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New web technology keeping the traditional media on its toes

Imai Welch | The Link | Lifestyles | January 9th, 2006



MONTREAL (CUP) -- Blogs. It's become more and more of an influence in the world we live in and part of today's media culture. These days, they are seen more as media watchdogs, helping to keep those in power stay honest.

But there is also another side to blogs. They promote artistic creativity, art's role in media, and vice-versa, along with re-establishing the "popular" in popular media.

"[Blogs] are really good mediums for people to use just to express themselves and you don't need to have the tag 'artist' on your face to be able to write something that's going to be read by other people," says Marie-Chantale Turgeon, a blogger since 2002, who runs the site www.mcturgeon.com/blog, "[Now] you don't need to have a degree in multimedia, for example, to show stuff that other people will be able to see... Everyone can now self-publish stuff."

One interesting example of this was an online art gallery-cum-museum called www.greenmuseum.org. This website had various links to other websites, galleries, artist's groups and so on, to promote environmental art. Environmental art, in this case, is contemporary art dealing with man's relationship with nature, and art generally mingled with a greater awareness and need to interpret the environment.

And speaking of which, blogs are changing the environment, so to speak, of the media world. As salon.com's then managing editor Scott Rosenberg blogged in the website three years ago: "The media world is not a zero-sum game. Increasingly, in fact, the internet is turning it into a symbiotic ecosystem in which the different parts feed off one another and the system grows."

With blogs and their role in media and its creativity, we are seeing a situation where they have now created a new version of the media ecosystem. It's starting a potential for new voices and forms of media to penetrate the media, and helping to keep the media down to earth, instead of it potentially becoming an ivory tower unto itself.

Turgeon put this idea in the context of the social impact of blogging and what she called "New Web Technologies," i.e.: blogs, videoblogs and podcasting.

"What is interesting... is really the social impact of these new technologies; people in the urban centres and outside in small cities around Quebec, for example... it's really now, like, power to the people. They now have the power to say and to express themselves, to be read by many people."

Power to the people, indeed.
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