To me, the most stunning thing about this quote is its date. Such an ability to see into the future! Rebecca's statements have held up well, nine years later.
I basically agree with everything Rebecca said in this entry. I find her opinions optimistic and empowering for a blogger. I can respect her stance since she is practically a veteran in this world of the weblog and has seen the effects of the weblog platform.
What Rebecca touts as the benefits of blogging - self-awareness, better writing skills, networking of like-minded people - inspire and encourage me to do it myself.
I have found my own niche in the blogosphere as I read three to four blogs on a daily basis. I lean towards the first style of blogging that Rebecca talks about, linking articles, highlighting points, opening a forum for discussion. My favorite blog, Jezebel.com, is like this. I'll describe it as a "post-modern" feminist blog with posts varying in topics (like fashion, TV, celebrities, news, world issues and everything in between) cast varying in feminist tones and contexts (from the staunch to light-hearted, and even inquisitive or absent entirely).
When Rebecca said that her blog made her realize what her interests were, I instantly agreed. From the moment I started reading Jezebel, I was hooked. I was interested in what "feminism" meant. I learned about it, I talked about it, I thought about how I fit into this movement. I realized that I was, in fact, a feminist. It has since become a defining characteristic that bonded me with some of my like-mined, Jezebel-reading friends (males and females!). I like the variations and evolutions of "feminism" and how its unique to each man or woman. Blogging is responsible for this!
Blogging is almost a sigh of relief in the massive black hole that is the internet, in the vacuum of our personal environments, in that each person can explore a specific and special portal of information and communication with other like-minded people. Another personal example is when I stumbled upon a fashion blog in the thick of the internet. My heart melted as I devoured page after page of some Californian half-Japanese girl's blog about her life as a buyer and seller of vintage apparel, an amateur stylist and an appreciator of fashion/art/collage/photography. Her style was unique but also totally accessible - she was the style icon for me. I'd be lost in a sea of wackness without her.
However, I have always remained a lurker in the blogosphere. Even though I read the comments on my favorite posts, I remain silent. I have also desired greatly to write a blog of my own. Even though I love to write and am bursting with opinions and topics of interest, I can't seem to convince myself that anyone would want to read me. That's my own insecurity. My high standards state that if you don't have something truly original to say, than no one wants to hear it.
I suppose this now changes because I do have my own blog and here I am writing my opinions. I agree with Rebecca, I think blogs are empowering and special once you find the right ones. Read what you like, ignore what you don't, and don't forget to appreciate that these web-based opportunities exist!