In the latter half of the last decade, the world witnessed the birth of a hybrid form of the World Wide Web, known as Web 2.0. The most distinguishing feature of Web 2.0 is the democratization of the creation of content, where internet users such as you and I can create and upload content onto the web. That content could be in the form of music, videos, pictures, or plain text. Quite a number of websites and online services (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) have been built around this self-publishing feature and added with it the ability for us to connect with each other, thus birthing social networking.
One other very important feauture of Web 2.0 is the birth, rise and spread of web logging, shortened to ‘blogging’. A weblog (although no one calls them that anymore; they are just called ‘blogs’) is a site where an individual records his personal opinions, with links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis. A person who updated his blog regularly is thus referred to as a blogger. Today, there are millions of blogs out there on practically every different subject and field under the sun.
Naturally, Nigerians have not been left behind in the blogging movement, as many of us, particularly those of the Facebook and Twitter generation have a blog set up and updated with some regularity. With it has also come the talk of if everyone must be a blogger and whether or not some bloggers were just part of a ‘me-too’ craze.
H0wever, I am of the opinion that we do not even have enough bloggers out there. As a matter of fact, I believe that everyone should be a blogger. Let me explain my points:
- For anyone who has tried writing an article and sending it to a newspaper or magazine and encountered rejection, the gift of self-publishing your own work will be a god-send. No longer would you have to rely on some editor to consider your piece privileged enough to be published in his/her paper. You can now write, publish and promote yourself. And it is free too, with so many blogging platforms to choose from: WordPress, Blogspot, Posterous, Tumblr, etc., and they mostly have mobile versions so you can upload content to your blogs from your phones.
- Blogging teaches us how to express ourselves excellently. No matter what your blog is about, the fact that you are always writing something makes you get better at writing and articulating your ideas. From there, the jump to speaking well is not so much. Blogging can therefore also be used as an avenue for self-development.
- You can use blogging to promote yourself as an expert in your field. For example, anytime I want to read something pertaining to Nigerian economics, I go to Feyi Fawehinmi’s blog or Nonso Obikili’s blog, or to Rotimi Fawole’s blog for an interpretation of the law. Now what the three of them, amongst many others have done is that they have made themselves stand out in the sea of economists and lawyers that abound in this country. This gives them influence they can easily leverage for many things such as securing clients, etc.
- Blogging also gives you the opportunity to pursue and talk about your passion if it is outside your regular job. Say you are an engineer with a passion for football. You can easily set up a blog and rant about football all day, thereby allowing you to pursue your passion. It is that easy, really!
- Blogging does not have to be a full-time job. We don’t all have to be a Linda Ikeji or an Omojuwa, hoping that we rake in money through our blogs. It could be an avenue for self-expression. In fact, when you pursue blogging from this angle mainly, you will be given opportunities to make some money through it beyond what you expect. I can testify to this.
- In case you do not want to set up your own blog, you can write for the litany of sites that aggregate content from writers. Though they can be called blogs, they function more like online newspapers and magazines.
- For every blog, there is an audience. As a person who most times rants about politics and the occasional random stuff, I very well know that not everyone will read my blog posts. And so also will it be with you, no matter how interesting what you write is. The key is finding and having your niche and fully serving it. Even this erotica blog has its audience and a devoted one at that. So now that you know I read erotica, let me try and regain my halo. Moving on…..
In the end, do not shy away from blogging unless you have nothing to say, or do not want to say it. Whatever it is: political analyses, football commentary, short stories and poems, etc. Be free to talk.
I predict that the time will c0me one day where job-seekers would be asked for their blog addresses. I feel that time is almost there in the developed world. This is because it speaks a lot as to the intellectual soundness of a person.