A grain of salt in a sea of bloggers

man standing in large crowd

Starting a blog is a great way to get noticed. After all, it’s not like anyone else has thought of it.

I’ve entered the blogosphere. For the less tech-savvy among you, that means I’ve started a blog. I figured my opinions were so erudite, so informed, that I ought to share them with the rest of the world.

Plus, nobody in my family will listen to me anymore. They say they’re tired of my rants.

Blogging is a terrific tool for formulating thoughts and exchanging ideas. It ignites discourse and inspires conversation. A blog provides a unique space where I can showcase my wisdom and offer my insight … as well as get lost in the clutter of the World Wide Web.

Well, that’s the problem with a unique, one-of-a-kind blog: everyone else has got one, too. The Internet’s the perfect platform for self-promotion … if you can break through the hodgepodge, that is. It seems like everyone else is out to self-promote, and their voices often are louder and shriller than mine.

Speaking of which, I hear even Joan Rivers has a blog.

Now, don’t get me wrong about blogging — I don’t necessarily mind the clutter. Choice is a good thing … unless, of course, it’s a national election. In that instance, it seems you lose no matter what.

With our lapdog media and its driveling commentators, the Web is the last bastion of unfettered free speech. Anyone, anywhere, regardless of their political, social or intellectual status — especially their intellectual status — can publish their views and contribute to the discussion. It’s the marketplace of free ideas in action. (Or “inaction,” if we’re referring to my blog.)

The traditional modes of journalism have been broken. The major media outlets no longer have a monopoly over news-gathering and commentary. Anyone with blogging software and an Internet connection can become an instant citizen journalist. Which, when I think about it, makes my four years of journalism school seem like a complete waste of time.

Nevertheless, the Internet’s awesome. It truly is. Everyone’s equal in cyberspace. The problem’s no longer trying to find a pulpit. The problem’s trying to be heard among millions of others.

That brings me back to my original problem: How to break through the clutter to get my blog noticed. Free speech is a good thing, except when everyone’s speaking at the same time, straining to be heard. Then it becomes a screaming match to out-shout everyone else. I like free speech better when everyone’s listening to me.

The theory of the marketplace of ideas says the best conceptions arise from competition. But how can I astound the world with my wisdom when I have to compete with … well, the world? I don’t want my blog to end up like a senior thesis in a college library: dusty, cobwebbed, sprouting mold and tucked in a dark corner next to the Adam Smith section.

What I need is a way to set my blog apart. I need an original, unique concept that’s all my own. Is there a blogging platform with a template for that?

But then again, maybe blogging’s not such a good idea. It’s starting to sound like too much work. I’ve seen bloggers who post several times a day. Are you kidding me? How do they earn a living? Because that’s the other issue about blogging: it’s not very lucrative. Journalism in general is a low-paying profession, unless you’re a famous newsman like Tom Brokaw or Regis Philbin.

So maybe I’ll leave journalism to the professionals (or, barring that, to the journalists). And for now, I’ll keep my blog for my own self-amusement. If it ever gets discovered, great. And if it gets lost in the clutter of the World Wide Web … well, at least I’ll have Joan Rivers to keep me company.

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