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BlueWolf's Howl

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November 08, 2004

The Power of Blog

Do you know the power you have beneath your fingertips? With just one click, you can publish an article to the World Wide Web. THE WORLD can then read it. That is awesome potential. But, will the entire world actually read these words? Probably not.

My stats show that I have a few regular readers. But, those numbers increase every time one of those readers enjoys a post and puts a link to it on their blog. This happens on your blog too. And we've all seen many books, news articles, and television reports about bloggers and blogging. Most of the people who read my blog have also been blogging for years. It's nothing new to us.

This year bloggers were represented at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Everyone already knows...we have arrived. We are the new press. Granted, none of the bloggers I personally know were invited to either convention, but 'our kind' was there. It's encouraging. But, there are those who consider blogging about bloggers 'so much naval-gazing' and liken it to the 'mutual back patting' that created the alt.lesbian.feminist.poetry newsgroup.

This is not self-reflection and there is no time for congratulations - this is a call to arms. There is a battle to be won in the hearts and minds of the world. You have a weapon - your words, thoughts and ideas. Your experiences can now be shared with a larger audience. Make your words count.

Each blog is a potential source of information for other people. Provide that information. Reach people.

The concept of a political blog is not new. There are poliblogs of all persuasions. But only people that are very into politics bother to read them. That would be the 30% dyed-in-the-wool Republicans and the 30% dyed-in-the-wool Democrats who would read their respective political blogs. We already know from the past two elections that neither side will budge. But, we need to reach the other 30-40% that is in the middle.

Think about it. When it came to voting for a candidate from a political party, the 'independent' voters were split almost evenly (51/49). It was not an overwhelming majority. But, 11 out of 11 states voted to ban gay marriage. Oregon - whose electoral votes went for Kerry - voted to ban same sex marriage. How did that happen?

Ban on Gay Marriage Results:
State Yes No
Arkansas 75 25
Georgia 76 24
Kentucky 75 25
Michigan 59 41
Mississippi 86 14
Montana 67 33
North Dakota 73 27
Ohio 62 38
Oklahoma 76 24
Oregon 57 43
Utah 66 34

So how did this happen? Are that many people filled with hate? Do that many people really care about what other people do in their spare time? I have a hard time believing that there are that many hate-filled people in this country. But, I do believe that there are that many fearful people in this country. I believe that there are people among those numbers who don't understand the effects of the ban on their family members and loved ones.

This is where the power of the blog comes into play. We need to reach out to each other. We need to inform each other. We need to understand each other. We need to get from here to there. We cannot stay in our own little universe and keep our fingers crossed that our rights won't be whittled away one at a time. We need to touch the lives of others and let them know us. They need to see that we are decent people living lives much more like Ozzie and Harriet than anything they rented out of the lesbian section of the adult video store.

I remember talking to a straight friend of mine about one of my relationships. Granted, this was not a stranger. We had become friends through mutual interests... At some point in the friendship, I told him I was gay. As the friendship continued, he eventually became my confidant. We've talked quite a bit about some of my past relationships and the current quest for Ms Right. But, I'll always remember the ah-ha moment when he looked at me with such surprise and said, "gee, you really have feelings for this girl." Well...yeah. Why is this a surprise? As it turns out, it was the moment when he realized that it wasn't just a sex thing, but it's a LOVE thing. It was when he realized that someone could actually love someone of the same sex. Even though it was not something that he would do, there really was love there. And it was no different from heterosexual love -- just a different cast. I saw the lightbulb go on above his head. We need more of those moments.

The online community by its nature is more open to changing beliefs. Let me clarify... by 'online community' I refer to those who participate in online activities - not the people who just check their email and get nothing but spam and email forwards from people they know IRL. I'm talking about those of us who have made online friends and actually know cyberspace. Perhaps we didn't realize it, but we have made great changes in our lives. We have changed how we communicate with other people. Smilies are a part of our culture. We don't have to actually meet someone face-to-face to think of them as a friend. We have a sense of community that has no geographic borders. This alone is revolutionary.

Read. Post. Link. Network. Change the world.

Posted by BlueWolf on November 8, 2004 07:23 PM