Out in the parts of the blogosphere that I’ve been looking at lately, there is a lot of talk of different kinds of privilege (more on that in a future post), but I’ve never heard anyone mention is blogging privilege. It might be expressed in classic knapsack-unpacking checklist form as follows:
- If I want, I can take an hour (or two!) to write a blog post.
- I have access to the necessary computer equipment to have a blog, and the skills necessary to use that equipment.
- I am not so fearful that I dare not write a blog, lest other people who have access to the computer and/or networks I use find out.
- People will comment on my blog post, helping me to refine my ideas and write new ones.
- People will contact me with new ideas for future blog posts.
- I feel connected to a community.
- I will have time to comment on the comments.
- I can employ moderation to silence comments that I do not like, allowing my blog to reflect a certain viewpoint.
It’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek concept, obviously, but I am trying to express a real idea (hopefully not to offensively). Not everyone gets to communicate with the world via blogs, some people have to work in the messier world of real-world interactions. Not everyone is able to invest the time necessary to blog. Likewise the experiences people whose written language skills, computer skills are lacking are erased. Similarly, people not affluent enough to afford Internet access are excluded. And finally, there are elements of luck and catch-22 for attracting an audience, no matter how good your content might be.
I am tempted to believe that the blogs we read are by definition written by people who have the time and resources to write them. My middle class social status makes equipment and access a nonissue (in fact, I even had access when I lived on a low income in the past). Blogging about this topic scares me, but not enough to shut me up. What I do lack is time (and the incentives of an actual readership) — my real life is fairly demanding giving me little time for blogging.
So, if you’re unemployed, or alone with nothing else to do with your life, remember, things may not be all you’d like, but if you’re looking to find a kind of privilege you to take ownership of, maybe you can own your blogging privilege. And as you read blogs, realize you’re not hearing all the voices; some people just aren’t here.