Blogs are a familiar feature on the internet - where users post content in an accumulating manner, with comments, and search options, etc. They facilitate expression and exploration, and via attached comments, also debate and synthesis.
Reading and Navigating Blogs
Our blogs are quite powerful. Each writer can post, as is typically the case. Sustainers who have the option can also post, however. All Blogs appear in the blog system, and sometimes also in content boxes the top page of ZNet - and always via the left menu of the top page - and can be found via searches, etc.
Commenting on blogs follows the blogs, attached at the bottom, and blog comments, like all others, are also visible in many places that show comments including in the forum system. In addition, the entire blog system gathers content for everyone - but one can look at the accumulating content in many ways.
For example one can look at one writer's efforts - so one is seeing what is effectively a blog system for that one writer, or Sustainer.
One can also look at the content by topic, seeing blogs that are tagged as being about a certain topic - or place, as well. Thus, when doing that, it is a blog system about a topic, or a place, with many contributors.
One can look at only writer blogs, or only sustainer blogs, as well.
One can look at blogs for particular Groups, too.
All this is easily done using the left menu. Searches allow even more variables and refinements.
Creating Blog Posts
If you are a Sustainer with permission, and are logged in, you will see a link in the left menu for you to post a blog - and you can use that to post one, and then tag it various ways (such as with a topic or place, or a group tag), and once you do, it is in the system with you as the author.
You can also use the console button to the left to post a blog - anytime and from anywhere in the site, as long as you are logged in.
Meanwhile, enjoy the blogs - and, by the way, if you are a Free Member or a Sustainer with a ZSpace page, of course you can put one or more content boxes on it, pulling blog links of any sort you may want to filter for, for example, by you or by your friends or by others - and by topic, about places, for groups, etc.
Usage of the term "propaganda" is interesting. ...it's much like "terrorism."
Before World War II, the term was freely used in English in its literal sense, and its use (by business and properly chosen governments) was considered highly meritorious. With the rise of Hitler, the term began to have negative connotations, and by WWII was restricted to use of propaganda by enemies. It's worth remembering that the Nazis were quite consciously borrowing Anglo-American propaganda, which they greatly admired, particularly business propaganda (advertising and other marketing devices). In other languages, the term is still used in its literal sense. Various methods have been devised to get around the problem. One is to refer to our propaganda as "public diplomacy," or "information."
In Israel, there are two terms for propaganda: one refers to the propaganda of enemies, the other to Israel's own propaganda -- the term that is used means "explanation," the tacit assumption being that what Israel does is so obviously right that all that is necessary is to explain it to people. The terms "public diplomacy" (etc.) are based on the same principle. There was an amusing illustration recently with Karen Young's "I'm a mom" tour of the Middle East, to explain to its backward people that they don't understand how much we love them. Didn't work too well, for reasons described in a very revealing way in the press.
What practice should we follow? Hard to say. Ed Herman and I have used the terms "propaganda," "terror," etc. in their literal sense, applying the same standard to ourselves that we do to others. That has its merits but also its disadvantages. In a deeply indoctrinated intellectual culture, it elicits fury and irrationality, and has to be suppressed in the mainstream, as is done very effectively. The suppression can be discussed elsewhere, but is next to taboo here.
Britain's prestigious Review of International Affairs devoted a recent issue largely to a symposium on this specific topic, unimaginable here, where the existence of critique of media and other doctrinal institutions can be admitted, but only from the right. A recent illustration is several articles by media critic Michael Massing in the New York Review, showing that the right-wing critique is intellectually worthless (though significant because of its powerful backing). He and the editors know that there is a left critique which is very well developed and extensively documented (though of course without powerful backing). But it's hard to imagine articles in US journals devoted to that topic.