According to the Wall Street Journal, December 2007 marks the tenth anniversary of blogging.
What began as — what? No one had ever done this before, and now it is in a period of exponential growth which marks blogging as being on the verge of legitimate journalistic enterprise.
And the key word there is enterprise.
What blogging has done is allow anyone with an opinion to express it.
News organizations often make use of their reporters as bloggers, and we have embraced it here at the Denver Broncos, including the recent addition of General Manager Ted Sundquist.
Competition should never be discouraged, and news organizations do not have a monopoly on thought or expression. Businesses and sports teams know a lot about their product, ususally more than outsiders, and the more they tell people about how things work, the more they let outsiders in, the greater degree of understanding they potentially can gain from interested parties.
Many of the people who are “just fans” are blogging merely for the fun of free expression, always valued on its own merit.
But there are a lot of people out there — in here? – -with a high level of ability to express themselves via the written word, coupled with passionate opinions about topics close to their hearts, whether pro football, other sports, entertainment, food, politics, ad infinitum.
Over my 33 years in sports public relations I have primarily dealt with newspapers, radio, and television.
The Internet came along and expanded those fields, as every one of the above mentioned news sources has an established web site by this point. And many internet-only sites have been created; the first blogs, really.
But now comes blogging.
And in most cases, the blogger is not attempting to gain access to events as a reporter and is not pretending to be a reporter, but is primarily focused on an unfettered presentation of opinion, while being his own editor, with no strings attached.
As always, it is up to the reader to decide if we think those comments are worth reading, whether that blog is worth a return visit. Many times we say no, but not always.
There is a lot of thinking going on out there, always has been, and that is why I liken the blog to Thomas Paine’s publication of Common Sense back in the days when the only revolution this country has ever experienced was taking place.
Common Sense was an important part of the information culture then, and blogging has assumed some of that role today.
It is hard to say where it’s all heading, but the free expression of thought has been one of the fundamental tenets of American society since the beginning, and the easy ability to do so today adds stimulation to every endeavor.
When people can comment on a product this easily, it puts more pressure on the producer to deliver at a high level.
And what is bigger than that in a free-market economy?
Happy tenth anniversary to The Blog! It is still very new, but it is growing at Internet speed!
If we do not embrace and attempt to control new things, we will be taken over by them.
This is the cutting edge of information dissemination and technology, and one should never be on the wrong end of a cutting edge.