In last week’s blog post I wrote about my thoughts concerning all that happened at Mizzou and the national attention our university received. I shared a link to my post on Facebook and a few of my friends shared it, then some of my friends’ friends shared it, and so on. After just two days my post had been viewed nearly 2,000 times. Now I know that’s by no means a huge amount of views compared to other blogs, but to me — a novice blogger who has mainly just blogged for class assignments — it was a big deal.
While it was really nice to read comments and feedback from my own Facebook friends and friends of my mom (she shared my post on her page) saying how much they related to what I’d written, it was even more amazing to see shares, likes, and comments from friends of friends and people I didn’t even know. To see that the words I had written and my thoughts resonated with people enough that they cared to share my post on their personal Facebook pages was an amazing feeling.
Looking at the WordPress analytics, my post has been viewed by people in over 19 different countries thus far. It’s hard for me to fathom that people across six continents, from South Africa to Thailand to Turkey, have all seen my post. The internet is truly a powerful tool that can push content out for the world to see.
It wasn’t until this blog experience that I fully realized how much of an impact my words or the things that I create can have. As journalists, we all create content with the hopes that it will be digested by a large audience. When I set out to write the post, my main intention was to just sort out all of the crazy and complicated thoughts I had in my head and have a personal record of what I felt during such a major event. I figured that if other people read it that would be great, but getting a lot of views and shares was definitely not my goal, and certainly not my expectation.
Although 2,000 views is a relatively tiny amount in the blog world, for me, just thinking that 2,000 individuals read what I had written gave me this reassurance that journalism was a field I wanted to go into. I loved seeing people connect with and appreciate the content that I’d worked hard to create and the message that I’d put my heart into writing. Reading comments from people saying that my post put into words feelings that they didn’t know how to express themselves was both humbling and inspiring. Now more than ever do I have this feeling that journalism is what I want to do with my life; I want to create meaningful content that can reach audiences all over the world and that others can identify with.