Some people have mentioned to me that they find blogs a mysterious thing. It’s a media that is gaining attention from mainstream media, in fact, most mainstream media have embraced blogging to supplement the “official” media content in newspapers, journals and on television. Some blogs have become an important source of news and commentary feeding into the mainstream media.
SafetyAtWorkBlog does not provide all the safety news that is happening in Australia or elsewhere. In fact nobody is. But what we can do is select those items of news that we think have a broad appeal to safety professionals.
Also, in Australia, there are only a handful of writers and journalists who specialize in writing on OHS issues and there are many events, conferences, seminars, talks, podcasts, books and other information sources that fall under the radar of mainstream media. It is in this niche that SafetyAtWorkBlog exists.
Blogs were original a web-based log or a web diary where people can put down their thoughts of the day. But they have become so much more and the feature that is most overlooked by readers is the capacity to comment on the articles posted to a blog.
There is some resemblance to “Letters to the Editor” in traditional media where issues can be raised but, more importantly, readers can comment on the news of the day or the thoughts of columnists, and can clarify inaccurate opinions.
The ability to respond to articles is very important to SafetyAtWorkBlog because we do not know everything about our profession. OHS is a discipline that continues to evolve just as rapidly as new hazards appear. The expert who says they know everything is a fool, the smart professional learns all the time. That is one reason why people read SafetyAtWorkBlog but the blog can be so much better when readers provide their own opinions, particularly if what is said in the blog is wrong in some way.
The best example of reader comments in this blog was the response from Peter Sandman to a piece on a book by Cass Sunstein. Sandman says
“…a few comments in the review, though flattering to me, are misleading about Sunstein.”
He goes on to list the article’s shortcomings. One comment from Sandman was then disputed by another reader, Thomas Durkin.
This dialogue showed a terrific level of opinion and provides a better understanding of Sunstein and his place in US politics and government regulation than the solitary review that generated the comments.
SafetyAtWorkBlog is not an OHS news service, one can get that from hundreds of news aggregators (the bane of Rupert Murdoch) on the web. SafetyAtWorkBlog provides commentary and opinion on things that are happening in the OHS world. If the opinion is wrong or the logic has severe shortcomings or the content is inaccurate, blogs provide the opportunity to correct the information or to balance the opinion.
We have ALWAYS encouraged people to comment on articles we post. If we can start a debate or help clarify an OHS concept, that’s great. But if you have something to say about what we say, email it in or post a comment. Unless it is defamatory or nasty or rude, it will be included and any points made will be genuinely considered and pondered on.