Some people have claimed newspapers will no longer exist in ten years – we will all read blogs instead. Are they a welcome addition to traditional media or is blogging a passing fashion?

Business Magazine - Blogging or print?

Instructions

Read the Text. Next go to each Task and do the activity.

Are you a blogger too?

Only a few years ago, a “web log” was a little-known way of keeping an online diary.  At that time, it seemed like “blogs” (as they quickly became known) were only for serious computer geeks or obsessives.

This didn’t last long, though, and within a very short period of time, blogs exploded – blogs were everywhere, and it seemed that almost everyone read blogs, or was a blogger.

The blogging craze of a couple of years ago (when it was estimated that ten new blogs were started somewhere in the world every minute) now seems to have died down a bit – yet thousands of blogs (probably the better ones) remain.  Blogs are no now longer seen as the exclusive possession of geeks and obsessives, and are now seen as important and influential sources of news and opinion.  So many people read blogs now, that it has even been suggested that some blogs may have been powerful enough to influence the result of the recent US election.

Blogs are very easy to set up – all you need is a computer, an internet connection and the desire to write something.  The difference between a blog and a traditional internet site is that a blog is one page consisting mostly of text (with perhaps a few pictures), and – importantly – space for people to respond to what you write.  The best blogs are similar to online discussions, where people write in responses to what the blogger has written.  Blogs are regularly updated – busy blogs are updated every day, or even every few hours.

Not all blogs are about politics, however.  There are blogs about music, film, sport, books – any subject you can imagine has its enthusiasts typing away and giving their opinions to fellow enthusiasts or anyone else who cares to read their opinions.

So many people read blogs now that the world of blog writers and blog readers has its own name – the “blogosphere”. 

But how influential, or important, is this blogosphere really?  One problem with blogs is that many people who read and write them seem only to communicate with each other.  When people talk about the influence of the blogosphere, they do not take into account the millions of people around the world who are not bloggers, never read blogs, and don’t even have access to a computer, let alone a good internet connection.

Sometimes, it seems that the blogosphere exists only to influence itself, or that its influence is limited to what is actually quite a small community.  Blogs seem to promise a virtual democracy – in which anyone can say anything they like, and have their opinions heard – but who is actually listening to these opinions?  There is still little hard evidence that blogs have influenced people in the way that traditional mass media (television and newspapers) have the ability to do.

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Comments

Hello, the team!
I'm a bit confused about a couple of points in the Task #1.

1. There's a sentence in the text: "The blogging craze .. now seems to have died down a bit ".
I understand this sentence as if the blogging craze (that is to say, the excessive popularity of blogs) has decreased.
So, I answered "True" for the statement "Today, blogs are becoming less popular" in the exercise #2.
But, the correct answer on your site is "False". Why?

2. The Second-to-last statement in the Task #1 is " The article suggests that it is not true that blogs have a lot of influence.".
In other words, " The article suggests that blogs don't have a lot of influence.". Im I correct in understanding the statement?
If so, can you clarify, why the correct answer for this sentence is "False"? "False" means that the author believes that blogs do have "a lot of influence".
But in my opinion, actually the author doubts a lot whether blogs really have such a large influence. Let's read some sentences in the last paragrapth:
- ".. it seems that the blogosphere exists only to influence itself, or that its influence is limited to what is actually quite a small community"
- "..who is actually listening to these opinions? "
- "There is still little hard evidence that blogs have influenced people in the way that traditional mass media.."
What are all these sentences if not a deep scepticism of the author about the influence of blogs?

Hello Yhsc,

The phrase 'the blogging craze' describes writing blogs. However, blogs as a whole remain popular in terms of reading. In fact, the implication is that more people read blogs now than before: 

So many people read blogs now, that it has even been suggested that some blogs may have been powerful enough to influence the result of the recent US election.

 

The text does question whether blogs are really as influential as some claim, but it does not make a positive claim that they are not. Rather, the author suggests that there is a lack of evidence. In other words, the author does not say they have no or little influence but says that claims that they do have influence are not proven. Thus the correct answer is false.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I agree with author, that "the blogosphere exists only to influence itself".
Most people tend to read stuff that confirms their own opinion and they usually don't like to hear or read anything else. There is even a special term for that - "confirmation bias".

So how the blogger can significantly change people's opinion, if most of his readers go along with him in the first place?

suggest me few reading blogs online

Hello Littleboy,

I'm afraid we don't recommend other sites as the British Council has quite strict rules about advertising and most blogs are supported by advertising of one kind of another. However, I would suggest looking for blogs by topic rather than anything else. Look for topics which interest you and which you will read with pleasure. Most major media organisations have regular columnists or bloggers and so those organisations can be a good place to start as they usually offer a guarantee of quality.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I think that there are too many people who have a blog today. That's too pity because they can't do anynhing except writing and chatting in their blogs. Such people live in their “blogosphere” and even don't see the other world with its real life and problems. There are many blogs around the world and there are many themes are discussed but no-one wants to do something in real life to solve a problem or to help some people in difficult situation. We all can sit and talk using our computers but life won't become better.

I want to know why blogs can't be as influential as traditional mass media.

It seems online blogs are disadvantaged in two aspects in comparison with print and TV. The primal shortcoming is they don't have much attractive content. Most opinions in blogs are likely leftovers that can't be published to make a profit but need to be said for the purpose of the writers' self-expression or as a supplementary tool for other parallel profitable projects. (Personally, I totally understand the reasons behind this. We are all human beings with needs to making livelihood.) Apart from this, blogs are mostly run by individuals. The time, energy and money invested by an individual blogger into his (or her) medium are almost negligible if compared to the investment of mass media. For example, in mass media, there are experts and professional tools whose job is to maximize the influence, but most blog contents are left passively waiting for the casual readers. These traits decide blogs are more of a personal hobby than a serious influential publishing platform.

I do agree that blogs cannot have a pervasive influence and they reach out only to limited audience.
Among the channels of communication, Print and television media have a wider influence.Many a time, we come to know of specific blogs only if they are posted on the Facebook.

Blogs are trending now a days and it's sure to replace printed media, may be even come close or be better than Ads, which surely is going to help in a lot of ways in every possible way. Although which is only possible when more people has access to Internet. Then blogs surely be defined as the next era of media and communication.

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