Matt Lauer, Blogs, & the Internet Predator (Trainers, add this to your classes)

Matt Lauer taunted me this am as I was getting ready for work by saying "What's a blog?" I had to go but I hit record on the DVR and got back to it tonight.

"My So-Called Blog" is a NYT Magazine story about teen blogging. Here's a bit from the TODAY page:

If your teen isn't text messaging -- chances are they are blogging.  That is journaling their innermost thoughts for all to read on-line.  Today blogs are giving teens the creative outlook they need to express what they feel, think and do on a daily basis. Emily Nussbaum, a writer for the New York Times, talked to "Today" about an article she wrote for this past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine called "My So-Called Blog."

And from the piece:

J. had had his Blurty journal for about a year. He called it ‘‘better than therapy,’’ a way to get out his true feelings — all the emotions he thought might get him in trouble if he expressed them in school or at home. Online, he could blurt out confessions of loneliness and insecurity, worrying aloud about slights from friends. Yet despite the fact that he knew that anyone who wanted to could read his journal — and that a few friends did, leaving comments at the ends of his posts — he also maintained the notion that what he was doing was private. He didn’t write for an audience, he said; he just wrote what he was feeling.

Matt was curious, asked some good questions but brought the segment around to predators finding out teens personal info and coming after them. Nussbaum pulled Matt back from that and said something like "The internet has a lot of good stuff out there and people seem to zoom in on the predator thing." HooooRay!

Here's what I take away: Blogs -- the word, the trend, the whole thing -- are coming more into the "mainstream." When it makes the TODAY Show, in my little book, it's getting noticed. So, tech trainers, make sure you are touching on blogs in your Intro to the Web classes. Define them. Maybe demonstrate one... but help our library users understand what a blog is, how it works and what it means when their teen, grandchild, niece, nephew or whoever says "I have a blog."

Thanks TODAY!

Posted: Tue - January 13, 2004 at 07:48 PM