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In Gillmor’s, We the Media, he refers to the Mirror, a web publication that states that the World Wide Web is, “for people who care and share and are aware.”  By using this example, Gillmor gives web authors a responsibility connected to what they write.  Of course, people will still rant and rave with no other intention than to rant and rave, but Gillmor holds bloggers to a higher standard.  He says, “Yes, technology has made it possible for millions to speak freely and be heard, many for the first time.”  Wow!  That is a heavy realization for those of us who choose to put our thoughts out there for the world to read. 

The blog, Make a Difference, posts short and informative paragraphs each day to show people how small changes can come together to make a big difference.  In Gillmor’s, We the Media, he drives the fact over and over again that grassroots journalism gives an individual voice the opportunity to make a difference.  I recently wrote a speech about how small changes in your everyday life can make a big difference to stop global warming.  Sometimes, I feel like I do not believe my own words.  After reading Gillmor’s book, it gives me hope that the “little people” can make a big difference.  Sometimes, I think that is all people need to hear. 

I am a firm believer in standing up for what you believe in.  Not shoving your thoughts or beliefs in other’s faces, but letting your voice be heard and being proud of what you have to say.  Gillmor believes that grassroots journalism gives “every man” a chance to have his or her voice heard. 

Gillmor also talks about the unique and exciting site, Wikipedia.  The thing I like most about Wikipedia is that there are people all over the world that never get a chance to share their expertise with the rest of the universe.  Wikipedia gives people a chance to share what they know and contribute to the knowledge of others.  Gillmor talks about the obvious issues open posting like Wikipedia allows, but shows that it really does not fall apart as expected.  However, people need to fact check sites like Wikipedia before using the information as correct and valid.  Often, people take the internet as fact, and this can be dangerous when so much of what is posted is opinion or hearsay.  Simply, be careful to check and re-check information from the internet that you distribute as fact.

No matter how much we write, Gillmor said, “I’m still not convinced that Big Media is doing the most important thing: listening.”  This is the ultimate problem.  I guess in a way I am contradicting myself.  I do believe that one voice can make a difference, but I also see that Big Media is not listening to the single voices.   Big Media is slowly catching up by allowing some of their journalists to blog on the company’s website.  However, these posts are carefully edited just like the black and white print of the actual newspaper.  Day by day we see examples of single voices standing out and being heard.  If we don’t believe one voice can make a difference, then will we ever speak?  I believe we can make a difference…do you?

In regards to my project of thinking first and posting later from last week, I did take my time before responding to posts.  I found that after taking my time to think things out, I wrote more relevant and thoughtful responses.  So, I guess it is a good idea not to write in the moment, but to step back and take that moment to carefully craft a response and hopefully start the original author thinking about what you have to say.

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One Comment

    • accidentalluddite
    • Posted February 15, 2008 at 2:28 pm
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    • Reply

    Sometimes, “in the moment” captures your passion, if not your most eloquent response. I use the edit feature on my blog to “add the eloquent” later if needed:) Also, since you know I LOVE to raise my hand in class, you can imagine I hate for someone else to make my point before me. Same holds for in writing as in person.

    Know where they are passionate? Italy! Are you going on the trip this summer? Hope so, hope so!


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