The launch and initial success of Current TV is just one of the many new manifestations of this idea of citizen journalists who are augmenting, and some would argue, overtaking traditional media in terms of credibility in reporting real life as it happens. Aside from empowering individuals and growing from its small and dedicated audience base, the network also symbolizes the potential power of consumer generated media to affect social change through accomplishing the first hurdle in this process: raising awareness. Indeed, raising awareness is something that has become a forte for the web and for blogs in particular. Through the intersection of search, email, cross linking, personalization and the trackback nature of blogs, ideas can spread from individuals to hundreds of thousands of others. None of this is new – however an interesting emerging category in eAdvocacy blogs (grouped through their intention to influence on social issues) is the BridgeBlog.
As a Harvard sponsored site Global Voices notes, "Bridge blogs” are blogs from a country or region that speak to a global audience. In particular, the intention of the index they are building is described below:
This index, as it grows will be a resource for people who want to understand what’s going on in different parts of the world from a personal perspective, as well as a journalistic or encyclopedic perspective. We hope this will be a resource for the mainstream media as they look for local voices to expand coverage in parts of the world they routinely fail to cover, as well as for individuals.
The Global Voices index of Bridge Blogs is different to Current TV, or a number of similar citizen journalist sites out there in that it aims to become a resource for traditional media – representing an underutilized opportunity of blogs to influence traditional media directly, rather than to compete with it. This is the true promise of Bridge Blogs – to connect the sometimes irreverant conversation in the blogosphere to the arguably still influential world of mainstream media. The more blogs out there that can fit this category, the more influential (ital.) blogs will truly become.