Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Observing Blogs - The NY Mets (essay #4)

In today’s society, blogging has vastly spread across the whole globe, that it has actually created a community of its own. Within the blogging community, there are no limitations or requirements as to who can blog, who can read and comment on these blogs, or what you can blog about. It’s basically like an on-line journal or diary in which you can share with the whole world whatever you wish to write about, and receive feedbacks and comments from unknown readers from all over the place. There are many blogs dedicated to a certain topic and for a certain audience, but there are also blogs that are just for your personal use, like a diary of your daily life.

Having to observe and follow up on one particular blog, I chose to participate in a blog dedicated to the NY Mets. Although it is clearly stated in the header of this blog that this blog is owned by Matthew Cerrone, there are other contributors posting on this blog aside from Matthew Cerrone. Cerrone and his team blog about the Mets team in general, the minor league system, free agent tracking, injuries amongst the players around the league, as well as trade rumors. The majority of the audience of this blog is stated obvious; they are probably all Mets fans. Though I have had experience with this blog prior to observing it in greater depth, I have never participated and interacted with the readers. Being a Mets fan myself, I was eager to see what people had to say about the various topics that are posted on this blog.

Due to the fact that this is a sports blog, I was able to feel that there was a lot of tension amongst the faithful readers. People would write comments on not only the post itself, but to other people’s comments as well. This created what seemed like a conversation amongst the readers of this blog. It seemed as if there was a community that existed only within this Mets blog. It was difficult for me to keep up with all the comments on each post because there were numerous comments being posted throughout the day. Also, the blog was updated with new posts several times a day, which led me to believe that there is heavy traffic on this site.

It was a unique experience for me to keep up with a blog that is dedicated to a team in which all the participants shared a love for. However, what was even more appealing to me was how although we all share a common interest and dedication to this team, we all had such different opinions and feelings toward each topic that was being talked about. The Mets had a rocky season this past year, which left one too many fans disappointed and angry. I feel that this past season has a lot to do with what these readers were posting in response to the entries as well as towards each other’s comments. Some were positive, but there were also many comments being posted back and forth that certainly did not seem too friendly. I even experienced someone giving me a negative feedback on one of the comments I have made about signing a player to the Mets, who is currently a free agent. It wasn’t as hateful as some of the other comments I have read, it was certain that this person was disagreeing with what I had to say. Although it was not a friendly conversation, it was still exciting conversing with someone who was a complete stranger and waiting for him/her to reply back to my comments.

As I have mentioned in the beginning that blogging is for anyone and everyone, Aaron Barlow discusses in his book Blogging America, The New Public Sphere, about the growing problem of minimal filtering within the blogging community, as well as criticisms that blogging is made “too easy.” It is easy for me to relate why some people would want a “Blogging Code of Conduct,” from the Mets blog. Though we are all fans of the same baseball team, I see readers posting comments bashing on the Mets players and their performances. In return, other readers would reply to such comments by writing comments that are distasteful. There would be nasty disputes going on back and forth, some that may not even be appropriate for the younger audiences. It is difficult to filter out these kinds of comments because it is a public blog and people are allowed to say whatever is on their minds. However, it is a sports blog after all, and aren’t sports for people of all ages? It would be nice if some of these adults behind the screen were just a bit more considerate of what they were writing on these blogs for the public’s view. Not only is it inappropriate for the younger crowd, I also think it’s distasteful for a fan to bash on the team they’re rooting for. It shows bad sportsmanship, but we all know what people say about New York fans, whether it be for football or baseball.

Opposed to the minimal filtering in the blogging community, I also think there is a positive side to what the people are criticizing for about blogging being “too easy.” Blogs such as the Mets blog enables a regular everyday person to go on the site, read about their favorite team as if they were reading it in a newspaper, and even be able to write feedback and converse with other readers with a few simple clicking of the mouse. It may even be better than reading an article in the paper or watching something on the news because the authors of the website write about topics and give information about the team that news reporters would not. For some, if not most fans, blogs such as the Mets blog might be of more interest to them rather than reading or hearing news about the Mets on the radio or in the papers.

In conclusion, observing the Mets blog helped me realize that blogging can give people a sense of belonging to a certain community. When we are behind the screen it does not matter who we are or what we look like, but rather what we have to say about the topic being talked about.

Works Cited:

Barlow, A (2008). Blogging @merica: the new public sphere. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

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