Blogging, empowerment, and the “adjacent possible”

Learning to make things changes how we understand and consume those things.

When I started reporting the news as a teenager, I read the newspaper differently. When I learned to play guitar in my ’20s, I listened to songs differently. When I first played around with desktop video editing 15 years ago I began watching movies and TV differently.

It’s the same with writing: Learning how to write changes how we read — and how we think. This is from Maryanne Wolf’s excellent Proust and the Squid:

As the twentieth-century psychologist Lev Vygotsky said, the act of putting spoken words and unspoken thoughts into written words releases and, in the process, changes the thoughts themselves… In his brief life Vygotsky observed that the very process of writing one’s thoughts leads individuals to refine those thoughts and to discover new ways of thinking. In this sense the process of writing can actually reenact within a single person the dialectic that Socrates described to Phaedrus. In other words, the writer’s efforts to capture the ideas with ever more precise written words contain within them an inner dialogue, which each of us who has struggled to articulate our thoughts knows from the experience of watching our ideas change shape through the sheer effort of writing. Socrates could never have experienced this dialogic capacity of written language, because writing was still too young. Had he lived only one generation later, he might have held a more generous view.

What Vygotsky and Wolf observed about writing, we can extend and expand to writing in public. Writing for an audience is a special and important sub-case: it’s writing with feedback and consequences. Doing it yourself changes how you think about it and how you evaluate others’ efforts. The now-unfashionable word “empowerment” describes a part of that change: writing is a way of discovering one’s voice and feeling its strength. But writing in public involves discovering the boundaries and limits of that power, too. We learn all the different ways in which we are not the center of the universe. That kind of discovery has a way of helping us grow up fast.

So when I hear the still-commonplace dismissal of blogging as a trivial pastime or an amateurish hobby, I think, hold on a second. Writing — making texts — changes how we read and think. Every blogger (at least every blogger that wasn’t already a writer) is someone who has learned to read the world differently.

I’m preparing for some public talks later this month about Say Everything, which is why I’m revisiting this ground. It seems to me that, in our current bedazzlement with the transformative powers of social networking, we routinely underestimate the practical social importance of change at this individual level.

Clay Shirky, for instance, has focused, with great verve and insight, on how the Web enables us to form groups quickly and easily, and how that in turn is reshaping society. In his book Cognitive Surplus, Shirky identifies a spectrum of values stretching from personal to communal to public to civic. The spectrum, he writes, “describes the degree of value created for participants versus nonparticipants. With personal sharing, most or all of the value goes to the participants, while at the other end of the spectrum, attempts at civic sharing are specifically designed to generate real change in the society the participants are embedded in.”

This is a useful framework for discussion. What I think it neglects is the way the act of personal sharing changes individuals in ways that make the other sorts of sharing more imaginable to them. In other words, the spectrum is also a natural progression. The person who has struggled to turn a thought into a blog post, and then seen how that post has been reflected back by readers and other bloggers, is someone who can think more creatively about how sharing might work at other scales and in other contexts. A mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change.

In his great new book Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, Steven Johnson describes the concept of “the adjacent possible.” This passage is from a recent excerpt in the Wall Street Journal, in which Johnson considers the improbable yet imaginable “primordial innovation of life itself”:

The scientist Stuart Kauffman has a suggestive name for the set of all those first-order combinations: “the adjacent possible.” The phrase captures both the limits and the creative potential of change and innovation. In the case of prebiotic chemistry, the adjacent possible defines all those molecular reactions that were directly achievable in the primordial soup. Sunflowers and mosquitoes and brains exist outside that circle of possibility. The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.

The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them. Each new combination opens up the possibility of other new combinations. Think of it as a house that magically expands with each door you open. You begin in a room with four doors, each leading to a new room that you haven’t visited yet. Once you open one of those doors and stroll into that room, three new doors appear, each leading to a brand-new room that you couldn’t have reached from your original starting point. Keep opening new doors and eventually you’ll have built a palace.

One way to assess the impact of blogging is to say that the number of people who have had the experience of writing in public has skyrocketed over the course of the last decade. Let’s say that, pre-Internet, the universe of people with experience writing in public — journalists, authors, scholars — was, perhaps, 100,000 people. And let’s say that, of the hundreds of millions of blogs reported to date, maybe 10 million of them are sustained enough efforts for us to say that their authors have gained real experience writing in public. I’m pulling these numbers out of a hat, trying to err on the conservative side. We still get an expansion of a hundredfold.

Each of these people now has an entirely new set of “adjacent possibilities” to explore. What they make of those opportunities will shape the next couple of decades in important, and still unpredictable, ways.

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Comments

  1. Great post. While blogging still seems to lack a certain credibility in the eyes of many people I talk to, it is not coincidental that the individuals who generally seem skeptical of the discipline are themselves people who do not themselves engage with it. However, ask anyone who has invested the real energy and emotional capital to write something and present it to the universe, and you invariably hear stories of personal, perspective-expanding consequences. Ok, not always, but often. But your premise that “Every blogger is someone who has learned to read the world differently” is an important proposition that needs to be considered by many. Thanks for writing.

  2. Eden

    I’m a professional poet and novelist ( with grants and awards and a few fans but still kind of confidential writer, with good or so- so reviews and I’m used to thrive with very little feedback). I have been considering writing a blog but I’m still hesitating. This post and the marvelous Stuart Kauffman quote about the “adjacent possible” are very inspiring!

  3. A quick update on the projects I outlined at the start of the year:
    Project Rhubarb is mostly done.
    Project Surround was mostly a failure. Needs to be reconceptualized.
    Project Hurricane, at this moment, looks to be a huge success (phase 1, anyway), but I can’t say that 100% for sure yet because certain papers have not been executed. But all signs point in the right drection.
    Project Rock Star started well, and stalled. Needs a restart.
    Next year’s project will look much like these:
    Project Hurricane: Execute Phase 2. Super excited about this – it will hopefully have positive repercussions for all of the other projects below.
    Project Rock Star: Restart.
    Project Surround: Redesign and restart.
    And to round things out and to replace Project Rhubarb, I declare: Project Matte – a completely personal project, part research, part implementation – it doesn’t have clear metrics of success, but has at least 2 major components, one of which, if I put my mind to it (along with some cash), can be accomplished in Q1.

    — via uncorked.org

  4. Scott, this is wonderful. I have of course experiences the transformative power of writing in public myself and watched others go through it as well. It’s really quite amazing.

    It also reminds me of this video I remember seeing from a journalism conference in Detroit. In it, a TIME journalist (presumably someone fairly seasoned in the profession) talked about how she was irrevocably changed just by being on a prolonged blogging assignment: http://www.annatarkov.com/how-blogging-changed-a-time-journalist

    I really think that blogging in particular is specific in the way it transforms the writer. That ties into my firm belief that people who began as bloggers can transition into being journalists, whatever that even means nowadays. I would love to see editors beginning to understand that it isn’t heresy to hire a blogger to write for a print product.

  5. Great post, but I think it’s interesting to note that while among some groups, bloggers are looked down upon like you said, in other groups, someone who doesn’t blog is looked down upon. It won’t be long before “Do you have a blog?” turns into “What’s your URL?” just like “Do you have e-mail?” turned into “What’s your e-mail address?”

    It’s about being able to communicate, and if you don’t take advantage of technology to do so, you’re part of an outdated trend rather than a new one.

    Plus, I completely agree with the first paragraph. Just like learning an instrument makes you hear music differently, writing makes you a better reader and communicator.

  6. This is a very interesting article about the evolution of writing and communication through the proliferation of internet technology. Given the rate that the technology has advanced, I am interested in seeing what the next decade holds for journalism, both independent and mainstream.

  7. This post certainly counters the idea that blogging is just a place for amateurs to sling mud at people who disagree with them, or post simply about what they ate that day. But certainly the practice of doing these things can improve our skills, which is what I liked most about the idea of the adjacent possible. So many ideas exist and we can’t even reasonably comprehend them until we start reaching out, one step at a time.

    The way that we do something doesn’t change the effect it has – in this case, blogging’s effect on our writing. I definitely can relate to this post in the fact that I’m never going to stop learning even after college and out in the “real world.”

    Thanks for reminding us all that we can change how we perceive things and learning is an important tool in seeing progress. Great post!

  8. Andres Cano

    I really enjoyed reading this post because the author does a great job of summarizing what I’ve always thought about blogging– that it’s just a hobby and has little impact on the way people see the world. My challenge has always been putting my thoughts into words; I do much much better with face-to-face dialogue about my thoughts and opinions. Perhaps that is my fear– learning how to get my point across in a few paragraphs.

    After taking into account what Rosenberg has said, I am excited about the opportunity to begin my own blogs. I do indeed believe that my thinking and thought-process will evolve as a result of blogging. Updating my blog and coming up with various posts will for sure be the difficult part, but, in the long-term, this is such a fantastic opportunity for me to grow as an individual, as a writer, a journalist, and a professional.

  9. Christina Silvestri

    I think that this article about writing and its fairly new medium of the online world is spot-on and quite reflective of the modern day writing style. The concept and action of writing is ages old; its form unchallenged until recently. With the recent emergence of the World Wide Web, almost anyone with Internet access can become a self-proclaimed journalist or specialist on a particular subject of interest.
    Putting one’s thoughts, perceptions and ideas into the written word is like putting pieces to a puzzle together. The words must fit together in an exact way to replicate these thoughts, perceptions and ideas. This is why the practice of writing is continual and can never be perfected.
    I quote Rosenberg in this article: “A mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change.” I could not agree more. An online presence through blogging not only encourages constructive dialogue but promotes change. Though it is important to blog accurately and fairly as a blogger, one must also take into account his/her audience and structure it in the appropriate manner to the audience at large.

  10. Andrea Martinez

    With many new palaces popping up it will be interesting to see how communication evolves in the future.

    While it’s true that blogging is “writing with feedback and consequences,” I’d like to see many bloggers discover that they are not the center of the universe. Will that hinder or help evolve our communication?

  11. Erin Saltzman

    I believe the way we are writing keeps changing. Today, anyone can call themselves a journalist. Although, blogging is a great tool to express a topic you know a lot about, it can be hard to decipher fact from fiction. I do think blogging is great way to hear a writers true voice though, because they are writing about something they know.

    Thanks for writing!

  12. Heather Jackson

    Phenomenal! I really do agree with the idea of how “Learning to make things changes how we understand and consume those things”.

    I know as a poetess, writer, and performer a lot of my pieces take a long time because I am forming my words and my delivery. I write and erase, write and erase, and write and erase again because I am thinking about how the audience will react or receive my piece. I also have the emotional aspect. I want to be able to clearly state how I feel. Then again there is the added pressure of then seeing performers that execute brilliantly on the most simple topics that also drives my sense of feeling inadequate or wanting to second guess my work.

    I completely agree that once I have to create and have seen creators creations the way I understand and consume my own poetry and even others changes. So I fully agree and have seen that in my own hobbies and profession.

  13. Josh Plemon

    I have to admit upon reading this article I was a skeptic of the credibility of blogging. However, the adjacent possible opened up my mind to the idea of blogging. I was really able to connect to its concept with the visual of the magically expanding house. In relationship to blogging, its impact is felt when dealing with the number of people you can get across to.

  14. Heather Yako

    Excellent post! I believe that blogging can really transform the way a person writes. Regardless if that person is a first time blogger or has been doing it for years. It’s a skill set that every journalist should have eventually at a point in time in their career. Blogging is a great way to see how differently people think and their views and opinions on different topics.

  15. Bianca Harris

    Blogging gives many writers, professionals or not, the ability to gain support and experience. When a person practices and uses certain skills, the better they will become and obtain more knowledge of the subject. Experience and knowledge lead to opportunity and this is how blogging can be beneficial to all. It could be personal satisfaction to blog or to share with others but it can lead to positive opportunities. The empowerment that is possible is obvious when a blogger is recognized by many listeners and followers. Blogging also allows writers to receive feedback from outside sources and allows writers to realize how they are constantly changing as writers.

  16. Richie Flores

    after reading your blog the thing that i take away from it is the idea of “adjacent possible” which i have never heard of until now and i think is a really cool idea and i think that the number of possibilities when it comes to blogging is amazing. in fact i get most of my sports news from blogs where regular sports fans who most of them have never had journalism experience deliver the goods when it come to a particular sport or team. great job by the way really makes you think.

  17. Tiana Chavez

    It is interesting to see the evolution of technology and writing. Blogging seems to be building opinions, making connections and allowing Americans to exercise their right of free speech. It is important people know how to voice their opinions in a healthy way. Blogging does not limit content which is great! I like that blogging allows the writer to be bold behind their screen and voice things they might not say face-to-face with the public. I am interested to see how credible blogging becomes for news sources in the future.

  18. Uriel J. Garcia

    As I read this blog post the author F. Scott Fitzgerald came to mind. He once said, “you don’t write because you want to say something, but because you have something say.” With blogging, people around the world have the opportunity to share what they have to say. However, it seems that blogging is looked as a tool for writers who can’t get their writings published. In contrast, a blog can be used as a tool to communicate and educate while reaching people across the world.

  19. Winnie Liu

    Great post and very interesting! I especially like how you talk about blogging is just like “Doing it yourself changes how you think about it and how you evaluate others’ efforts”. That’s exactly what i think about blogging. Although I am not a blog person but I really enjoy reading some other people’s blog because I find that would be helpful sometimes if i need some information or opinions from others. And also blogging is like another way of communication for people who are not good at making face-to-face comment but would still like to share their thought of certain subject.

  20. Emily Johnson

    At first I didn’t agree with the author when he stated that we learn we are not the center of the universe because to me having a blog, Facebook page, or Twitter account seems like some of the most narcissistic things you can create. However, as I started to think about it more I realized that when you write a blog, it isn’t simply you that you’re writing for. You want others to read and continue to read your thoughts so you must at the very least pay attention to the feedback others give you. When you read other people’s opinions it leads to discovery of different ways to think about a topic and you learn to think about other ways to say through text just what it is you think.

    Although that aspect it took a little while for me to understand where the author was coming from, right away I completely agreed with the author about how when a person is involved in a certain hobby or profession they begin to think about that thing in a different way.

  21. Selena Larson

    As Shakespeare once wrote, “All the worlds a stage, men and women are merely players.” Since then, an evolution in the written and spoken word has led to an evolution in how we communicate. It can be argued that, “All the web is a portal, and men and women are merely bloggers.”

    It is a common fallacy that no one cares what you have to say. But as bloggers and tweeters and media users have proven, at least one person probably does.

    When you begin to express yourself through words online, you begin to look at what other people write differently. You become part of a very accepting (or sometimes unaccepting) community of individuals who enjoy being a part of a online world, each one creating and distributing something completely different.

  22. Kiersten Farley

    When Scott Rosenberg mentioned when he started doing something and noticing things differently (i.e. playing guitar and listening to music differently), I think it directly reflected what Steven Johnson said about when opening one door, there were three more present. Without taking that first step or understanding the basic of an element, you will never be able to fully comprehend any subject matter. I believe that social media isn’t getting the credit it deserves. As Rosenberg mentioned, it is underestimated. Publicly writing (or writing through twitter, Facebook, or myspace) is the way to “empower” yourself and develop a voice of your own. I believe this will ultimately give you a lead on understanding writing or anything more thoroughly.

  23. Joseph Schmidt

    Well put, Scott. I really enjoy your use of the “adjacent possible” in terms of blogging. As a young person who began his journey into the world of the written word through an online medium, my talents as a writer evolved exponentially as I began to become more aware of the varied formats, styles, methods of writing that one can employ. And so I feel that I can relate strongly to the notion conveyed in this post.

    I have gone through this sort of “renaissance” at a few different times in my life — at first when I began to write prose as a teenager; again when I began film school, writing and producing my own films; and once more when I began writing for newspapers. Each of these different aspects of writing has opened doors in my own mind and allowed me to reach new heights. And as I become more aware of many more different aspects, I know my skills will expand greatly.

  24. Tia Castaneda

    This post is extremely interesting and very well done. One of my favorite quotes in the article is: “Learning to make things changes how we understand and consume those things” – I completely agree with this. Once you understand how something functions, how it applies to the world, and the difference it can potentially make… you will forever view it differently.

    I believe blogging is more than a pastime or ‘unprofessional hobby’ as so many refer to it as. Many of the non-supporters of blogging are typically people who do not blog, or do not follow any blogs that interest them. I’d have to imagine if these people found that certain niche that interests them and either started a blog about it or read a blog [or few] about it — they’d really enjoy this form of art. Blogging can bring the world together, it can make those people who feel they alone… actually feel part of a community. Blogging is a beautiful thing — but like every new form or nugget of technology, it just takes time.

    Bloggers can be women, men, children, great-grandparents, college graduates, teenagers, etc. Anyone can blog — and that’s what is so special and unique about it. And what’s really coll about blogging…? You do not have to have a degree, you do not have to please every one who reads it, you do not have to “unbiased” — you can be you. And what can be better than that?

  25. Stephanie Paeprer

    Stephanie Paeprer’s Blog Response:

    As a journalism student, I immediately identified with how this post began. Since middle school I have read the NY Times and scanned the paper for interesting articles and any information that pertained to my life or those around me. Now as I start my last semester in journalism school I view every piece of media differently now, with a new eye, if you will. From newspapers to websites to the daily news and as the article pointed out, now blogs.

    I personally have never created a formidable blog but that does not mean I do not appreciate the works and art of a creatively crafted and informative blog. Blogging has increased the worlds means of communication exponentially for both business and pleasure topics. While blogging may be criticized because anyone can create one, it does take a dedicated and intelligent soul to maintain a reputable site. Here Rosenberg touches on the great benefits such as niche writing and the ability to express personal opinion (i.e. freedom of speech).

    Blogging has become an avid communication tool for web users alike and is not going anywhere anytime soon. With that in mind, we might as well take advantage of it while we can.

  26. Brennan Smith

    I believe that this post creates an innovative look at blogging as an inspirational stepping-stone rather than a means to an end. Far too often, life is lost in getting to the destination rather than the process involved to reach it. I think as an optimist, it is much easier to look at blogs in the light of offering the chance to open new doors, as this post suggests, instead of berating the publisher as a person who is only interested in posting the mundane details of their daily life. Blogs can be utilized as a way to incite passion in the readers or offer meaning between the lines, no matter how the content is taken at face value. Publishing a blog in the public domain forces writers to expand their thoughts to meet the expectations of their readers, but also to take an objective point of view on how to improve when everything is laid out in words. I think the most important point to take from this post is that regardless of what the blog features, it is always valuable content if taken in the right context and applied to inspire people to think or react. “Keep opening new doors and eventually you’ll have built a palace”

  27. Paige Gruner

    Your blog is very inspiring, it has a lot of great truths about blogging and the things people can learn from it. I created my blog about a year ago and have found that it has made me open up my mind to so much more in life. When I first started blogging it was simply for myself, I had no other followers, no one to read my thoughts, it was my way of releasing my opinions in the world. Once I started getting followers and receiving comments on my blogs it really felt great, that I actually had people reading and giving me insight on my thoughts. Like you said, “Clay Shirky, for instance, has focused, with great verve and insight, on how the Web enables us to form groups quickly and easily, and how that in turn is reshaping society.”

    My friend who also blogs recently wrote a blog about how she is looking for an internship in L.A. Not even ten minutes after she posted it she received about three responses from her followers giving her information on opportunities. Blogging isn’t just a way to share your thoughts but also to network and create, and this is what is reshaping our society as well.

  28. Jesseca Zwerg

    After reading this blog, I found that I am less skeptical about starting my own blog. I really didn’t understand the use for it and the importance, but now I do. It is a big social network that allows people to connect and discuss various topics.

    I liked this blog a lot, because it gave me more insight about blogging and how it is helpful in our society. But, I didn’t agree with you at first about how blogs and other networking sites do not make us self centered since they seem to provide information only about ourselves. However, they really don’t. There are many people out there who are very interested in certain areas or topics and they would just like to expand their knowledge to everyone else and hope to possibly gain more knowledge as well along the way.

    Also, I do agree with the author about how blogging allows people to change their words and that they may think of ideas or topics in different ways. It gives people an open mind and more connections to more ideas. It really seems to change the way people think.

    It is motivating to me hearing more about blogging from a pro lol It sounds more fun and interesting after learning more about it.

  29. Lindsay Hoffman

    This is a great blog. I never realized the impact that blogging has. I have always known that a lot of people blog but always thought most get lost in the internet abyss. This article made me realize that writing shares ideas with the community and sparks new thoughts not only for yourself but for others and these thoughts can and will create change.

    The part about how reading and writing makes you view things differently really struck up some thoughts that I have had– in high school I was originally placed in the average English class and realized I should go to accelerated. The next year I was put into the higher level and it was like culture shock, all the kids in my class were in calculus, and used big words and I was in the lowest level math and did not have a large vocabulary. But I did not let that get me down, I still got good grades and began to learn bigger words, yet embraced being able to describe a story just as good with basic words. Even the books were so much more challenging than I expected, but to my surprise I loved the books and understood them and forever look at reading, writing and the world differently. After that class I noticed a huge change in my writing and reading abilities and learned so much and to this day I appreciate that class and look to it as a turning point in my life to become a better person, and this blog reminded me of that.

    I also really liked the motivational feeling I got from this blog. It explains how a blog gives you a voice but at the same time it gives you perspective that the world doesn’t revolve around you, kind-of like the quote that goes something like : “in the universe you are small , but at the same time the universe and world was created for you to live on.” It just really helps you realize that you have the ability to create the change that you want in yourself and others just by speaking about something important to you. I feel that it is very important to speak your mind and respect other peoples viewpoints and learn of them in order to have a greater sense of the world.

    This blog truly makes you remember that steps that may seem insignificant (like making a blog) can really make a big impact on the world and yourself. It shows that in any area of life you should not think any step is insignificant because you are noticed and you can and will make a difference. You are heard.

    Thanks for reminding me!

  30. Kalen Bigger

    Great post! When I first started to familiarize myself with the world of blogging, all I viewed bloggers as were people who just needed another place to express and force their opinions on to other people. Although, in a sense, this is still what I believe, I completely agree, “Every blogger… is someone who has learned to read the world differently,” but not only that- they have the courage to share that with the public.

    Everyone has their own opinions and own ideas, but to be able to put them all together and publish them for the world to read (and most likely criticize) is truly honorable. Having the convenience to use the World Wide Wed to search and educate ourselves on a blogger’s area of expertise is something that everyone should take advantage of.

    I love the excerpt from the Wall Street Journal that we should view “the adjacent possible” as a house that “magically expands with each door you open,” amazing way to put it!

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  31. Matt Haldane

    Ideally, bloggers should have goals beyond simply putting down words that will be seen in public. The content and style are important, too. The appeal for many to start blogging at a young age is reaching out to peers and receiving feedback from people they know (or, in some cases, don’t know). Not everyone writing a blog is necessarily developing good writing skills, although they are probably writing better than without any other form of consistent writing experience. Yet how much has social media resulted in the depreciation of language in favor of brevity? Twitter is now one of the most popular forms of online communication and it limits people to 140 characters. Most of Twitter is garbage, the most worthwhile posts coming from professionals linking to more in-depth material. The reason blogging is trivialized as an “amateurish hobby” is because many blogs do not contribute much to the larger community on the web. It can provide value to those doing the blogging who are looking for an outlet to connect with specific people, but outside that limited social network, those posts may contribute nothing or might not even be comprehensible. In the right hands, however, blogging is a powerful and useful tool. The trick is separating the wheat from the chaff.

  32. “When I started reporting the news as a teenager, I read the newspaper differently. When I learned to play guitar in my ’20s, I listened to songs differently. When I first played around with desktop video editing 15 years ago I began watching movies and TV differently.”

    I agree with you here. As we begin to learn the method behind that magic curtain we can really gain a true sense of perhaps what the person was thinking or feeling when they created the content whether it be a news package, song or home movie etc.

    An old friend of my family was a broadcast journalist for KTVQ-2 in Billings, Montana where I grew up. When I was younger and I was introduced to some of his work I was fascinated. From then on I began to really dissect newspaper articles and ask my parents loads of questions every night about what we had just seen on the 10 o’clock news.

    The same went for music when my best friend taught me how to play the guitar at the age of eleven. Music for me was never the same. I don’t know how I could ever live without music? It is so important to me and in my own writing it has been a way for me to process events both positive and negative through my music. It is now a form of therapy.

  33. Michael Hammelef

    In are world today a blog is a way to express anything that is on the mind of a person. A child to an elder old woman can post and blog. It seems today with so many eyes on the internet over seeing anything and everything the blogs that get noticed are the ones that are edgy and give someone knowledge into something they know nothing about or gives the reader the ability to learn something new threw the experience of another human beginning. Looking at a blog in the ways that Scott described gives the world of blogging some sort of direction if you will. It is as though blogger’s should be held to a higher standard now a days and they should get away from using a blog to slam someone or someone’s ideas.

  34. Daniel Jimenez

    I could not agree more to Scott’s blog. Blogging and text messages has made a profound influence of how society reads and communicates with the world. Blogging, as we know it, has evolved from a random voice on the internet, to a profession. The more a blogger is dedicated with creating new blogs, the greater his/her popularity will grow.

    Blogging has evolved so rapidly, many online users find certain blogs as a means of creditable news. These adjacent possibilities will continue to unfold, leading to new norms of blogging.

  35. Joseph Nemec

    I found this blog very interesting. This was the first blog I have ever read. I was always drawn away from reading blogs because I never really understood the meaning of them. After reading this blog though I have developed an understanding and appreciation for blogging. It allows us to connect with other individuals who share similar interests, opinions and viewpoints. Through blogging I feel I can develop an appreciation for other people and their writing. Blogs allow people to share their own experiences with readers and give them a sense of their own personality and style.
    It’s interesting how each new thing we learn; we begin to look at things differently. One really doesn’t begin to formulate an appreciation for music, writing, movies, etc. until they have an understanding of the amount of work and time that goes into producing it. Learning how to write really does change how we read. In writing, each individual develops his or her own sense of flair and personality. We are all different. Through writing my own blogs I feel I would be able to develop a whole new outlook for my own writing and the works of others.

  36. Lindsey Gibson

    This was a very fascinating article. It gave me a fresh perspective on blogging. To be honest I don’t know very much about the blogging world. I always thought that people who wrote blogs only talked about themselves. Now I realize that the blogging world is full of inspiration and individualism. There are no limitations on what a blog can be about.

    In this article it shares the idea that through blogging people are able to share their views, thoughts, and expressions to the world. The world of blogging has opened up so many possibilities for writers and readers everywhere. My favorite quote from this article was, “A mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change.” By blogging people are able to open up their minds, and see the perspectives of individuals all over the country and world.

  37. Emily Erwin

    Blogging isn’t just for professionals nor is it strictly for amateurs. I don’t know who said blogging had to be completely accurate and I don’t know why one would think that way. A world that enables people to instantly publish their thoughts for everyone to see should leave credibility to the SPJ. Blogging allows people to post what they want, learn what they want, and believe what they want. Never before have so many people be able to decide for them selves. My great Aunt Wanda is nearing her 80th birthday and believes if she reads something it must be fact. But the blogging world has learned that we should know better. We don’t have to believe everything just because it shows up in a Google search. What’s beautiful about blogging is if you don’t believe what you read, write a blog. So, well said Scott.

  38. Molly Smith

    This post has encouraged me to take blogging more seriously and to look into it as a new medium to develop my skills. I’ve always felt that blogging was only meant for certain people, but Rosenberg explores the idea that, with enough practice, more people could write interesting blogs. As an aspiring journalist who has often contemplated the idea of a blog but decided against it because I felt I had nothing useful or eloquent to say at this point in my life, I’m reconsidering my position. One’s blogging talents may begin as rough words, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Though sometimes I feel as though there is nothing I could say that hasn’t already be said, as mentioned in the excerpt of Steven Johnson’s Wall Street Journal article, maybe there is something in my head that hasn’t been said yet. Buried in there could be an original thought, waiting to be discovered in the expanding boundaries of my ‘adjacent possibilities.’

  39. Aaron Wylam

    I tend to think of blogging as an extension of journaling that gives writers an opportunity to share their thoughts in a way that wasn’t possible before. People have written private journals chronicling their lives and ideas for years and, in rare instances, journals are published and open up the writer’s life to public review. Most, however, remain hidden and die with the writer. Blogging provides an open forum that can outlive the writer and bring him or her to public attention, even on a small level.

    I like what Shirky says about the web allowing groups to form. Today it’s so much easier to find people with similar interests and correspond or form clubs. I have to wonder if the Tea Party, which came together so quickly during Obama’s presidency, would have had the strength in numbers to become as strong as it did without the internet allowing its supporters to connect.

    One of the downsides I see to blogging is that it also provides a level of anonymity under which people will write obscene and hurtful things they would never say out loud. Even though there are fantastic blogs with insights on countless topics, there are also blogs used to stir animosity and fear. Free speech is something we cherish in the United States but the anger that comes from blogs and their comments hurt the credibility of blogging. I wish people were more considerate about what they write rather than allowing those few seconds of intense emotion about a subject to dictate their responses.

  40. Michelle Berbling

    I really enjoyed reading your blog and found it eye opening. I have no experience blogging. I have however, tweeted, updated my Facebook status and written many papers expressing my thoughts on whatever I thought was worthy of sharing to others at the time. It seems to me that any great writer, whether they appear in the form of a blogger, novelist, or journalist, needs to have read a lot in order to reach their full writing potential. It does, indeed, expand the awareness and creativity of the writer, specifically if it is displayed to a public. Blogging, especially, both opens certain freedoms and blankets others. When you described writing for an audience as “writing with feedback and consequences”, it most definitely does just that. Freedom of writing from disclosure of ones identity can only go so far when people are listening.

    This was a very inspiring read. I believe it will give me a different outlook for the blog I will be jump-starting soon in my online media class.

  41. Mitchell Pearce Bley

    I’m just starting a new Digital Media class as a sophomore in college and I’ve never had much appreciation for blogging. I used to be one of those people who dismissed “blogging as a trivial pastime or an amateurish hobby.” I think the main reason for this was because I didn’t think it took much creativity or skill to blog. The amount of misspelled comments or often extremely rude political/social rants that I was reading every day on YouTube videos or news articles made me think that every blog I might read would end up exactly like that- a misspelled, ignorant view of the world. However, I’ve been introduced to blogging because of my class and I think your point is spot on, reading and writing blogs DOES change how we read and think. We may not agree with everything that is being said but it does open up opinions and views of the world that we may not have thought of before. It takes skill to get your thoughts across clearly, to market yourself so people are actually reading your blog, and to write something interesting enough that people will keep coming back for more. Just by reading a few blogs I now am interested in something I felt a certain disdain for before and I think that itself is a testament to its importance in our society.

  42. Society has adapted to the progressive nature of our world by giving us the opportunity to share our innermost thoughts and daily antics online. Cultural, ethnic and geographical gaps are shortened drastically, if not closed all together. Rather than tagging the blogosphere as a hotbed of conflicting opinions and overzealous statements with no factual basis – we have the opportunity to seek out the reality of a situation first, and read a blogger’s reaction second. We gauge our own thoughts, compare them, and are able to make clearheaded decisions based upon that process. In an atmosphere as fast paced as our own, it’s a humbling experience to learn that those online have similar experiences and reactions to share with ourselves. Great post, Mr. Rosenberg.

  43. Katie Kunkel

    Interesting post!

    I always find it amusing how I can read a piece of writing and interpret it a certain way, and just a few months later I can read the same piece and see it in a whole different light.

    By reading pieces more than once, I learn more about myself and how I have changed. In this same way, I have found that blogging can help me identify myself and illustrate the growth I make throughout the years (as a writer and as a person).

    I definitely agree that blogging is more than just a pastime or hobby. It’s a way for people to identity themselves, learn from the past and develop into more successful individuals.

  44. Connor Radnovich

    Certainly the most interesting part of the “adjacent possible” idea for me is the fact that so many people can be reached this way. It really is extraordinary. A slight change of phrase in a piece could open “doors” that otherwise may not have been approached.

    Writing is an exploration of many worlds for both the writers and readers. It truly doesn’t matter where the writing located – even Facebook posts can spark an exploration. The only thing that matters is that ideas are being shared between people. Like you said, the internet surely helps this process, bringing people, who otherwise would never meet, together in a deep way through words.

  45. Alex Gregory

    I really appreciate the assertion that blogging is useful in more than one traditional way.

    I’ve been hesitant to start a blog because I’ve been focusing too much on the most inside-the-box question possible: “What important stuff do I even have to say?” However, this post helped me to realize that blogging isn’t always about the inside of the box.

    Whether or not I say something important with every blog post, at least I’m opening doors out of that box– developing my public communication thought processes and building that magical palace.

    In light of the ‘adjacent possible’ theory, I’m even more excited to see what digital communication will enable– for both me and for society as a whole.

  46. Josselyn Berry

    My views on blogging have certainly changed since they first became popular. I first thought they were misused, commonplace and dull. This was because the ones I found were mere journals of people’s daily life. Now blogging has become more refined and is a more effective tool for communicating. In the past I didn’t blog, as I thought it would only be a diary and who would care about that? Now I realize I can use my experience and knowledge in a different way and pass it on to others. As you mentioned we all have our own perceptions on life. If I am interested in other people’s views, why wouldn’t people be interested in mine?

  47. Alex Lancial

    What you said about learning the basics of how something works or how to do something helps you to understand its complexities in a different way is thought provoking and insightful. Whenever I start a new hobby or learn about something foreign to me it gives me power to view that thing in a different perspective. I absolutely agree with you that when you start to blog and learn about blogging you get the same sort of power.

    The way you related this to Johnson’s excerpt was even more inspiring. When we learn about anything all kinds of opportunities reveal themselves. I have experienced this with many different hobbies but only slightly with blogging. Frankly, I didn’t think anyone would even see my blog besides close friends and relatives; but after one stranger “reblogged” me I felt this strange sort of responsibility to be informed about what I write and share with others. I think this is the feeling you are talking about.

    Of course, it seems limiting because you realize that someone is watching what you write, but it is in fact empowering because what you write is no longer going into a virtual journal, it is being shared. Ultimately this empowerment gives us a greater calling to write better, explore new topics and discover the “adjacent possibilities”. Thank you for your post it was truly inspiring.

  48. As I was reading your post, Scott, I found myself nodding my head in agreement. One year ago I entered the blogosphere hesitant that I would become just another person with a mediocre blog. I thought about all the blogs out there with so much information and how mine would get lost in the mix. Throughout the course of my experience blogging I realized that every person’s blog really does count.

    Through writing on my food blog, Gourmet Gab, I discovered the magic of turning daydreams and thoughts about food, flavors and restaurants into words, paragraphs and content. I learned to appreciate all published works, whether a book or a blog, because I now understand the process from turning ideas into a finished product for the public to see. Now, like you pointed out, after blogging for others to read, I take in content through a new set of eyes with a changed mindset.

    I appreciate how you shed light on the positive aspects of social media and I look forward to sharing this article with others!

  49. Dani Schenone

    Until recently, I shared the common view of blogging you described in your post. I dismissed it as a hobby, and one I needn’t add to my busy schedule. Even more so, I deemed it as a community that weakened the credibility of an already struggling industry, journalism. Countless StumbleUpon encounters, blogging friends, and now your post, have since inspired me to start my own blog. After reading this, I have even more of an interest in the blogging community, and specifically, what it can do for my line of work as a journalist. Your information on the “adjacent possible” has not only given me one more reason to begin the journey of blogging, but it will inspire many others to do the same! Great post!

  50. Stephanie Russo

    I’ve never been one to blog, but I can see how blogs have evolved into a powerful tool in our society, especially given your idea of empowerment.

    There are of course millions of blogs with a large variety of topics. However, blogs have the power to give the once unheard a voice. The shy are suddenly heard not only by their peers or coworkers, but by people from all over the world. Perhaps a young student who has issues connecting to people within his or her school decides to start a blog to post thoughts and feelings. Soon that student will surely receive feedback from others who share and understand those feelings. That connection, even if it spans across millions of miles, has an affect on that shy or insecure blogger.

    Blogs also have the power to draw attention to issues that may not be widely recognized. The issues might not have enough grandeur to be covered by local or national newspapers, but no doubt they will affect some people in some way.

    There is also a limit to that power, with naysayers or “trolls” becoming so frequent. Authors and journalists have critics, and as blogs have evolved into a powerful force, they gained critics too. Not only do these trolls point out a blogger’s flaws, but they also spam that blog. Not only do those trolls diminish the power of the voice of the blogger, but they also may prevent readers from returning.

  51. Kayla Frost

    Every once in a while I wonder whether blogging is beneficial, but then something happens to remind me of its merits. Lately, I’ve realized blogging helps me become a better writer–a point you touched on. Writing for the public is entirely different from writing for myself. It’s more difficult, surely, because I constantly have to think and rethink my ideas, word choice, organization and details. But once I’m done, I always feel like I worked out my thoughts much more completely. When I know other people can read my writing, I have to consider more than just my perspective and anticipate how people will receive it.

  52. Mauro Whiteman

    Pardon me if I sound a bit too philosophical in this response; however, I feel that the very concept of the “adjacent possible” is philosophical in nature.

    During the Renaissance, Pico Della Mirandola spoke of man’s magnificence as the gift of choice and the infinite possibility that comes along with it. As humans, we have the potential to create a world that was only a dream–a lofty figment of imagination–a few years ago. And like the example of a house that continually grows, man’s own ingenuity increases exponentially with every new advancement (be it technological or otherwise).

    Although blog will likely carry a negative connotation for years to come, I believe that the idea of individuals as self-publishing authors is a great advancement for mankind as a whole. Imagine someone before the invention of the Gutenburg press trying to fathom the day when every person on Earth can access a world wide web and produce content for others to read and interact with. I think that stands as a testament to the power of man to achieve nearly limitless creation.

    I don’t think many would argue conceptually that blogging will improve a person, but I do find myself hesitant to think that all bloggers make a good use of the technology (especially in a manner that would be beneficial to both self and society). Of course, that’s simply my own judgment, and I’m sure other people find Perez Hilton more informative than J. David Goodman. I prefer to consider myself not part of that group.

    Please don’t consider me too cliché when I repeat the words of Uncle Ben in the 2002 Spider-Man, but I’m a firm believer that “With great power comes great responsibility.” As such, I believe that man has a great power with the ability to blog, but we must use such a technology responsibly to ensure that it is for the betterment of society.

  53. Kelsey

    What struck me the most about this article is the concept of learning by doing, and the process of expanding and growing our own boundaries through attempting to break those that we self-impose upon ourselves. It is through trial, error, and success that we find empowerment. Picasso’s first work of art didn’t receive critical acclaim, nor did Steven Spielberg’s first homemade movie. However, by presenting these expressions of the self to others we slowly break down those walls and begin to view things in ways we had never seen before.

    Blogging can act in the same way. By presenting ideas, opinions, stories or concepts to others in a public setting, we find a new voice and continue to grow, refine, and see things in a new light. However, this is criticized by many. Maybe it is because we are presenting our growth, instead of our fully defined, “Louvre quality” work. Hopefully, we can begin accepting growth to be just as meaningful as perfection. We all have to start somewhere, and those raw voices often have a lot more to offer than people realize.

    Thanks for your article!

  54. Aiyana Havir

    I was very impressed with what Scott had to say about blogging. Prior to reading this post, I would say my opinion about blogging was rather nonexistent because I failed to see the importance of what it has to offer. I assumed it was multimedia facet for people to word-vomit their opinions on the internet. However, the way Scott explained the relativity of blogging helped me to see its pertinence in a different way.

    “Learning to make things changes how we understand and consume those things.” As living beings we are growing, changing, and evolving throughout our entirety. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new. I interpreted Scott’s message of learning as it being a boundary of creation, which means that if we take the responsibility to create, we must also take the responsibility to learn.

    Because I value this creative learning process, it encourages me to become a blogger and also to read more blogs for me to be the better reader and writer that Scott discusses. I want to commit to changing the way I think, and I look forward to see how blogging can help me achieve this.

  55. Preston Sotelo

    From the start, I viewed blogging as a developmental stage for me in my journalism career. A place where I can hone my writing skills, express my passion for my interests and then connect to a larger community of people who also share such interests. Then I can use it to help evolve my career in exciting, new directions. In that way, the concept of “adjacent possible” that you mentioned perfectly summarizes my initial feelings toward starting a blog of my own. But, reading your blog has made me a believer that such a blog can easily be integrated into the brand that represents me as a professional. I’m now convinced that a blog need not be considered the work of an amateur, but a writer whose style and image evolves with the blog. I have always had an interest in starting a blog and have done some research on various blogging websites, but never really got around to starting it. After reading this inspirational post, I am more excited than ever about starting my own blog.

  56. Kelly Andersen

    I completely agree, and I loved the citing of the adjacent possible. Better writers make better people. Someone who can write well can usually read well, and vice versa, and people who read know more, period. Blogging is so much more effective than we give it credit for. My dad was fervently blogging about the candidate of his preference during the 2008 election, just because, and one day, the campaign committee of the opposing party cited his work on a different page, commenting that they thought the blogging was so intense, it must be done by someone paid by the party’s committee. Well, my dad was never paid, except for perhaps in personal satisfaction.

    Blogs, be they about fashion, music, politics, religion, are a forum for ideas. And since the internet is boundless, how can we claim that there’s no point to publishing on it? Even if no one ever reads your blogs, at least you took the time to write it and develop your thoughts.

    It’s interesting how blogs have no end goal. The goal is to have no end, to continue growing. Much easier in this century than in those without internet access.

  57. Hannah Shive

    As blogging has opened up countless opportunities for a writer to journey through self-expression and self-discovery, it has been critiqued as a narcissistic or even pointless outlet. Your article has proven that this is simply unfounded. The power of public writing transcends one’s self; its ability to proliferate ideas and opinions continues to open doors (both literally and figuratively) that will shape the evolution of society for years to come. Both insightful and inspiring, this post has achieved its very purpose: to unlock the voices of a generation that will change the world.

  58. I really enjoyed reading this blog. I agree with the idea that in order to learn, people must do. I think that bloggers lack credibility and I understand why. There is never a promise that what we read online from a blogger is factual unless we also research the topic as well. However, we get our information by doing research and it does not hurt to get another persons insight on the subject. I believe that blogging is a very good tool in learning and sharing. Reading other peoples blogs also pushes people to look for accurate information, and it creates more interest in the topic.

  59. Charissa Heckard

    I agree with a lot of what was stated in the blog entry. I believe that the more people understand the purpose of blogging, the more popular it will become and the more credible people will view the writings of bloggers.
    I used to be closed minded when it came to blog writing thinking it was like an online diary where people dumped their emotions. I was very wrong. I quickly learned that blogs can bring people with similar interests together and create communities about various topics.
    A lot of people, like myself, believe that blogging has no value, but I learned quickly that it does have value and I think it needs to be realized.
    What Scott had to say was a perfect example of how people need to stick up for blogs and blog writers. I enjoyed it and I hope that people start receiving blogging as a more credible source of writing.

  60. Scott, this is a great post! I can attest to the idea that when publishing online content in a blog format, new ideas and innovation in content can spur.

    I began holding a personal blog years ago, one with little interest from readers other than family members. From this blog, I have encountered numerous bloggers and have expanded my idea of blogging. What was once an outlet of word vomit, transitioned to a structured and organized collection of personal thoughts and events.

    Through this, I have connected with many different bloggers. And through connections, I read their content, and their Blogroll and discover new ideas. This leads me to another blog on another topic, and in another circle of bloggers. The progression is endless.

  61. Charles Hall

    The opening analogy is very applicable to everyday life. It helps me to understand why people are interested in certain things. A doctor understands the human body and how it works, so looks at every meal in terms of what the meal is going to do, good or bad, for the doctor.

    In the same way a journalist, or someone who understands writing and sending a message, looks at other people’s writings and see’s the message being sent. People who take no effort in understanding the world around them let are the ones most susceptible going through life with out ever receiving the correct message and thus are lost.

    The same applies to blogging and it will be interesting to see what “the adjacent possible” comes to be interms of blogging and its future.

  62. Blogging has fascinated me for years and I’m happy to read an eloquently worded argument on its behalf.

    I find the metaphor of the room with four doors remarkably pertinent. Even in my own humble experiences with blogging I’ve engaged people and sparked conversations and thoughts that would not have begun without either what I’ve posted, or the visit I paid to another blog.

    Blogging is often dismissed with a quick wave of the hand under the notion that it’s a group of 16 year old girls ranting about their latest heartbreak. While this faction exists, it’s not the demographic by which to judge the whole blogosphere.

    As with anything else, blogging is defined and its legacy is created by those who participate in it. Some of the best (and worst) writing I’ve read has been on a blog. Both extremes, as well as the vast middle, exist purposefully. All who blog, as Scott’s post suggests, are on their own path to opening new and ever expanding doors.

    Thanks for adding to the blogging world, Scott!

  63. Sebastian Zotoff

    Great article. I completely know what you’re saying. If you look at that now you can almost argue the same thing about YouTube has made everyone a potential short film maker. It’s the internet that changed the world ever since AOL launched to Windows in 1991. Seriously before youtube the only people that made movies were filmmakers.

    But going along the lines of blogging, yes it has changed everything. Anyone can be journalist, a columnist, a short story writer, or any other thing that expresses one’s personal thought to the public. Journalism is becoming a hobby, and I find that sad.

    I read blogs often and I really love blogs, but I feel as though there was a certain charm to reading a newspaper. It’s like the difference between a photo on a film camera and a digital camera. There’s just something special about holding a newspaper, and getting your fingers dirty that makes me miss it.

  64. Torunn Sinclair

    I could completely relate to this post, Scott. I very much liked the beginning example where you spoke about being able to see things in a different light once you became involved in that hobby.
    I feel the same way, you are able to understand and appreciate the hobby more once you become involved.
    I also loved the “Adjacent Possible” concept. Blogging is a perfect example of one door opening and three doors being behind it. For example, the idea of citizen journalism. Many people create blogs and do the research and reporting themselves. This has created a situation where news organizations aren’t in control of the news anymore-anyone can snap a photo, write a story, and post it on their blog.

  65. Leila O'Hara

    As a writer, I agree that my writing is constantly evolving based on feedback from editors and peers. My writing changes based on the topic, the story, the format, and the tone required.

    Blogging has the ability to reach a wide audience, while being profound and meaningful in some cases. It can be about a broad topic, or a very specific topic, reaching certain interests just like The Food Network and the Travel Channel. There are no doubt endless “adjacent” possibilities in the world of blogging, as the World Wide Web continues to evolve in exciting ways.

    The most thrilling thing to me about blogging is that the user is entirely responsible for creating content. All of the power is in the hands of the writer, which is at times both frightening but also inspiring if the writer has something meaningful to say.

    As a girl with very limited experience in the world of blogging, I am excited to learn more about a field that has just as much potential to reach a vast audience as newspapers and magazines.

  66. Olivia Khiel

    I really enjoyed this article. So many times I have been dismissed when I say that I keep two different blogs to organize and express my thoughts about the things that interest me. It is refreshing to see that someone acknowledges that blogging is a great form of writing that allows people to share their thoughts and opinions in a unique way.

    Being a good writer is something that truly does take practice and dedication. When someone dedicates their time to writing when they are not required to, this is something that goes above and beyond and should be celebrated. I blog about my interests proudly because it is my forum to express myself and take in other people’s ideas and views as well. Great article.

  67. Hayden Packwood

    I am glad I had the opportunity to read such a well written blog post, one that finally shows the true potential of the art of blogging.

    I have wanted to start my own personal blog for quite some time now, but I have always thought I would be frowned upon by potential employers if I did so. As you put it, blogging is often seen as a “trivial pastime or an amateurish hobby.” You and others like you, however, bring credibility to the blogging world. You have unlocked, for me and probably many others, the true potential of what blogging can do.

    Blogging gives everyone the opportunity to self-explore. You can put your ideas out to the public to see who is reading your writing and what they are saying about it. It is such an interesting opportunity and I, also, am eager to see what everyone does with these new “adjacent possibilities”.

    Thank you Scott for the post and the enlightening experience.

  68. Tara Boyd

    The idea that writing for the public shows us quite clearly that we are not the only ones with thoughts and ideas is true. Many people blog, but the vast number forces writers to become more creative and truly define their subject. Carving out your niche will definitely change the way you read other posts. If it is on the same topic, you may wonder what was left out or question the way they presented the material. If the post is on a completely different topic, you begin to make connections and create threads tying the two seemingly different pieces together.
    Creating these connections also opens new opportunities, like you mentioned. Once a connection has been made, the writer can choose to run in a new direction.

  69. Alexandra Lasch

    It is interesting to see how much the world has changed from the aspect of public writing. Being a student and new to the world of blogging, I feel as though I have the power to voice any opinion. As the cliché saying goes, we have a blank canvas and are free to express ourself as we wish.

    I really enjoyed Scott’s view on the adjacent possible and how easy our understanding of concepts can change. He was correct when he said, “Learning to make things changes how we understand and consume those things.”

    When you stop to think about how much we learn from actual experiences themselves, it’s mind blowing. You can’t judge anything until you give it a full chance. It takes time and patience, but the reality of growing and learning is worth it. Blogging has changed writers and the public into becoming a more open and interactive community.

  70. Daniel Adam Escobedo

    This post is very insightful and well written about a subject I know very little about. Blogging is defined differently for me because of how passionate and knowledgeable your post is about blogging. I like many others was ignorant and thought of the stereo typed loser in his mother’s basement as a blogger.
    Of course there might be some bloggers that are vulgar or have radical ideas. Although now I am able to realize they are not the majority but there are serious bloggers who take great pride in their work. Blogging can be a very helpful tool into becoming an effective writer.

  71. Sonya Chavez

    I think the biggest fear when dealing with online media is credibility. Today, anybody can create a blog and put their view on any given topic out to the public. I like where Scott says “Doing it yourself changes how you think about it and how you evaluate others’ efforts.” It is here that we are able to see that the more as a writer you are publishing yourself the more you are bound to hold others accountable for what they are writing.

    Personally I have never created my own personal blog, and I enjoyed reading this because it showed a different aspect to blogging and how this form of media is having an effect on the world.

    I think when many think of blogging there is some stereotypes that go along with the subject and do to those stereotypes people tend to stay away from it. However, after reading this blog post by Rosenberg I am excited to not only learn how to blog, but also creating my own blog to help my career as a journalist. Blogging allows you to have self-expression, build a network and social community, and get your name and work out to the public, which can only open more doors for you professionally if done right.

  72. Monique Zatcoff

    Well written and explained post!

    When I first heard the term blogging a few years ago, I was under the impression it was an online journal open to the public’s eyes. What I think this post presents though, is the flip perspective about the negative connotations that blogging often receives.

    As a college student, I can attest that we are often advised to stay away from using blogging sites as sources in research papers or referencing to them in general. However, what Scott brings up in this post is that blogging opens up a whole new world of writers who are exploring their abilities and passions. While blogging may be filled with people’s opinions, it’s really a form of expression and a lot of bloggers gain expertise the more they delve into a particular subject.

    For me, blogging is a way of creative writing that I feel journalism often shuts its doors to. Blogging opens up a world where we can be expressive and like Scott mentions, “writing is a way of discovering one’s voice and feeling its strength”. Not only is blogging helping writers discuss important subject matters and passions, but it’s allowing them to find their voice and personality and learn about the art of writing in a space with no boundaries…except the public.

  73. Erin O'Connor

    I don’t have much experience with blogging, but I appreciate the idea of using a blog as a tool to expand one’s knowledge on a certain subject. My vague familiarity with blogs is dealing with video production and finding answers to technical problems I may be having. I rarely question the credibility of the source since there is little room for opinion within the technical landscape. I use blogs as a stepping stone, or a threshold to one of Steve Johnson’s four doors. I agree that blogging is more than a past-time and serves as an essential service to the community in the shadows of this ever expanding digital age.

  74. Haley Buntrock

    I very much enjoyed reading your blog post, Scott.

    I started a personal blog in high school that I used more as an online journal. After attending journalism school and realizing that blogs are public knowledge and can be found anywhere on the internet, I was smart enough to delete my rant-like high school blog.

    I very much appreciated the power you mentioned here:

    “Writing is a way of discovering one’s voice and feeling its strength. But writing in public involves discovering the boundaries and limits of that power, too. We learn all the different ways in which we are not the center of the universe. That kind of discovery has a way of helping us grow up fast.”

    I have grown up fast and realize the “adjacent possible” is how I now feel about blogging.

    I enjoyed this post very much and look forward to all of the endless possibilities as I embark on starting another, more grown up blog of my own.

  75. Osej Serratos

    I really enjoyed the post because of the idea behind blogging. It allows for so many people to create all these little worlds realities and communities on the internet for specific communities,
    I think it’s important to note that the act the blogging can lead to an inner exploration, a type of self evaluation that soon leads to a discovery of motivation I.E the possible adjacent. It can provide a window of opportunity for an expansion of ideas.

  76. Vanja Veric

    This is a really great post Scott!
    I find it interesting how people use to look at bloggers as whining amateurs who just used their web pages as their own personal diaries. There were so many negative stereotypes associated with blogging that I think led many people to steer clear of it.
    I love that that mentality is starting to shift. When you really think about how much work goes into consistently maintaining a blog- all the time, dedication and creativity that it entails- you gain a whole new level of respect for bloggers. They are out there putting their knowledge, research and opinions out for the whole world to see and that not only takes a lot of work, but also a lot of courage.
    Writing for the public is certainly not easy and is something that should be celebrated whether it comes in the form of an article or a blog post.
    It’s fascinating to me to see how other people interpret information and the different views they have on topics. Seeing the way someone else views a subject really makes you think and reassess the way you look at things. Like you said “A mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change.”
    After reading this, i’m not only excited to learn more about blogging but i’m really intrigued about finally starting my own personal blog.

  77. Mohamud Ali

    I see Blogging as a platform for people to express their opinion without any influence whatsoever. It is where one expresses the basic right of freedom of speech while at the same time perfecting ideas that could be useful. Someone like me, who feels shy to express my opinion, might find blogging as a secret space to practice my thought before presenting to the market place of ideas. No doubt that this is a place that builds one’s creativity.

  78. Caitlin Cruz

    This post is intriguing because it counters the traditional view of writing which discounts bloggers. But the portion that struck me the most was this sentence: “Doing it yourself changes how you think about it and how you evaluate others’ efforts.” While Scott Rosenberg was talking more specifically about writing as he progressed, it made me think about every aspect of journalism. As I work in a daily newsroom, I find myself constantly re-evaluating how I work in regards to everyone else’s skills. In doing this, I remember I have consistent room to grow and people around me to teach. Rosenberg’s writing on blogs and their power to impact others (as well as ourselves through public writing) is intriguing because it opens new connections. The connection between reader and writer has become much more public with blogs and social media.

  79. Haley Madden

    As an aspiring journalist and student at Arizona State’s Walter
    Cronkite School, I quickly related to the introductory discussion of
    the progression of our ability to interpret the different artistic and informative forums around us.

    While a song may have had a significant impact on me for
    its intriguing beat, it now strikes me for its instrumental story or its
    ability to tell a story. I now notice an underlining theme or the undertones
    in an article before I pick out the surface facts. I find myself
    trying to look into what I do not initially notice as opposed to the
    blatant points. I feel that is something Rosenberg tries to stress to
    his audience.

    While noting Rosenberg specifies with elements such as telling a story
    and learning the basic limitations put on us as writers, poets,
    bloggers. what have you, his closing point is worth remembering and
    utilizing: blogging equals infinite possibilities. More specifically,
    it is what you do with the possibilities in front of you rather than how many you see.

  80. David Sydiongco

    I have come to understand blogging as a prime example of what the prime example of the internet’s greatest strength: the uninhibited spread of free information. It is a communication platform that allows even the most unlikely and challenged individual to express their opinions, beliefs and knowledge of a wide audience, while simultaneously allowing said audience to provide personal feedback and commentary on the original poster’s content.
    This exchange creates something truly valuable. It allows parties of entirely different backgrounds, locations, outlooks, belief systems, and so on, to form a line of communication that would otherwise not exist in any other medium.
    Gaining feedback and knew found knowledge on one’s work from previously unreachable parties is inherently valuable to the creative process. So while blogging maybe come under fire in for its supposed “lack of professionalism” in modern media, one must remember that these writers are being granted insight and feedback rarely found anywhere else.

  81. Harmony Huskinson

    In many ways, writing is organization. Writing for the public is super-organization. I picture the brain as a stew, with different chunks of potatoes, carrots and meat bumping into each other and creating new and interesting flavors. Writing for the public is a bit like if you homogenized the stew in a blender. It still has the same ingredients, but they have violently melded together into something you would never quite expect. It’s an odd analogy, but this “adjacent possible” is all the new ways to improve your stew. You rethink things and people criticize your work and tell you what ingredients to take away and what to add.

    As for the focus on individual development via public writing, the revolutions in the Middle East have done more than unite the poor and conquer some injustice. Fueled by social media, they have given the individual the power to express himself and therefore empower himself. If that doesn’t “shape the next couple of decades in important, and still unpredictable, ways,” I don’t know what will.

  82. I learned since early years at school that someone can learn by doing and the more you experience and do the more you would learn. In fact, when my brother asks me that he is not sure if he understood his math lesson, I advice him to explain it to his colleagues who need help, this is how he can master the topic. It is only by communicating the thoughts and pushing them outside our brains through written or spoken word, we rethink them through that particular process.
    However, it never crossed my mind that bloggers go through that process as Scott emphasized in the article!!! So as bloggers try to explain certain topic to the readers, in fact they helped themselves understanding it in the first place and most likely it was not their first thought!!! Another dimension is the reflection to written words by readers contributes to the whole understanding.
    Albert Einstein said- “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” By communicating our ideas, we certainly refine them, and understand them more.

  83. I can very much relate to the concept of how practicing a skill gives you a new profound perspective. After my first perspective drawing class, I started seeing my surroundings in lines coming together to a specific vanishing point, and that is when I realized that studying design is surely changing my view of the world around me. I was and still am very confident about the work I have produced in my undergrad years; however, during my senior year and as I was preparing my portfolio, it suddenly hit me. There are some projects that I cannot include in there, and it is not because they are not strong enough, but because I was being extra careful of what to share and not to share with the real world. Designing and presenting to my professors puts me at ease, with them always pushing me to step out of the box, be innovative and push all boundaries.

    Social media is similar to that experience. I find that especially now with this time and age, we are scrutinized on every little word we say. Being an employee in one of the world’s largest oil company’s doesn’t make it any easier. We examine, re-examine, and rethink every word that we put out there, for we are held accountable. Weather we are creating a blog, being social on Facebook or simply tweeting, retweeting or even following specific personas, we are putting our thoughts under the microscope making sure that there is no harm that is going to happen once these ideas are out of our brain.

  84. Hussain I Al Salman

    I really like this” It’s the same with writing: Learning how to write changes how we read — and how we think.” It is truly correct. Moreover, It’s the same with dealing, learning how to deal with others changes how we act and react. I believe that social media enable us to share ideas, it’s cut the barriers and enable us to think, express, and discuss what we believe in an efficient ways.

  85. Rania Biltagi

    Write your story
    I may be an anomaly for my age group in that I’m not an overly active blogger as I have a tendency to be quite proprietary over my thoughts and who I share them with. That’s not to say that I won’t read and respond to blogs that I’ll stumble upon in my search for an answer to some question or when I’m trying to find a personal insight on the war in Syria. When I read someone’s blog, I often find myself reading them in the voice of the author (or how I imagine they would sound like in person), and that brings the subject to life for me. It’s a much more personable way to gain information or to just be entertained. Writing to me is therapeutic and I always encourage friends and colleagues who are going through difficult times to write out their thoughts and feelings. I believe that seeing the thought or the emotion in words helps puts things in perspective. It allows me to gather my scattered thoughts, think them through and organize them where they make sense. With blogging, you can put down your words, edit them, and re-edit – wiping all the crazy out of a thought – before posting. Knowing that someone out there is reading your words brings you back to earth and grounds you. But also, sharing your thoughts with a world of anonymous readers can be just the prod you need to open up even more and try daring things, whether stylistically or thematically. Do I care that the blogger isn’t a bona fide journalist or writer? Not really, because chances are, that blogger is just writing that story he or she feels. I’ll end this with a quote from Sylvia Plath: “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

  86. Ehab Dulaimi

    An interesting blog that highlights many aspects of writing for specific purposes. Scott Rosenberg states that writing texts has many benefits for individuals, including analytical and critical thinking skills which are developed by going through a kind of self-reflection process. These skills are obviously invaluable; however, there also seems to be a hint of a note of caution that is apparent in the text. Scott mentions’ discovering the boundaries and limits’ with writing texts and I believe that this is a very important point when posting information, especially when related to a PR situation. Writing helps to change people’s impressions and perceptions of organizations and it is possible to do this is a positive or negative way. The article has made me think about how powerful social networking can be, and the impact that it could possibly have on an individual or organization.

  87. A very logical article of how a person should be a “Doer” rather than a “Talker”. I really liked the writer’s example of how practicing some skills make you look at things differently.

    No logic should underestimate the power and importance of blogging and social networking in general; it is a platform for opinion sharing, ideas promoting, and even emotional support. The only danger that could result from such mediums is utilizing it to spread any negative aspects, whether against a person or an entity. On the other hand, the amazing feature of social media is the simple act of blocking and filtering out what you want and do not want to learn about.

  88. Very inspiring article! I do agree with the author that writing is one powerful way to start thinking in a different way! Trying to persuade your audience or even explain to them your ideas and perspectives makes your have new insight and indeed open doors that otherwise would remain closed.
    Reading the article made think of the time in which I have started writing formally about CSR and how did that helped me bringing up my passion and individual interest in the subject into another level of deep understanding. At one point, I have actually started to develop my own views and philosophies about the discipline and the various theories that underpin the concept itself!
    I have also liked the bit in which the author pointed out the fact that everybody is fussed about how powerful social networking is in terms of transmitting knowledge and information world, but never thought of the merits it can bring about at an individual level.
    As far as blogging goes, I still face difficulties in crossing from passivity to reaching out. However, I will still try to invest more time and passion into that venture to see how it pays off.

  89. The sort of progressive elaboration of the adjacent possible that would be brought about by the sheer attempt of penning down your thought is definitely reassuring to budding writers. “Keep opening new doors and eventually you’ll have built a palace”. I wouldn’t give it decades for the change to happen, given the exponential rate of change at our age though. Great write, terribly inspiring. Thank you.

  90. Salah Dhahri

    This is an eye opener, as some of us are trying to explore a new frontier. Part of the problem is we might be using old “wrong” tools. We all seen our car mechanics fix a small problem in our cars and we said to ourselves “I could have done that!” He had the right tools and the experience “knowledge”.

    We just need to stop our hesitation, resistance and overcome our fear to step into the unknown, to learn new things about ourselves and others. We all saw what Felix Baumgartner did

    Fred Durst said “Sometimes it’s about less is more. It’s about the seed. Thinking about this gigantic tree that you think is so beautiful but it started with this just seed “well, you just planted the “seed”

  91. Abdulla Juwaiber

    It is intersting article. I really like the “Adjacent possible” philophisical concepts that had been discussed by the Author. I think the way the circle of communications via web are expanding is usually reducing the misunderstandings that stems from what people are hearing about each other or from each other. Social media is creating a huge pool where people who are interacting comes from differnt cultures and contrasting ideologies and when there is a conversation, a winner of that conversation will grasp the attention of that pool and he will reshape that pool and his/her relationships. It is amazing for me and for many others when you discover that a very silent, full of introversion, non talented office mate in your work has thousands of freinds on Facebook because of one thing, he replies and writes posts alot.

  92. Mohammed Khoja

    A new era of public writing indeed. In this day and age, the ‘adjacent possibilities’ in the blogosphere are growing more and more and I believe they will soon become endless, examples of mega blogs such as Huffington Post and Perez Hilton prove this very point. And the topic of credibility, as mentioned, is also a predicament when it comes to blogs, but generally the rules of the book are the more popular a blog is the more credible, which is sometimes questionable.

    Reading this article also made me realize the social importance of a blog to both the blogger and his/her readers. It gives the blogger a voice and a stage to reflect his/her thoughts and to the readers it’s a way to find out personal and unfiltered perspectives. Also the goals of a blog vary depending on the intention of the blogger, they can either be profitable in terms of advertisements and product placement or they can be more influential and impactful.

    Knowing from first hand experience, PR firms rely more and more on homegrown bloggers for promoting either a service or product to its readers. Possibly because readers perceive this approach as more personable and relatable way. Either way, the blog has become a powerful vessel and the future of public writing! (although I do not hope for the extinction of books and magazines)

    Overall, great article!

  93. Mona Hassan

    My husband told me for years, “get on the train (of technology) or be left behind.” His words finally sunk in several years after he first mentioned it. By then, I could imagine him and our young, computer-savvy daughter, waving to me from the train as I watched it leave the platform. I certainly didn’t want to be left behind, so, in spite of my fear of the unknown, I went for it.
    This is how I saw the blogging phenomenon. Though I was a former writer/editor for my company’s publications, the concept of blogging felt intimidating, so I chose to avoid it. Then it was because of a requirement that I had to create my own blog, just a few short weeks ago. While blogging is still new to me, it has lost its ‘unknown frontier’ feel.
    Reading this article, I appreciated the idea of the ‘adjacent possible,’ with its endless possibilities of open doors. It gave me a great visual of the cascading effect of blogs and those who write them. Personally, I didn’t realize this change in myself. However, reading this article, I can now identify I was being more reflective with my writing.

  94. Great article Scott.
    Blogging has fascinated me for years and I’m happy to read an eloquently worded argument on its behalf. Since, Internet’s inception, it has changed the way people would visualize the world, a world beyond the horizon of present knowledge. Internet has always been providing more appropriate, succint and unified list of all problems identified inthe history and might occur in the future.
    When I first heard the term blogging a few years ago, I was under the impression it was an online journal open to the public’s eyes. What I think this post presents though, is the flip perspective about the negative connotations that blogging often receives.
    Personally, I was intrigued with this metaphor – “primordial innovation of life itself ” and “room with four doors” was remarkably pertinent.

  95. Amal Abdullah (MSU-Advanced PR and Communication Certificate Program)

    I agree with the author learning things goes through stages or phases and what you end with is way different than what you have started with and sometimes is even better. Same thing goes for writing.
    Writing is a skill that needs nurturing and as young chilled it will pass through stages of development in which it will reach to it is best shape. When you write a sentence you always need to go back to your own jewelry box searching for those pearls that you have collected throughout the years of reading, writing, movies, music or even daily conversations. Now, matching those colorful pearls together harmonically is not always an easy job it needs years experiences and we will end with beautiful necklace of pearls similar to writing as Vygotsky said, that the act of putting spoken words and unspoken thoughts into written words releases and, in the process, changes the thoughts themselves.
    Blogging is a practical method to display your jewelry, your pearls, your thoughts, and your beliefs
    “Adjacent possibilities” is an opportunity to communicate your thoughts, persuade, and spread beliefs to people whom you already know and to others influencing their decisions, their opinions and maybe their lives. Changing the future of your world, this is the power of social media that have put-down corrupted governments and systems during the Arabic spring.

  96. Ibrahim Al Omair

    It’s a wonderful article by Scott about Blogging, empowerment, and the “adjacent possible”.

    I admit that the social media website play a big role in our life recently by sharing knowledge and thoughts among people. Before, a cretin people who can write or post them writings and knowledge in the newspapers but now we have lots of social media websites can anybody post what he/she wants through it. Its make our life easier and I have no doubt that I t will be more easier in the future for the new generations.

  97. Omar Bader

    Social Media the language of Tomorow, from now the next generations speaks the language of a tweet, a like and a single word comment .

    actualy everything we do is different now adays. our whole lifes have changed . sometimes i ask my self how did they do all of what we do long time ago . and easiest thing that comes to mind is travelling to other side of the world and having everything done perfect back in the 80s with no internet or comments . i guess it was just simpler :)

    now a days we dont read much and comment much and i really like the way Scott stated this in his article but in an easy way to understand .

    everywhere we will always have the power of resistance but unfortnatly reisisters will be left over and fast pase communication and technology will have to make people change with what trend going on .

    thank you Scott :)

  98. Abdulrahman M. Al Naim

    I really enjoyed reading this article which I can consider as an eye opener for me and for all those new to blogging and to all Social Medias as well. I strongly agree with all points discussed in this article. The points that I want to share here is the importance of blogging for business, I think using the blog and other social medias in keeping your customers aware of new services or products you are offering is very much essential to the success of the business and will keep your customers linked to you in their “second life … social medias” as well as in their real life. Also, we should remember the power of the social medias in now a days life and the best example is the United States’ Presidential Election since one of the major success factor for Obama’s victory was how Obama’s campaign used social medias as an integral part of its strategy to get everyone support.

  99. Tamim Al Matouk

    It is an interesting point of view, however, I think we need to be more conscious to the real impact of blogging on the society. It seems that the major influence would be on certain sector, specifically those who has the time and effort to review blogs. In the fast rhythm of our current life, more and more are paying much attention to the “Fast Paced” type of info such as TVs, BlackBerry and quick messaging systems. This does not eliminate the impact of the “Writing” on the person commencing it. In some countries, authorities chase bloggers and they pay high cost for expressing their opinion with limited benefit on the society.

  100. Excellent article!

    It’s one of those articles that stops everything around you and you start to wonder about the path you have taken. the metaphoric scene with the “opening doors and building a palace” was visually striking.

    In terms of blogging and writing for the public. We currently live in a very interesting era because everyone has access to information. Not too long ago a tailor in a city has no competition and he is the only person that knows the best fabric, has the best tools, well trained by his family members, and stitching techniques. Evidently everyone around knows this man or family as tailors. No one knows how its done what machines do they use and if anyone wants to know anything about this business they must go to this family. On the other hand have a look at all those “how to do” you tube clips and what have you. Any information you want is available and you can teach yourself and know all the secrets of any business and you can simply mimic their procedure but you have of course you will be at mediocre level because you have nothing special to offer and thats when you find your niche and excel.

    I started blogging in a personal level to simply showcase artworks I have designed just because I thought they were good enough to be presented and they have never gotten any exposure. The reason behind the blog was simple and straightforward with no intention for it to become commercial. I didn’t even share the link with people. I was just posting artwork and writing my thoughts about them. Little that I knew the blog was getting attention and visitors was sharing my blog and writing about my designs and illustrations. It was a quick snowball that has opened many doors for me. It was an interesting step I made by chance and I am extremely fortunate.

  101. Rotana Tarabzouni

    I believe that most people dismiss blogging as a credible channel of information sharing and news reporting because they are not actively engaged in that community. As a Saudi national, though credibility is an important component to the way I process what I read, it is not my primary focus/concern. I am more focused on and interested in reading what people have to say. To freely write , browse an read other people’s opinions on an issue, and to freely argue and disagree on public platforms without any fear of danger or consequence is a right that people in the middle east are risking their lives for.

  102. Thamer Kurdi

    Why people blog, is a question that haven’t been surveyed well. My search lead me to few 4 to 6 years old surveys (BlogSweden 5, media.mit) which revealed, to an extent, the main reasons why people begin to blog and that is because they like to write, share and express opinions and for the social aspects, they do it for network and to get feedback. The key point here, as you also mentioned, is that bloggers do like to write and, nowadays, mostly do it for feedback. Yes, blogging have evolved! But, then, if we take blogging further step and analyze the audience who get to read blog, we will notice one aspect, which bloggers have no control over, that they still do not feel like they know their audience (who read their postings). Bloggers may usually have some idea of their “core” audience (readers who post comments) without really knowing who the rest of their readers. This makes the blogging for an audience like an adventure or a journey into “lands of mists”.

    In addition, I totally agree with you that “writing — making texts — changes how we read and think.” Our minds are inclined to process our thoughts dialectically so to seek some kind of workable synthesis. This process is so evident when we begin to write our thoughts down which, then, afford us the chance to understand and gain insight into the ideas we want to share, provide us with direct feedback and make us think about those who might think otherwise with what we are sharing, enabling us the opportunity to get to know our arguments more intimately and be aware on the areas that would qualify our points to be acceptable challenging or convince to our audience.

    A good example is this blog of yours as you sure managed to share your thoughts and opinion in ways that made others share their thoughts as well.

    Bottom-line is that few who can reach this stability with what they write to the audience while the majority of the bloggers seem to be still inclined to suppress the thinking process in a defensive effort, especially in the public presentation of ourselves (in writing), and adhere to our instinctual beliefs making the points we would like to share and have feedback on to appear as raw opinions rather than wisdom.

    John Stuart Mill said that “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that”.

    Thanks for the fine post which made us to react.

    Regards,
    thamer

  103. I agree with you sir to this article. Before the Internet revolution the authors was write in newspapers, magazines and books were the only sources of readers at that time . But after the Internet revolution we know now a lot of authors did not have a reputation before Internet revolution. The Internet has provided a suitable place to write the author without any restrictions, such as books and newspapers. The authors write freely now day on Web sites such as their personal blogs or twitter etc.
    Do not disagree with you sir that every era of her terminology and her circumstances and culture if the tenth by all those with the time periods, appears on his writing style he would quote from the culture each era and it will appear in this article.

  104. Mohammed Al-Madhi

    I used to be skeptic about the credibility of most – if not all bloggers- until the Arab Spring gathered some pace. I found out that the most reliable source of information is actually those amateur bloggers in Tunisia and Egypt. They presented the situation the way it was in an honest manner that conventional media channels (TV and newspapers) could not and will not ever provide. Great post.

  105. I am new member to the blogging community. However I see the magnitude of exposure and more valuable than by simply using BBM and Twitter. Well I think blog is a hub for content where our thoughts will start. however the other social media is help to distribute and promote the content. As blog is self- hosted, stable, consist and dependable, will develop blogger skills in writing by testing their content and develop a plat form for dialog and argue which will adjust their thoughts by time.

  106. Noura Al Zamil

    I think this is a very interesting and thought provoking article on the possible benefits of blogging. It’s very true that one is much more thoughtful of what they say when they are speaking for the public, whether it be spoken word or written in the form of a blog.
    Being aware of how others might observe what you write makes you think much more critically about what you say, which makes your thoughts clearer and better developed.
    I do think that these benefits are accurate for portions of the blogging community, although it would be interesting to look further into the motivations of people writing the blogs. Do they really think of their blogs as a form of public writing? Regardless of the percentage affected I do believe that this is a good way of further refining your thoughts and putting them into written form for the public, and each new experience or practice will make you a more well rounded person.

  107. Nourah AlTubayyeb

    I think that Scott Rosenberg’s article is very interesting. It is making me think of what I am typing right now. It is very true that thoughts do change sometimes become more refined and other times vague depending on the words you use to articulate this thoughts. Translating thoughts into words is not an easy business. Sometimes I think it becomes more about the worlds than the thoughts. You write with objective of touching people or provoking their thoughts, making think and affecting them in some way. That objective alone makes you choose words over others, use strong metaphors, become more poetic to achieve that “impactful” objective causing you to steer away from your original ideas.

  108. Great post and very interesting article, Scott it is shows the true potential of the art of blogging which gives everyone the opportunity to self-explore. You can put your ideas out to the public to see who is reading your writing and what they are saying about it. The rate that the technology has advanced, I am interested in seeing what the next decade holds for journalism. Although I am not a blog person but I really enjoy reading some other people’s blog because I find that would be helpful sometimes if i need some information or opinions from others.

  109. Laila Al-Faddagh

    I may have a cynical view of this article. If as Scott Rosenberg says that “every blogger is someone who has learned to read the world differently,” then because they are all different doesn’t that make them all the same? and what about when he says writing-making texts-changes how we read and think. Isn’t it what we think and read that we write? Scott has a way with words, and quoting articles may lead people to believe they “think” differently because of blogging. But I find it as a mean for an ego boost.

  110. Nadia Al-Khayyal

    I really enjoyed your article. I am continually amazed by how simply rich the concept of learning how to write changes how we read and how we think really is. I don’t have much experience in blogging but have become deeply interested in the evolution of the written word in general. It’s remarkable when you can really hear a writer’s voice throughout a piece of work. It will also be interesting to see the future of blogging and its ability to reach more than a writer’s circle of family and friends. I’m looking forward to seeing what bloggers will evolve to and how their unique perspectives will touch the lives of readers anywhere in the world.

  111. Awadh H. Al Faraj

    To be honest, I am not a good follower of blogs. However, as we live in this ever-changing world of technology, I must say that I do really like your article. Nowadays, no matter how brilliant you are or how powerful is your career or your company, if you do not use the right tools and methods to show it to public. Even Einstein himself, if he still lives among us, the first thing he would do is to buy a computer and get a blog, so he can interacts with all people and show them what he has. In the past, it took those scientists and inventors years and years to spread their thoughts and ideas. Who knows? Some of those pioneers might have ideas and concepts that were buried or vanished due to the lack of communication. I do really urge anyone looking for their viewpoints, thoughts or even voice to be heard is to enter this world of social media. No one can say at this time that they don’t need to be part of the social networking. Thank you Scott for this interesting piece of work which really proves that blogging is really matters these days.

  112. Manal Al-Hazza

    I liked your post of mentioning that “every blogger is someone who has learned to read the world differently, and that is as a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself and the fact that, the good truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them.
    nowadays I certainly agree that Social Media is about being able to communicate socially, internally and externally and if we don’t take advantage of technology to do so, we would be outdated trend rather than a new one, therefore I urge everyone to be updated and use the new trend of social media such as the blogger where each individual can post his or her thoughts and get feedback in order to stay connected.
    I deffinetely agree with you Scott when you mentioned that “Just like learning an instrment makes you hear music differently, writing makes you a better reader and communicator.

    Thank you Scott.

  113. I am really impressed by this article about blogging. I have never thought of blogging in this way before. I always wonder why people blog and how the people get these creative ideas from their mind translated into words in their blogs or articles. Blogging gave the opportunity to all people to practice the art of writing and sharing their thoughts and experiences with the rest of the world. It is fascinating that us, the readers, are not the only one benefited but also did the bloggers! They learn through the process of thinking and writing down the ideas “discovering one’s voice and feeling its strength” and while writing for the public and getting feedback from the audience will find the limitations of this power.
    A blogger think more creatively due to this experience and so creative enough to “imagine a world that can change.” This makes me want to write in order to read differently, to see the other perspective. Blogger continue to explore all of the adjacent possibilities and stretch out the limits.
    Now, I have way more appreciation of blogging and bloggers after reading this article.

  114. Thank you Scott for this interesting topic. Actually, I liked the links that you put for different books and for me, that is a great example of excellence in the use of digital media to make your points easier and clearer to the reader. I agree with you that writing for audience is an important sub-case of writing and I think this usually results in discussion and analysis from the audience side, and I can notice that in our community in which if somebody writes through social media or traditional media. I can see that excellent writing in public requires strong background and detailed knowledge regarding the subject to have the acceptance and attraction from the audience side.
    Also, I agree with Clay Shriky that the web enables us to form groups in a quick and easy way. Nowadays, I see the web as the most effective way of communication and networking. I see the web, especially blogs as a motivational way for some people to bring up new ideas and that makes an interactive climate between different-discipline people.

    I think blogging had opened the doors for more innovation in writing and had helped to increase sharply the number of people who are interested in writing.

    Thank you very much Scott..

    Salim M Alalyani

  115. I really enjoyed reading your article and I agree with you. People living in communities dealing, talking, thinking, express their thought by words and that play a major part in creating a culture. Each community has a culture, language and they have a system for creating, Sending, Storing, Processing information. Absolutely, Communications underline everything by language as the main channel of communication. In now days, people all over the world become more open to each other. The concept of the social media is top of the agenda for many people and business executive today. There are over 400 Million Tweets Published on Twitter every day. There are 48 hours of video uploaded on you tube on daily basis. LinkedIn recently announced that it had reached the 200 million users. Even with these staggering number s across some of the world’s largest and most important Social networks nothing compares in size, volume and girth to the people’s republic of Facebook.

    Thank you,

  116. Nourah Eyadhi

    This is a great post that proves that blogs have become a very useful commodity nowadays. Blogs are no longer viewed as a virtual diary, used solely to chronicle our daily lives, but rather a platform to share personal experiences and create a sense of community, if not support groups. For many reasons, blogs remain an untapped source of information in my region. The inability to verify the writer’s credibility definitely takes the lead. However, I hope more people will start to catch on to this trend and realize its full potential in enriching the highly demanded but scarcely found Arabic content.

  117. I really enjoyed reading your article and I agree with you. People living in communities dealing, talking, thinking, express their thought by words and that play a major part in creating a culture. Each community has a culture, language and they have a system for creating, Sending, Storing, Processing information. Absolutely, Communications underline everything by language as the main channel of communication. In now days, people all over the world become more open to each other. The concept of the social media is top of the agenda for many people and business executive today. There are over 400 Million Tweets Published on Twitter every day. There are 48 hours of video uploaded on you tube on daily basis. LinkedIn recently announced that it had reached the 200 million users. Even with these staggering number s across some of the world’s largest and most important Social networks nothing compares in size, volume and girth to the people’s republic of Facebook.

    Thank you,

  118. I really enjoyed reading your article and I agree with you. People living in communities dealing, talking, thinking, express their thought by words and that play a major part in creating a culture. Each community has a culture, language and they have a system for creating, Sending, Storing, Processing information. Absolutely, Communications underline everything by language as the main channel of communication. In now days, people all over the world become more open to each other. The concept of the social media is top of the agenda for many people and business executive today.

    Thank you,

  119. Dear Scott Rosenberg,

    I enjoyed reading your article because it reminded of my early days with blogging and how we moved from web 1.0 to web 2.0. In the past 10 years we as human have entered a new era because of technology advancements. People were so happy to access the net and browse business sites. Then the web has evolved by introducing the concept of web 2.0 which provided us with so many advantages such as sharing, participation, collaboration, broadcasting, monitoring, etc. Wireless technologies besides applications had also contributed to the concept of blogging or broadcasting. As result of that the traditional ways for media which we grow up with has ended. Broadcasting doesn’t rely anymore on journalists or media agencies, people now are the source of the news.

    I believe that the future of blogging and broadcasting will soon shift to Online TV Broadcast. People have already started blogging in front of cameras but not as much as I expected. However due to the new technological advancements in TV and Mobiles, We will see soon people blogging via video and not texts. Even the feedback you receive, it won’t be any longer in a form of texts. Smart TV, Google, TV, Apple TV, and Mobile TV Applications are now available to help this become true.

    Facebook, Twitter, Keek, and BBM have already started allowing people to blog via videos and we shall together see the impact of that very soon.

  120. Ashjan Al-Dossary

    This is an inspiring article and I liked the way of presenting your thoughts.

    I second your thought that writing influences the way of how we read and think but not as much as reading does to our writing & way of thinking. As I went through the article, I got the feelings that writing will enrich my thoughts as it will translate content of the idea that will be shared with the readers into written words.

    Moreover, I would like to stress that blogging became an important trend in the digital media as we live in a rapidly changing world surrounded and controlled by the technology’s evolution. It is a tool to share information and motivate others, connects writer with the readers, and helps in reinforcing inspirational ideas.

    In addition, readers can comment and post feedback from different point of views to help in measuring the success and improving the failure as it is considered a valuable source of information.

    Thank you.

  121. Hind AlSalloum

    Hey Scott! Thank you for this insightful blog, I can very much relate to it! I had some experience in posting some articles in few blogs, and when I look back to some of my blog posts I see how difficult it was for me to make a valid point in which others can find accessible. With practices I have grown in blog writing, allowing people to engage more to the article and interest them to keep reading. Being able to share articles online, gave me the chance to try public writing couple of times in my life. It gave me a practical experience on how to engage readers by speaking a simple language and share interesting topics and examples.

  122. Rana Mohammed

    I really enjoyed reading this motivating article. It opened my vision to the importance of putting a pen on a paper to translate my thoughts and ideas, expecting different responds from different readers. The article draws my attention to different benefits and opportunities of blogging. That can change my way of thinking and read the world differently.
    The way that the concept of the adjacent possible was explained is very interesting. It is always exciting and motivating to participate in a journey that will open different doors of benefits and excitements.

  123. Khalid M. Al-Ghamdi

    The writer in this wonderful article succeeded to get to the different ways of thinking, where he described and transform the relationship between ideas and the formation of written words.
    He also said that Lev Vygotsky said, the efforts of the writer to capture ideas with ever more precise written words contain within the internal dialogue, because it depends primarily on writer experiences in change and innovation.
    As the writer has also mention the benefits of the Internet in modern times and the great development in social media and the large role played by, and the enormous development that has occurred in communication and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and other social media and especially quick and easy access to the audience.

  124. I really enjoy reading your article especially the part regarding “new combination opens up the possibility of other new combination” specially the house example (room with four doors)
    This example will give more opportunity to know different type of audiences and their tactics. In addition this will further expand the ways of thinking and create new channel to exchanging ideas between different communities

  125. I really enjoy reading your article especially the part regarding “new combination opens up the possibility of other new combination” specially the house example (room with four doors)
    This example will give more opportunity to know different type of audiences and their tactics. In addition this will further expand the ways of thinking and create new channel to exchanging ideas between different communities.

  126. mubarak Al-Dossary

    Thank you for this interesting article. Social media including blogging encourages people to remove barriers and participate in writing and convey their thoughts to public and received views and feedback. This will not only improve writing skills but it will further open channels for dialogue among people with different cultures and interests and it leads to change in individuals’ thoughts or at least their understanding of others. Moreover, new topics will be shared between groups of people which will expand knowledge and experiences as you mentioned in this article “the strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them”.

  127. An interesting thought, blogging has changed the way people read and write, it reshaped public awareness and opened a world where regular people can reach thousands and have the same effect (if not more) on public opinion.
    It’s almost like a new modern school of writing, rules change and formats of news sharing also changed. In the past, it was an objective opinion that people look for, this is still strong, however in addition objective news , people look for opinions, they want to relate, bloggers offer that.
    So bloggers not only learned to read the world differently, they also teach others to view the world differently.
    With that on mind, the bloggers world is still a young society. All the blogging effects are limited to the bloggers world, where other social networks seem to have a bigger impact.
    Good read!

  128. Waleed Aboud

    Thank you Mr. Rosenberg for this insightful reflection.

    I believe this goes for all aspects of life, not only writing or blogging. When I am assigned something to write, and get stuck with it, I just start writing, blindly and haphazardly. As I start gatherign pace at some point of the write up, then, and only then, I begin refining and shaping my thoughts and ideas, and creating brand new ones too. This very piece of writing you are reading now is by all means no different. And this is what I basically advise my colleagues when they approach me in similar situations, “If you don’t know how to do it, just do it and you will learn how to do it”. For those men who do not help their wives in the household, for example, I suggest they try it for some time, at least (men will have to define this “some time” very clearly with their wives from the very outset of the process. Otherwise, they may end up wearing the aprons for good). Anyhow, when they try it, they will be amazed when they discover innovative efficient ways for washing dishes and vacuuming the floor they never ever thought of. Also, as time goes by, they will discover how to do the dishes with less water, less soap, and less time.

    Bearing this concept in mind, blogging is no different. As bloggers start exhibiting their minds & reasons in public and to the public, they will gradually innately improve the way they think, the way they preceive, and eventually the way they read and write. By the time they start receiving attention, they will even start adding up more minds & reasons to their own. And as time goes by, they will develop much better perception to the art of writing and innovating thoughts and ideas with less water, less soap, and less time.

    Thank you.

  129. Halah Nasser

    “the act of putting spoken words and unspoken thoughts into written words releases and, in the process, changes the thoughts themselves… ” Beautfiul statement!

    I highly agree with the idea of the importance of writing your thoughts down and how that not only changes us as writers but changes perspectives and thoughts of the leaders.
    I also like the emphasis was put on bloggers and blogging. There are still those who don’t see the importance of it and don’t consider it as a valid mean to communicate. when in fact it is a very important part of digital media.
    Being In saudi we do have some bloggers but i think the full of understanding of what blogging can entail and how beneficial it can be is still not there yet.
    The article also got me thinking of when i write and how when writing i need to be clear of the message i want to send and what thoughts i want to evoke leading me to choose specific words and phrases.
    Very interesting read.

  130. Farah Abushullaih

    Thank you Scott for a very interesting article. I agree that blogging is a revolutionary thing and peoples minds have expanded and their interest in reading and finding information is rapidly growing. I especially enjoyed the part where you mentioned that “It seems to me that, in our current bedazzlement with the transformative powers of social networking, we routinely underestimate the practical social importance of change at this individual level” and “A mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change”. I think this is very relevant to Saudi Arabia and its continuos effort to change and grow. Blogging and their interest in reading is growing more and more every year which will very much affect our next generation of leaders.

  131. Majed AL-Dubaikel

    This is really an excellent article. Although I am not a big fan of reading or writing blogs, your way of expressing the other view that I don’t see of blogging conveys the importance of it. What really persuades me that blogging helps some people to post what they think it is right, get to know what they admire most, and share their different opinions. I think that for some subjects, blogging would be very helpful in order to target the unseen parts. However, there is a strong correlation between Twitter or Facebook & blogs; if we want a summary of something we can directly switch our eyes to the tweets but if we would like to know some interesting subjects in details and in a different angle, blogs do help and this is what I felt after reading this informative article. Mr. Scott Rosenberg, please keep blogging and thanks for sharing your opinion to the public.

    Regards,
    Majed

  132. Bandar Otaibi

    Scott,

    It is a great article and I totally agree with you that blog is one of the social media channel that is very informative and the power of writing in public is to discover all the boundaries and limits that help the writers to grow faster when people keep writing and learning at the same time till they find their own creative voice in their writing style. That can be a learning process and very educational which lead to change the way they read and think. Then transform their own thoughts into writing that can be captured by all the readers in public.

  133. Khalid S. al-Ghamdi- Scott Rosenberg assignment

    Just like learning an instrument makes you hear music differently, writing makes you a better reader and communicator. This phrase stopped me in looking differently to the whole article and made me thinking deeply in the great benefits that one could treasure from social media in order to deliver his/her own messages while interacting with people from all over the world. The article explained the relationship between ideas and the formation of words written, which is a strategy that should be taking in all kind of writing, especially in nowadays media. However Scott, in my humble opinion that social media is stirring forward faster than what was mentioned, it’s moving to the extent that blogs is going to be soon timeworn style, and another means are going to replace blogging.

    Regards.

    Khalid S. al-Ghamdi

  134. It is a very nice decision to the article with “Learning to make things changes how we understand and consume those things”. This reminds me of the saying “Don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins”. Similarly, don’t judge how easy writing in public is until you try it.

    To read what someone’s written is fairly easy task compared to writing for others. It is not an easy task to write in public as an author has to determine the sequence of the text, level of details, technical jargons, voice of writing, and what could excite a reader to continue reading.

  135. Yasmeen Al Dossary

    Scott I have enjoyed reading your post! I found it very inspiring. I used to think that blogs have neither value nor credibility. However, coming cross your quotes made me rethink my opinion toward blogs. I liked the phrase “adjacent possible” and how you described it as “a house that magically expands with each door you open. You begin in a room with four doors, each leading to a new room that you haven’t visited yet”. Excellent example! This example clearly pictured how blogs have become a useful online web tool, one may writes its thoughts and receive feedback; expand his/her thoughts freely and being exposed to other writings and experience, all this will open closed doors. Also, I totally agree with your quote “A mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change” shows how effective and powerful words can be when it is used in a proper way, It could change the world believes, actions.

  136. Murad Al Hasan

    I’m really enjoining this article, there are a lot of wonderfully wise people out there to learn from. An author need to wait maybe months between finishing his/her book and reading the reviews, but bloggers get to read their readers’ comments the same time it is published. This makes blogging a great way to get feedback on an idea that you want to develop further. Having an outside perspective and a little bit of constructive criticism is invaluable.
    Bloggers spend most of their time sharing their ideas and insights with their readers. But if you listen, you’ll find that your readers share a lot with you too. Knowing about your audience is invaluable. As a blogger, achieving this type of insight is a natural byproduct of your day-to-day routine.

  137. Azam Alfayez

    Very inspiring post. Thanks for writing up.

    I guess blogs’ve changed the way people express their views. Everyone can now open a blog and convey in the very attractive way. Integrating blog posts with multimedia materials such as videos (from YouTube) and tweats is transforming how individuals share their writing. Moreover, communicating readers with writers in real-time (i.e. via comments) is , in my opinion, one of the main factors of blogging’s success.

    Finally, the massive number of potential readers is dramatically influencing the popularity of blogging. It’s easier than ever to setup a blog (in few minutes) and the whole world is your market, which is a big deal.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your article. Thanks again.

    Azam

  138. The transformational power of writing in public is in blogging too. And why not.

    The ‘adjacent possibilities’ that are unlocked and unleashed both for the writer and the readers opens new doors that open into new yet unexplored universes beyond imagination.

    Scott, yes, the human brain continues to stay a step ahead and encompasses the ever expanding boundaries of possibilities. And this process creates new possibilities and turns them into new realities. The neuro-connections in our brains will keep connecting current possibilities to new possibilities and will keep creating new understanding of who we are and the ever-expanding universe around us.

    Perhaps ancient Egyptians saw hieroglyphs like some people see blogging today – ‘a trivial pastime or an amateurish hobby’ yet now the entire world wants to know what those words mean.

    I believe the bloggers will continue to touch hearts and transform the societies.

  139. Mohammed Al Magati

    I do like the article very much, and I totally believe that the author has addressed the thought about the blogging very well from being just a new platform of communication with a slight affects on reads (and to be honest, this is what I was thinking about blogging previously) to highlight how much important is the blogging. After I went through the article I became more excited to start writing differently.

  140. abdulaziz Al-Wosifer

    This article makes one want to write especially when I read this analogy: “Think of it as a house that magically expands with each door you open. You begin in a room with four doors, each leading to a new room that you haven’t visited yet.” Doing the act makes it a complete different experience than observing it. To make an analogy myself, one needs to look at the difference between an extreme fighter and his fans. They both look at the fight from two different backgrounds the fighter would exercise non-stop preparing for the fight doing the needed stretches minutes before the fight. Where the fan would get his beer and meal of choice ready to have a good time. To conclude I want see the game from inside the ring, thus I will start to write.

  141. Musherf S. Alamri

    Scott you are spot on! Exposure to different forms of art often allows people to grow through gaining new skills and bolstering their confidence. The web is an excellent tool through which people can discover and sharpen their talents.

    Personally, I have met accomplished artists that learned craftsmanship through the internet. In Toronto, I met Joe from Jamaica who creates 3D graphics for schools that teach design students. His impressive portfolio includes works for the BBC and the History Channel. From reading and viewing different tutorials on the Internet, he taught himself design.

    He told me that he is grateful for all the web users that gave him pointers for free, which encouraged him to advance in his career. ” after a year, I can do pretty good images, that made me think that I can also design the high end materials” he told me about how his learning through the web affected his attitude to moving beyond his comfort zone. .

    Joe is not unique, and I have met many successful professionals in jobs with mainly creative functions that learned by extensively using the Internet and were inspired by the positive feedback from natural parties. Indeed, Scott, the powerful tools of the digital world can improve the composition of writers, and it does the same in different fields.

  142. Abdullah Yacoub Alabdullah

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you for a very rich and informative post. I personally think that studying the impact of Twitter on writer’s public writing behavior and how people shape their thoughts would be a very interesting subject. In a vibrant community such as Twitter, writers treat their audiences in a very different way compared to bloggs and newspapers. I’m sure that the 140 characters rule on Twitter made all tweeps to re-think, re-phrase and re-shape their thoughts and words; after 4000 or 6000 tweets, I’d expect one’s writing to change in a certain way even when writing with other social media applications or even traditional media like newspapers and magazines.

    I’ve never seen a study on the impact of Twitter on public writing.

  143. Soha Khan

    excellent post, I agree with Scott Rosenberg’s take on how your trhoughts change when you write for audience. I have had past expereinces as a blogger and a journalist, indeed when you are writing for your audience you have to carefully craft your messages, because not everyone things like you do, and people have different interpretations of what we write.

  144. This is a very interesting post, and leads you to view the act of writing in a different way.

    Scott Rosenberg explains the growth process of writing through different ages and stages: writing for one’s self, writing with external audience in mind and writing for web platforms such as blogs and social media content. His article takes the reader through a very clear depiction of how each writing phase affects the writer, broadens his horizons and teaches him/her to think outside the box when dealing with life in general.

    Writing for blogging and social media truly embodies the concept of “adjacent possibilities”. Writing for web audiences opens limitless possibilities to explore. There is no limit or restriction on the audience types you can connect to through a blog. A blogger can target any type of audience to read their blog post. Age, cultural, occupational and geographical restrictions are all lifted and cease to exist online. Steven Johnson explains this well, when he describes writing for the internet age as opening one door after another, which eventually builds a large palace.

  145. Bushra Alhababi

    its very inspirational and intersting article about writing and communicating throughout the internent technology. after reading the article, and particularly the “adjacent possibility” phenomena, this opens my eyes to the notion of blogging and how bloggers can improve their writing skills by only practising writing. also, i like that idea that by practising blogging, this in turn makes you a better reader and communicator as you will be able to perceive things differently. i always have problem putting my thoughts into words, but after reading this article i’ll try to give it a try and not to miss the opportunities and possibilities to explore more things.

  146. Nasser.Ghamdi

    First:

    Totally I am not a blog person but I find your post great and interesting especially the article: “Writing for an audience is a special and important sub-case: it’s writing with feedback and consequences. As we know social media now are easy way to reach all public very quickly and this is why writing is sensitive issue sand important. Before we write we need to understand audience, who will read. Once you know your audience, you will achieve the purpose.

    Second:

    Very interesting article from Clay Shirky (web enables us to form groups in a quick and easy way),

    Today is easier to find people with similar interests.

    Social media website plays a big role in our life by sharing knowledge and thoughts among people.

  147. This excellent write up triggers some ideas in my mind:

    • It reminds me of an old sayings of wisdom: learn, exercise (experience), teach (explain) to others (to digest), as a basis of full understanding things or sciences. Experiencing things gives a chance for more and deeper understanding. Moreover, discussing them with others gives different angles of understanding and interpretation. That’s why it is said: the most knowledgably person is the one who knows more about different opinions.
    • The room of the multiple-doors, reminds me of another old saying of wisdom, said that: I’ve been taught 1000 branches of knowledge, from each one another 1000 branches are opened. It is nothing but the knowledge tree which consists of so many branched branches or the river which has many branched branches to irrigate the land around.
    • This brings an idea of a device built of 1000 parts. Nobody will understand how it works better than the one who works on its maintenance. This is how deep somebody can get an idea of something.
    • Words may have different meaning in different contexts. Context is not only the written one but the environment, time, circumstances, and tone, and the background of the recipient. This should have great impact on selecting words and phrases, taking in account what they may and may not mean.
    • Objective, purpose, or message of blog, writing or saying should specify the way it is said, revealed:
    • Once we put in mind that there are watchers or mentors evaluating and judging what we write or say, we have to consider the feedback or fire back. This type of thinking develops the self -mentoring.
    • Last but not least, we have to think of the desire of the recipient and how to excite him/her to read or listen to us.

    Mohammad Abu Al Makarem

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  149. Amanda Proscia

    This post will certainly help me as I try to articulate my inner dialogue through writing. I was completely unaware of the “adjacent possible” idea before reading this. I love it’s application to writing, especially the metaphor of it being like a house with an infinite number of doors that one has to open to explore and each boundary growing more as one explores it. As a beginning blogger I will keep this in the back of my head with each post!

  150. I thought this was an insightful blog post. Writing does change the way we think and read. In my own personal experience it has been a tool in transforming the way I perceive the world. Writing has not only been an “empowering” tool, it has also been very healing. Blogging provides people with an open platform to share their stories that allow for vulnerability and truth to shine. I loved how you phrased it, “Writing is a way of discovering one’s voice and feeling its strength.” We are fortunate to live in a point of history where we do have the opportunity to understand the world around us more clearly and openly through an online blogging platform. It does give us room to be creative. “A mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change.” This is where the “empowerment” of blogging comes in. My new motto after reading this post: Changing the world one blog and at a time!

  151. Kristen

    Great post… It’s interesting to hear Blogging from this prospective. As I was reading some of the other comments, I noticed people commenting on the lack of credibly that blogs contribute to web content. And, while I tend to agree there are a lot of amateur bloggers, having this tool gives a powerful voice to the public. Although some blogs are less valuable, there are a lot of talented and educated people in today’s blogosphere that contribute a lot of knowledge to the blogging community.

    Another great book by Shirky called, Here Comes Everybody. This is a great book about digital technology, amateur journalism, and the affect this has on today’s journalists.

  152. Mason Dixon

    The adjacent possible is a fascinating concept and idea. I’ve never truly thought about where new ideas come from and this makes sense on so many levels. Looking back on any ideas I’ve had at my place of employment, internships, etc., they grew out of a suggestion or crazy idea someone just threw out there. It may be a crazy thought in your head, but you never know what it may lead to. From personal experience I can say I’ve always been a little skeptical of blogging because I thought, “I’m not an expert and who cares what I think about on whatever subject it is.”, but after learning about the adjacent possible I now feel that hey maybe someone will get something out of this. As you say “A mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change.” You’ve changed mine and I’d like to see if I can do it to someone else.

  153. Collin Krizmanich

    I think that the idea of looking at “the adjacent possible” that the blogosphere provides to be very intriguing. Within the blogosphere there is essentially endless opportunity to expand your knowledge of an issue or a topic. However, while it does open up many doors to new opinions and ideas, I think that it may also prevent many individuals from expanding their knowledge or views. I say this because it can be so easy to find bloggers that agree with your own views or beliefs, many people may only read blogs that reinforce their original beliefs, and avoid all blogging that challenges or contradicts their own beliefs. While the idea of “the adjacent possible” seems to suggest a sort of random process, where you have no idea what is going to be behind the next door that you open, I think that in many ways individuals may tend to navigate through these doors in a predetermined path.

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] Blogging, empowerment, and the “adjacent possible” — Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard So when I hear the still-commonplace dismissal of blogging as a trivial pastime or an amateurish hobby, I think, hold on a second. Writing — making texts — changes how we read and think. Every blogger (at least every blogger that wasn’t already a writer) is someone who has learned to read the world differently. [...]

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