ad clicks in my blogs I can freely write what I think, be provocative, biased in other words express myself egoistical way.
At first sight this can be seen arrogant neglecting of readership. I disagree. In mainstream and mass media as well marked orientated promotional campaigns of groups with special interest there is enough flattery to get potential clients or supporters. So with some freedom from pleasing readership I can offer some alternative anyway.
Some readers expect from blog same criteria than printed articles in respected press or magazines. I compare blog more similar to op-ed, talkback or commentary pages than news or edited articles. At least my posts are not objective (who’s is) scientific (science has also conflicting paradigms and methods) truth and they are far away from academic research.
Often my columns may be biased highlighting the other side of story. As such they can create possibility to angry responses and as best debate with reasonable arguments.
So if my post is one-sided without objectivity is it same than (individual) political statement or program? My answer is no. Political statement rarely takes account reader feedback or screens readership opinions only to make original agenda or message more powerful. If I make a provocative post based to some arguments it can inspire some angry reader with totally opposite view to write critical response backed his/her counterarguments. After this or longer dialogue it is possible that I must admit the weakness of my original arguments. Whatever the outcome, I hope that afterward the readers and I too will have more versatile picture of events than before.
Blogging for me is a learning process. Counterarguments from readers are bringing new information and aspects to respective topics – some time they force my search issue more deep to back – or rejection – my own arguments.
In some forums the feedback I get consists mainly about personal insults, sometimes in comments one can not find a word about topic itself. I wondered why these commentators still were reading my blog and I came to conclusion that they must be masochists. The bright side anyway is that it shows that with blogging it is possible to find different kind of readerships.
While writing a blog post also I am reader searching new angles or fresh information from the field. Blogging without readers is possible; with them it is more rewarding.
Bloggers Unite is an attempt to harness the power of the blogosphere to make the world a better place. By asking bloggers to write about a particular subject on 1 day of the month, a single voice can be joined with thousands to help make a difference; from raising awareness for cancer, to an effort to better education systems or supporting 3rd world countries.
More my views one may find from my BalkanBlog!