Monday, February 21, 2005

But Pa, Everybody's Doin' It

"Web logs, or blogs, the online personal diaries where big names and no names expound on everything from pets to presidents, are going mainstream. While still a relatively small piece of total online activity, blogging has caught on with affluent young adults. As Forrester Research analysts recently noted, blogging will become increasingly common as these consumers age." So begins one of three pieces on blogging that have recently caught my attention.

The first was sent to me by a concerned citizen/friend who forwarded me an article from CNN/Money entitled, "Have Blog, Lose Your Job?" The gist of the article is that "workers with web logs are everywhere, and they're starting to make corporate America very nervous." I think the whole thing is hilarious and ridiculous, though truth be told, I wish my new employer wasn't aware of my shenanigans. I let it slip during a staff meeting, but I think I'm fairly hidden. If they wanted to find it they could, but I take it as a sign of fiscal health that they're too busy to go there. But apparently, a lot of bloggers are taking their job life in their own hands, even for expressing views that have nothing to do with their accountabilities at work. It's an interesting piece, and I'm eager to watch what happens down the road in terms of free speech and workers' rights, the former of which rarely impinges on the latter and the the latter of which seems nonexistent in these days of employer all-the-workers-you-can-eat grindmills.

All the more reason that the second piece caught my attention. The activist author of "Blogging While Black: An Afro-Netizen's Take on the Next Talking Drum," insists that blogging is a civic responsibility, especially for minorities. He goes so far as to say that "those of us fortunate enough to regularly use the internet and who now have an almost addiction to Google.com, Mapquest.com, eBay.com and Amazon.com, cannot afford to limit ourselves by so gravely under-utilizing the web and the opportunities at hand. We must blog while black. It is not a fad or a luxury; it is our civic responsibility to do so. And to abdicate this duty, is to succumb to the dangerous mythology that blackfolk must wait for our next messenger from above, all the while not realizing that the messenger is at our fingertips and the inviolable message from generations past endures in our hearts and minds. Where the success of all previous grassroots movements has been measured by feet on the ground, the power and effectiveness of blog activism for black folk and other dispossessed communities will be measured by hands on the keyboard."

On the heels of these two came a piece about Jerry Brown, the good 'ol mayor of Oakland, who is gearing up for his next political milestone—a bid for the state attorney general. ¡Que horror! "Brown Blasts into Blogosphere with Swipe at Critics" is a pretty hilarious summation of the hilarity that is Jerry Brown. Check him out at www.jerrybrown.thinkpad.com.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Angela said...

Good piece and thanks for the links, mpho.

5:00 PM  
Blogger mpho said...

Well, gratzie. As you probably know, blogs are making news (literally and figuratively)left and right. It's rather exciting how the activity has just kind of exploded.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Zenslinger said...

Why worry about whether doing my own blog (which I came so dangerously close to doing when registering to make a comment) is going to lose me my job when reading yours could do the same? Hah, who says we live in comfort and risk nothing? I love liberty enough to risk my job, even after getting a mortgage, just to read your words. To follow your links. I can just hear that three-piece marching band that for some damn reason symbolizes the American yearning for liberty, I can hear it right now.

All right, it's a bit faint -- the music or maybe the liberty, given current conditions. But I'm driven to read your blog. For one thing, it's a fun replacement, in a better-than-nothing sort of way, for actually seeing you or having lunch with you. Also, when we do see each other I'll have to advantage, because I'll already know all the stuff that's on your mind, and you'll have to listen to me blather on about the mortgage.

Which is more important to the pursuit of happiness, a mortgage or a blog?

I vote for clean underwear.

As for blogging while black, I have not tried it yet, do you think if I re-read Invisible Man and Dubois' Souls and watch about twenty episodes of Chappelle and then try, it will work? Ah, me neither. Have to settle for flailing while pale.

Peace,

J

10:35 AM  
Blogger mpho said...

Me thinks you could possibly even do better at blogging while black than I can. In fact, I predict that you will soon be proffering a guest piece on mortages. A mortage. I don't even know what that is; I thought it went out in the Eighties! Do tell!

9:43 PM  

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