As part of my role as Online Community Manager for my current employer (a political news and opinion website), I keep a regularly updated political commentary and blogging blog. This week, I had a bit of a success that illustrates the amazing power of blogging in today’s Internet information age.
I received some images from a source in Italy, who passed along pictures from inside Cuba. The post was picked up by two major political commentary blogs, sending me thousands of readers over a couple days. As a result of the strong attention, my post was also featured on my employer’s home page. The result: thousands of readers. The fact is you no longer have to be a writer for the NY Times or the Washington Post to share opinions, do investigative reporting, and uncover great stories. Blogging tools, right along side the many other great user-generated content tools like Flickr, YouTube, and more, have given individuals a medium through which to reach an immense audience.
A warning: If you build it, it does NOT mean the readers will automatically come. You have to work at it. One interesting thing I have learned is that blogging success is just as much about the relationships you build off-line. My blog post was linked by one of my co-workers, who’s writing has a following over at another well-trafficked blog. So, building real life networks of like-minded writers and bloggers can make a difference in a blog post story gaining momentum and buzz, and bring in more readers.
Now, this is not a regular thing. I certainly don’t put enough time and focus on my political blogging for this to happen often enough, but the point is that any regular person can do some research, foster online-relationships with distant contacts, and expose or highlight injustices worldwide.