… and how do you know?
Blogging is world publishing that can by-pass an editor, moderator, or second view of any kind. No second look. No fact checking. No oversight from recognized institutions that validate legitimacy. Even more, blog can be relatively anonymous – or if not anonymous, the identty of the blogger can be well-hidden. Rishdal catalogs some observations about legitimacy:
Look closely at blog … Can you identify who is behind them? What proof do you have that the creators are reputable? (19)
Most bloggers are not blogging in affiliation with an organization. Many bloggers don’t even reveal their actual identities. (20)
Bloggers have no obligation to be honest. Some bloggers will make an effort to create the appearance of having a credible source when in fact they are fabricating everything. (21)
Some individuals and companies have even created fake blogs for marketing
They create a blog character or chacters and pretend that the characters are doing the blogging. Some are obviously fake characters wihile otehrs are presented as real people (22)
Closer to home, it was popular a couple of years ago for universities to hire students to blog about the campus and courses. The idea was that the immediacy of the blog would add to the authenticity of the reaction and prospective students would get a more honest (legitimate?) view of the university than university marketing presents.
A couple of ways into this question, then, since we’re looking at blogs and blogging as a professional practice:
- What makes a blog legitimate? What do we / ought we / can we look for – and do as professional bloggers?
Notice that the problem of legitimacy doesn’t go away even if we consider blogs “simply opinions.” If blogs are simply opinion, what makes those opinions legitimate?
Start your discussion in class, and post a comment from your group. See if you can find an example to refer to to help you articulate your consideration.