THE POWER OF THE BLOG

So as I write these blogs I find myself as an artist travelling through a healing process. Some of these blogs are directly produced from elements of study, some from aspects of my life and some merely as a form of release/ a channel of expression allowing me to say out loud that which my voice currently fails me on. What I don't know is what audience members feel? What they think of what I write. Do you/ they care? Does it matter? How powerful is a blog and to what purpose? So I decided to look at some bloggers to form some understanding for myself. After a discrepancy with PayPal <strong>Tommy</strong> <strong>Perman</strong> from the Edinburgh band <a href="http://foundtheband.com/">Found</a> openly blogged about the issue. While organising a tour for the band and a fellow successful artist <a href="http://www.kingcreosote.com/">King Creosote</a> (nb. I starred in various film sequences as part of a visual installation for a King Creosote album release - <a href="http://www.peacockvisualarts.com/events/282/strange-arrangements-of-light">Strange</a> Arrangements of Light by Blair Young) Founds PayPal account which contained all the earnings from the show was restricted. After blogging to a wide base of fans and openly threatening slander, Tommy saw his account restored. So why would a big giant like PayPal willingly hand back money in return for thier reputation being restored? Customer service is the answer because it is key. After all we as customers are the ones who make them money in the first place. Fellow Blogger <a href="http://tomtommoriarty.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/customer-service-2-0-name-and-shame/">Tom Moriarty</a> has always been a representative in the fight for good customer service and commonly targets such subjects in his blogs. What gives this particular blogger credit is that rather than endless derogatory criticisms of customer service experiences, Tom shows he is also willing to reward where customer service has been of an exemplary standard. In his blog "<a href="http://tomtommoriarty.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/putting-your-money-where-your-mouth-is/">Putting your money where your mouth is</a>" Tom speaks about great customer service and provides testimony to the business. So customer service is an issue and we as the general public are drawn to each others opinions. That's one of the reasons why review websites and blogs are so popular. However reviewing my own more personal and reflective blogs raises the question of how these blogs are received and what key elements attract readers. From a simple look at the 'liked' blogs I find a reflective blog of Tom's that seems popular. "<a href="http://tomtommoriarty.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/the-journey-of-pain-and-its-conclusion/">Choose despite the odds to survive"</a> is a striking title first off and though it is a reflective piece, vague in its origin, the Blogger reaches out to the reader and the reader can easily connect to the themes of pain and suffering. There is also the message of hope and Tom's job here as the Blogger is to initiate direction for the reader. Therefore the Blogger takes on the role of reference once again but for more personal aspects of life as well where to eat. In the world of acting, Glasgow acting coach <a href="http://markwestbrook.com/">Mark Westbrook </a> has hundreds of daily followers worldwide and leads the forefront in a new technique of acting called Truth in Action. Inspired by the technique of Practical Aesthetics, Mark has aided thousands of actors through his classes and through the blogs by prescribing a formula to help actors perform truthfully and respectively of the writer's intention. He writes "Experience will teach you, some good habits, some bad, little technique. Those with technique have confidence in their skills, in the ability to dissect problems and find solutions for themselves. But those with no technique, they have to rely on the <a href="http://actingcoachscotland.co.uk/blog/#sthash.Tu7IOlq0.dpuf">Myth of Experience".</a> Is there then an established technique to blogging? <em> "Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course</em>." MAXWELL, J.C, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership "<em>A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example.</em>" JOE DIMAGIO We therefore must find our own leaders and own inspiration. My lecturer at UWS <a href="http://davidscottmusic.co.uk/category/the-pearlfishers/">David Scott</a> writes some truly inspirational blogs regarding the make up and composition of songs, the music and the writing and most interestingly it's origins. For me as a writer I am intrigued by the back story which ultimately influences my perception of the end product. These blogs are therefore personal and reflective yet include the reader by exploring and explaining themes and processes. For the academic side, there is support from relevant sources adding a layer of validation to the blogs thus accrediting them. Which brings us to my final question. How do we know which blogs to trust? <strong>Do we trust the loyalty of a fan base? Do we trust the honesty that we can reward while we judge? Do we trust the Blogger who puts into action what he sells on the page? Do we trust in the establishment of others and the value of their opinion? </strong> We have only to follow what makes us progress in the right way for ourselves and this is a journey of discovery. Of bumps, bruises and investigation. If anyone reading this blog has taken anything from this blog then I it has served more than its purpose. For me, as I keep discovering- I'll keep writing! Keep Smiling :) Sarah-Beth xx

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