When I write what I write here, I tend to think of myself as writing to an audience of about ten people: my mother, my mother-in-law, my brothers, my sister-in-law, and maybe Robert Paterson once in a while. Oh, and all the Ledwells and the Sandy Nicholson and her crew.
Them, and a bunch of random web surfers who end up here because they search Google for “I’m angry at my phone company.”
Recently, though, an interesting thing has started to happen: this weblog’s audience, combined with the compact “everybody is connected to everybody else” nature of Prince Edward Island, means that when I write things about Islanders and Island institutions here, somehow word gets back.
Last week I wrote about the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Emergency Room. The next day, the Chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine posted a comment, followed shortly by his predecessor.
I cautioned new anchor Bruce Rainnie about over-Boomering on Compass. An hour and a half later, he assured us all he was mindful of the dangers.
I wrote about Marie Brine’s ergonomics auditing and got an email back from Marie several months later, and then, a few months after than, another one telling me a friend of hers in Taiwan had run across the post.
And the granddaddy of all of this, my open letter to Island Tel, which resulted in a lot of hand-wringing at the company, and a lot of interesting conversations with mid-level managers who agreed with me.
I point this out not as a prideful boast of my awesome media power, but from interest in what it says about weblogs, especially when they take place, out in the open, in a small place like this.
I’ve never been seated firmly on the ” weblogs are going to change the media forever and replace newspapers and television” bandwagon. That said, what happens here, and on other local blogs, does seem to more and more involve an interesting sort of feedback loop that you don’t see in traditional media.
Whether this is truly powerful and interesting, or a self-involved sort of virtual coffee talk, remains to be seen. In the meantime, it is lots of fun.