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The Limits of Blogging

February 17, 2010

Excerpt from a group-written piece completed in the Opinion Writing Workshop:

Many of the obstacles to cross-cultural understanding that exist in the real world remain in the blogosphere. How many people read blogs in languages other than English, for example?

Only one quarter of the world population is using internet and three quarters are excluded from the conversation. Internet encourages the formation of niche communities around specific interests. People with same interest can easily be placed together, but how often do we seek out somebody we disagree with? And actually read him with interest?

The huge growth of blogging means that it’s increasingly difficult to randomly find the writings of strangers. Even if blogs can bring huge global attention, they refrain to do so, just because they are not known among many.

So, can blogs really act as tools for social change across cultures? Probably, not. They remain a great way of gathering opinion leaders and fostering debates in the circles of elites, but as mainstream dialogue with the capacity to reach out to grassroots there may be quite some way to go.

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