Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Nowadays, that quote reads more like, “You must blog the change you wish to see in the world.” An article in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal got me thinking about how the Internet is increasingly becoming a public sounding board for hot button issues. The article, “Blog is Hollywood’s Must-See,” reported on the contract talks between screenwriters and Hollywood studios and the possible strike that could result from this heated issue. As the contract negotiations are being hashed out, a couple of writers have become influential in rallying the screenwriter troops on a blog, www.artfulwriter.com. Screenwriters Craig Mazin (Scary Movie 3) and Ted Elliot (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), have made this blog a focal point for writers to discuss their willingness (or opposition) to strike. The WSJ says the blog has provided “the most-public forum for the discussion ahead of informational meetings for guild members being held this week.”
Watched by the Writers Guild of America leadership and the studios as the extent of the opinion of the 12,000 voting members of the guild, the blog represents an open forum in union negotiations that have traditionally taken place in private. On a much larger scale, however, blogs are increasingly providing open forums where members of political parties, presidential hopefuls, and the general public can collaborate, discuss and evoke change. From the 2008 presidential race and network television campaigns to consumer gripes and union negotiations, blogging is becoming the new lobbying. Since the contract issue has heated up, traffic on artfulwriter.com has risen approximately 40 percent to more than 30,000 unique visitors per month. WGA Board Member Aaron Mendelsohn has said the blog has been “a bit of a touchstone and a bellwether as a place where I can go either as a board member or as a writer to take the temperature reading,”
So, what does this mean for us? On the most fundamental level it means that the communication landscape is drastically changing.. You want to raise awareness and gain momentum? Do you desire to be as visual and vocal as possible? Then it’s time to blog for change. You’ll never truly know the breadth and scope of your impact, unless you allow your voice to be heard…er, read.