I’ve just spent, according to the timer, one hour five minutes and twenty four seconds watching this video, and it felt like five minutes. (That could have been due in part to the fact that it was seamless watching on Google video unlike my usual, frustratingly staccato, viewing experience on YouTube.)
It’s a really great documentary made by blogger Chuck Olsen about, yes, you’ve guessed it, blogs and blogging.
It’s divided into several thematic areas but the overarching importance is that of the conversational nature of blogs. At one point Chuck attempts to define blogging for his girlfriend and includes making comments as part of the activity.
Particularly interesting to me were the sections about the relationship between blogs and the mainstream media. Several times the point is made that bloggers and journalists are not the same thing. Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine makes the point as does Chuck himself: “I may be the media but that doesn’t mean I’m cut out to be a journalist”.
The section on Stuart Hughes‘s blog struck a big chord with me. He started blogging as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family while working as a television news producer in Northern Iraq, but soon gained a much larger and wider audience of people who found “a sense of daily life, a much more realistic and human perspective” on the events which they weren’t getting from the mainstream media.
Which is exactly where I feel blogs have so much to offer in the breaking down of prejudice and the fostering of understanding. And why the work of organisations like Global Voices is so exciting and important.
However Stuart’s story nearly ended there when he stepped on an anti-personnel mine and as a result had to have his leg amputated below the knee. He survived and his blog became “an outlet for frustration and pain”, and somewhere he found support.
As did the blog of one of Chuck’s friends when she felt suicidal.
As does mine.
If you haven’t got an hour to spare there are individual sections of footage on the left sidebar of Chuck’s Blogumentary blog.