IS BLOGGING A WASTE OF TIME – OR GLOBALLY IMPACTFUL “SOCIAL COMPUTING”?

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Mon, 03/26/2007 - 20:16.

 The “print screen”image above shows a clip of the tracking details for the “nuts and bolts” wind turbine post which was put up on Realneo several month’s ago.  Notice the Google searches which came in from .cz, .no, and .ca (Norway, Chechlosvokia, and, Canada).  Those three searchs hit on Realneo on March 3rd, within a period of 3 hours.  The day before there were hits from Enland and Australia,  and every day there are hits from the US and around the world. 

 

Every blog entry on Realneo (and other blogging web sites) gets traffic like this from across the country and across the world.  What you write and post gets read day and every night, day after day.  Not like the Plain Dealer which gets put in the recycling at the end of the week and whose web news archive access is truncated after 14 days. 

 

So, keep in mind that when you post on the internet, you posting will, or may, in a little or a big way, influence someone, somewhere.  And that influence will continue for year after year if your web site is kept up.   Who looks at the Plain Dealer from two years ago, or three years ago?  Maybe a researcher in a library?   Maybe someone who pays to view full articles in the PD on-line archive.   But keep your eye on the “last viewed” column on the lower RH margin of the Realneo home page.  Blog posts keep coming up from two and three years ago.

 

 For example,  Hating Jones Day (for their representation of cigarette companies) comes up as a recent hit time and again, day upon day.  Do you think that the public reading this post will have any impact – or was the time taken to post the ashtray photo and the Jones Day story just an opportunity for a smoker to vent?  Think the post has had any influence on Jones Day’s bottom line?  Ask that question to yourself twice. Bottom line up? Or bottom line down?  Think that maybe the post has influenced any one of the thousands who have clicked on it to do anything?   I do. 

 

I think that grass roots blog reporting on the internet will influence people’s spending and influence legislation.  I think that politicians and  corporations and individuals  who go for money alone – in defiance of the public good   - will have their images blackened and their income reduced via the information individuals report in their blogs, and as a consequence they won’t be reelected, they will see their incomes reduced, and they will lose influence.

 

I am making this post in response to Norm’s comments on TOD here

 

The Google search that hit the Cleveland Clinic 5000 car garage was actually a search for how to take rapid transit to the Clinic: "Cleveland+clinic+shuttle+schedule".   When I initially blogged the garage photo and article, it didn’t dawn on me that the posting could have an influence on would be transit travelers – my vague aim was the hope to influence NEO urban planning through increased awareness of other non-auto ways of developing the community.  Now what the Clinic will never know – and neither will I know for certain – is if some young intern from NYC or Hong Kong also has looked at the 5,000 car parking garage blog post, and as a result of the Clinic’s long implemented decision to blitzkrieg the neighborhood around their property, that intern passes up residency at the Clinic and goes where there is greener building and more “planet and people and profit” friendly city planning. 

 

I’ll bet that there are interns that make that call to go elsewhere, and the Clinic will be the loser.  It is not my point to make the Clinic a loser, but to help the Clinic change.  In order to persuade them to change the clinic management needs to know that though they can do almost anything they want here in Cleveland, they are on a worldwide playing field…  The Clinic needs to set its planning standards much higher – to global green, sustainable standards – not just use its local political brawn and financial muscle to ride roughshod over the local community as they have done for 40 years. 

 

 

Another example of the real-life influence of blogs is Joshua Marshall’s Talking Points Memo ,which recently broke via their web site the vindictive firing of the Federal Prosecutors, which could well lead to Atny Gen. Gonzales’s dismissal and perhaps even the impeachment of  Bush. 

 

So while you are pounding away on the typewriter keys  late at night, all by yourself, putting your feelings, ideas, and research and reporting on the web, take heart:  you are making a difference in flattening the globe and improving our civil sphere.  Keep up the effort!

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Jeff Buster's Blog #1 on REALNEO

Excellent posting, Jeff. And you have quite a following - I noticed today on the log file the Jeff Buster blog home page on REALNEO is the #1 destination on the site, after the common category pages like "Arts and Culture" and home page - you get around 1,000 hits on your blog home a month, these days, on top of the 1,000s of hits on each of your many articles over time - you have probably been read by over a 1,000,000 people over the past year... from around the world, as you point out.

I think that realneo is a virtual community makes a big difference, as most of our traffic starts from somewhere else, like Google, and then people cruise around the site to other interesting content - they may start at a "Dance Video of the Day" by Susan Miller and end up considering new perspectives on wind industry from you. Very cool!

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