Learn Your Voice And Share Your Opinions Digitally: How To
The Barricades was created as a soapbox for revolutionary ideas and as a creative outlet for my writing. Blogs and vlogs, video blogs, can amplify anyone’s voice to help them spread messages, do citizen journalism, and promote themselves. Starting a blog can seem overwhelming to web-illiterate people but there are a lot of ways to do it, easy and slightly harder, and so many bloggers whose focus is on helping other bloggers launch their platforms and thrive.
The business and political worlds have noticed the importance of translating their brands into the digital world. Social media specialists can make grown-up wages working for large institutions in advertising, customer support, sales, and fundraising. The average salary of a social media manager ranges from $34,432 to $56,571, according to PayScale.com.
These professionals are responsible for some comedy gold on the internet, such as the following dialogue between the Twitter handles of Old Spice and Taco Bell.
@OldSpice Is your deodorant made with really old spices?
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) 9 July 2012
It is almost impossible to scroll through the comments of a story on a popular website without seeing an ‘I made $15,000 working from home last week using this simple…’ spiel. Some of those messages are written by real people engaged in questionable business models such as affiliate or multi-level marketing. These people are their own, usually poorly paid, social media managers.
The importance of social media in politics was highlighted with the Obama campaign’s 2008 digital strategy, which helped mobilize millions of young voters. In 2016, Correct The Record was a $1 million project by Hillary For America supporters to respond to online criticisms of the Democratic Establishment’s candidate. Her opponent, the current President, Tweeted almost constantly throughout and after the campaign. His dignity and poise are illustrated through the following Tweet, which he made a month before the vote on Sep. 11.
“@realDonaldTrump: I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 12 September 2013
Business and politics are hip to the influence of social media. If one would like to get on that train they have several options to create a platform for their words and images.
- Facebook, Google+, and Minds pages can act as a blog and an extension for an e-commerce website. Facebook and Google+ have a reach of billions of users and can be connected directly to their advertisement platforms, which allow the advertiser to target their users based on specific interests to improve conversion rates.
- Medium, Tumblr, and Newslogue are three blogging platforms which allow users to sign up and create a, minimally customizable, blog which can connect to the communities built around their apps.
- WordPress allows its users to create a customizable blog and either host it on the wordpress server with a .wordpress.com URL, or to host it on their own server with their own URL. Barricades.News was written with WordPress and a theme named ProBlogg.
- YouTube and Vimeo are platforms for vlogging for those who feel confident with editing, speaking for a camera, making animations, and being on camera.
- Other social sites such as Instagram and Twitter can act as simple blogs or extensions for brands.
For expert advice on starting a blog I advise doing what I did and reading Chris Guillebeau’s guides to unconventional living. For a great free resource check out 279 Days To Overnight Success. Or buy one of his books on creating a fulfilling life and career.
We need more voices in the conversation. We need more voices from the working poor, the LGBTQ community, people of color, the youth, and women. Be that voice. Support those voices. Have those conversations online, in the office, and in the coffee shop. Learn about your voice by thinking and writing. Solidify and research your opinions. Then use your voice and opinions to save humanity from our most ruthless, most powerful members. Or fight for the powerful and get that money. But get involved, not enough voices are being heard.