Why Blogs? Why Social Media?

Okay, now that you understand how to identify public writing and why it’s so important, it’s time to discuss different kinds of online public writing. Why should we blog? Why should we use social media?

The simple answer? Power. By controlling your identity and presence online, you get to control how others see you.  Blogs and social media allow you to create a refined identity.

How does this work? Let’s start with blogging. Blogging “serve[s] as a platform for people to voice their ideas, thoughts, and feelings,” on different topics (Dekmezian 1). When you blog, you’re putting your ideas out there for others to read. The presentation and information you post help create your image.

So why does this matter? For scholars and professionals, blogging can help “to build knowledge of your work, to grow readership of useful articles and research reports, to build up citations, and to foster debate” across a variety of communities (Green). Interacting with others and creating content in an online space is an easy way to gain exposure since many people cannot access information that is behind paywalls.

20170921_101152
Local businesses that could potentially benefit from social media and blogging.

Businesses can benefit from blogging as well. It can help “to expand their online presence, connect with potential customers, promote their brand in a positive conversation, and even generate online revenue” (Dekmezian 3). With technology changing at a fast rate, it’s important for businesses to keep up. Businesses need to expand beyond newspaper and t.v. ads if they want to increase their revenue.

Surely, blogging is considered more formal than social media. I know I’ve made my fair share of worthless statuses on Facebook in 2012. Who hasn’t?

Screenshot_20170921-110119
Exhibit A

But social networking sites, or SNS, can be critical in creating a public image. Different SNS have different ways of displaying content and have different target audiences.

For example, platforms like Instagram are oriented toward photo posts, while platforms like Twitter are more text oriented. There are obvious benefits for the personal use of social media, like connecting with friends and finding new interests. However, “it is crucial for individuals to be aware of not only what their social identities reveal about themselves but also how this information can be interpreted” by others, such as future employers (Branham and Farrar 2).

It is not uncommon for hiring committees to look into someone’s SNS history before hiring. In a lot of cases, things that are posted can be interpreted as poor communication or problematic because they are out of context. In this way, the power to control your image needs to be used wisely.

This past summer, I worked at Kennebunk Savings and became with other employees on Facebook. Recently, I saw that someone shared a post, dated September 12, 2017, which describes how an employee who had recently received a promotion was let go because of insensitive content found on her Facebook page. Actions on social media have real-life consequences because that online identity is part of your identity and reflects on you as a person.

 No matter where you decide to post,  “the act of public writing should be executed with thought and critical consideration” (Branham and Farrar 2). I’m sure we’ve all had experiences with social media gone wrong, which is why it’s so important to maintain the power it wields. Social Media sites and blogging platforms are tools used to display your own personal, or business’s, public image. Like any other kind of power, it’s best to use it wisely.

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Works Cited

Branham, Cassandra; Farrar, Danielle. “Digital Footprints: Public Writing and Social Identities.” writingcommons.org, https://writingcommons.org/open-text/new-media/1272-digital-footprints-public-writing-and-social-identities, 2015.  Accessed  20 September 2017.

Dekmezian, Gary. “Why Do People Blog? The Benefits of Blogging.” huffingtonpost.comhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-dekmezian/why-do-people-blog-the-be_b_8178624.html, 2016. Accessed 20 September 2017.

Green, Duncan. “An antidote to futility: Why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously.” lse.ac.uk,  http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2015/10/26/why-academics-and-students-should-take-blogging-social-media-seriously, 2015. Accessed 20 September 2017.

10 thoughts on “Why Blogs? Why Social Media?

  1. As a whole, I found that the article flowed well and I left knowing more than I started with. You start the article by saying that social media and blogging can give us a “refined identity”, so I am wondering why there was so much focus on business for the rest of the article. Adding the bolded words in the beginning of the article really grabbed my attention, so why not continue bolding words for the rest of the article? Very good job, and I look forward to reading more of your blog!

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    1. I completely agree. I feel like my focus could have been stronger and I could have used more bolded words throughout. Thanks for the constructive feedback!

      Like

  2. Hi Belanna!
    First of all, you did a great job writing this post. I liked that you gave a personal account of what happened to someone who made the wrong kind of post on social media. I also really enjoyed how you approached this topic from the direction of social media giving it’s users power over how they’re perceived by the public.

    My question for you would be if you’ve ever felt empowered by something you posted on social media and, if so, what about the post made you feel powerful? Was it people’s reactions or responses or was it something along the lines of standing up for what you believed in?

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    1. Hi Juliana,
      Great question! I find that I don’t find empowered on social media as much as I feel validated for things. I tend to shy away from posting about achievements (I leave that up to my mom). But it’s definitely an interesting path to explore.
      Thanks for the feedback!

      Like

  3. There was a lot of evidence to support your claim as to why social media and blogging is important! I also liked the idea of including local businesses, so that makes me wonder, did you check to see if businesses like Liquid Sunshine have social media? I also enjoyed how you included the story about an employee lost their job because of a post on Facebook, which shows that this does happen. I agree that bolding throughout the blog would be a good idea, but I wouldn’t go overboard with it. I want to see more about the refined identity aspect.

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    1. I definitely considered looking into local business’s social media presence, and that would be a great addition to the post. And I agree, the refined identity was a big point in the beginning but got lost throughout. Thanks for the feedback!

      Like

  4. I liked the personality in this blog post, I felt like I was having a conversation with you. I also like how you took a picture of local businesses that could benefit from blogging or being on SNS- but most of the businesses around here have been running since I was young, would it still have a big impact on business if they were more interactive now?

    Like

    1. I think that although the local businesses have been successful for a while now, there are advantages to expanding online. Especially with UMF so nearby, online ads or even email updates (Calico Patch does this) could bring more business in for things like sales. Thank you for giving me something to think about further!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t want to encourage the “Oh, I like this” kind of post, but I really do like this post. It is well written and mixes a professional and personal tone well. I think it’s interesting that you mention how small businesses could benefit from public writing. I’d love to see you or someone else think about such businesses later in the semester–public writing raises one profile whether it’s through social media or a dedicated business website.

    I also am happy to see you recognize that “power” is what’s at stake. I’ve used the word “control” but that is in some ways synonymous with power.

    Liked by 1 person

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