September 17, 2006

Can Blogging Effect Change?

Mad Bull asked a question that I've decided to follow up with this poll:

Can Blogging Effect Change?
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I stated this over at Mad Bull, but it's worth repeating. Because I live in Florida--land of the pregnant Chads and indiscreet Bettys, this poll is totally unscientific and should not be used in the next presidential elections.

But we'll see how this goes. Send this as far and wide as you can. I'll be posting the results at the end of the month.

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Anonymous said...

Blogging has and can effect change, even if much of the change happens in the blogger him- or herself.

Mad Bull said...

8 - zip! I guess most people agree then. Blogging can effect change!

Stephen A. Bess said...

Helllo brother, Geoffrey. I agree. Powerful and passionate writing can have an enormous impact. The impact reaches beyond the womb and affects future generations. Therefore, the ideas expressed in blogging can have that same impact and through technology it can have a worldwide affect.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Yeah, but did you vote? This thing is anonymous, so it's completely blind.

Also, Stephen, pass this on to as many as you think would be interested.

This polling thing is really interesting and may be the solution to a problem that I've been thinking about that involves Benjamin, my Son and Rastafari...
Stay tuned.

And if you voted, please don't do like we do in Miami--voting early and often...

Stephen A. Bess said...

I did vote. I'll also pass it on.

POTASH said...

Linked in from Bess' blog. Blogs can and are fast becoming catalysts for change. As a Kenyan blogger I have seen our government suddenly start to threaten bloggers because they are an independent source of information, criticism and raw emotional criticism.

Yes I will YES naturally.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Welcome, Potash!

As I am now living in the South,I've learned a saying, "You can't see the forest for the trees" which is why I'm so interested in this question and if I'd been a better pollster I could have been able to disambiguate the results.

But then, again, according to many "experts," bloggers have a very short attention spans and long polls and long posts won't work very well. You can see how much I've followed their advice.

I am planning another poll on Rastafari that I would be very much interested in your views as an Kenyan (the poll will still be anonymous, but you can leave comments on the page) and which I would like you to share with other Kenyans, and maybe word will get over the border to Ghana and perhaps down to Lesotho... (are you hearing me Rethabile?) to as many international audiences (Marco?)as possible.


neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

I voted.

Actually, despite my 'rude' comment at MB's, [waiting for my car from the big manufacturers abroad] I do think blogging can make changes, I'm going to be back later to give this my all...I have to go babysit now.

I will pass this on as I post comments.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Give thanks, Guyana Gyal. For everything!

Anonymous said...

I hear ya. And I will participate and pass the message on through our online Basotho conversation group as well as my blog.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Give thanks, my brother...

Toastedsuzy said...

Geoffrey and all y'all,

I posted this over at Finnegan's Wake-up Call, and I'm pretty sure I mean it, so I've decided to put it here, too, in case any one is interested.

I'm very excited about this whole interweb thing--so much so that I haven't left my computer in months (okay, exaggerating there, but it is cutting into my writing writing--thank goodness for fall poetry movements). Anyway, here is what I said and still mean:

"I do think that what you've done and what we all do when we talk to one another as individuals, exchanging ideas and acknowledging the basic humanity of one another, is our only hope. By interacting here, in blogland, in writing, as individuals expressing our ideas and listening to the ideas of others, I think we are really changing the way that people think. And I don't just mean the way they think about race or gender or nationalism (although that seems to follow naturally), but I mean actually changing the way that people perform the action of thinking.

And changing it for the better."

I might expand on that someday on my own blog, but for now, I just wanted to put in my two cents.

Where can we see the results of the poll without voting again?


Geoffrey Philp said...

Dear TS,
At the end of the month, I'll be looking at the whole thing where I'll be including the comments here and how the voting went. I haven't looked at the results. I want to be as unbiased as I can be when I see the finals. I think I'll do the post on October 2.
I'd also be very interested in the poll that I'm putting together on Rastafari. That will probably be on October 4.
I have to space them out like that or I'll be at this computer for months ;-)


The Combat Philosopher said...

I too have voted. Given that blogs are made up of words and that it is unequivocal that words can cause change (think of Martin Luther's theses, as an example), it would seem to follow that blogs can cause change.

There is a slightly darker side to blogging though. Most other forms of publication, be it in academic journals, newspapers, or even magazines, have some 'quality control' mechnisms built in, in the form of referees and editors. Blogs do not have an analogous mechanism. What this means is that confused, pernicious or even dangerous ideas can gain ascendancy in the world of blogs. This can give rise to negative changes.

Indeed, I have written recently on the topic of solopsistic communities that can arise amongst bloggers. In such cases, warped world views can arise and get nurtured by bloggers. Persons and groups can be attacked and laid seige to, without the possibility of any reality checks, or even disagreement being permitted. In such cases too, the changes are often negative.

It is for these reasons that I always encourage people to approach blogs with a greater degree of caution and skepticism than other kinds of texts.

The CP