The Shaping Of Cyber And Offline Identities Through Blogging

1372 words - 5 pages

Blogging can be defined as the process of creating, maintaining, and updating a web journal (web log) and the consequences of the process. It involves reading, writing, more reading, commenting, and other technical aspects of maintaining a blog. Individuals blog for several reasons. One of the most popular reasons is to easily publish and get readers for the his/her writings. There is no pestering editor, and there is no screening process. Anything (s)he needs to convey can be published into the blogosphere with the click of a button, and could reach out to millions of readers. A few other people say that they blog because they "just love to blog/write".
An estimated 70% of the blogosphere consists of personal blogs. Personal blogs are where bloggers write about their personal lives, as opposed to niche blogs. Such personal blogs induce a kind of voyeuristic pleasure in the reader, and an exhibitionistic pleasure in the blogger. Blogging analysts had recently come up with a proposition, where in they compared blogging to pornography. According to them, a personal blogger shed privacy, layer by layer, much like a stripper. From my personal experience, I’ve found this statement to be true. First the blogger blogs under an alias, usually revealing only his/her country of origin. Then, as commentators increase, (s)he reveals his/her first name. Followed by what he/she is doing, his/her second name, his/her interests and so on. After about 6-7 months (unaccounted estimate - from my experience in the blogosphere) (s)he starts blogging about extremely personal moments. (S)he feels good that someone is reading his/her blog, which is exhibitionism in its true sense. Indeed, this exhibitionism may not be purely textual, since blogging supports pictures, audio clips and videos.
The readers of the personal blog attach an identity with the blogger by his/her blog posts. But a piece of writing can be interpreted in many ways. Thus, each reader may attach a different identity with the blogger, and thus, even without the blogger’s knowledge, multiple identities are developed for him/her. This brings me back to a question on identities. Would there be an identity at all, if there weren’t multiple identities?
I would like to bring in a comparison of the identities developed by blogging, and two other popular social networking sites in India, Orkut and Facebook. Orkut does not allow a layer by layer revelation of personality. Its either putting up your whole profile right in the beginning, or not revealing much all through. It terms of further revealing, it only provides a sort of chatting system, named scrapping, which does not hold much scope for revelation, especially since scraps are meant for one individual. Meanwhile Facebook provides several features through which users can reveal their identity (or pseudo-identity) in public, layer by layer. It starts off with a profile, like in Orkut, but later, the user interacts with applets in several forms,...

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