The question I have started to ask myself: what and how do you write when you know that the entire world is your audience?
The other day I checked “my stats” a cool feature that WordPress has developed that gives you a chance to see how many people check out your blog and where they are from. I was baffled to see what my stats showed me:
Each country that has any shade of orange is indicates that someone, or multiple people have looked at my blog from that country. The darker the shade, the more people have seen it from this country. It comes as no surprise that there have been many views from the Netherlands, since my family lives there, nor the US since I have many friends who live in the US. I am just so surprised to see that people from Nigeria, South Korea or Costa Rica have viewed my blog – plus people from 50 some other countries.
Pretty cool, huh, if you’d ask me. But then I soon started to realize that if everyone around the world can read your blog – what does that do to the way you write and more importantly to what you write. The classes that I have been taken here in Jordan, and in particular my Research Ethics class have enabled me to start to wear a different type of goggles – the “problematize” goggles. What does it mean to post generalizations about a culture that you as an “outsider” are engaging in? Do your readers, whom might have never visited the place you are writing about, take your “generalization” as the truth? Without questioning what the actual situation is? What can the ripple effects be of your words that you publish on the world wide web? All that I am trying to say, is that I am becoming day by day more aware that by writing a blog on the internet, available to the entire world, you have to change your role as blog writer. It isn’t any longer your family and friends that you are writing for, but you’re also writing for people you might never meet. And that is a great reason to be very critical of the things you write, since you will never know who might read it.
I am here in Jordan and I write this blog to share MY experiences, experiences that might be very different or very similar to anyone that will travel to this region. But I also see myself as an ambassador, as someone who is here to share her experience to engage those who might never be able to make it all the way out here and to tell them more about Jordan, and to show a side that you won’t be able to read in the Lonely Planet, the newspaper or any other glossy website about Jordan. This is MY story.