Sean Bonner has a great post at the SBdC about the power of blogging.
[This] was just e-mailed to my by Dana in NYC. It's pretty amazing...
"One of our authors Tessa posted last week about having a delivery man force his way into her apartment and demand all of her money as a tip. The delivery man was with the extremely popular internet based NYC grocery service Fresh Direct—everyone I know and everyone they know uses this service (which incidentally has a strict no tipping policy) so there was a lot of shock, dismay, outrage over this incident. Tessa’s posts were linked to on Gothamist and Gawker although she chose not to go to the newspapers about this incident. She went right to Fresh Direct who told her that the delivery man would be re-assigned. Many of our readers were upset that this man could deliver to them next so yesterday I posted information on how to contact Fresh Direct and demand a better resolution from them. A lot of people told me that they followed my suggestion and wrote to Fresh Direct about this too. And just now I just got a mail from Fresh Direct management assuring me that after an internal investigation that the offending driver has indeed been fired.
Imagine this same thing happening as recently as five years ago. Based upon their initial reaction to the complaint, it is likely that without the flood of concerns from other customers, this company would not fire an allegedly dangerous employee. (How irresponsible to even consider reassigning him!) Without the blogs, how could she get the word out far and wide? The mainstream media? Unlikely. And even if the victim had been able to get attention from some mainstream news media, it would never have the immediacy and wide reach of communicating it on a blog. Who knows how many other doors this guy would have kicked down before he was stopped!
Whenever I am interviewed about my blog, or blogging in general, I always try to get the interviewer to grok that the real power in this medium is that anyone can communicate their opinions, fears, outrage, silliness, or whatever is important to them with a large, self-policing peer network. There is such overwhelming power in communication, if that power is treated responsibly.
That is why blogging is important. That is why it's exciting, empowering, and cool. For better and for worse, the rules of communication have changed. So far, I don't see a whole lot of evidence that the mainstream media or current corporate masters of the universe understand that. I wonder when they'll get a clue(train).