By Kenneth Justice
~ Yesterday a kind reader mentioned the importance of ‘knowing your audience’ in reference to job interviews and whenever you have to talk about yourself; if you go overboard with the wrong audience you can end up doing damage for your reputation but if you don’t go far enough with others you can end up making the same mistake.
Learning to know your audience is an important component of life; of maturity.
We often say things in confidence to those we feel closer to…..but if we say something intimate to the wrong person(s) it can end up wreaking havoc, especially if they take our statement out of context or repeat it to the wrong person.
I’ve been taken out of context so many times in my short life that I’ve long since lost count.
I’ve also had people out-and-out misinterpret me and even lie about what I’ve said.
In those instances it was very difficult for me and the headache’s that ensued took a long time to heal; in some of the cases, although I have forgiven the people who misrepresented me I will never forget the mischief they caused me…… and to this day I still don’t trust those particular people.
Knowing your audience is especially important for writers; if I’m not conscious of the people reading what I have to say….than I could easily end up writing for nobody. And as my fellow blogger Jen Denevan says, “Why write to nobody?” to which I wholeheartedly concur!
As those readers of mine who are fellow bloggers may know; blogging can be and is a very rewarding endeavor. Taking a sabbatical from counseling has ended up being one of the biggest joys of my life as it opened up the world of blogging to me.
Ten to twelve years ago blogging was virtually unknown. The field of bloggers was far fewer than it is now, men like Andrew Sullivan (now one of the most famous bloggers) and a few others were the lone writers in a new and unknown territory.
However, now after more than a decade of blogging, many people have made strong arguments that blogging is fast replacing journalism. In fact, as more and more journalism shifts toward an over-emphasis on Sports, Celebrity, and a whole lot of negative in-between……the blogging world has become a place where you can come to find fresh new voices, in-depth observations, and a far more diverse range of opinions than the typical ‘Conservative Versus Liberal’ dribble that permeates the majority of print and television media.
I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m attacking modern journalism. There are still a lot of great reporters out there; but in our day-and-age subjects like politics have become entirely two-sided and there is little room in journalism for people and ideas who think outside-of-the-box.
Turn on cable news and you typically will only hear one of two different viewpoints; liberal or conservative. Whether you live in Australia, the United States, Canada, or just about anywhere in Europe; fresh new ideas and views are rarely tolerated in professional news journalism.
One of the things I enjoy about blogging is that you don’t have to have a Master’s degree or PhD to be a blogger. I have a ton of diploma’s on my wall and let’s be honest; they don’t mean a hill-of-beans if I can’t articulate an intelligent opinion.
Another awesome element of blogging is that it connects people from all across the globe. I have been literally blown away at how many people I’ve met via blogging from all over the globe; Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia…..regular readers of my blog as well as I of many of theirs. Blogging connects us in a way that print journalism never could have in the past.
Not only has it connected us….it has connected our opinions and ideas. I’m able to write an article about most any topic and by the end of the night I get to know what someone from Australia or Europe thinks about the subject……how awesome is that!
Knowing our audience is an important element to blogging. Earlier in the year I posted a series of articles urging my fellow Christians to chill out on the gay marriage issue; I suggested that Christians stop bashing homosexuals and stop making anti-gay marriage a major platform in their religion……unfortunately, my little series of articles cost me a serious drop off in readership; more than 500 readers didn’t like what I had to say and ‘un-subscribed’ to The Culture Monk….
Was I guilty of not knowing that my audience would resent my articles on homosexuality? I don’t know…..but sometimes you’ve got to write what you’ve got write…..don’t you?
And if you know me at all you know that right now is time for me to have another cup of coffee,