Blogging isn’t dead

bloggingImage: 10 amazing blogs about blogging – Corey Wainwright 

 

The internet can be capricious at times and come up with rumours and thoughts which, if you do not pay attention, will lead you astray or confuse you. Half the time it’s to create a thing and then that thing is discussed , reported, highlighted, memed. It’s artificial content creation stimulation. There has been this thing about blogging being dead. There has been a belief that individual bloggers are a thing of the past. Not if you go by the WordPress reader. That alone is sufficient indication there are plenty of individual bloggers who are confident, successful and clear voices. There are a lot of new individual bloggers because a number of people are connected from home for their own purposes. There are artists, writers, musicians, tech people, UX and UI designers, game creators, cooks, chefs, foodies, fashion followers, sports people and  gadget creators and so on. Etsy has had a big impact and a number of Etsy shops have their owners on Instagram to make that personal connection with their potential clients. They often build their network on Instagram or Facebook and then their blog offers more insight into how they produce their items. It’s the personal touch.  People want to meet and know real people on the internet these days. Blogs can also provide documentation and journaling capacities so that people can trace their personal growth in an area. People want to explore their creativity and ideas more and even Instagram posts are increasingly becoming more like blog posts. It’s the social and emotional involvement which has increased and so blogging offers that way of individual processing of events , creativity and information.

That is not to say group blogs don’t exist and aren’t a vibrant part of the internet. Blogs are part of mainstream  internet content. They are no longer the blogosphere. Group blogs can operate like modern day newsletters. They can allow a group to develop an image and history and allow everyone in that group to participate even if they cannot be at every meeting or activity. They allow a group to have an online presence and image with the group members can tap into but also the wider community.

MotherJones has an interesting look at current blogging practices . Blog Tyrant looks at some of the statistics and analyses some of the trends.  Neal Samudre has an article  on Huffington Post about allowing your blog to prosper.  Blogs have changed and they always will change. These days they tend to document and share information in a way which is connected to our need for information in context.

Google searches

Google brains

Image: Is Google rewiring our brains? 

There is certainly evidence to suggest that using Google will in fact use more of your brain and encourage more thinking than just reading print. The more you become comfortable in searches the more you interact and stimulate more areas of your brain. Dr. Moody is clear to point out that we shouldn’t assume it is just Google because she wants to research more about this:

“Now there are two different schools of thought on this. One is that when you first learn a task, you require greater activity and more attention, and that one could expect higher levels of activity if you were new at something. People with expertise can actually show decreases in their functional MRI pattern of activity. But what it seems here is that while engaging in internet searching, you are still very actively engaging these decision-making areas and it might be that the naive people are overwhelmed by the situation and are just treating it like a book – you’re still not trying to integrate the information, they’re reading it as though they were reading a book.

There’s one other interpretation as well, and that is that internet-naive people just have a different pattern of wiring in their brains from those who are internet-savvy – people who prefer using the internet and enjoy that mode of reading are wired differently from the internet-naive people. And we can’t distinguish that in this study, but that is also a possibility.”

Is Google rewiring our Brains? 

There is also research going to to discover exactly what is happening with children and young adults who are always doing searches, playing games and living in a digital, interactive world. As Dr. Moody points out, rewiring the brain can sound alarming but it is, in fact how we learn.

Google searchI have certainly been developing my Google brains since the advent of the Adelaide storms last week and the electricity pylon collapses. Someone credible said we had pylon collapses in the 70s or early 80s. I cannot seem to find a reference. Google is set up to cover current and topical information first so with this search I had to put -Westgate because there are bridge pylons too. I had to put -Adelaide and -storms because we have had so much news and social media coverage from the storms and then I have had -Bougainville because there is so much to do with powers pylons there. I have found no reference to collapsed pylons before in Adelaide. It means I am using the wrong words. I put power pylons in inverted commas so that those words would be together. I can try electricity pylons in inverted commas. I have said before on this blog that one of the things I do is try and break Google. It’s just a game to see if I can baffle Google. The research about the pylons , though, is serious. I actually want to know the answer. It would have been on our news in the late 70s or early 80s so there has to be a reference? I have tried twisted pylons, collapsed pylons, damaged pylons. Nothing. What has been happening as I do it, though, is I am finding out about other things and how to improve my searches. It has been a real thinking exercise.

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