How interactivity is essential to an effective and useful weblog

Given that we are discussing “social” media, it is perhaps a good idea to explain how this comes hand-in-hand with interaction. The ability to express one’s opinions openly, tell stories and lessons learned from certain experiences and comment freely on others’ opinions or research is, essentially, what interactivity is.

Websites like wordpress and blogger make it possible for anyone with an email account to set up their own weblog. You can post and comment as much as you’d like. You may realize quickly, though, that this does not quite satisfy your blogging needs. Many bloggers have little to no readership. What makes blogs useful and helpful is the dialogue created with comments, whether they be friendly banter, full-on debates or neutral. These conversations that are held worldwide is what makes blogging exciting and useful. At least, this is what active blogger Alexander van Elsas believes.

van Elsas’s blog discusses new media’s effect on social behavior. He believes that the value of social media lies in the “social” part of it. It is hard to believe that we are all so tech-savvy, creative and extroverted as our interest in blogs make us seem to be. What the real draw is, says van Elsas, is the ability to have a dialogue with people with similar or different interests and opinions. I believe he makes a good point when he says that if this blogging phenomenon had turned into an outlet to merely listen to what people have to say, it would quickly die out, especially if no one was listening. Social media does not work because we are able to express ourselves… that’s only half of it. We are able to interact!

In an article called Old Values, New Media from the Journalism Practice journal, this necessity to interact is discussed in the journalism concentration. We have always, as a society, valued our ability to communicate and create dialogue with people. The internet has made it possible to do that world-wide. Now, social media has brought our old values into new media and the importance of interactivity is seen across disciplines.

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~ by Leslie Rotz on March 3, 2009.

2 Responses to “How interactivity is essential to an effective and useful weblog”

  1. Van Elsas makes a very interesting point because I always think of interactivity in solely a public relations setting, when really the concept behind all new social media is the fact that we can have an opinion and generate a response whether it be one that agrees with us or not. I also agree with the fact that social media would inevitably die if this was not a two-way social process. Most people enjoy receiving information about things that interest them, but opening up an actual dialogue about something that interests them with someone who shares that passion is what really drives the web 2.0 platform. It would be interesting to see how much readership a blog would generate if comments were disabled.

  2. I would have to agree with you and Chelsea. Creating a conversation is key to the success of social media. When you have two-way communication, people are actually responding back with one another. Listing and expressing ideas are important, don’t get me wrong but to have interactivity between two or more people is essential, special to grow. When bloggers are passionate about a specific topic, it become a perfect place to come together and share ideas. I have a blog on a snowboarding community forum and get a abundant amount of information from others that I didn’t know and also I can share information I know to other people. You Got to love that, just got to.

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