By Dr. Jeffrey Lant
I feel lucky to be alive and on the cutting edge of what is fast becoming The Age of Blogging… and you should feel the same way.
And if, by some chance, you don’t know what a blog is and how it works for your benefit, you are lucky again; I’m going to reveal the true importance of blogs and some key observations on how to derive maximum benefit from them.
Why blogging is sweeping the ‘net and the globe.
The history of machine publishing begins in 1454 with the preparation of what became known as the Gutenberg Bible. It took over a year before finished copies were available. This was thought to be — and was — a great advance; hitherto books had to be copied by hand, a process that resulted in many errors, of omission and commission.
Printing the Gutenburg Bible was a laborious process; as a result today just 21 copies are known.
Over the centuries publishing developed.
Books were easier to print… there were many more publishers to print them (thereby increasing the number of opinions and points of view available)…. and in due course publishing advanced to where books could be universally distributed and available.
But all this, important as it was, was as nothing compared to the most signal advance since Gutenburg himself.
This is the blog.
A blog is the publishing marvel which enables any person anywhere to post and distribute any message they want any time they want. It expunges the middle man, called the publisher, from the publishing equation and enables the new publishers — you! — to set their own agenda and make sure that their message is written just so… and distributed worldwide within minutes.
The implications of this development are staggering. Until just the other day (in historical terms), to get your message out to the world, you either had to persuade a publisher or his designated representative (an editor) to publish your article… or you had to establish your own publication with all the expense and uncertainty that entailed.
These days the process is radically different.
Subscribe to a blogging service. Write your message. Update your message as necessary and desirable, even daily.
And, always and forever, keep building your subscriber lists so that more and more people see what you have written.
No longer must writers cringe like Uriah Heap before publishers; you, not they, control your content and can shape and refine it to the satisfaction of a single individual — you! This has never happened before in the history of mankind and is an event of the highest significance for our species as a whole and the crucial availability and distribution of information.
So, who’s blogging?
Powerful institutions are not always known for their ability to move quickly, understanding change and working at once to use such change to their advantage. But the advent of the blog has caused many to leap into this brave new world. One of many examples is Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, a prince of the Church, beloved of the Pontiff.
O’Malley has become one of his Church’s “go to” guys in the pedophile priest scandal and its related sexual issues. Like other Church leaders, I suspect O’Malley has been grievously unhappy about the constant drumbeat of terrible press his beloved church has attracted. You can imagine his eminence’s eyes popping as he learned about the blog and grasped its implications. He probably jigged about his office…
O’Malley no longer needs to submit to the impertinent, probing questions of pesky reporters and their insistent editors. Instead, he can shape and nuance his message just the way he wants it, to the very last comma. This is an unadulterated benefit for O’Malley… though not necessarily for truth since those pesky reporters authority figures do not like… are the means of digging, digging and digging some more; now they would be, to a significant degree, cut out of the process. The O’Malley’s of the world can breathe easier.
Recently (June, 2011), O’Malley used his blog to deal with a nasty issue that had parishioners of every hue very angry indeed. A liberal priest (no, not a tautology) had announced a “liturgy to commemorate Boston Pride 2011,” an annual celebration of the city’s gay, lesbian, and transgendered community. Conservative Catholics were enraged, many of them blogging their anger.
This, then, had the result of haviing the mass “postponed” (church-speak for “it won’t happen until hell freezes over, if then”). This, of course, had the predictable result of angering the liberals… and causing their blogs to erupt in a frenzy of vituperation.
What’s a poor prince to do?
In years past, his eminence would have been forced by the hostilities of his brethren to go before the media and submit to questioning. That is not a thing princes like to do; in fact they abhor this profoundly irritating and degrading event of lese majeste’.
Now they blog… now no one ever sees them sweat… because they no longer sweat at all!
O’Malley, thanks to his growing proficiency as a frequent blogger, dealt with this more than tempest-in-a-tea-cup when HE wanted, how HE wanted… his blog carefully nuanced to his liking. In due course, working behind the scenes, with the message completely his without having to bother with reporters, the matter was solved…. at least this time.
Not as smart: the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.
Whereas Cardinal O’Mallley got the point about blogs and their utility, the Archbishop of Canterbury, senior cleric in the Church of England, did not. In the most recent (June, 2011) issue of the “New Statesman” magazine, his grace lashes out at the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition, which came to power 13 months ago. Williams was appointed in 2002 by Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Willams, way behind the technology curve, missed a grand opportunity not merely to get his message out to a worldwide audience far larger than the readership of a single magazine, but to grow his list (something no serious blogger can overlook).
He opted for the traditional paper method… and that instantly limited the effectiveness of what he had to say. Had he, instead, set up a blog and posted his message there… his readership would have exploded and he would have added a host of new readers to his blog… where he could have worked early and late to convert them to his often irritating point of view.
His grace will learn, however; he really has no choice. No “leader” of any kind does. For all, for each, it’s “blog or atrophy and die.” The same applies to you… which is why you must blog today, tomorrow, forever, or create your own irrelevance and obsolescence. a state of affairs you would really not relish.
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About The Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also a syndicated writer and author of 18 best-selling business books. Details at worldprofit.com and JeffreyLantArticles.com
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Author: Jeffrey LantThis author has published 572 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.