Digital Literacy, Blogs, and Social Media

Reading response to Rettberg Chapters 2 & 3

Bloggers heavily rely on technology in order to be able to maintain their blogs.  Jill Rettberg, a professor at the University of Bergen, explains how technology has changed journalism and how the Internet and digital literacy are shaping society.

Blogging is one of the driving factors of digital literacy.  Digital literacy is quite simply society’s ability to use technology.Rettberg, similarly to Gregory Ulmer, defines how society has moved from oratory to literacy and now to digital literacy.  The driving force behind this change is technology.  Early humans just stories orally.  With the invention of the printing press, these stories could be mass printed and circulated for everyone to read.  As a result, literacy grew.  The latest invention, the Internet, allows for every single story to be easily accessible and at your fingertips.

As a result of absolutely everything being easy accessible, the audience is becoming more active.  This presents an issue to bloggers that newspaper journalists do not face. The blog must be engaging to keep the user on the blog.  There are many ways to keep users on the blog, mainly hyperlinks.

One of the most important aspects of blogging and journalism is credibility.  Hyperlinking can be one of the easiest ways to build credibility.  Linking to other blogs, news sources, videos, and other forms of information can help build a bloggers credibility.  For more about the importance of credibility, click here.  Rettberg also briefly explains how blogs are meant to be ways to communicate quickly.  Just like social media websites.

DLR FB

Much like blogs, social media websites are great places to connect.  Just like blogs, social media websites are always growing.  Social media and blogs are both forms of up to the minute communication and information.  For example, I first heard about the Boston Marathon Bombing via Twitter within minutes of the explosion.  While social media and blogs are great sources of up to the minute information, Rettberg warns they should also be treated carefully.  Companies and employers are now checking social networking websites and blogs in order to make sure the people they hire are not going to hurt the company.  Everything that you post on Facebook or Twitter should reflect who you are and what you believe but it should also be something that you will not regret posting later.  For example, I am a professional racecar driver and everything I post on my Facebook page is seen by potential sponsors.  If these sponsors see something they do not like, I will simply not get the sponsorship dollars and will not be able to race.  It is very important to pay attention to what you post and how it reflects on you.

Discussion questions:

1)    What do you think of employers looking at your Facebook and Twitter pages?

2)    Where do you see blogs and digital literacy going next?

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