1. Do you think bloggers should disclose when they receive free products from companies?
I’m pretty sure that this is mandatory, so yes they should. On top of that, it makes it more truthful to know that someone received an item and did not purchase it on their own. For example, I used to follow a lot of nail art blogs during my high school days. Sometimes well known bloggers would get sent new polishes from OPI, Essie and so on either for the purpose of reviewing, or with the expectation that they would write about the polish in some way. Of course these are good brands to begin with, but if someone is providing you with a product for free, I would assume you would be more likely to write well about it, which may not be what you really would feel had you paid 8 dollars for it like everyone else.
2. Do you think bloggers should be held accountable for fact-checking the same way that journalists do?
I’m on the fence about this one. Morally, you shouldn’t want to perpetuate lies, and you definitely wouldn’t want to be sued for defamation. Writing things about other people or companies should definitely have at least one real source to back up your claim, just for your own sake. But if it is as simple as saying the date that something happened, I don’t know if that’s so important to need to be fact checked. If someone reads it and thinks it is wrong, they can just Google search it on their own and you know what? If it is wrong… in the grand scheme of life writing 2002 on your blog when it was really 2003 is not a huge deal. I understand in newspapers people can lose their jobs over missing mistakes like that but on a personal blog it is much more informal and you are basically your own boss. Small facts, I’d let go. But I would definitely get a source on larger more important things.
Live blogging can definitely have its benefits, but like pretty much everything in the world it also has negatives. Live blogging is first of all extremely fun and interactive. Some blogs I follow live blog TV shows that I watch, and its so entertaining to read the posts during commercials and laugh if I had the same reactions as other people. It’s almost like you are all in the same room watching it. It also gives you different perspectives on how other people think about a big plot event. However, this can have its downsides if I am at work and unable to watch the show. I might check my blog feed on break (or while I’m working… whatevs) and see all the spoilers of the show. Similarly, I like to read live blog posts when comic con is going on and there is an event for one of my shows. Since I can’t be there, it is really cool to still get the info right away. However, it can be confusing when people post differing information or aren’t as fast as you’d like them to b. It becomes unclear what the truth is, and you’re stuck wondering in suspense.
A cool thing about twitter is interacting with celebrities. One of the actors from my favorite show always tweets a little while the show is airing, and its never necessarily spoilers, but his reactions to himself and his cast are so great! It makes you feel like I said earlier, that you are watching the show with the bloggers and in this case makes it seem like I’m watching with the actor. It gives a new feeling to watching the show, as if you are bff with the man on the screen.
In his article “Why I Blog” Andrew Sullivan compares being a blogger to acting as
a host at a dinner party and I agree with him. A blogger is someone who evokes
discussion about a particular topic and embraces feedback whether it’s
constructive or destructive and uses it to enhance their post. And a host of a
dinner party is someone who brings up open discussion about a topic and the
guest at the party add to the discussion by arguing against or for the point
mad by the host. Sullivan makes it clear that when someone brings up a
discussion it is only right that others have an ability to voice their opinion
whether good or bad when he states, “To blog is therefore to let go of your
writing in a way, to hold it at arm’s length, open it to scrutiny, allow it to
float in the ether for a while, and to let others, as Montaigne did, pivot you
toward relative truth.” But on the other hand these two settings differ when it
comes to the factor of miscommunications because in the online world of blogging
people are more likely to overlook things and take certain statements out of
context which can lead to miscommunications and arguments upon a particular
topic one may feel they have more expertise in then another. While at dinner
parties people are in real time, meaning they are face to face engaging in
physical communication where if something seems unclear or misunderstood the
person can respond immediately and surpass the whole waiting for a response.
But overall the idea of a blogger being in the same category as a dinner party
host is accurate because both are meant to create environments where people
feel they can discuss and communicate their views and opinions. And it’s supposed
to be a place where people can feel free to be passionate about something,
whether it’s seen as weird or normal because the people involved in the blog
share the same passion. Sullivan states, “He can provoke discussion or take a
position, even passionately, but he also must create an atmosphere in which
others want to participate.” In other words, a blogger and a dinner party host
are supposed to take a position in the discussion but not deter others from
being active participants because in a way the participation from others makes
the blog and party successful. Because the function of a blog is to be a discussion
and informative site and the purpose of a dinner party is to enjoy others
company and come together for great conversation it’s a no brainer that a
blogger and dinner party host share the same roles or at least a lot of their
roles overlap. So I guess now a dinner party host can be in a way considered a blogger
and a blogger can be considered a party host. Therefore, this goes to show that
the internet age has taken simple things such as hosting a dinner party and has
created the same atmosphere and scene just in a virtual way that includes the
same elements just revamped.